NetSuite’s 2021.1 release is about to start rolling out to customers, and it includes a broad range of enhancements.
Many of the enhancements will be of interest to NetSuite customers, regardless of the industry they operate in – and some will be of specific interest to customers using industry specific functionality to support their business operations.
In this article, we cover what we believe to be the most interesting functionality improvements that customers should be looking at and considering for use within their business.
Centralised Purchasing and Billing
Centralised subsidiary purchasing and billing consolidates purchases across multi-subsidiary organisations and generates vendor payments from a single location. This can reduce purchase order volume and NetSuite will also automate corresponding cross-charges for you. This can help facilitate better spend management and increased productivity.
Purchases made on a single PO for multiple subsidiaries are now automatically transferred to the intended subsidiary. The new support for multiple subsidiaries in a single purchase and receipt transaction automates the entire process, including generating statutory invoices and bills, as well as returns and credits.
To simplify their offering for companies that use NetSuite for managing projects and resources, NetSuite have re-packaged and re-branded the Project Management, Resource Allocations and Job Costing modules into a single package called SuiteProjects.
Alongside this re-packaging, NetSuite are also introducing some enhancements to the functionality:
User Interface Improvements
The user interface has been transitioned over to the new NetSuite UI framework, which makes navigation, creation of new records, and editing of projects much quicker and easier than before. There are also more built-in visual cues which make the user experience slicker than before.
Purchasing directly from the project
Project purchase automation and visibility lets project managers initiate purchases directly from projects, providing project views of purchase transactions and facilitating the routing of purchase approvals. Purchasing and project management staff can collaborate more effectively, and the simplified user experience lets project managers easily view how purchases are affecting projects.
Greater expense policy control
Expense report policies can be expanded to set limits for each expense line in a project, and additional filters allow for control of policies based on billable line items. The combination of controls and notifications ensures alignment with company policies and client contracts.
Expense Commitments and Budget Validation
Expense commitments and budget validation functionality prevents overspending by validating purchase requests and orders against your company’s available budget, ensuring that budgets are closely followed.
By clicking the new “retract” button, employees can easily correct weekly timesheets before they’re approved, saving time for employees, approvers and administrators alike.
SuiteApprovals by email
SuiteApprovals now gives you the ability to approve transactions from within emails, without having to log in to NetSuite. Review, approve or reject transactions on the go by simply clicking on links in emails. Staff can use the accompanying email approval log to review and audit email approval actions before they are updated in the system. This leads to more flexible and quicker transaction approvals.
SuiteAnalytics Workbooks improvements
New Conditional colour formatting functionality allows users to highlight Workbook pivot tables or table cells with colours based on numeric values defined for specific cells and ranges. This helps call attention to important data points such as deadlines, at-risk tasks or budget items and also makes large data sets more digestible by visually organising data within large tables by colour.
New Calculated measures functionality supports date filtering within pivot tables, letting users see results from two periods side-by-side and conduct comparitive analysis faster and with more confidence. The feature is enabled within the Workbook UI in every pivot table as a property of each date field added into a pivot layout.
NetSuite 2021.1 includes a SuiteAnalytics Workbook that displays all transactions you have created within the last year, by default. Customise views with additional filters and data by modifying the workbook template and dataset template. You can choose to view the data as a table, chart, or pivot. The dataset template is based on the transaction record.
Configurable transaction numbering
More configurable transaction numbering enables greater flexibility around transaction numbering, with the ability to set dynamic rules that reset each fiscal year. Each year can begin with automated numbering and different business subsidiaries can have greater control over document numbering.
NetSuite’s WMS (Warehouse Management System) sees a wide range of enhancements, including the new NetSuite Pack Station, which increases the efficiency of outbound fulfilment processes in your warehouse. The Pack Station is a touchscreen mobile app designed for use on a tablet device, which will help increase order and shipping accuracy.
Developer & Integration
Developers are now able to work with significantly larger data sets by virtue of asynchronous coding techniques. They can also use native Chrome debugger support for SuiteScript to test and debug applications without leaving browser context.
The REST API is now generally released, which should enable faster and easier integrations with NetSuite and other key business systems.
A surprise announcement with this coming release, is the beta release of NetSuite Analytics Warehouse. This provides customers with data warehousing functionality that enables you to combine NetSuite data with data from other business systems and other sources, to analyse it in various ways and visualise the data.
It also allows you to easily import historical data for analysis, so this may be particularly useful for customers who implement NetSuite and wish to maintain historical data from legacy systems, but would rather not go to the trouble of importing it all into their new NetSuite database – instead, the data could be imported into NetSuite Analytics Warehouse, so that it can be analysed alongside new NetSuite data.
This article is a summary of the most interesting new enhancements in NetSuite release 2021.1, but it is by no means exhaustive. Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of the above, or any of the other new features in the 2021.1 release.