Custom fields are really flexible and allowed us to do some clever categorisations of customers like tiers, grouping and filtering on routes, status, etc. It even helped us to remember the birthdays or things like licence expiry dates, but there are some obvious limitations when it comes to storing the details of people in custom fields. Here are three limitations that our users frequently faced:
- Customers in Skynamo could only have a set number of contacts, and once those fields were set up, they were fixed. No adding another contact even though we know some customers have a few contacts whereas others have many.
- There was no relationship between the custom fields that represented a contact. So, we could not leverage the fact that Contact 1 Email belonged to Contact 1 Name. This means that you could not just select a contact on orders, quotes or credit requests, but that you always had to type out the email address (and we know how hard that is…).
- No adding new contacts from the mobile apps. You could edit the contacts, but not add or remove them.
We have solved these issues by adding Contacts as a new entity in Skynamo.
This document outlines the procedure on how to export and extract the contact information from the customer custom fields as an Excel sheet, to convert it into a format that can be imported in Skynamo as Contacts.
Step 1 – Export customer list
Export your customer list as Excel file. Log in to Skynamo Insights and navigate to the Customer page and click the “Download all (.xlsx)” button.
This should download a file containing all the customers and customer information. The columns are the customer fields and the rows represent each customer.
Step 2 – Clean up the customer file
Clean up the Customer export by deleting all of the fields that are not related to the contacts, like Active/Inactive, Latitude, Longitude, Accuracy, Default warehouse, Assigned users, Price list etc.
Note: Do not delete the Customer Code (Code column) – this is required for associating the Contacts with a customer.
Step 3 – Download the Contacts template
We will now rearrange the Customer export to contain only the fields supported in Contacts. To make this easier let’s download the Contact template .xlsx file. Click on the settings button (gear) at the top right of the screen and select Imports on the left.
Then select Import Contacts in the list and click the “Download template (.xlsx)” button. If you’ve already added some contacts in your instance, you can also download all the contacts and amend the list.
Let’s open the template file to have a look at the supported Contact fields. The template file contains 12 columns. Please note that some of the columns can be imported but is not currently shown in the interface.
- ID – This is used for editing existing contacts. IDs will be included in the export on all existing contacts. Importing a line without an ID will add a new contact.
- Customer code – Customer code associated to this contact (this fields is required)
- Name – This is the Contact’s first name (this fields is required)
- Title – Can be imported but is not currently shown in the Insights or mobile interface
- Company – Can be imported but is not currently shown in the Insights or mobile interface
- Website – Can be imported but is not currently shown in the Insights or mobile interface
- Work number
- Mobile number
- Job title
- Notes – Can be imported but is not currently shown in the interface
Step 4 – Rearrange the contact fields
We want to change the format of the customer file that was downloaded earlier to contain a single list of contacts that can be imported in this format. If you have a single contact’s details you can skip this step but if you have multiple contact details in the customer file for example: Contact 1 Name, Contact 1 Email, Contact Phone 1, Contact Name 2… You have to do the following:
We will cut the columns of the second contact and subsequent contacts and paste them at the bottom of the list to create a single list of contacts where each line represents a contact. Make sure to duplicate the Customer Code (Code column below) to make sure the association with the customer is maintained.
File before changes:
File after changes:
Do this for all the contact columns added to the Customer fields. Then we rename the columns to match the corresponding Contact headings from the Contact file headings in the bullet list provided earlier.
Customer export file after renaming headings:
If one field was used for the contact’s name and surname the Text to Columns feature in excel can be used to split it into a name and surname.
File after splitting name and surname:
Check this list to make sure the file is ready to be imported:
- Make sure all lines contain the required field Customer code
- Make sure all lines contain the required field Name
- Make sure the column headers have the same names as the contact fields supported
- Make sure the changes are saved to the file
Step 5 – Import the Contact file
Open Insights and navigate to the settings icon (gear) on the top right and select Imports on the left. Then click on Import Contacts. Click Browse and select the file that was rearranged.
Make sure the “First row has headings is clicked” and click the File Select button.
Make sure the column headings match the dropdown boxes for each column. If the dropdown box is not populated, open it and select the corresponding field. The selected column will be imported as the field selected in the dropdown box.
After that click “Import Contacts”
This should run through the selected file and import the Contact fields and associate them with the specified Customers.
If the import fails, check the error messages on the right of each line, correct it in the file, save and try to import again.
Step 6 – Delete the old customer custom fields
We advise against duplicating data so it is a good idea to delete the customer custom fields that were imported as Contacts unless there are fields that are not catered in Contacts yet.
This can be done by navigating to settings (gear) on the top right and selecting Customer fields on the left. Find the contact fields in the list and click delete next to each.
For more information or if you need help with this procedure please get in touch with our friendly support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Prior to doing this, download your customer database as a backup).