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Data on the Move: Cin7’s Stress-Free Migration

My name is Austin Mandus and I am a database consultant. I help people move, optimize, connect, and learn how to use databases. I have worked in many different systems before, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Choosing to change systems is a big deal and one that can have many different pain points. One of the most overlooked issues is data migration. Data migration is the process of putting existing data from one system into a different system. In most systems data migration is a difficult and tedious process. Luckily Cin7 makes migrating your data a simple and stress-free process.

There are two types of migration, manual and automatic. Manual migration is a one-time migration and occurs most often when you first start using a new system. An example of manual migration would be adding all your existing customers into a new system through an Excel or CSV document. Automatic migration is when two or more systems talk to each other periodically to update their data with information from each other. An example of automatic migration would be having all of your sales go from your online store, through your inventory management software, and finally into your accounting software. I will go through both types and explain how Cin7 makes each importing both a breeze, but first I want to go over some basics.

What Data Do You Migrate?

You might be asking yourself why you need to migrate data at all. Well, data migration is a necessary part of implementing any system. For a system to run, it needs your business data to be in the system so it can track, report, and analyze things such as sales or inventory. There are five types of data that typically need to be migrated to a system:

  1. Contacts (Customers and Vendors)

  2. Products (Items, Bill of Materials, and Inventory)

  3. Open Transactions (Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Invoices, Credit Memos, Vendor Bills and Payments)

  4. Accounting (Chart of Accounts, Tax Rules, and Trial Balances)

  5. Internal Company (Users, Locations, Warehouses, and Logos)

You might have other items such as notes, pdf templates and certain accounting transactions that you also want to migrate. Creating a comprehensive data migration plan and knowing how the system interacts with migrated data is key to making sure your data conversion is successful. Common Migration Pitfalls

There are a few common issues that can make moving your data a pain. Data loss, system downtime, and compatibility issues are a few examples. Cin7 has ways to get around these problems, but other systems are not as robust in this area.

Data loss is exactly what it sounds like. It is when you lose data in the process of migrating. It can be an entire record (losing an entire customer) or just part of the record like losing the date the customer first purchased. Losing data is frustrating because you rely on that data to make decisions and track progress. If, for example, you lose the date of your customer’s first purchase, running a promotion that rewards your oldest and most loyal customers becomes much more difficult.

System downtime is when your system stops functioning to receive new data. This can lead to a huge problem where you cannot use the system when importing new data. No one wants to have a system they cannot use at various times of the day.

Compatibility issues can arise when two systems cannot talk to each other, or the data is organized differently between the two systems. If your data does not transfer well it can lead to a mess in your new system and make reporting and reconciling in the future difficult. Fixing compatibility issues requires a lot of manual effort and this effort can be better spent elsewhere.

Cin7’s Stress-Free Migration

Cin7’s data migration is such a huge time saver that once you have it, you will wonder how you ever survived without it. The processes for both manual and ongoing migrations are simple and easy to use.

Manual Migration

Cin7 provides you with already configured import templates, so manually importing information into Cin7 is quite easy. First download the data you want to import into Cin7. Next, you go to Cin7, navigate to the tab for the information you are looking to import, and download the required template. Once that is downloaded, you map the existing data into the template. Cin7 highlights the mandatory fields, the formats required for each field, and gives a description of each field so there is no confusion on what you are importing into the system. Then you click import and you have started your data migration! From here you can review any errors that might have occurred and then verify the data in the account.

So, the steps are:

  1. Download data from outside sources.

  2. Download import template from Cin7.

  3. Map your data from an outside data source to match Cin7 template.

  4. Load data

  5. Review any errors that might have occurred

  6. Verify data imported properly and reconcile to original system

That’s it! Other systems have difficult requirements or hard to navigate processes, but Cin7 makes manually migrating data easy.

Automatic Migration Reliable automatic migration is one of the features that sets Cin7 apart from other systems. Most systems require middleware to communicate with outside sources such as Shopify or QuickBooks Online. That is not only another system to manage but adds complexity and requires quite a bit more effort to set up. Cin7 has integrated E-Commerce, Accounting, 3PL (3rd Party Logistics), and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) connections, so having multiple systems communicate is completed with ease. With the ability to integrate with QuickBooks and Xero for your accounting needs, setting up the connection takes just a few minutes and does not require any middleware. Once QuickBooks or Xero is connected to Cin7, all your orders, cost of goods sold, landed costs, etc. can be automatically imported into the accounting software. That way your accountants can have accurate real-time data instead of having to always be a day behind. Cin7 is also compatible with most platforms like ShipStation and Shopify. This means that you can connect an order from the moment it is purchased in your point-of-sale system, through the inventory management system, onto the shipping system, to finally land in your accounting system. Cin7 even has integrated EDI, which is a must have for wholesale accounts.

Data migration is an often-overlooked part of a system, but it really shouldn’t be. If you are not careful, it can sneak up on you, and cause massive problems. These problems are often difficult to find, tedious to fix, and time consuming to solve. And I know you are way, way, way too busy to be dealing with all these problems. So do yourself a favor and start with a system that won’t have issues with other software. Start with Cin7.

Need more advice or assistance? Your product strategy and business transformation experts at Unity Consulting are here to help!


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