Importing Customers & Suppliers

The customer/supplier (vendor) import allows contact records to be created or amended using Excel spreadsheets.

Create contacts

It is possible to create:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers (vendors)
  • Companies (colleagues)

Update contacts

The contact import can also be used for updating existing contact records. This can be useful for updating the following:

  • Name & company
  • Contact details – phone numbers, address (default only)
  • Tax or nominal codes
  • Credit terms and limits
  • Owner
  • Custom fields

How importing works

To perform a contact import, whether to update or create contacts, you will need:

  1. A data map
  2. An .xls file of customer/vendor data (Excel 97-2003 Workbook)

Data maps

A data map is used to enable Brightpearl to read the file full of contacts that you are going to upload. Essentially what you are doing is telling Brightpearl what columns are in the spreadsheet and where it should put the data contained in that column. You can define a selection of data maps to import files of different formats.

When you create a data map you must use ALL of the following fields:

  • Email or Code (use in the first column as this should be unique to every record)
  • At least 1 of - Firstname,  Lastname or  Company

Note : Always have the first column as Email or Code so it is going to be unique to a contact. The first column is always used as the "hook". This is used to distinguish the difference between each record in the spreadsheet and to match the items with any records that already exist in Brightpearl. It is a good idea to use the email address as the first column as this will usually be different for every contact. If you were to use the first name as the hook you are likely to encounter records that have the same first name causing the import to fail. Don't worry if you haven't got an email address for all your contacts, you can use the "Code" field instead; assign each contact a unique alphanumeric account code.

Available datamap fields:

Field name Description Required?
Code This is used to record the contact account code. This should be unique to each customer. It can be used for matching contacts during an update via import. Use either Code or Email in the first column to create contacts. Contact ID can also be used to update existing contacts.
Contact ID This is the ID number assigned to a contact by Brightpearl. It cannot be changed. It is unique to each individual so can be used for matching contacts during an update via import.
Email This is the main email address for the contact. It must be unique for each individual. It can be used for matching contacts during an update via import.
Email 2 Use this for recording an additional email.  
Email 3 Use this for recording an additional email.  
Salutation Specify whether the contact is Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Dr, Sir, Rev, Mr. and Mrs.  
Firstname Enter the contact's first name. At least one of first, last or company name.
Surname Enter the contact's second name.
Company Enter the name of the contact's company. If multiple contacts exist with the same company name they will automatically be linked as colleagues.
Telephone Record the contact's main telephone number.  
Telephone 2 Record an additional phone number.  
Mobile Record a mobile number.  
Fax Record a fax number.  
Title Enter the job title for the contact.  
Nominal code Enter the nominal/account code number to assign to order rows.  
Tax code Enter the tax code that is applicable to the contact.  
Bank account Record the contact's bank details.  
Bank sort Record the contact's bank details.  
Bank name Record the contact's bank details.  
Swift code Record the contact's bank details.  
IBAN Record the contact's bank details  
Newsletter Enter Yes or No to specify whether the contact would like to receive email newsletters.  
Credit limit Enter the credit limit amount.  
Credit days Enter the number of days credit.  
Status Enter the contact status that should be assigned (statuses must exist in Brightpearl at Settings > Contacts > Statuses).  
Customer Type Choose whether the contact is a Retail or Trade customer. Customers are marked with an Unknown type by default. This will update the Trade Status within the customer info tab.  
Memo Enter a short bit of text about the contact.  
Currency Enter the currency code to apply a currency other than the base currency to the contact.  
Discount Assign a percentage discount for this contact. The price list assigned will be discounted by this percentage for all orders.  
Price group Assign the contact to a particular price list. Enter the price list "code" (not name). Price list codes can be found via Settings > Products / Inventory > Price lists. If this detail is not included, the contact will automatically be assigned to the price list set at Settings > Contacts > Defaults.  
Note text Add a note to the contact's timeline using this field.  
Note date Assign a date to the "Note text". Use the format YYYY-MM-DD.  
Website Record the contact's web address.  
Owner Assign a staff member as the owner of the contact. All orders raised against this contact will inherit this owner.  

Enter the default address details.

Country must be entered as the country name as seen at Settings > Localization > Countries , and not the code.

PCF_* Any existing custom fields can be added to a data map. When including custom fields, they will always be titled "PCF_EXAMPLE".  

How to create a data map

  1. Go to Settings > Data / Import , and select the relevant import routine - accounts, products, customers/suppliers or orders (for both sales and purchases).
  2. Click the Add a new data map button.
  3. Enter a name for your new data map.
  4. The left-hand panel defines the data map. Chose fields from the right-hand side and add them to the left-hand side. Ensure they are in the same order as they are in the import file.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the window and save the data map.

You can export a sample of your data map into Excel to check it over; you can even use it to add your data into the correct format for importing.

Importing contacts

Before you can import your data you'll need to export it from the system you are currently using. You will probably want to check your data for any duplicates before you start. You will need to make sure the file is formatted and saved in a way that Brightpearl can read:

  • The first column should be Email or Code, something that is unique to a contact. The first column is used for matching to any existing records and will overwrite any that match to it
  • The columns in your file must match exactly to your data map in name and order
  • Your file must be saved as an XLS file (Excel 97-2003)
  • You cannot have blank cells in your file. If the data exists for some but not for others you will have to split the contacts into separate spreadsheets and import them separately
  • You can only import a maximum of 500 lines of data at a time
  • When importing dates they should be formatted as text fields to display YYYY-MM-DD
  • When importing date/time it should be formatted as text fields to display YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss

How to import contacts

  1. Go to Settings > Data / Import > Import Customers/Suppliers .
  2. To use one of our pre-configured import routines click the relevant link on the right-hand side. If you have designed your own data map click the Import link next to the relevant one.
  3. Browse for the file you want to import.
  4. Specify what tags you want the contacts to be given.
  5. Tell Brightpearl what to do with contacts that already exist - should they be updated?
  6. Click Upload file .

A message will be displayed telling you if the import was successful, how many contacts were created, updated or skipped. If any errors were encountered they will be listed at the top of the screen, use these to go back and amend either your data map or Excel file and try again.

Dealing with errors

On attempting the import it is quite possible that you receive a red error message box, this should give you some indication of what happened. Don’t worry, this just means that you might need to make some adjustments as something isn’t quite right in your file. Check through the following:

  • Are there any blank cells in your spreadsheet?
    Brightpearl can’t read blank cells and will reject your import. Either enter data or filter these contacts out and place them in a separate spreadsheet for a separate import.
  • Are there any cells below your data that contain spaces?
    If for some reason cells in the rows below your data think they have data in Brightpearl will try to read and import it. Highlight a number of rows below your data and delete it just to make sure.
  • Do the column headings match (order and name) to your Data Map?
    In your data map listing click the Edit link to make any changes or you can move the columns around in your Excel file. Export a sample of your data map to check the column names.
  • Is your spreadsheet saved as the correct file type?
    It must be saved as an XLS file, which is Excel 97-2003.

What can I do with a customer/supplier (vendor) import?

You can create and update customer and supplier (vendor) details, including:

  • Name & company
  • Contact details – email addresses, phone numbers, address (default only)
  • Nominal code for sales/purchase orders
  • Tax code
  • Bank details
  • Financial details - currency, price group
  • Discount percentage
  • Credit terms
  • Status
  • Lead source
  • Owner
  • Populate custom fields – create your custom fields first
  • Enter an account memo
  • Add notes to the customer/supplier timeline
  • Specify whether they will or won’t receive email newsletters (bulk emails)

What can't I do with a customer/supplier (vendor) import?

Although you can't import this data, you can add these details to contacts manually in Brightpearl:

  • Import multiple addresses
  • Add popup messages
  • Set the default payment method
  • Add a tax number, accounts email address
  • Record an eBay or Skype alias
  • Assign to a team
  • Swap the primary contact within a company
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