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Save Time on NetSuite CSV Imports with These Tips

CSV imports. Did you cringe just reading that? We understand: CSV imports are absolutely necessary for updating large quantities of existing records and adding a mass of new ones. But they’re also a deeply involved process that can be initially fraught with more frustration than success. 

There are some things you can do to make this process a little more streamlined and pain-free. Here are five quick “I wish I would have known that sooner” tips that we thought you, well, might like to know sooner than later! 

Partner Up: Advanced and Sub-Partners

Does your customer record need an Advanced Partner assigned? If that’s the case, your CSV import file must include both the ID and the name of the Sales Rep exactly the way they appear on the NetSuite record. 

Let’s say that Jane Smith is a Partner, and a sub partner of Mike P Jones. Her ID number is 19:1. To list Jane as a Sales Rep on the customer import CSV, she needs to be listed as 19:1 Mike P Jones : Jane Smith otherwise the import will not work correctly and you’ll get the dreaded error message. Note the colon in the ID number, too: Without that colon, you’ll also get an error message. 

When Required Fields are Blank

Does your customer entry form have required fields? Then you’d better have information to fill those fields in your CSV import. Before you upload, check your customer entry to see which fields are mandatory. Any blank fields in your import file will cause an error. 

We can hear you now: “But sometimes our customers don’t provide required information like an email address.” While that is frustrating, you don’t have to let it ruin your day—or your CSV import. Simply fill in the blank with a dummy email address. A tip if you do that? Use the exact same dummy email address (think something like [email protected]) to make it easier to identify all your missing email addresses later in NetSuite. 

Be Precise with Custom Fields

Many organizations will create custom fields that are populated from a custom list. If you’re using those in your CSV import, the value in the import must exactly match the value in the custom list. Otherwise—you guessed it—you’ll get an error. 

This exact match status can really hang you up on small things like typos. If you have a sub-territory called Northern California created, but your CSV import has a typo that lists it instead as “Nothern California,” it will result in an error and your customer not importing. Run a quick spell check on your CSV import file to save you from errors later.

Don’t Leave Extra Spaces

Ever had a CSV file kick back with errors because there were errant extra spaces in your text? Us, too. It’s maddening—not to mention the extra spaces are next to impossible to find when staring at a large CSV file.

There’s an easier way than staring at hundreds of rows and cells: Use the TRIM formula. For columns such as email, where extra spaces may abound, add a column after the email column and add the TRIM formula: =trim(cell). Hit “Enter,” and the TRIM column will fill with all your email addresses sans any extra spaces. Copy and paste the special values back into the email column, delete the TRIM column, and your CSV file is now ready to go. 

Make Sure You Have the Proper Case

NetSuite customer records are used for all manner of things, such as populating email templates and invoices or mail merge labels. It’s important to have all your information entered in the proper case so your holiday mailer doesn’t look like it’s yelling seasonal greetings at MARY JONES because she used CAPS lock when she filled out her contact form. 

This is another case (pun not intended!) where you could stare at your CSV import file for hours to find and fix any capitalization errors. But fortunately, there’s an Excel formula for that, too. Meet PROPER. Similar to the TRIM process described above, add a column after your Customer or Name column and add the PROPER formula: =proper(cell). Hit “Enter,” and the PROPER column will return correctly capitalized names. Copy/paste the special values into the appropriate column and delete the added PROPER column.

One thing to look out for: The PROPER formula modifies ALL values, including abbreviations. For instance, if you have a company name that includes an LLC, PROPER will correct it to “Llc.” Quick fix to this? Use Find and Replace

Ditch CSV Imports Altogether

We’ve got one more practical tip for your CSV imports, and that is: There is a way to bypass all of these issues and connect dynamic data in NetSuite directly with Excel. 

What does that mean? No more CSV imports (or exports). Not only that, you could have all your imports pre-validated so you can fix any errors before the upload starts rather than waiting for it to finish to see what needs to be fixed and going through the entire import process again hoping you caught everything. 

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s CloudExtend Excel for NetSuite, and you can try it free right now. 

Want more information first? Listen to our experts share tips on avoiding the limitations of CSV imports/exports and getting the most from saved searches.