In Rentman you can add your own equipment by importing an equipment file. In this article, we walk you through the steps of getting your equipment list into Rentman.
If you want to add single (or small number of) items, you can do it in the Equipment module.
Before you start
Here's what you need before importing your equipment list:
- An Excel or .csv file with your equipment information. If you don't have one yet, we have set up a template to easily create one.
- A logical folder structure in the Equipment module, so you can stay organized and find your equipment faster. You can follow the link to create your folders ahead of time, or let Rentman automatically create the folder paths of your choosing. You choose the right folder path in the Folder column of your file (read the next section).
Prepare your equipment file
The list that you import in Rentman needs to be a .xlsx (Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets) or .csv file.
You can download our template at the bottom of this article. You can use this for reference, or to create an equipment file.
The template we provide has 49 columns, to give you a complete set of options for your file. Unfortunately, importing more than 40 columns could create issues. We advise choosing only the most important columns and add the others in a second stage by importing with an update.
Here are some tips to prepare your file:
- It's a good idea to have clear headers (titles) in the first row of your file.
- Don't import more than 40 columns in one go.
- While there is no minimum number of columns, we advise to include at least the most important information (e.g. Name, Quantity, Rental price, Folder).
- The folder path of an item must be specified in the Folder column, like this:
- Make sure the file doesn't have multiple sheets (a .xslx with multiple sheets can't be imported in Rentman).
- If you use QR codes, make sure they are unique and shorter than 25 digits.
- Leave no empty rows in your .xlsx file.
- Do not insert images in your .xlsx file. You can add them later in the software.
- Make sure all information in the file is entered as text, and without markups (bold, italic, background colors, etc).
Ideally, your .xslx file should look something like this:
Serial number columns
If you use serial numbers, you can create columns in your equipment file that contains information about a unique piece of item, identified by a serial number. These columns are useful, because each piece of the same item may have a different date of purchase, or internal reference.
In your file, your serial number columns should look like this:
Note that multiple serial numbers are always connected to the same item.
Import your equipment file
- Go to the Equipment module.
- Click on the Columns button and choose Import.
- Upload your equipment file.
A preview of your file will be shown in the next screen. Note: only the first 8 rows of your file are previewed.
- If your file has column titles (headers) in the first row, select
This means that the first row of your file will not be imported.
- For each column, indicate whether it is a serial number column or a normal Equipment column.
If you don't use serial numbers, then always choose Equipment column.
- Match the titles of your columns to the titles in Rentman. This is necessary because your own columns might have a (slightly) different name.
In this example, the first column in your file is called Item. It contains the names of your equiment items. However, in Rentman the name of this column is Name (in database).
- Click Next step when you've done this for all columns.
- Choose what to do with duplicate rows. A duplicate row occurs when a value in a column already exists in the Rentman database. There are three options:
If you choose Import all rows as new item Rentman creates a new item for every row. This is the default option, and it will import each row of the excel file as an item.
If you choose Skip duplicate rows Rentman does not import items that are already in your database. When you choose this option, you need to select which columns in your file should be scanned for duplicates. We call these unique columns. When Rentman finds an item in your database and a row in your .xlsx file with the same values in the selected unique columns (like Name or Code), the row will be skipped (not imported). This option is useful if in the .xlsx file there is equipment you have already imported in the past, and you want to avoid having duplicates in your database.
If you want to update the items in your database (example: new price), read how to do it in our article about updating data.
- Select the root folder of your own folder structure.
The root folder is the folder at the top, and it contains your folder structure.
Normally, you should simply choose Root folder.
Warning: If your equipment file doesn't contain a Folder column, all items will be placed in the same root folder. This means that your items will not be organized, and it may be difficult to find equipment. We recommend creating your own folder structure, and specify the correct folder path for your items in the Folder column.
- Choose Next step.
- Check your data, and choose Import.
Possible issues and solutions
Sometimes the import might fail (partially or totally). If this is happening to you, check if you're making any of the following mistakes.
- Double serial numbers or QR codes - In Rentman you can't have the same serial number or QR code for more than one item. If you import an item with serial number or QR code x, and x is already in your database, the item will not be imported.
Remember that QR codes in Rentman have a maximum size of 25 digits (spaces included). If your QR codes exceed this number, it will be cut off. This can result in identical QR codes.
- Too much data - Large files could take too long to be processed, and some information might not be imported. If this happens, delete the last import, split up your list in smaller files and import them separately.
- Wrong formatting - Every information in the file must be entered as text, and without markups (bold, italic, background colors, etc).
- Multiple sheets - If your .xslx file has multiple sheets, it can't be imported in Rentman.
Delete an import
When an import goes partially wrong, the best choice is to delete the information and do it all over again. Every time you import equipment, Rentman creates a tag with the format "import-date-hour". Simply select the tag of your latest update and delete those items.
Update equipment in your database
If you have already imported your equipment list but you need to make some bulk changes, you can update the items in your database.
Importing extra input fields
- Set up the extra input field in the Configuration module.
- Create a column with the extra input field value in your .xlsx file.
- When importing the file, match the new column with the extra input field (you'll find it in the 'Extra' section of the columns).