Every Rentman trial starts with a sample database of contacts. You can quickly add your own contacts by importing a contacts file. In this article, we walk you through the steps of getting your contact list into Rentman.
You can also add a single (or small number) of contacts in the contact_phone Contacts module, instead of importing a file.
Before you start
Here's what you need before importing your contacts list:
- An Excel or .csv file with your contacts' information. If you don't have one yet, you can use our template to easily create one.
- A logical folder structure in the contact_phone Contacts module, so you can stay organized and find your contacts 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 contacts file
A lot of Rentman users already keep a list of their contacts. The list that you import in Rentman needs to be an .xlsx (Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets) or .csv file.
- It's a good idea to have clear headers (titles) in the first row of your file.
- Some of the columns in your file are necessary for Rentman, whilst others are optional.
- The folder path of a contact should be specified in the Folder column, like this:
You can download our template at the bottom of this article. You can use this for reference, or use it to create a contacts file.
If you use contact persons, we recommend including contact person columns in your contacts file. Read the section below for more information.
Contact person columns
If you use contact persons, you can create columns in your contacts file that contain information about a unique contact person. These columns are useful, because each contact person that belongs to the same contact can have their own phone number, email address and other information.
In your file, your contact person columns could look like this:
Note that multiple contact persons are always connected to the same contact.
Import your contacts file
- Go to the contact_phone Contacts module.
- Click on More options more_vert next to + Add contact and choose Import.
- Select the type of import you want to do:
- "Import all rows as new item" - your contact database is empty and this is your first import
- "Update existing items with new data" - you have contacts already imported and want to update their details
- "Add new items and skip existing ones" - you have contacts already imported and want to add more contacts
- Indicate if you want to import contact persons associated with your contacts.
- Upload a contacts file in accordance with the "Terms" listed.
If you do not have a file with your contacts available yet, you can download our template above the upload button "Download a sample file here"
- Indicate if your file contains a header (column titles). If you select yes, the first row of your file will not be imported.
- For each column, the system matches the header names with the column names in Rentman. Check if all matches have been correctly made, and adjust where necessary.
If you selected "Yes" on importing contact persons in Step 4, the system will attempt to match the columns in your file either with Contact columns or Contact person columns. Check if all column matches have been made correctly and adjust where necessary.
- Click "Next step" when all columns have been properly matched.
- Select a root folder of your own folder structure. The root folder is the folder at the top, and it contains your folder structure. New items will be placed in this folder. If you have defined folders in your import file, these items will be placed under the chosen root folder.
Warning: If your contacts file doesn't contain a Folder column, all contacts will be placed in the same root folder. This means that your contacts will not be organized, and it may be difficult to find contacts. We recommend creating your own folder structure, and specify the correct folder path for your contacts in the Folder column.
- Optional: If you selected "Add new items and skip duplicate rows" or "Update existing items with new data" in Step 3, you need to select match columns so that the system knows which entries to update. For example, if you are updating the contact persons of all contacts, you could select "Name" as the match column as it is unique for every contact being updated and is not being updated itself. The match column should never be the column you are trying to update.
Warning: These columns may not contain double values in the import file, as they are used during the import to identify which item or serial number should be skipped.
- Click "Next step" and check the preview of your data one last time.
Note: Only the first 10 rows will be shown in the preview.
- Click Import
- After the import has finished, a window will pop up with the results. If your data has been imported successfully, you can Close the window, or choose to "View imported equipment". If the import (partially) failed, please read the Insight into your import result section below.
Insight into your import result
Sometimes it happens that the import might fail (partially or totally). If this happens you can find all your answers in the import result like:
- Which rows (contacts) failed
- Why these rows (contacts) failed
- Which rows (contacts) have been imported successfully
At the bottom of the import result, you can download a file that contains all rows that failed, accompanied by the reason of failure. This gives you direct insight per row what the reason of failure is.
Some reasons why the import fails:
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 can not be imported.
QR codes maximum of 25 digits - 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.
Pro-tips on establishing 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.
Here are some tips to prepare your file:
Clear headers (titles) in the first row of your file.
Don't import more than 64 columns in one go.
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: audio/microphones/wireless
Make sure the file doesn't have multiple sheets.
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, colors etc).
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.
Note that multiple serial numbers are always connected to the same item.
Note: The values in the "Serial number (Serial number)" column are displayed throughout the software to identify each serial number. In this column, enter the name or code you use to refer to your serial number.
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).