In Silo, your Inventory is a list of the products you use every day for your business. Silo makes it easy to track how many of these products you have on hand, and for you or your team to easily re-order them, making it efficient to keep your business in stock.
Products are added to the Inventory directly by Admins, or as a result of New Item Requests from regular Users.
New Item Requests
Users who do not have Admin access to Silo cannot Add Products straight away, but they do have the opportunity to request new Products that are not already in the Inventory list. For example, a farm worker may request a new kind of shears that they hear recommended to them, or a shop worker may request a new kind of eco-friendly packaging. In Silo, these are called New Item Requests.
New Item Requests contain the name of the product, the URL to buy it online, and a short note from the requester.
When a new Item Request is received, as an Admin you will receive an email notification, and the Item Request will show up on your dashboard. You have the option of accepting or rejecting the request.
If you accept the request, Silo will add the items' details automatically to an Add Product form, for you to review. See below for details on how to complete the form.
As an Admin, you can directly add as many products as you need. You can do this in bulk, by adding multiple products at once, or you can add them one by one.
- You can add a single Product manually or by URL
- You can import multiple Products by URL or via CSV
Adding by URL
This is the easiest and most accurate way to bring Products into Silo, because Silo automatically retrieves most of the product data for you. Of course, it only works for products sold by online Ecommerce stores, as you need a URL to provide product information to Silo.
To start, find the URL (the web address) of each product that you want to add. Make sure to copy the entire URL.
Please note - if you use a private store that is inaccessible to the public (such as an intranet or a special-access website) Adding by URL will not work. You may wish to contact your Vendor and ask them to help you import via CSV (see below).
Next, choose "Add Products" in the main navigation bar and then "Add by URL" from the menu.
A window will appear, asking you to enter the address of each product. Paste in the Product's URL here. Repeat for multiple items.
Click Retrieve when you are done adding URLs, and Silo will retrieve product details. The next page will load, for you to check the product information.
Checking and adding details
Silo is able to retrieve most information from a Product URL, but it helps to check the information and make sure it is correct.
On this page you can review the Product Name, Vendor, and add a couple of useful details to help Silo.
Silo retrieves the full Product Name from the website you provided. Often, this is long-winded and contains a lot of useless marketing-related content. You may wish to edit the name down to something more readable.
Silo attempts to guess the Vendor name. If this field is empty, you need to complete the field in order for Silo to attach this Product to the correct Vendor. If this is a Vendor you have used before, you can select it from the dropdown list. If not, please enter the Vendor name.
This convenient field allows you to specify the unit by which you track this product, which is useful for stocktaking. See the Units page for full information.
Usage rate per week
This field lets you tell Silo how quickly you use this item. This information helps us give you better stock warnings, before we have past data to analyze. See the How does Silo track stock levels? page for more information.
Finalizing the import
If there are any items you wish to remove, use the 'X' button to delete them.
Once you are happy with the list, click "Finalize" and Silo will import all your items.
Importing Products via CSV
CSV stands for "comma separated values" and is a standard way of transferring information between systems. A properly-formatted CSV file can contain a huge amount of organized data, and is also human readable through any spreadsheet software.
To bring a large number of products into Silo, Import by CSV is a good option, for example if:
- You have an existing system containing your product information
- You run an Ecommerce store and already have data in CSV
- You have been managing your product list in a spreadsheet
To import via CSV, click the Add Products button in the main navigation, and choose Import CSV. You will see the following window appear:
Importing via CSV requires that you follow a strict format. To help, Silo has a convenient template, accessible via Google Sheets, showing our CSV format and useful hints about each expected field.
To view the template, follow the link. A prompt will ask you to log in to Google Sheets, so that you can make a copy of the template. Creating a Google account is quick and free, if you have not done so already.
The sheet is relatively self-explanatory, showing which fields are required, and which are optional, as well as example data to illustrate the expected format. You can also view our Product Field Reference, which has more information and examples.
Once you have completed your CSV, browse for the file, and click Upload to send it to Silo. Silo will parse your file, and show the output in our spreadsheet preview:
Using the spreadsheet preview
After parsing the CSV, Silo presents the imported information in a spreadsheet-style view for you to make any modifications, and to add missing information required by Silo.
To edit, simply click on the cell you wish to modify. After you make changes, Silo will automatically verify simple errors and color-code the cell to signify any issues.
When you are done editing, click Validate. Silo will show a validation summary, including information about Products, Categories, Vendors and Units that will be added. This is a good place to review and avoid similar-sounding Categories, or Units that can be consolidated.
If everything looks good, click Finalize. Silo will complete the import and your Products will be available in the Inventory list.