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Importing Your Data

Last Updated: Feb 13, 2019 01:04PM PST

Getting started in a new application can be time-consuming, and manually entering dozens upon dozens of records can be a frustrating experience. To help you get your system up and running faster, Tailwind offers the ability to import data directly into your new database, using the Excel templates provided in this article.

Templates are available to import data for:

Vendors/Carriers
Customers
Equipment (Tractors)
Equipment (Trailers & Misc)
Locations, and
Personnel.

In each case, the method is the same.

 

Filling In The Templates

Begin by downloading the appropriate template for the data you want to import, by clicking on the link above. Open the file in Excel and familiarize yourself with the structure of the data – it is unlikely to match your source data exactly, and you will need to be careful to ensure that the right data is being imported.

Each template includes a sample row of data to help demonstrate the appropriate content, as well as the required format for the data.

Once you have understood the organization of the template, copy and paste your data into the appropriate columns, matching the formatting of the sample as much as possible. (You should be particularly careful to avoid additional commas or apostrophes, as both can wreak havoc with our importing tools.)

 

Required Fields

Each template contains a number of columns for Required Fields, which are highlighted in red. As the name suggests, these columns are required in order to import the data. If there is no data in these columns, or there is a problem with the formatting of the data in these columns, the import process will not work. A complete list and explanation of the mandatory fields for each template is provided below.

 

Extra or Missing Data

It is likely that there will be columns/fields in the template that you do not need, or for which you have no data. This is to be expected, and is only a problem if the column in question is Required (with the column header in red.) Leaving a non-mandatory column blank will either result in a blank field or, in some specific cases, a default value being chosen once the corresponding record is created in Tailwind.

It is also possible that you may have data for these records that does not have a corresponding column/field in the Import Template. Here, there are two possibilities: the first is that Tailwind simply does not keep track of that data on the corresponding record. The second is that Tailwind does track that data, but in a different way than you have been tracking it yourself. This could be as simple as using a different label for the same information, or as complicated as Tailwind using a very different database model to record it.

 

Unsure About Data? — Contact Support

In either case, we recommend contacting Support, whether by email or by phone — this will be the quickest way to determine which of the possibilities is the case, and come up with the most efficient solution to record that data in your new system. Talking to Support in advance of the import can save a great deal of time in the long run — don’t just jam the data hopefully into a ‘close enough’ column and hope it works out!

 

Required Fields for Data Import:

The following information is required when entering information in the import templates.

 

Carriers - Vendors:

Internal Name: The name of the Carrier Record. This is the name that will be used internally in Tailwind, on-screen and in drop-down lists.
Legal Name: The full legal name of the carrier/vendor.
Remit Name: This name of the company being paid; usually the same as the legal name, except in the case of parent companies or third party factoring.
Payment Terms: The number of days before they should be paid.
Carrier Type: What kind of carrier/vendor are they, e.g. Carrier - US, Owner Operator – US. This is a drop-down menu option: either select from the drop-down or ensure your data matches one of the options exactly.
Contract on File: Agreement between your company and the carrier to haul for you.
Contract Authorities: Carrier has the authority to move freight.
Prefer Canadian Funds: If the carrier/vendor gets paid in Canadian funds. ‘No’ means that they are paid in USD. This is a drop-down menu option.

 

Customers:

Internal Name: The name of the Customer Record. This is the name that will be used internally in Tailwind, on-screen and in drop-down lists.
Legal Name: The full legal name of the Customer.
Customer Type: The type of customer, e.g. Merchant, Prospect. This is a drop-down menu option: either select from the drop-down or ensure your data matches one of the options exactly.
Authorities (for broker): Carrier has the authority to move freight.
Bond: If the customer requires bonded loads. This is a drop-down menu option.
Prefer Canadian Funds: If the Customer prefers Canadian funds. This is a drop-down menu option.

 

Equipment (Tractors):

Unit Number: The Unit Number of the piece of equipment.
Tractor Type: If unit is Long-Haul or Local.
Fuel Type: What kind of fuel is used for this piece of equipment. This is a drop-down option: either select from the drop-down or ensure your data matches one of the options exactly.
Weight Capacity: How much weight the trailer can hold.
Outside Length Feet: How long the Trailer or Tractor is in feet
Owner Type: Who owns this piece of equipment, e.g. Company, Owner Operator.  This is a drop-down menu option.
Service Start: When this equipment is available for service.

 

Equipment (Trailers & Misc):

Unit Number: The Unit Number of the piece of equipment.
Unit Type: What kind of unit it is, e.g. Tractor or Chassis. This is a drop-down menu option: either select from the drop-down or ensure your data matches one of the options exactly.
Equipment Type: Further specifying the type of equipment. This is a drop-down option.
Weight Capacity: How much weight the trailer can hold.
Outside Length Feet: How long the Trailer or Tractor is in feet.
Owner Type: Who owns this piece of equipment, e.g. Company, Owner Operator. Specifying the type of equipment. This is a drop-down option.
Service Start: When this equipment is available for service.

 

Locations:

Internal Name: The name of the Location. This is the name that will be used internally in Tailwind, on-screen and in drop-down lists.

 

Personnel:

Full Name: The employee’s full name.
Prefer Canadian Funds: If the employee gets paid in Canadian funds. ‘No’ means they are paid in USD. This is a drop-down option.
 

Once the Work is Done

Once all your information is populated, please send your templates to support@tailwindsys.com. Make sure to include the name of your company, so we can be sure we are putting the data in the right place!

 

Further Imports & Troubleshooting

Please keep in mind that while we offer this initial bulk import of your data for free to all our new customers, it is your responsibility to ensure that the data you send is as accurate and complete as possible. Even if everyone does their best to keep the data clean and organized, problems can arise as part of the import process. In most cases, these problems will have simple solutions, and troubleshooting will be quick and relatively painless.

However, errors in the data that require significant troubleshooting on the part of our support staff, or multiple import attempts, may result in service or support charges. To be clear, we will always let you know about potential costs in advance of the actual work/charges. And in most cases, this additional effort won’t be necessary — but consider it one more reason to be diligent when filling out your templates!

 

Related Articles

Once your data has been imported, you will want to check to make sure there’s nothing missing from your Customer, Vendor, Equipment, Location or Personnel records.
And now that everything is there, maybe it’s time to create an Order, or get one Dispatched.

 

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