The Trick To Importing Inventory Data

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There’s an idea floating around that you can just take your inventory spreadsheets or template and import it into an Inventory System, and the data will magically be tidy and usable from the get-go. Just like many things in life, the process is simple, just not as simple as you first thought it might be.

In addition to the 3 step process for importing data into the Inventory System, an important pre-import step needs to be brought to the surface. This step involves understanding the structure and makeup of your inventory data and breaking it down into what we call building blocks. Building blocks are the main categories of inventory information that will become your base set-up files in the system. An easy way to determine your operation’s building blocks is by asking questions such as:

  • “Where do we store our inventory?”
  • “How do we organize or categorize our items?
  • “How do we quantify or label our stock?”


After asking these questions hopefully you realize that you already had these building blocks, you just didn’t know it! And although locations, stock categories, and stock item numbers are common building blocks, your teams may be different (and that’s okay!).

This pre-import process allows you to essentially create a reusable import map with the specific data that matters to you. Taking the time to evaluate the composition of your inventory is necessary because it helps you determine the foundations of your tracking system. It might not be magic, but it gets importing done the right way, the first time.