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Updating supplier costs in WorkflowMax

Over the past year, many clients have expressed their frustration with frequently increasing supplier costs.  For users with extensive WorkflowMax cost lists, this frustration is compounded – requiring many hours of valuable time spent updating costs manually. The following will cover how to update your list of costs.

If your cost list is on the lengthier side, exporting, updating, and re-importing your costs will save you, precious admin, time.  This is a straightforward process, but you do need to follow the steps carefully.  Microsoft Excel skills are also required.

The easiest way to approach this is to ask your supplier/s to send you their latest price list in .xls or .csv format.

In WorkflowMax, select Business > Settings > Export, then select file type Generic – Costs.  Ignore the rest of the fields and select Export.  Now scroll to the bottom of the screen and check the Export Result.  The number of rows exported should match the number of costs in your Cost (to check this go to Business > Settings > Costs).  If the figure looks right, select Click to download export file.

Export Result (Business > Settings > Export)

Once you have both files downloaded and open, save and format both documents so you can see the data clearly.  Now you need to sort both data sets.

WorkflowMax will display your costs by description (A-Z) by default.  If you have more than a few suppliers, it might be easier to sort WorkflowMax by supplier, then create a separate sheet for each supplier.  However, you choose to sort, you want to make sure that both Excel workbooks are ordered the same way.

The WorkflowMax export file, once updated, will be your import file. The quickest way to update is to copy and paste data from the supplier file into the WorkflowMax file.

If you are also updating your sell price, you can update these figures manually, from another spreadsheet or use Excels formula functions to calculate a margin/mark-up from the updated cost prices.

Once your pricing is updated and you are happy with it, check your import file is saved in .csv format.

Now you’re ready to import!  Go to Business > Settings > Import.  Select Options as per below (unless your import file format is Tab-delimited), then select Import

Now scroll to the bottom of the screen and check the Import Result.  The number of rows imported should match to your spreadsheet and errors will be displayed.

In the example below, we made some changes (other than cost and price), highlighted in red.

In column A we changed the m on the end of the code from lower case to a capital.  This resulted in a double-up on that item, so we now have two in WorkflowMax, one with the new cost/price, one with the old.

Column B added the word GLOSS to the existing item.

Column E didn’t import as the supplier wasn’t in the system. If you add a supplier to your import spreadsheet, ensure you add it in WorkflowMax before importing the file.

In summary, using export / import to update your cost center will save you a considerable amount of admin time, but does require a great deal of care and some excel skill!

Our pro tips for a successful import…

  1. Check your export list and add any new (or missing) suppliers into WorkflowMax before you import.

  2. Check the column headers before you hit the import button – these must be the same as the exported list.

  3. Use two screens or split your screen so you can see both worksheets at the same time – this will make it easier to compare data.

  4. If your list is long, consider splitting by supplier and importing each supplier list separately.

  5. Randomly check 8-12 rows in your import document, prior to import, to make sure they correspond to the supplier file.

  6. Always do a test import of 10 or less records, that way if something goes wrong, it’ll be less painful to fix.

  7. When calculating a margin or mark-up on cost and/or price, copy and paste the import data to a new sheet (use paste values – WorkflowMax doesn’t like formulas!)

  8. Take care updating columns other than cost and price, as our example above shows, even small changes can cause havoc.

Need to boost your Excel skills?  Click the link below to view our Excel training options:

Need to update your costs but too busy?  We can help with that!  Contact us on 0800 000 256 to discuss.

For step-by-step instructions on exporting and importing Costs in WorkflowMax, see the following links:


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