Our consultant Mark has rounded up the NetSuite Release notes for us in the past, but this time it was senior ERP consultant – and the newest member of our growing team – Shane who stepped forward to be a guest author. Over to you, Shane…
As Spring looms just around the corner, there’s much to look forward to – not just the brighter days ahead but also the NetSuite version 2021.1 new release, which is scheduled to hit a database near you around mid-April. You may have cast an eager eye over the headlines shown on the new release portal on your desktop, or could even have spared 40 minutes to listen to the podcast or read through the Sneak Peak notes, to discover the hidden gems sitting in the near 90 pages of release notes. But don’t worry if not, as always, we’ve done the hard work to bring you a summary of some of the most notable new features this release has to offer. Whether you’re in manufacturing, warehouse management or retail, there’s something for everyone in NetSuite version 2021.1.
There are some great little nuggets in the small print for those in manufacturing, to help you get more from your NetSuite investment – not least when it comes to automated work order lead time calculations. There is a new check box on the item location tab, which negates manual setting of production lead times, enabling NetSuite to automate this function based on the available routing information. That’s one less job for you to do, and it may also flag up where the routing information is incorrect – especially if it says you need 300 days to make that small, pressed widget! So this really is a feature that is focused on efficiency.
There is also the introduction of the Outsourced Manufacturing Consolidator, which lists all pending work orders. This page enables you to learn work order specific information, including:
- Last successful run
- Next scheduled run
- Pending work orders
This useful function allows you to keep an eye on essential tasks happening, often out of sight, so you can check in and see consolidated data in one place.
When rooting through the latest features for wholesale distributors, I was particularly drawn to the section on the new Pack Station – an often-overlooked part of the sales order life cycle. The new Pack Station offers a simple touchscreen interface to facilitate accuracy and speed of packing by allowing packers to scan a pick carton, sales order or staged order, and easily verify each item and identify items with the same shipping routes. This enables accurate packing of multiple cartons simultaneously, which in turn reduces shipping costs and lead times.
The Supply Chain Snapshot is briefly mentioned in the Sneak Peak, but in my view this is a rather understated feature. As well as providing a more accurate view of available stock, it now also includes Blanket Orders and Inbound Shipments. If you have a Release Preview environment, do have a look and let us know if it is a useful feature.
There is also a new button for Best Location, linked with the Automatic Location Assignment feature. Click the Assign Location button on the ‘earliest availability’ popup window to determine the best location. NetSuite calculates the best location based on availability and the rules of automatic location assignment configuration the sales order.
For those users or potential users of the NetSuite WMS module, do take a look at the Picking Wave process. For those using mobile devices, there are the new WMS System rules that support the modification of picking and staging processes, particularly enabling Bulk Picking and Bulk Staging for large pick tasks.
Also, Pick Reversals can now be executed on mobile devices, rather than needing to use the UI, which should make life in the warehouse easier for many!
A lot of the focus for retail and sales organisations cross over as expected with the wholesale and distribution features, but there are a few bite-sized morsels in the release notes that could have a positive impact for those in this arena. These include:
TCV – Total Contract Value – the total amount over the subscription term is known as the total contract value (TCV), which can be used in customer negotiations. Those who use TCVs can now set a total price for a subscription line instead of creating a price plan and quantity
Dunning Letters – the rather blunt Email Recipient field is now replaced with separate fields. It would be great if this this level of control could find its way to other areas, such as sales invoices
Dunning Recipient – this multi-select field is used to store the email recipients in the To section of the email
Dunning Recipient CC – this multi-select field is used to store the email recipients in the CC section of the email
Add BCC Email to Sales Representative – check this box to enable sending of email messages to sales representatives through blind carbon copy (BCC).
EFT and Vendor Prepayments – this allows you to process a prepayment to a vendor using the same EFT process as you would use to pay a bill. Please note, you do have to mark the prepayment as paid first.
That’s our pick of the best from NetSuite’s latest release, but you may want to have a look for yourself through the Release Notes – there’s plenty of other items in there that may be useful to you and your users.
The Oracle NetSuite blog is also a great resource for further sector-specific information:
For more exciting up and coming features aimed at the manufacturing sector, click here.
More highlights for wholesale distributors can be found here.
For a an in-depth focus on retail, take a look at NetSuite’s blog on the main new features.
Whether you’re an existing BrightBridge customer who would like to talk about the new features, are looking for a new software partner to help you get the most out of your solution or are currently researching NetSuite as a potential digital transformation system, call us on 0330 133 5000.