The updates in NetSuite’s 2022 Release 2 focus on managing inventory around high-margin items, implementing automation to contain labour costs and adjusting budgets in the face of rising inflation. Let NetSuite operate as a functional data foundation for the development of insights and a renewed emphasis on what you can control in preparation for the future.
NetSuite Smart Count
This new solution is optimised for mobile devices and enables accurate inventory counts with minimal impact on your sales and operations. Those manual, paper-based processes can be eliminated, reducing labour costs and taking human error out of the equation.
This automated, real-time counting process can be run without having to freeze all transactions in a location which means no inconvenience for your customers. Smart Count also includes a feature to create lists of items that require counting, incorporating pre-defined rules and criteria. You can configure Smart Count to automatically trigger a count that assesses the accuracy of bins that drop below a certain reorder point, for example. This will ensure that orders are only placed when inventory falls to a certain level.
Further to this, inventory planning and management can be simplified with the Item 360 dashboard. It features a user-friendly interface for a view of everything related to an item’s current status from a centralised location. Item 360 consolidates NetSuite data in one dashboard to display pertinent KPIs, stock levels, current transactions, inventory counts for the current location and alerts in a single place.
The latest SuiteApp arrival is Rebates and Trade Promotions and is aimed at maximising profits whilst keeping manual accounting tasks to a minimum. This is achieved via automation and centralisation of managing and executing trade promotions and manufacturer rebates. The application accurately applies automatic rebates and trade promotions to all transactions that meet the criteria. It also centralises and automates the processes of creating, executing, accruing and reconciling vendor and customer rebate programs.
With the Rebates and Trade Promotions app, it’s easy to create and manage agreements. Teams will have no problem defining and capturing terms like discount method, duration, stackability, transaction qualifications and more. Rebate amounts are automatically calculated by combining stackable promotions. Where codes are not stackable, it will select the optimal deal for every order so customers will always get the best possible price.
The automation also applies to the settlement and reconciliation processes. There is support for multiple calculation methods including fixed cost, flat amount and guaranteed profit. You will also find a number of cost-basis options. What’s more, rebate amounts are accrued automatically since transactions are posted to the general ledger.
Lastly, organisations can implement enhanced financial reporting and analysis functionality to monitor proforma or estimated disbursements and claims. This enables superior accounting for returns and additional deductions upon the issuing of final payments.
New Tools to Improve Customer Experience
There has recently been a new Add-On for CRM to provide enhanced automation for sales and marketing, as well as extra customer service management functions. Within the CRM Add-On, you will find new roles and dashboards for sales managers, sales reps and all marketing and customer service teams. These professionals will now have access to NetSuite’s real-time activity data for sales and leads, giving them the power to offer a superior service to both prospective and existing customers.
You will also get added visibility into lead and sales activity via real-time reporting and forecasting from new CRM Workbooks. These capabilities are incorporated into the CRM Add-On with 10 SuiteAnalytics reports built around certain KPIs and sales performance metrics. These include:
- Opportunity Forecast
- Sales Conversion
- Won vs Lost Opportunities
This cuts out the time it takes to design and configure reports on spreadsheets and keeps the risk of human error to a minimum.
Lets take a closer look at some of the NetSuite 2022 Release 2 new features.
Supply Chain Automation
A re-evaluation of supply chain management has been necessary. This requires as much automation as possible, incorporating data-backed insights at every opportunity. New features of NetSuite 2022 Release 2 help with autonomy in the supply chain to increase productivity and provide greater insights for decision-makers.
Inventory management is now more nuanced with the Item 360 dashboard. All the information on items is now accessible in a single location for more proactive management of supply chains. This is combined with enhanced capabilities for calculating and forecasting stock needs via the Planners Workbench in NetSuite MRP. View projected inventory levels in graphs as well as tables, helping to identify SKUs in trends of stock levels.
Service items can now be fulfilled like inventory items thanks to NetSuite Warehouse Management System (WMS) and the Pack Station. When workers mark a service item as fulfilled, the finance team receives an alert to invoice the relevant customer. This automation ensures invoices are accurate and financial controls are strengthened by keeping the number of employees involved in creating and handling invoices to a minimum.
Other new features in NetSuite’s 2022 Release 2 include:
- Quality Tablet: set up a workflow for items that fail inspections to have them automatically sent back to production or highlighted for reinspection.
- NetSuite WMS now provides the ability to re-release remaining order lines into active picking waves to ensure back-ordered items get to customers as fast as possible.
- NetSuite WMS can now support over-picking of parts/materials for organisations that manufacture or assemble items. Simply enter the total quantity picked and return unused items to available inventory in a few clicks.
Physical inventory counts during business hours can take lots of time and resources, and may require you to freeze operations while they happen. Alternatively, you can do them out of hours and rack up lots of overtime pay. Periodic cycle counts are another option, but they can be disruptive and damage the customer experience.
This is why NetSuite Smart Count has been introduced. It automates the stock counting process without freezing transactions and running up additional staff costs. Smart Count tracks transactions for the items being counted and alerts counters whenever there is activity during the count.
Inventory visibility is further enhanced by enabling businesses to produce lists of products to be counted using predefined rules and criteria. For example, whenever inventory levels of a certain item fall below the reorder point, a count is automatically triggered to ensure an order is only placed if necessary. Smart Count is definitely one of the notable features of this release.
Market research has shown that the top priorities of business executives are finding opportunities for savings and new efficiencies. This takes holistic visibility and control to promote best practices internally and cut costs without harming the customer experience. There are various features in NetSuite 2022 Release 2 to help pursue these priorities.
We mentioned the Rebate and Trade Promotions feature. These are essential components of the marketing mix for many industries so strong administration of promotional offers is important. The programs involved can be complicated with serious accounting applications, which can make them difficult to manage.
With Rebate and Trade Promotions, everything is simplified for users. When properly used, it can save time and boost efficiency by centralising and automating a number of processes (see ‘Smarter Financials’ section above).
NetSuite 2022 Release 2 also enables users to set default values on project records for location, department and class. This improves data quality by categorising all project-related revenues and expenses accordingly. Defaults can be overridden when necessary, and all project tracking and financial reporting will be improved.
With regards to expense commitment and budget validation, new enhancements allow users to create budgets for a specific account, segment and period combinations. These functions are particularly valuable for non-profits using a fund accounting method based on accountability over profitability. You can also budget in time periods outside the fiscal year, complete with alerts when a transaction exceeds the budget, which is helpful for multi-year grant budgeting.
Finally, the Shopify Connector has gained some abilities to provide a more accurate reflection of revenue through Shopify. Shopify Payout Report Sync accounts for all fees the platform charges, so cash sales will reflect the net payment. You will be able to simplify the reconciliation of bank deposits to actual amounts received.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
As mentioned, there have been enhancements made to NetSuite’s CRM capabilities. The CRM Add-On provides roles and dashboards tailored to your sales managers and reps, as well as marketing and customer service teams. These insights, along with the prebuilt SuiteAnalytics Workbooks, can help with growth.
With different software and teams to address the needs of sales, marketing and customer service individually, you end up with an inefficient and expensive struggle to reconcile the disparate data streams. The resultant poor visibility into performance can stunt growth. Conversely, a single system can be a poor fit for everyone, with inadequate capabilities and weak flexibility being equally damaging. CRM is a balancing act between cross-team connectedness and providing personalised user experiences.
NetSuite CRM has its foundation in the ERP platform, so those disparate departments are natively unified with things like order/inventory management, financials and commerce. This facilitates real-time insights that deliver for the needs of everyone involved. The CRM Add-On makes those capabilities more robust to put the unique needs of your CRM users front and centre. Your organisation will be able to integrate CRM reporting best practices while accessing key sales performance metrics; in short; your CRM users will all be equipped with the ideal tools and data for their roles and responsibilities.
Data must be relevant and reliable to facilitate agile decision-making for improved outcomes. The new enhancements to NetSuite Analytics Warehouse are designed to meet that need, significantly reducing technical obstacles and costs associated with combining data sets to inform decision-making. NetSuite transactional data can be seamlessly blended with custom data and numerous third-party sources, while enhancements to visualisation capabilities help decision-makers identify KPIs and trends in data relationships.
Transaction data is not the sole provider of business insights. A company’s various data sets can become fundamental strategic assets since you are looking at unique reports and reaching different conclusions from your competitors. You’re also providing machine learning models with diverse and high-quality training data for insightful, custom forecasts about customer preferences, market patterns and process automation. But custom data can be difficult and expensive to bring into a data warehouse, and NetSuite 2022 Release 2 addresses issues of complexity and cost.
The existing collection of pre-built subject matter data snapshots has been expanded. The same is true for key metrics for access to role-specific insights:
- Financials snapshot covers revenue arrangement, revenue commitment and revenue commitment reversal
- Sales Snapshot covers opportunity and commission
- Inventory Snapshot covers inventory cost revaluation, bin transfer and bin put away
The new pre-built capabilities can be used to further customise visualisations in line with your unique business focus. Content Bundles facilitate easy exports of content from one NetSuite Analytics Warehouse instance to the next. This improves efficiency and flexibility as companies pursue the insights and answers they need.
NetSuite’s Mobile team has been working hard to bring NetSuite for iOS in line with NetSuite for Android. The latest version of the iOS mobile app overhauls the Records List experience. Recents has been moved to a more intuitive spot in its own tab on the Records screen. This has led to improvements in the Global Search experience.
You can still search across all records but now, if you initiate a search from a certain record type, the search results are filtered to that record type. Functional parity between the two apps is getting closer, but Oracle is still working on changes and improvements to achieve it.
Discover everything about NetSuite 2022 Release 2
The release notes are the place to go for more information on all the features that have arrived and how they can be used.
The content of this post is a general outline of the key features of NetSuite 2022 Release 2. You can contact us if you are a current customer and need further information about how to make use of the new features in your current setup.
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