We’ve successfully made it most of the way through the year, and as Q4 quickly approaches, we can look back at the supply chain issues that have affected companies across the world this year. Between the war in Ukraine, stringent lockdowns in China, and global labor shortages, manufacturers have faced a lot of obstacles in a very short amount of time.
Given the tumultuous nature of the supply chain situation these days, leaders need to take a step back and automate as many processes as possible to remove human error and reap the benefits of data-backed insights. In the end, if your business was waiting for things to go back to normal so you could get back to business as usual, it’s time to re-evaluate that thought process. Technology is essential if you want to grab hold of this ever-changing landscape, and NetSuite’s 2022 Release 2 is designed to help you optimize your business functions. With fresh features that automate the supply chain, boost employee output, and give you a more transparent look into the future, your operations team will have the information it needs to be successful in this complex business landscape.
NetSuite 2022 Release 2: Improving Inventory Management
Inventory management is perhaps more difficult now than it’s been in recent history. With recurrent interruptions and shortages derailing projects all the time, it’s important to have a tool in place like the Item 360 dashboard, which puts all information related to forecasting and management in one easy-to-use place. With this dashboard, you can select your own key performance indicators, inventory count by location, and anticipated stock levels to display so you’re always aware of what’s going on. In doing so, you can create alerts that tell you when expected shortages or overstocks will likely occur. This data already existed in NetSuite, but it now lives in a consolidated dashboard that makes it simple to locate the information you’re looking for whenever you need it.
Warehouse managers have access to metrics and alerts that will help them better manage purchases and in-stock inventory. This insight helps organizations circumvent inventory issues that can ultimately harm the bottom line and eat into employee resources.
If you’ve found it difficult to accurately forecast demand and calculate how much stock you need to keep readily available, the Planners Workbench might be a great addition to your tools arsenal. With this NetSuite MRP feature, you’ll be able to see forecasted inventory levels in a graph, rather than a table, helping to showcase SKUs with stock levels that are leaning too high or too low. The Planners Workbench also lets users click directly into the graphs so they can see greater detail regarding:
- Sources of demand;
- Different channels, stores or wholesale customers affected by specified inventory levels;
- Key information that might reveal the need to adjust your purchasing or production plan.
Increasing Employee Efficiency
The problems that can eat away at employee efficiency and productivity are more prevalent than ever before, as many companies are facing labor shortages. It’s vital that manufacturers figure out how to make the most of everyone’s time while simultaneously reducing errors as much as possible. This is a tall order without the assistance of a tool like NetSuite Warehouse Management System (WMS) and the Pack Station.
At one time, this pick-and-pack design was only available for inventory items, but now it can be applied to any business that works with third-party vendors as part of its operations. When employees mark one of the service items as completed, an alert is triggered to the finance team so it knows to invoice the customer for that service. This automation helps enhance invoicing accuracy and strengthens financial controls because fewer people are involved in the creation and processing of invoices.
As an example, if you’re a contract manufacturer who builds goods for a number of end customers, you may not own the raw materials or components associated with these builds. With NetSuite’s WMS and Pack Station, your operations team can quickly bill customers as soon as the service is finished, following just a few clicks from the workers on the floor. This makes it simple to create service items and roll them into customers’ bills seamlessly.
Managing Failed Inspection Items
NetSuite’s latest release allows users to create workflows for items that don’t meet inspection standards with extended Quality Tablet capabilities. For instance, a defective product can be automatically returned to production or flagged for reinspection when it receives a failing grade. This automation is a time-saver, routing each failed item to the right channel without QA employees needing to manually step in.
If users need to, they’re able to trigger inspections at more points with this new release. This might include when a vendor returns a product, when an authorization is received for return, and when a shipment and receipt transfers orders. This means NetSuite’s product is great for both manufacturers and non-manufacturers that distribute or sell products.
Dealing with Backorders
Backorders are, unfortunately, a normal part of business these days. Since the early COVID-19 days, when customer demand far exceeded supply in so many cases, warehouses have been trying to bounce back from the problems caused by inventory shortages. In instances where there isn’t sufficient inventory to complete a whole order, warehouse managers can now re-release those outstanding order lines into active picking waves once the required stock is received via NetSuite WMS.
This functionality will help you get backordered items up and running as quickly as possible, preventing these orders from slipping through the cracks. The WMS showcases wave, pick task, and fulfillment information directly on the order line for these delayed products so employees can easily view what’s been fulfilled and what hasn’t.
Picking and Packing
NetSuite’s WMS is now supportive of over-picking parts and resources for companies that create or assemble goods. This is helpful because parts are frequently packaged in bulk, and a single container might include more than one worker needs to take care of his or her current work orders. However, it’s far quicker to grab the whole package, rather than parsing out the exact number needed.
With the 2022 Release 2, workers can now input the total number picked into the WMS so their colleagues aren’t looking for parts that are on their coworkers’ stations. As soon as the worker completes his or her job and no longer needs the components, the unused material can be returned to available inventory with just a few clicks.
Take Advantage of NetSuite 2022 Release 2 Features With MIBAR
If you’re ready to enhance your company’s operations, we’re ready to help you get the job done! To stay on top of new NetSuite releases or to take advantage of new features, it’s important to have guidance from an expert NetSuite partner like MIBAR.
As a leading NetSuite partner, we’ve established a genuine methodology to help maximize every dollar of your ERP budget and ensure NetSuite is meeting your needs. We assist businesses just like yours to identify areas of risk and inefficiency, rescue implementations, assist with NetSuite enhancements and improvements, provide support, training, and much more. Learn more about our NetSuite support services.