Modern innovative businesses cannot expect to drive revenue and scale quickly if their business systems can’t keep up, and hold them back from growing. What’s needed is leading-edge Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ERP that is highly customisable, highly configurable and highly scalable – one of the finest examples of which is NetSuite.
One of the great things about NetSuite is it’s a modular system meaning you only pay for the parts of the system that you need to use. As your business grows you might start to perform different functions, for example Project Management. With NetSuite, you can easily add the Project Management module at any point during your subscription, configure the module to fit your business requirements and start using it straight away.
With all the different ’Suites’, SuiteSuccess packages and modules on offer, NetSuite can be a little confusing, so hopefully this article will give you a clearer picture of how your subscription is put together, and what modules are available for you to leverage. Of course, you don’t need to know all of these NetSuite modules inside out – a good NetSuite partner will ask the right questions and tailor NetSuite to suit your business, but it does help to have some idea of the offerings before you enter into discussions.
Before we get into NetSuite modules, we need to mention some other aspects of NetSuite. Firstly, every NetSuite customer must have a Suite or Edition as the starting package. There are a number of different editions available from NetSuite. Some Editions include additional modules based upon what is typically required for customers in a particular industry – for example the Software Edition includes the Software Management Cloud Service, which provides bundled functionality that is specifically tailored to the typical requirements of companies in the software industry, like Issue Management and Electronic File/Software Delivery.
Once you’ve established which Suite you need you will then need to determine how many users require access to the system and also the level of access required. There are two levels of user, each priced accordingly:
- NetSuite General Access user – General Access users provide full access to all functional areas of NetSuite (controlled by roles & security permissions) for 1 named user, who logs in using their email address and password.
- Employee Self-Service 5 pack – This is a pack of 5 Employee Self-Service named users who can access NetSuite using their email address and password. Their access is restricted to only creating and editing expense reports, project tasks, purchase order requests, timesheet/time tracking entries, calendar events, notes, tasks and phone calls.
The Employee Self-Service 5 pack is priced at approximately 1/5th of the price of 1 General Access user.
Now let’s focus on the modules! NetSuite is a broad and powerful business management system, which can support a wide range of functionality using modules that provide rich ‘out of the box’ functionality. Of course, each module has a price to add to your subscription, but for most of the modules, that price is fixed, and will be the same regardless of how many users you have using NetSuite. So, for example, if you want to utilise the Job Costing module, the price remains the same whether you have 15 users or 1,500 users, and all users have access to that module (if you allow them through roles and permissions).
OneWorld – OneWorld is the NetSuite module which enables multi-company and multi-country support in NetSuite. This allows your business to run NetSuite across multiple business entities, in multiple countries using multiple currencies, whilst complying with local regulations and taxes. The module includes consolidation functionality and allows you to setup unlimited subsidiaries in the ‘home’ country that you purchase NetSuite in.
Top Tip: when you purchase NetSuite, you must ensure that your ‘home country’ is aligned with the country that your TopCo entity resides in, this is the entity that will be at the top of the subsidiary hierarchy that you setup in NetSuite.
For example if your TopCo is XYZ Holding Company Ltd based in the UK, but you are purchasing NetSuite using your French company XYZ France S.A., you need to specify to your NetSuite sales representative that your home country will be the UK, before they provision your NetSuite environment. If you fail to do this, then you may need to request for your environment to be re-provisioned.
Additional OneWorld Country – If you want to use NetSuite for business entities/subsidiaries outside of the ‘home’ country that you purchase NetSuite in, you must buy an additional OneWorld country licence for each country that you wish to setup NetSuite subsidiaries in.
Advanced Electronic Bank Payments – This module provides support for electronic payments in multiple countries, with worldwide support for a wide variety of banking formats, like BACS in the UK, SEPA in the EU, and ACH in the USA. Without this module, NetSuite only provides banking formats for the ‘home’ setup country of your company.
Financial Management Cloud Service (formerly Advanced Financials) – This module extends the standard NetSuite Financial Accounting capabilities further, providing more complex Budgeting, Allocations, Amortisation, Billing Schedules and Statistical Accounting functionality. Most businesses will benefit from adopting this module.
Inventory Management Cloud Service (formerly Advanced Inventory) – This module provides extended Inventory Management capabilities for NetSuite, which are typically useful for businesses holding stock in warehouses for distribution. The module provides the ability to do Bin Management, Lot Tracking, Pick/Pack/Ship, Serialised Inventory and various other capabilities that are useful for businesses that buy and sell physical goods.
Procurement Cloud Service (formerly Advanced Procurement) – This module extends NetSuite’s payables functionality to provide support for more complex procurement processes common in larger organisations. This includes functionality to support Purchase Requisitions, Purchase Contracts, Request for Quotes (RFQ), Blanket Purchase Orders and more.
Software Management Cloud Service (formerly Advanced Software) – This module is specifically for companies in the Software industry. It provides extended functionality for Electronic File/Software Delivery when you sell software online, Issue and RMA Management, and Customer Self-Service.
Contract Renewals Cloud Service – The Contract Renewals module helps companies to manage and automate the renewal of contracts they hold with their customers. It provides functionality to facilitate uplifts, discounts, auto-renewals, returns, and many other contract related processes. This functionality is now available in the new SuiteBilling module, which is more powerful and can support more use cases.
Demand Planning Cloud Service – This module is designed for companies that hold physical stock that they sell and distribute to other businesses. It uses information on the forecasted future demand for individual items to create purchase orders to ensure that stock levels will be maintained in order to meet forecasted demand, avoiding stock-outs. The module also provides information on which items are Available to Promise for delivery to customers on specific dates.
Dunning Letters Cloud Service – The Dunning Letters module provides functionality which helps Credit Collection teams become more efficient and automated in chasing late payments from your customers. This includes a Dunning workbench with tailored dashboards and reports that help you to focus on reducing DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) and improving cashflow.
Fixed Asset Management Cloud Service – This module enables businesses to manage their fixed assets directly within NetSuite. You can propose an asset directly from a purchase order, then decide how you would like NetSuite to depreciate the asset over time, up until the point where you decide to dispose of or sell the fixed asset.
The NetSuite Fixed Asset Management module now also supports Lease Accounting under the IFRS 16 standard.
Grid Order Management Cloud Service – The Grid Order Management module enables a different way of entering lines on a Sales Order within NetSuite, using a Grid based approach. This is particularly useful for distribution companies selling matrix-based items, and for manufacturers with multiple item variants.
Incentive Compensation Cloud Service – For companies with sales teams who are paid commission calculated on the basis of what they have sold, the Incentive Compensation module helps to automate this process, resulting in reduced processing costs and higher sales rep productivity. This module can also be used to automate the payment of commissions and royalties to partners that your business works with.
Project Management Cloud Service – For companies who manage projects (externally for clients or internally), the Project Management module offers a way to manage projects and their associated costs within NetSuite. You can then bill your customers if you are charging them for the project, and NetSuite supports a wide range of billing options including Time & Materials, Milestone, Fixed Price and Charge Based billing. Tasks and resources on the project can be managed in a drag and drop fashion using an intuitive visual user interface.
Job Costing Cloud Service – The Job Costing module extends the functionality of the Project Management module, to enable you to capture Project Budgets and run a P&L per project. It also enables you to capture project costs on the General Ledger and calculate Project Profitability.
Resource Allocation Cloud Service –The Resource Allocation module enables you to visually and intelligently manage your employees (resources) as they are allocated work on different projects. It includes searching for resources by skill set, availability and other important attributes. The module also offers a visual drag and drop resource management interface that facilitates the finding and allocation of resources to projects and project tasks.
Manufacturing WIP & Routing Cloud Service – This module is to help manufacturing companies track the Work in Process (WIP) against a Work Order. The Work Order might also be aligned with a Routing which outlines the manufacturing process that must be followed to complete the Work Order. Actions undertaken at different Work Centres on the Routing can also be tracked for costing purposes.
Works Orders & Assemblies Cloud Service – This module opens up the Work Orders and Assemblies functionality to companies that either wish to assemble items from various components they have in stock, or manufacture items using the Work Order process (which may also require tracking WIP and using Work Centres on a Routing to complete the manufacturing process).
SuiteBilling Cloud Service – For companies with Recurring or Subscription based sales & billing models, SuiteBilling provides extended functionality to support more complex billing requirements. It can support different pricing structures like tiered, usage and volume-based pricing, as well as subscription and rate plans. Renewals and Evergreen contracts are supported, different price plans can be configured, and usage data can also be imported to support usage based billing.
Revenue Management Cloud Service – For companies who sometimes or always recognise revenue separately to have they have invoiced their customers, the Revenue Management module helps streamline and automate the process of generating revenue recognition journal entries, forecasting revenue recognition and reporting on the process.
Specific functionality that the Revenue Management module supports includes: Revenue Rules and Plans; Manual / Automated Post of Revenue Journal Entries; Revenue Plans triggered on: Fulfillment, Billing, Revenue Arrangement Creation, Subscription Events, Percent Complete; Bulk Updating of Revenue Plans; Contract Acquisition Cost Amortization (supports the need for disclosing amortized contract costs under ASC606); Reporting for Contract Liability Waterfall and Roll Forward; Reporting for Revenue Forecast (including cost amortization).
Advanced Revenue Management (ARM) Cloud Service – The Advanced Revenue Management (ARM) module extends NetSuite’s Revenue Recognition capabilities even further, and is an add-on module to the Revenue Management module (you must have purchased Revenue Management in order to purchase ARM).
The additional extended functionality offered by the Advanced Revenue Management (ARM) module includes: Multi Element Arrangements, Fair Value Price Lists, Formulas & Dimensions, Merging of Arrangements / Linked Orders, Item Revenue Categories; Revenue Plans triggered on Custom Events.
Oracle NetSuite Planning & Budgeting (formerly known as PBCS – Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service) – Oracle NetSuite Planning & Budgeting is Planning, Budgeting, Modelling and Forecasting software that is built on the enterprise-class Hyperion and Essbase technology, and now has an integration with NetSuite. Oracle NetSuite Planning & Budgeting is perfect for companies that want to perform more advanced budgeting and forecasting than you can achieve in NetSuite, and it is ideal for companies that need to model a variety of different business scenarios based on predictions or assumptions that might change over time, or be based on data that could come from a number of different sources (not just data held in NetSuite).
SuiteAnalytics Connect Cloud Service – The SuiteAnalytics Connect Service, also referred to as the Connect Service, lets you archive, analyse, and report on NetSuite data using a third-party tool or any custom-built application on any type of device using a Windows, Linux, or OS X operating system. NetSuite offers ODBC, JDBC, and ADO.NET drivers that you can download, install, and use. You can then use SuiteAnalytics Connect to use your NetSuite data in a wide range of tools, including popular BI and data analysis tools like Microsoft PowerBI, Excel, BIRST, Adaptive, Qlikview and others.
Advanced Partner Centre (APC) – APC licences can be used to give your partners access to a range of transactions, lists, and reports that you want to give them visibility of. You will grant your partners with access to the Advanced Partner Centre, which is a secure, restricted access portal on your NetSuite environment that can be branded to fit your organisations’ style, and can help you to encourage your partners to self-serve when they need information.
SuiteCommerce Advanced Cloud Service – SuiteCommerce Advanced provides businesses with fast and engaging web stores that deliver great shopping experiences optimised for any device. As with all NetSuite commerce products, SuiteCommerce Advanced unifies ecommerce with your core operational business systems – inventory and order management, customer support and financial accounting providing a single view of customers, orders, inventory and other critical business data that enables personal and relevant omnichannel experiences.
SuiteCommerce SiteBuilder Cloud Service – NetSuite SuiteCommerce SiteBuilder is SuiteCommerce Advanced’s less advanced sibling, which can also provide businesses with an ecommerce web store that delivers a great shopping experience, which is integrated with NetSuite ERP at the back end. SiteBuilder doesn’t have some of the more modern capabilities of SuiteCommerce Advanced like responsive design, but it is still quite a useful option for businesses on a smaller budget who want to get up and running quickly with an eCommerce store.
SuiteCommerce InStore Cloud Service – SuiteCommerce InStore will be of benefit to retailers with a solution that unifies the physical and digital shopping experiences within a single, cloud-based commerce platform. Arm your sales associates with a mobile device that provides complete inventory and customer information to engage customers more effectively, drive more sales and provide a satisfying shopping experience.
SuiteCloud Plus Cloud Service – As well as NetSuite Datacentre Premium Tiers, NetSuite offers SuiteCloud Plus licensing as a mechanism that enables high volume NetSuite customers to increase throughput for their transactions. To use an analogy, SuiteCloud Plus is equivalent to expanding a two-lane road to four or more lanes, proportionally increasing traffic volume while the speed limit remains the same. Additionally, a SuiteCloud Plus license can enhance throughput by:
- Increasing the number of queues available for scheduled scripts
- Increasing the number of queues and threads available for CSV import jobs
- Increasing the number of concurrent threads available for web services through support ofconcurrent web services users
With SuiteCloud Plus licensing, you can designate up to three concurrent web services users, with up to 10 concurrent threads from each user. Prior to SuiteCloud Plus, in the absence of the concurrent web services user support, you had to manually manage concurrent threads.
To speak with one of our experts about starting your ERP journey, or if you would like to know more about the NetSuite modules described above, please get in touch, or use our ‘Quick Quote’ tool below:
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