As a NetSuite Implementation Consultant, I have encountered several clients who have been on NetSuite for some time and are aiming to implement new functionality to advance their business. Recently I have been working with a food manufacturing/distribution client who would like to implement bins. Considering they work in the food industry, they have a large number of lot-controlled items with many of these items having on hand inventory spanning multiple lots. From a NetSuite perspective, this makes the transition to using Bins for their items a bit more complex.

Before getting into how the transition can take place en masse, I would first like to explain how to do so for a single lot-controlled item with multiple on hand lots. The first step would be to navigate to the item in question and select the ‘Use Bins’ checkbox in the Inventory Management section of the Lot Numbered Inventory Item record:

Inventory Management

After doing so, the system will prompt the user to assign any associated Bins to this item. Simply navigate down to the ‘Bin Numbers’ subtab and add all associated bins and designating any of these as preferred.


Once the record is saved, the item will require bins for all future transactions and all on hand inventory will need to be put away to the associated bins. On an item-by-item basis, the best approach to doing so is using the Bin Putaway Worksheet Transaction:Bin Putaway Worksheet

Here the user can select the item and put away all on hand lots by configuring the Inventory Detail for each line. This is a simple enough approach when you are updating one item at a time. What happens if you need to update 100 or even 1000 items? Manually submitting the Bin Putaway Worksheet is not feasible so we need to turn to importing the data.

Unfortunately, NetSuite does not have any importing capabilities when it comes to the Bin Putaway Worksheet. Also, the Adjust Inventory Worksheet import tool does not allow for lot-controlled or serialized inventory. This leaves us with the only option of using an Inventory Adjustment Import to put away on hand lots into their corresponding bins.

The first step in this process would be to run an update import on all items that will be using bins. This import will not be covered in this post because it simply requires that the ‘Use Bins’ checkbox be selected and that all associated bins are added as outlined above.

After this initial import has been completed, the on hand lots will need to be placed in the corresponding bins. Considering there is no Bin Putaway or Adjust Inventory Worksheet import capability for lot-controlled items, we must adjust out all of the on hand inventory of these lots and adjust them back into the corresponding bins with their respective unit costs. It is recommended that these functions take place off-hours so that no operational delays take place.

I would recommend creating a Saved Search to pull out all of the on hand inventory of every lot that exists. For the food manufacturing/distribution client that I was speaking of above, I created the following Saved Search since they are also using the ‘Inventory Status’ feature:

Inventory Balance Search

The results of this Saved Search will serve as a good starting point to build out the templates necessary to adjust the inventory out and back in. Please make sure to change the ‘Average Cost’ result to the appropriate field if a different costing method is being used.

Use these results to build out an Inventory Adjustment template to reduce the on hand quantity of all lots to zero. Once this is complete, an adjustment will be needed to bring these items back into their bins. Refer to Suiteanswer 65468 for specifics regarding the template setup for the Inventory Adjustment to bring the inventory back into the bins:

Inventory Adjustment

After this is complete, all of the on hand lots will exist in their correct bins.

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