5 Time-Saving Tips for Importing Customer Records into NetSuite
During my time as a NetSuite consultant, I have done many customer additions and updates in NetSuite using the CSV (Comma Separated Values) import tool. Along the way I discovered a few things that would have made my imports go a little faster had I known them from the start.
In this blog, I’d like to share five time-saving tips to keep in mind when importing customer records into NetSuite.
1. Advanced Partners with Sub-Partners
When assigning an Advanced Partner to a customer record, you will need to include both the ID and the name of the Sales Rep exactly as they appear on the record.
Example: Below is a screen shot of a Partner named Kristen Johns. She is a sub partner of Mike Smith, and her ID number is 19:1 (if you do not enter the colon you will get an error message).
To enter Kristen as a Sales Rep on your customer import you need to list her exactly as shown below for the import to work.
2. Required Fields
Any required fields on the customer entry form will be required on your import. So make sure to double check what mandatory fields exist on the customer entry, and be sure that your import file has those fields populated.
Example, if your email field is set as a mandatory but your customer has not provided an email address, you can enter a fictitious email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a consistent email address value for every account missing its actual email address, it will be fairly easy to identify and collect those missing email addresses later on.
3. Custom Fields
If you have created any custom fields that were populated from a custom list, it is important to ensure that the value you have entered exactly matches the value in the custom list.
Example: If you have created a sub-territory called Northern California, but in your CSV file it reads Nothern California (typo), you will get an error on this record and the customer will not import.
4. Extra Spaces
Extra spaces can sneak up on you in CSV imports and cause trouble when trying to enter an accurate email address. This will give you an error if you are trying to import a value from a custom list (such as the example above). To remove any double spaces, you can use the TRIM formula in Microsoft Excel.
Example: for the two email addresses below, one has an extra space in front of the email address and the second has an extra space at the end of the email address.
To remove these spaces, add an extra column after the email column and add the trim formula.
Once you hit 'Enter', the Trim column will populate with the email addresses stripped for extra spaces. Now, simply copy and paste special values into the email column, then delete the trim column, and you are all set.
5. Proper Case
Once your customer records have been imported, you will be using these records to populate email templates and invoices, as well as creating mail merged labels for holiday cards, direct mailings, customer gifts, and similar distributions.
As the imported data will be used on customer facing communication, it’s good practice to ensure proper and consistent formatting. An easy way to do this is to utilize the ‘Proper’ formula in Excel.
Example: the two customers below have been entered in all CAPS. To use the ‘Proper’ formula, enter a column after the Customer column and enter the formula as shown. Once you hit ‘enter’ the Proper column will populate with the properly formatted customer names.
Note: be aware that the ‘Proper’ formula will modify all values, including abbreviations such as “LLC”. Accordingly, it’s recommended to run a ‘Find and Replace’ in Excel to find and correct abbreviations.
I hope these five tips will help you save time and frustrations when importing customer data into NetSuite. Keep in mind that this list is far from complete, but in my experience, these are the most prevalent and reoccurring issues that can slow down the import.
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Alishia Penk, NetSuite Consultant