Next NetSuite Release – Preview of Features for Wholesale Distribution Businesses in NetSuite 2021.2

Efficiency, visibility and control are priorities for wholesale distributors, particularly in the current climate of disruption to supply chains, unpredictable staff levels and increased expectations from customers in terms of speed and reliability.


It’s great to see that the upcoming release of NetSuite – NetSuite 2021.2 – will deliver valuable enhancements to address these challenges, making an ERP that is already top of the class for wholesale distributors even better.


As all new features are automatically delivered to all customers with each new release, our many wholesale distribution customers at Eureka Solutions – including Packaging Supplies, Opera Care, DeliverNet, Saint Flooring, Astrak Group, Phoenix Cellular, Westside Distribution, Bull Products and Bioclad – will benefit.


Inventory Management Enhancements

In order to properly manage the pace of inventory flow, lot numbering needs to be efficient and accurate. With NetSuite 2021.2, staff will be able to generate lot numbers automatically once a lot number format has been set for the item. They will also be able to configure custom lot fields for additional inventory details, for example, the supplier lot number or the date of manufacture.


NetSuite’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) optimises day-to-day warehouse operations using industry leading best practices. This includes intelligent pick and pack processes, handheld barcode scanning, cycle counting and integration with shipping systems. Companies that use WMS are able to run their warehouses more efficiently and minimise handling costs. This will get even better on the roll out of the 2021.2 release, with which NetSuite WMS will enable staff to quick ship a pallet from a handheld device, and it will be possible to hold a pallet until it is full, allowing staff to pack items together that are going to the same destination but are within different orders, thus increasing cost efficiencies.


Supply Planning Enhancements

NetSuite introduced the Supply Planning Workbench last year and has been adding to its functionality with each release. NetSuite has advanced supply planning capabilities, like the hierarchical pegging view which, along with the handy Supply Planning Workbench, equip planners with the tools they need to manage their dynamic business environment.


With 2021.2 there will be a new option in the Supply Planning Workbench, allowing the planner to display planning results in daily, weekly or monthly periods — thus enabling more dynamic forecasting to shift strategies on the fly. The planner will be able to exclude previously rejected recommendations to avoid confusion when creating the forecast, and control how far back the planning engine will look for past due, unconsumed forecasts.


In addition, with this release there will be enhanced allocation functionality which will enable planners to map and prioritise inventory allocation to sales orders by gross profit or revenue. There will be a feature to provide the earliest date an item will be in stock/available at any specific location, enabling planners to be more accurate when setting expectations. The calculation of the earliest available date will take into account supply chain lead times, any supply allocation strategies set, as well as sales channel allocations and reservations. Additionally, when reallocating orders, planners will be able to get deeper insight into how those changes will impact allocations on other transactions.


With the new release, NetSuite will be able to generate a certificate of analysis for any item in the system, configurable to the needs of each customer, enabling wholesale distributors to meet and exceed customers’ quality and compliance standards. Users will be able to print the certificate directly from NetSuite for attachment during shipment, with a saved electronic copy easily accessible for future reference.


Joined Up Customer Experience

More and more, it is becoming important for wholesale distributors to optimise the ecommerce experience that they offer their customers, particularly as more and more distributors are also selling directly to consumers. Happily, there are enhancements expected in 2021.2 that will make it even quicker and easier to implement NetSuite’s ecommerce module ‘SuiteCommerce’, reducing the time to set up an ecommerce website considerably.


A further new feature in the upcoming release that will enhance the customer experience is a new payment link feature, which will allow wholesale distributors to email invoices to their customers with a link to an online payment portal, thus allowing them to pay their invoice with a credit or debit card. NetSuite will subsequently record invoices as paid partially or in full.


In addition, companies will be able to give their customers the ability to pay invoices by ACH electronic payments via SuiteCommerce, so that payment processing is fast and without fees.


Automations in Financials and Operations

NetSuite is and always has been about streamlining and automating otherwise manual and / or time-consuming processes, to free users up to add value to their business, and 2021.2 has even more of this type of functionality. Within the core financials of NetSuite 2021.2, users will be able to enhance their audit trails by choosing that changes made to the COGs or Asset account be reflected only on future transactions entered in the system, thus preserving accurate data in past transactions and reports.


In addition, new functionality will automatically consolidate purchase requisitions across subsidiaries and allow for goods to be received at the relevant subsidiary regardless of who placed the order or created the requisition. Also, NetSuite will automatically cross-charge receipt and payment processes across, for example, two different entities, to balance ledger and intercompany accounts.


Just a Snapshot

This is just a snapshot of the new features coming in NetSuite 2021.2, enhancing what is already an excellent, proven business system option for wholesale distribution businesses. If you’re considering a new system to streamline processes throughout your business and would like to talk through whether NetSuite would be a good fit for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Eureka Solutions, Outstanding NetSuite Partner of the Year for 2020, where we have one of the most experienced NetSuite teams in the country and a focus on customer success and satisfaction.