For distributors and light manufacturers with multiple warehouse locations, both the NetSuite and Acumatica platforms provide a comprehensive set of tools to manage inventory replenishment at multiple locations. In a multiple location business, replenishment decisions are not just about how much to replenish and from whom, but also where to send it. Businesses often use a combination of purchasing, warehouse transfers, and manufacturing to replenish items in multiple facilities.
In the NetSuite software, multi location replenishment begins on the location sublist of the item record. Here, a user can specify, per inventory location, relevant replenishment information, including the preferred stock level, the reorder point, any safety stock, and lead times for that item to that location. However, some items are built instead of purchased, and for these, the end user can specify a build point for the item instead.
From there, the user can use a couple of interfaces to automate the creation of purchase orders, transfer orders, or work orders. In the “Order Items” interface, purchase items display with the recommended quantities and the preferred vendors so that users can select the items to purchase, and a purchase order is created for all the relevant items.
In the “Mass Create Work Orders” interface, any items that are below the build point from above are displayed, so that work orders can be created to replenish the underlying components. Once those work orders are created, the component items are committed, and would subsequently show on the purchase order, transfer order, or perhaps even work order queues depending upon the type of item it is.
Finally, the “Replenish Location by Transfer Order” allows a user to select a location to transfer items into, and then build a transfer order to other locations by seeing available quantities, on hand, preferred stock levels, and recommended quantities to transfer.
Acumatica works in a similar fashion. In the inventory module, an end user can use the “Prepare Replenishment” interface to tell the system to figure out how much to order. Here, each item has a preferred replenishment method per location (purchase/transfer) that can be changed in this interface for this replenishment cycle if necessary.
Once the replenishment is prepared, Acumatica queues the items to be purchased or transferred in the “Create Purchase Orders” or “Create Transfer Orders” queues respectively. Acumatica currently does not swing production orders from the replenishment screen, so these would need to be created manually or through an import. However, a nice benefit over NetSuite is that the items to purchase funnel into a queue with other purchase items (such as drop ships or special orders), so items can be purchased from a single vendor, or the vendor can be changed, from an easy to use interface for the purchasing team.
Finally, the same process holds true for Acumatica transfers. The transfer orders gets created from the replenishment items, and then creates a transfer order in the sales order module. From here, the transfer can be fulfilled, received, and the proper GL accounting takes place to move the inventory between locations.