As you will see below, it is not necessary to collect a lot of data for this first upload.
Note however that in order to benefit from seasonality based forecasting models, you must load at least two years of historical sales per item, otherwise automatic model detection will work but will be done on less sophisticated forecasting models. If you can upload at least three years of historical data, you will get more accurate forecasts.
A SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is an item at a specific location
Simply provide a column containing your items and a column showing the location of each article in your file.
(Note: this second column is not even required to import your data successfully).
Option: If in addition you use as in the example below "partNumber" and "location" you are sure that the platform will recognize automatically your columns.
Then you need to provide your sales history (or demand if you are able to differentiate your actual sales from the demand 👍). In order to do that, two options are available to you.
Option 1: File with dates in the header
The dates may appear in the header of your file ("Dates in the header" option in the upload wizard), so each line in the file will match a SKU, and these columns will match to quantities (date in the header, quantities in the cells).
Option 2: File with dates in a column
Each line can also correspond to a transaction, or a sale.
In this case, we find on each line of the file, a SKU, a transaction date and a quantity ("Dates in a column" option in the upload wizard). The wizard will aggregate the data for each SKU in order to present it correctly on the platform for each forecast period (month, week or even quarter depending on the chosen option).
Several options are available when importing for the date format, including customizable formats. An article describes how to set the right date format for your file.
When you are satisfied with the content of your file, save it in a .csv format. To export a .csv file from Excel, just save your file in this format (File> Save as, choose csv in the file type box).
Check your CSV file before the upload
Once your .csv file is ready, you can check it by opening your file in a text editor such as Notepad or Notepad ++. This should look like the file below. Delimiters must be semi-colons (";") or commas (","). In the example below, we use semicolons.
Let's now move to the import itself