It’s that time of year where the best ERP on the market gets even better – it’s time for the NetSuite Release 2023.1! NetSuite updates occur around the end of Q1 and Q3 every year, and roll out new features and functionality to the platform’s entire user base. That’s one of the benefits of using a completely cloud-based system – you’ll always be on the most recent, best, and brightest release!
So, without further ado, let’s see what our Senior NetSuite Consultant, Shane, has picked out as his favourite business-boosting features that will be accessible this week…
Smarter CRM for a better customer experience
The core benefit of 2023.1’s CRM update is simple: it helps you sell more stuff. This update introduces a feature called “Intelligent Recommendations” which uses purchase histories, complementary items, and customer behaviour – alongside machine learning – to suggest products that each customer may be likely to buy.
Crucially, Intelligent Recommendations will be present within NetSuite CRM Opportunity records, giving your salespeople the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell far earlier in the sales process, potentially increasing the average deal size. Because it uses machine learning, Intelligent Recommendations improves the quality of its recommendations the more you use it.
Before now, only those with SuiteCommerce web stores and/or accounts with large quantities of historical transactions have been able to benefit from automated recommendations, but this update expands recommendation capabilities to all users.
Additionally, the update includes two new recommendation algorithms: “Alternative Items” which suggests alternatives to out-of-stock items; and “Buy Again” which analyses buying history to suggest purchasing options at appropriate intervals.
Maximise warehouse and shipping productivity
With market factors like spiralling inflation affecting manufacturers, retailers, and wholesale distributors alike, the NetSuite Release 2023.1 has loads in store for companies who need to squeeze the most efficiency out of their warehousing and distribution functions.
First up is more intelligent picking functionality for individual items that go together as a set or kit. Instead of having one person inefficiently traverse different zones to pull all of the items together, the latest version of NetSuite’s Warehouse Management System keeps your pickers within their allotted zones, ready to pool the items together for packing.
Another great picking feature is that low stock items can easily be reallocated on the fly without manager assistance. We see this being particularly useful in situations where stock is running low and you don’t want to use all remaining inventory to fulfill a single customer order. The order can be marked as partially and the remaining stock is available for other orders. Workers can deallocate stock without manager assistance, making the most of available items and minimising any resulting customer dissatisfaction.
Turn data into decisions with improved Analytics
Business data is hugely valuable. Yet when business data flows in through multiple, siloed platforms, it can be difficult to establish connecting trends between disparate data sources. For example, being able to see how website usage correlates with CRM activity and actual sales may be hugely beneficial, but in order to do that, you need the three data sources (web analytics, CRM, and sales data) to seamlessly talk to each other.
Enter NetSuite Analytics Warehouse, which is being expanded significantly within Release 2023.1. Not only does this feature allow you to continue to analyse your NetSuite-native data through intuitive dashboards, it also allows you to connect data sources like Google Analytics, Shopify, and Salesforce, as well as data sources from custom apps. This helps you achieve broader business insights, faster and allows you to import static datasets held in spreadsheets or CSV files.
The update also expands the library of available, pre-built dashboards and visualisations; these new additions will be reportedly most useful for manufacturers, software vendors, and professional services companies.
Accounts Payable on efficient autopilot
With economic uncertainty looming, companies need to keep tight control of their cash. NetSuite has included a number of new Accounts Payable features that automate manual data entry, aim to minimise fraud, and help companies keep changing supply chains under control.
In this release, NetSuite is building on last year’s AP automation feature set. Users can now share a dedicated bill-capture email address with their suppliers which will digitise incoming invoices, read all of the pertinent details, and automatically enter them into NetSuite’s accounting system. This saves the need for time consuming, costly, and error-prone data entry.
This release also enhances approval workflows, so you can make sure you are spending in line with your supplier terms and that there are no fraudulent invoices slipping through the net.
SMS and Voice Call Two-Factor Authentication
As of the 1st March 2023, NetSuite users who are newly setting up 2FA or those who have reset their 2FA settings will no longer be able to use SMS text messages or voice calls to authenticate their login.
It sounds inconvenient, but it’s really for the best. Verification codes sent by text can easily be phished for, and criminals can undertake a SIM-swapping attack to clone a mobile phone number and fraudulently authenticate logins. In fact, industry experts now agree that SMS text messages are no longer secure enough to properly verify someone’s identity.
NetSuite is encouraging users to move to using an authentication app to verify their identity as it is a much more secure method of authentication.
Bill of Materials support ending, replaced with Advanced BOM
Release 2023.1 sees the end of support for NetSuite’s older Bills of Materials functionality (where components are embedded to an Assembly Item) and only critical issues will be fixed going forward.
Yet they’re not leaving us high and dry. Users are being encouraged to transition to the free-of-charge Advanced Bill of Materials feature. When you enable the new feature, NetSuite will automatically migrate all of your older BOM data across. However, be aware that this move may impact existing reports and customisations, so it’s probably best to chat to your NetSuite partner before migrating, just to be safe.
Rebates and Trade Promotions made even easier
NetSuite 2023.1 adds crucial new capabilities within the existing Rebates and Trade Promotions SuiteApp to make the process of retaining loyal customers and attracting new ones even easier. This update automates manufacturer promotion and rebate calculations across both regular inventory items and kits/assembly items – automating what can be an inefficient, manual, and error prone process.
The update also amends the app’s recalculation behaviour so sales transactions can be edited on the fly without affecting any previously existing agreements or calculations.
Project Lifecycle Optimisations for service-based companies
NetSuite’s 2023.1 Release delivers a raft of features designed to help professional services organisations establish granular control over their projects, increase efficiency, and maximise cash flow.
Though simplification and standardisation is the goal for many organisations, the truth is that project-specific charges, rates, and milestones are often quite different to those elsewhere in the business. This update incorporates charge-based billing functionality which allows finance teams to apply customer-specific billing rules, create charges directly through project records, simply calculate billable rates, and update records automatically during charge-based billing runs.
Release 2023.1 also includes further enhancements to last year’s Project 360 functionality, installing a cohesive, at-a-glance, project-centric control panel within SuiteProjects, designed to meet the complex data needs of project managers. Project managers can also visually drill down into fine-grained KPIs for each project to pinpoint the data they need to make their project a success.
But that’s not all for NetSuite Release 2023.1! The update also features functionality for automatically adjusting subscription pricing, functionality for tax-exempt entities, a manufacturing mobile app and much, much more!
Whether you’re eyeing up a move to an ERP platform or you’re a NetSuite user looking for guidance around the new release, the team at BrightBridge would love to hear from you. Let us know what you want to achieve – request a call back from one of our experts today!