Importing an existing inventory spreadsheet

    This article covers how to format your spreadsheet and import items into Backbar.

    When getting started with Backbar, importing an existing inventory spreadsheet is the easiest way to get your items into the system. The import wizard leads you through a series of steps to get your items and information correctly into Backbar.


    Step 1 is to first setup your inventory locations. If you have counts for different locations on your existing spreadsheet, you should make sure there is an associated location in Backbar created for each one.


    Set up Locations


    The next step is to upload your spreadsheet. However, before doing so, please be sure the file meets these requirements:


    • The file is in Excel .XLSX format
    • All data is in the first worksheet
    • The first row of the file must contain your column headers
    • Data does not include merged cells
    Upload Spreadsheet

    The following data can be imported into Backbar from a spreadsheet:


    • Name*: the name of the product (required field)
    • Bin: used for storing/locating the item
    • SKU: item identifier for ordering
    • Vendor: Name of the business where you purchase the product from
    • Size: the amount, units and container of your product. Example: 750 ml bottle. (Your field does not need all three options. Your field may contain only the amount such as 750, or amount and units such as 750 ml, in which case you will need to select the other parameters for units and/or container in the last step of the import wizard)
    • Par: inventory quantity needed on-hand
    • Cost: cost per unit
    • Units per case: number of units that come in a case
    • Quantity (in each location): the last counted quantity of the item


    If you count inventory in multiple areas or storage locations (and then add columns together to get a total), include each individual location in your spreadsheet. You do not need to map the total quantity column as that will not be imported (it is calculated automatically by adding up your individual locations). If you do not record inventory counts by separate locations and only have one column for the inventory quantity, then you will map that as your only quantity column.


    Below is an example of a spreadsheet with the appropriate fields. Click here to download a template XLSX file to use.


    The next step after uploading your file is to map each of your column names to what they are called in Backbar. On the left side, select your column name from the drop down menus that match the Backbar name. If you don't have a column for a specific field (for example, if your spreadsheet does not include SKU), simply skip that dropdown selection. On the right side you will see a preview of the data based on the columns you mapped. Verify everything looks correct before proceeding.

    matching columns

    Once you've verified that you have the correct information, if you have mapped the vendors field, you will need to setup each of the unique vendors in your spreadsheet into Backbar. This will make your purchasing process much easier. 


    set up vendors


    Click the Add button and as you begin typing, a drop down menu of possible vendors will appear. If you see your vendor or distributor already in our system, click on the corresponding vendor. If you don't see your vendor, click on the link to create a new vendor


    breakthru bev

    Next, add in details for your vendor. All fields are optional, but at a minimum you will need to add at least one vendor contact in order to place your orders through Backbar. Here is some useful information about adding vendors:

    • Minimum order - will display in the shopping cart so you know if your order meets the minimum
    • Order Cutoff Time - the day and time you have to place your order in order to receive your delivery on time
    • Receive Cutoff Notification - if checked and you have not placed an order with this vendor two hours before your cutoff time, you will receive a notification to remind you to place your order by the cutoff
    • Vendor Contacts - The person(s) you send your order to. Typically this is your sales reps.


    Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 4.24.19 PM-1



    Once you add in any vendor information click on the Next button to map this vendor to what it is named in your spreadsheet. If your spreadsheet has multiple variations or spellings of the vendor, check all the variations that apply.

    mapping vendors


    The next step is to map each of the wines, beers and spirits in your spreadsheet to the respective drink in the Backbar database. It is very important that you try to find a match for each item so you can easily filter your items, organize and drill-down into your reports (for example by drink types and styles). By finding a match, this will be automatic as Backbar knows the attributes of the products in our database.


    The original name from your spreadsheet displays on the left side and next to that is the best guess for a match to the item from the Backbar database. If the item should not be imported (for example, if it is not a product), then click the Skip button. If the Backbar Name column shows a match to your item, click the Accept button. Otherwise if it is not a match or no suggestion is shown, click the Find Match button to find the match for your item.


    The below image shows an example listing beers and the buttons we would click for each row:

    Match Products Example

    We are skipping the rows "Canned Beer" and "Keg Beer" because those aren't actually products. They were used as category names on the spreadsheet for organization. There are four products we can accept right away because the Backbar Name matches the product we intended.


    There are two items in our spreadsheet however we need to click Find Match for. They both represent a different outcome so we'll walk through each of them. First, let's look at the item that in the spreadsheet is called yuengling Btle. Once we click Find Match we are shown a search box.

    Match Products Find Match No Results

    In this case it says that no results were found. The first thing to do is to try to change the search term to find the item. It is often best to just start deleting from the end of the search term, especially if it contains words or abbreviations that are not really part of the product name. In this case, we should delete off Btle in the search box. Our search will then look like this:

    Match Products Find Match Results


    Now we have some valid matches. Click on the specific Yuengling beer that you have and it will then be accepted as a match.


    Now let's look at the second item we need to find a match for called Jailbreak Poor Righteous. When we click Find Match again it will show no results. In this case, Poor Righteous is the name of the beer from Jailbreak Brewing Company. We can delete the name and just search for Jailbreak, but as the screenshot below shows we don't find a result for the beer we need.


    Match Products Find Match No Results Add New


    Since the beer is not already in the Backbar database, you need to add it manually by clicking on the Add New Item button. Four new fields will appear for you to put in the:


    • name
    • vintage (if applicable)
    • drink type
    • style


    Be sure for the Name field, you enter in the full official name for the product, with no shorthand, so that our beverage team can locate the correct product.


    When you add a new product that is not in our database, Backbar reviews the item and adds all the additional product information for it (such as the tasting notes, image, ABV, producer information, etc...). For that reason it is important that you give the full name of the product so that we know what it is to find the product information.


    Choosing the correct size for items

    If you mapped the size field to your spreadsheet, a column will appear when matching products for you to select the size. The size field actually consists of three different selections:

    1) Amount (ex. 750)

    2) Units (ex. ml)

    3) Container (ex. bottle)


    If your spreadsheet did not include all three of those selections, the ones that it did contain should appear and you will need to select the remaining one(s). The original data you had in the size column displays under the product name to assist you. Backbar uses some intelligence to make a best guess for missing size information based on the drink type, your country and your original data accounting for abbreviations and nicknames (for example, "1/2 bbl" will be converted to "15.5 gal keg."


    import size matching


    Items that are not wines, beers or spirits

    The Backbar database only contains packaged alcohol products. If you have items on your inventory spreadsheet that are not packaged alcohol, you will not find any valid matches or search results. Some examples are:


    • Soft drinks
    • Mixers
    • Juices
    • Supplies
    • Food
    • Cooking wine

    You need to add these items manually by doing the following:

    1. Click on Find Match
    2. Click on Add New Item
    3. Select the Type of Other Item
    4. Select a Subtype
    5. Click on Add
    Match Products Find Match Other Item


    One you are done skipping items and accepting a match for each item, you can click the blue Finish button. All of your items will then be imported along with the associated data from your spreadsheet that you mapped.


    Important notes and tips


    You don't need to complete the whole process in one sitting


    If you have a very large spreadsheet, it can take a long time to find matches and add everything. Don't worry about having to complete everything in one session. Your matches are saved locally on your computer. So if you need to stop and come back to it later, your progress will be saved. You do not need to stay signed in or even leave the website open in your web browser. Next time you login and return to the Import Wizard, you will be right where you left off.


    Skipped Items


    If you accidentally skip an item, you can restore it back to find a match by click on the undo icon next to it in the skipped items list.


    Some items may appear skipped automatically and without an undo icon. That means the item does not have valid data and cannot be imported.


    When you click finish, any items that do not have an accepted match will be skipped automatically.


    Navigation and Starting Over


    If you made a mistake in mapping your fields or forgot to add a location in Backbar to match your spreadsheet, you can click the Previous button to go back and make changes.


    If you have to change or add data on your spreadsheet after already accepting items, it is best to click the Start Over button. Note, this will erase any accepted items and skipped items you have made and start you from scratch.

    Still need help?

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