Technology trends are one of the drivers offering the chance for a true manufacturing resurgence worldwide. Creating a more resilient and agile business through greater supply chain visibility couldn’t be more important — as backlogs at ports, critical shortages of products, parts and components, and a labor shortage threaten the industry. In a complex environment like this, how can manufacturers gain better visibility into their suppliers and access to the right data to optimize operations? NetSuite 2021 Release 2 offers several key enhancements for manufacturing companies that boost planning capabilities, create more flexible supply chains and further automate processes.

Autonomous Supply Chain

  • New functionality allows planners to map and prioritize inventory allocation to sales orders by gross profit or revenue. Planners can more accurately promise items with a new feature that provides the earliest date an item will be in stock and available at any given location. The calculation of the earliest available date takes into consideration supply chain lead times, any supply allocation strategies, and even sales channel allocations and reservations. Finally, when reallocating orders, get deeper insights into how those changes will impact allocations on other transactions.
  • Users now have much more flexibility when viewing information in the Planning Workbench, so they can more accurately sense demand and plan supplies. Date-based views of planning results are now available in daily, weekly or monthly buckets, and a new parameter limits how many days into the past the supply planning process will look for past-due, unconsumed forecasts. Planners can also suppress previously rejected recommendations from the planning engine so they see only the data and recommendations they need to make accurate forecasts.
  • The Supply Planning Upgrade Guide helps administrators upgrade existing NetSuite Supply Planning accounts to enable the new Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and Master Production Schedule (MPS) capabilities.

Frictionless Inventory Management

  • Warehouse associates can take advantage of enhanced functions in NetSuite WMS and Pack Station, allowing them to quick ship a pallet from a handheld device. Cartons can be added or removed from a pallet, offering shippers more flexibility in packing multiple orders going to the same destination and optimizing shipping costs by holding a pallet and not shipping it until it’s full.
  • NetSuite WMS also extends tally scan functionality to inbound processing, increasing the accuracy and efficiency of inbound operations.
  • Generate lot numbers automatically once a lot number format has been set for the item, and configure custom lot fields for additional inventory details such as supplier lot number and manufactured date.
  • Automatically generate a Certificate of Analysis to assure customers that shipped products meet their specifications and comply with all testing criteria that has been set.
  • The NetSuite Manufacturing mobile app now supports items that are serial tracked, which users can either enter manually or scan.

Smart Financials and Operational Automation

  • Users can elect that changes made to the COGs or Asset account be reflected only on future transactions entered in the system using a new preference settable in the Accounting Preference tab. This preserves accurate data in past transactions and reports.
  • New functionality automatically consolidates purchase requisitions across subsidiaries, in addition to purchasing and billing, and allows for the item to be received at the relevant subsidiary regardless of who placed the order or created the requisition. What’s more, NetSuite automatically cross-charges receipt and payment processes across, for instance, two different entities, to balance ledger and intercompany accounts.
  • Manufacturers can now email invoices to customers that link directly to an online payment portal where customers can view and pay their bill via credit or debit card or other online payment method. They can pay partially or in full depending on rules you set, and NetSuite automatically records the payment accordingly.

Story by Gavin Davidson

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