Exploring Assist For Dealers

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Today we’re taking our readers on a deep dive of our Assist platform, and offering a step by step exploration of the features and functions users will encounter as they get to know Assist. 

Assist was specifically built to solve the issues facing dealers in the Home Furnishings industry around managing & transforming the different types of product data they receive from their vendors. 

Vendor data can come in a variety of formats & levels of quality which creates unnecessary obstacles for dealers who could be using the time they spend managing product data to focus on more important things, such as selling their furniture products. 

Assist is the perfect tool for solving these challenges because Assist makes it easy to import, map, and export all different types of vendor catalogs into the custom file formats that dealers need for their point of sale, websites, and/or other systems. 

In addition to being a secure place to centralize & manage data, Assist provides a robust suite of merchandising tools designed to help dealers create rich, SEO-friendly product content, easily manage product updates (such as price increases due to recent tariffs, stock levels, product availability, etc.) and even provides dealers the ability to create unique kits & groups of product that can help them stand out from their competition.

Let’s dive in! 

Assist is a cloud-based, SaaS application, so it’s accessible at any time from any web browser. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a home page where your vendor catalogs will eventually live. In order to start working with vendor data, you’ll first need to import a vendor’s spreadsheet. 

Step 1 - Import

Begin the import process by clicking “Add New Vendor Data”. Creating a new vendor is easy – simply provide a name for the vendor, upload the latest spreadsheet of data, and if you choose, assign a logo file. 

Once you click next, Assist utilizes a process called field mapping to associate fields from the vendor’s spreadsheet to the fields in Assist that make sense for you & your business.

There are two steps to field mapping – the core fields & the more detailed category fields. At this point in the import process, you’ll be able to associate the vendor’s categories to your category structure, saving a substantial amount of time when compared to making those associations by hand. 

A powerful feature of the category mapping tool is its ability to associate & save multiple category and/or subcategory labels to products. For example, labelling all the items in the mattress category with the sub-category of “foundations”.

This field mapping process is a one-time exercise, where all future spreadsheets from your vendors will be mapped automatically, saving considerable time. 

Once you’ve completed all of the mappings, the final step in the import process is to hit “Complete” and return to the main screen.

Step 2 - Master Catalog

By clicking on the vendor you’ve just created, you can view the entire catalog of their products.  If you wish to, you can navigate by your specific categories, search for a specific collection, or even simply click into an individual product to see it’s attributes. 

When viewing a single product, you’re able to quickly modify & enhance the vendor-provided content displayed. You can easily navigate the different attributes, improve them, and save those changes.

Improve whichever aspects of the product you feel are necessary, then save your changes, and mark it “Reviewed for Export”, which indicates that the item is complete & ready to be sent to your point-of-sale system or website. 

Now that you’ve enhanced a product, you might want to include it as part of a bundled offering of products – in Assist we call them groups. By clicking the “Product Groups” button, you can easily create a new group, select the products & quantity of each item that should be included in the group, create a SKU and name for the group, and you’re done! You can merchandise this group’s attributes to your liking before marking it as “Reviewed for Export”.

Assist also provides the ability to edit items in bulk & gives users the power to decide whether to accept or reject specific fields. For example, accepting all new pricing data from a vendor but rejecting their product names since you’ve either improved that content or even white labelled their items.

Step 3 - Export

The final step in Assist is exporting the data & uploading it to your systems of choice. You’ll do this by clicking the “Send to My Systems” button, where you are presented with the option to generate spreadsheets with only selected products and groups, or entire catalogs. 

The files created by Assist are entirely customized to your specific business needs as part of Amber Engine’s onboarding & set-up process, and are formatted to be import-ready for your unique point of sale, website, or other system. 

And beyond!

Continue to pretend that you’ve loaded the data from Assist into your point of sale tool and everything is going great…but now a month has passed and your rep for that vendor has sent you updated pricing data. 

In the past, changing pricing would have meant updating dozens or hundreds of products by hand and spending hours trying to merging the spreadsheets together. With Assist, the process is as easy as importing the latest spreadsheet, confirming that the field mappings are accurate, and hitting next.

Once you’ve uploaded the new pricing data to Assist, processing those changes is as simple as selecting the “Make bulk changes” button and telling the system which values you’d like to keep or modify. Once again, the final step is that you would select “Send to My Systems” and create another export file with the updated pricing information, ready to be sent to your POS. 

We created Assist because we believe that an improved process for managing catalog data will enrich the in-store selling experience as well as make selling online as easy as selling face to face. Our software empowers you to manage the large amount of catalog data you deal with on a daily basis and use to fuel sales and marketing efforts. At $199 per month, with no contract commitment, there’s no risk to giving it a try! Talk to our sales team today for more information.