Multicat is the format used to submit data to manufacturers or MSA. As the name implies, Multicat enables the participant (distributor) to provide data across multiple categories. Multicat reports are weekly reports filed electronically by tobacco, candy, drinks, and grocery distributors to report sales and inventory floor count to brand manufacturers as part of participating in trade programs. The Multicat report slightly varies between different trading programs but the report standard structure is the same. The reports are uploaded electronically directly to manufactures or through the MSAi reporting system which in turn passes the brands data to the manufacturers.
Benefits of MSA Reporting
Maintain Direct Purchasing Status
For a tobacco distributor to purchase products directly from a manufacturer, the manufacturer requires weekly accurate sales and inventory data reporting. Some manufacturers collect the data using their own systems like Swedish Match, while the majority hire MSA to collect the data on their behalf. Data is monitored very closely and analyzed against the supply chain; if a distributor is found reporting inaccurate data, a warning is issued, and repeat offenses could cost the distributor its purchasing status.
Receive Manufacturer Rebates
Tobacco manufacturers offer distributors rebates for reaching sales quotas. (A quota is set by the manufacturer, and is defined in the purchasing contract with the distributor.) In return, manufacturers are able to analyze their brand distribution data quickly and accurately. Accurate marketing data saves costs and increases profits for manufacturing companies.
Allow Your Customers to Receive Manufacturer Rebates
For distributors that report data to manufacturers, their customers (retailers) can enroll in trade programs to receive rebates upon reaching sales quotas. "A customer could be a retailer or a non-direct distributor." Retailers that buy from non-reporting distributors will be unable to enroll in trade programs, costing them potential savings in rebates.
Gain Sales Data Verification
Reported data is used by both manufacturers and government jurisdictions. For example, state revenue departments can obtain access to this data to compare it to their monthly filed tax returns data. Therefore, reporting accurate and consistent data to both manufacturers and government is essential to avoid tax audits. MSAi data can be used by states to compare to tax reports. A state can request MSAi data during an audit.
It is clear that reporting shipments data to MSAi or directly to manufacturers benefits manufacturers, wholesale distributors and their customers (retailers).
MSA Multicat Mandatory Data
Multicat reports are weekly reports filed electronically by tobacco, candy, drinks, and grocery distributors to report sales and inventory floor counts to brand manufacturers as part of participating in their trade programs. The Multicat report data slightly varies between different trading programs but the report standard structure requirements are the same.
Multicat reports are submitted in EDI flat files. The reports are uploaded electronically directly to manufactures or through the MSAi reporting system which in turn passes the brands data to the manufacturers. Each report is validated and an email is sent to the reporter with error or warnings. Complete error free reports are due by Tuesday of the following week. Missing reports are tracked and must be submitted as soon as possible before trade programs get notified of the missing data.
Mandatory data include the following fields:
Product: UPC, SKU, description, items per selling unit, category, quantity on hand, promotion code, and promotion description.
Sales: Quantity sold, ship to name, street, city, state, and zip code.
Altria Reporting Changes
In 2016 Altria requirements extended to include new data. Three new measures were required for the detailed reporting of product returns, including Floor Returns, Saleable Returns and Unsaleable Returns.
Returns from wholesaler to manufacturer, its reclamation center or the original supplier, where the product never shipped to any retailer, sub- jobber or non-direct distributor must be reported in Measure Code 006 of the BID Record.
Returns from retailer to wholesaler, where the product may be re-sold must be reported in Measure Code 004 of the PUR Record.
Returns from retailer to wholesaler, where the product is expired, damaged or otherwise non-saleable must be reported in Measure Code 005 of the PUR Record.
MSA Trade Programs
Most tobacco manufacturers require distributors to contact their local manufacturer representative to enroll in the trading programs. Registering with trade program allows sales and inventory data to be forwarded to manufacturers on time. Manufacturers make use of the data for marketing and manufacturing forecasting. All distributors must report their data to manufacturers to be able to maintain direct purchasing status, receive rebates and other incentives.
Tobacco trade programs includes Altria, Commonwealth, RJR, Japan Tobacco, Altadis, Nat Sherman, Dosal, Liggett, Blu E-cig, Juul, and Swisher. Candy trade programs include Mars Snack Foods, Hershey and other candy manufacturers.
Most of the trade programs require distributors to enroll through their local manufacturers representatives. Other trade programs, like Altria and Commonwealth, require the distributor to only request their data to be released from the MSA to the manufacturers.
Reconciliation of Shipments Data
Each trade program tries to verify that distributors are reporting clean data. Each sale is matched against a purchase from other distributor or manufacturer. So, the shipment data for a brand can be tracked from the source (manufacturer) to the end seller (retailer) with location, allowing manufacturers to gain clarity on location vs quantity sold per time. To keep shipment data effective, Trade Programs tracks shipment data and issues penalties for not confirming to the Trade Program reporting rules by reporting accurate and complete shipment data. A quarterly reports sent to each distributor with data results matrices to show how discrepancies in the reported data and require resubmission of shipment data.
MSA Multicat Category Codes
To track each brand accurately, category codes are assigned to different set of products within a super category. Category code is used to classify the SKU by product type. Tobacco for example is classified by categories like cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco items. Category codes are 4 digits numbers assigned to different type of tobacco products. For example cigarettes Multicat category is 3231. Assigning codes allows the data analytics to detects products types across all distribution reports.
|Category Description||Category Code||Item Examples|
|Snuff - Moist Snuff||3211||Moist Snuff|
|Snuff - Spit Free||3217||Spit Free/Snus Pouches|
|Snuff - CTP||3218||CTP- Compressed tobacco (Tablets)|
|Loose Leaf||3212||Chewing Tobacco|
|Dry Snuff||3213||Dry Snuff (Nasal)|
|Twist/Rope||3214||Twist and Rope|
|RYO Tobacco (Tobacco only)||3221||RYO Tobacco - tobacco only|
|Pipe Tobacco||3241||Pipe Tobacco|
|Cigars - Mass Produced||3251||Cigars mass produced or machine made|
|Cigars - Little||3252||Cigars - little cigars usually 20 per pack|
|Cigars - Premium||3227||Cigars - Handmade or hand rolled|
|RYO - Sticks/Kits||3281||Sticks/Kits - RYO Tobacco and Papers sold together (incl machine)|
|Tubes/Papers||3261||Tubes/Papers sold separately (without tobacco or machine)|
|Miscellaneous Tobacco Accessories||3262||Pipe Cleaners/Flints/Lighter Fluid|
|Lighters||3291||Lighters all types|
|Multi Category Shipper||7100||Multi Category Shipper|
|Beverage Cold - Ready to Drink (RTD)||2000||RTD - Water, flavored water, juices, sports drinks, protein shakes, energy shakes|
|Beverage - Liquid Dairy||2100||Milk (whole, 2%, 1%, Skim/not fat), flavored, Other Ready to Drink fluid Milk Products (Lactose free, Soy) Cream/Creamer products|
|Beverage Food Service - Food Service and Food Service Supplies||2300||Food Service Brewed Coffee, Tea, Cappuccino, Steamers, Creamers and Coffee Supplies (filters), includes carbonated and cold dispensed hot chocolate, refills, hot cider, cold dispensed beverages (tea, lemonade, cold cider), sports drinks, refills, iced coffee|
|Beverage Hot - Coffee and Tea (Not RTD)||2310||Retail Coffee and Tea - Instant, Ground, Whole Bean, Tea Bags and Leaf Tea (Exclude Iced Tea mixes)|
|Beverage - Enhancers||2500||Powder/Liquid Concentrates added to water or other liquid providing flavor or nutrients, Include Instant Iced Tea, Syrups and PSD (Exclude all Coffee and Breakfast Syrups)|
|Coolers||2430||All Coolers, Hard Lemonade|
|Liquor||2440||Whiskey, Scotch, Liquors|
|Batteries and Flash lights with batteries||4100||Batteries (include battery/flashlight combo)|
|Flashlight with no batteries||4120||Flashlights|
|Paper Products||4200||Includes - Paper Towels, Bath Tissue, Napkins, Facial Tissue, Paper/Plastic/Styrofoam -Plates, Cups, Bowls (excluding plastic bags and wraps)|
|Fabric Care||4300||Laundry Soaps, Laundry Boosters, Fabric Softeners, Dryer Sheets (excludes Stain Removers and Bleach which is a home care), Laundry spray starch|
|Storage Wraps and Containers||4350||Plastic Wrap, Aluminum Foil, Wax Paper, Plastic Storage Bags, Disposable Containers (Plastic and Aluminum), Paper Bags, Trash Bags|
|Home Care||4400||Home Care - Automatic Dish Washing Detergent, Dishwasher Additives, Bathroom Cleaners, Kitchen Cleaners, Glass Cleaners, Wood Cleaners, All-purpose Cleaners, Air Fresheners, home care Bleach and stain removers (excluding insecticides)|
|Dispensers||4600||food service or Janitorial dispensing machines – e.g. Paper towel dispensers, ketchup dispensers, Femcare dispensers...|
|Professional Cleaning Solutions||4600||Industrial Use - Includes Floor, Laundry, Bathroom, Glass, Specialty, General Cleaning Solutions (janitorial products)|
|Chocolate||5100||Chocolate (All Chocolate Covered Products that are marketed as such (e.g. Goobers, Raisinets, chocolate covered fruit (blueberries, cherries, etc.)|
|Non-Chocolate||5200||Non-Chocolate (Boston Baked Beans, Misc), Chewy (Taffy, Skittles, Spearmint Leaves, Jelly Beans, Tootsie Rolls),Gummy (Gummy In Title, Sour Patch, Swedish Fish), Hard (Candy Canes, Lemonheads), Lifesavers (Excl. Peppermint/Spearmint), Lollipop (Incl. Lolis With Chewy Centers Such As Tootsie Pops, Starburst Chew Pops)|
|Gum||5500||Bubble gum, Chewing, Pellets|
|Mint||5600||Personal Breath Freshener, Mentos, Starlight mints, Lifesavers (peppermint, spearmint)|
|Cough Drops||5700||Cough Drops|
|Salty Snacks||6100||Salty Chips Potato/Corn/Tortilla, Bagel, Rye (All Snack Chips),Pretzels, Salty Popcorn (exclude Chocolate Covered Popcorn),Cheese Curls/Balls, Pork Skins, Corn Nuts, Andy Capp Fries, Potato Sticks, Onion Rings, Crackers All (Excl. Graham or other Sweet Crackers), Nuts/Seeds, mexican tostadas (mexican toast about size of taco shell), fried wasibi peas, garbonzo beans, habas (fried mexican bean)|
|Sweet Snacks -Bakery/Cookie/Pastry||6300||Sweet Snack Mix, Bakery/Cookie/Pastry, Sweet Popcorn, Sweet Crackers, Cookies, Pastries, Donuts, Gems, Snack Cakes, Pies, Sweet Rolls, Honey Buns, Danishes, Brownies, (Excl. Toaster Pastries)|
|Nutritional Snacks||6500||Energy Bars (Energy, Protein, High Protein), Trail Mix, Granola Bars (Main Ingredient Is Granola),Fruit Filled Bars, Fruit Snacks (Fruit Roll-Ups, Gushers, Fruit Snacks),Breakfast Bars/Cereal Bars, Nutritional Chips, Rice Cakes, Pop Tarts|
|Food Snacks||6600||Meat Sticks, Meat Stick with Cheese, String cheese, other cheese snacks|
|Multi Item Shippers||7000||A total shipper may contain certain combinations of products from the above categories. A total shipper may refer to any of the following: Multi-Item Shipper, Counter Unit, Floor Stand, Promo, Display, Pre-Pack, Power Wing, Deal and Special Value.|
|Empty Racks||7500||tiered racks, gravity feeds, floor stands, MVE, racks|
|Health and Beauty|
|A/O HBC||8000||HBC not broken out below|
|Razors and other shaving||8100||Razors, Razor Blades, Shaving Cream, Disposable Razors, Pre and After Shave Lotions|
|Dental/Oral Care||8300||Tooth Brushes, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Floss, Dental Pick, Lip Care|
|Personal Care||8400||Deodorant, Bath Soap, Body Spray, Hand & Body Lotion, Liquid Hand Soap, Hand Sanitizers, Body Wash, Facial Cleanser, Facial Creams, Skin Care, Pregnancy Tests|
|Contraceptives||8460||Contraceptives (Excl. pregnancy tests)|
|Baby Care (Excl. Detergent and medication)||8500||Diapers & Training Pants, Wipes, Powder, Diaper Rash Lotions and Ointments, Baby Bath & Skin Care, Baby formula and food|
|Feminine Hygiene||8600||Tampons, Feminine Napkins, Feminine Wipes|
|Hair Care||8700||Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Spray, Hair Gel, Hair Mousse, Hair Color|
|OTC - Cough and Cold Medications||8810||Cough and Cold Syrups, Tablets, Capsules, Caplets, Sprays, Inhalers, Preventive Cold Medicine, Rubs|
|OTC - Stomach Remedies||8820||Antacids, Acid Blockers, Anti-Gas, Anti-Diarrhea, Heartburn Prevention, Anti-Nausea, Laxatives|
|OTC -Analgesics||8830||Analgesics (Pain and fever relief, wraps and patches)|
|OTC - Other Internal Medication||8850||Other Internal OTC Medication (No Dose, Sominex, stimulants)|
|Edible Grocery - Non-Refrigerated or Non-Frozen||9000||Canned, Jarred, Packaged and Boxed Edible Grocery, Condiments|
|Frozen Foods||9100||Juices, Entrees, Pizza, Fruits, Vegetables, Desserts, heated frozen foods|
|Refrigerated Foods||9200||Refrigerated Meats, Bakery, Cheese, Pickles, Spreads, refrigerated food products|
|Cereal||9300||Breakfast Cereal includes: single-serve items cereal|
|Pet Food and Supplies||9500||Pet Food, Pet Treats, Pet Toys, Shampoo, Flea Powder, pet food and pet supplies|
|Frozen Dessert||9600||Frozen Yogurt/Sherbet/Sorbet/Ice Cream/Frozen Novelties frozen desserts|
|Food Service||9700||Food service prepared on site - Mexican/chicken/pizza, seafood/hot dogs/hamburgers/sandwiches/wraps/frozen treats/bakery/soup and salad/other cuisine food service|