RF-SMART Reveals the Top 3 Inventory Challenges for NetSuite Customers


Will the performance of your warehouse play a significant role in how well your business does this year? In a time of heightened global uncertainty, it seems wise to pursue maximum supply chain efficiency so that you can be as agile and competitive as possible. Reviewing where other NetSuite customers have struggled during the past year is a great exercise for optimising your own strategy.

In our recent webinar with RF-SMART, global provider of mobile data collection solutions, they examined the top 3 inventory management pain points that commonly hold NetSuite users back – and outlined some practical steps to overcome each one.

  1. Data Integrity

Poor data integrity essentially means that you do not have full visibility over the inventory you own, the locations in which it’s stored, and the activities performed to manage it. Do you have water-tight processes in place to capture this information? Reliable inventory data is foundational for a successful supply chain; it will determine how many errors you incur whilst fulfilling orders, how productive your staff are, and ultimately, whether or not your customers are happy.

The number one barrier to high inventory accuracy is manual processes. If you are recording your inventory data on paper as it moves through your warehouse, you will inevitably have to transfer that information into NetSuite by hand. Each time you do this, you’re creating room for human error. Furthermore, manual processes are inefficient and labour intensive, costing you time and money.

NetSuite users can significantly reduce (and even eliminate) their manual touchpoints with the help of relevant technologies. For instance, mobile barcoding systems like RF-SMART enable you to use handheld scanners to track your stock from receiving through to shipping; each transaction is automatically recorded in your ERP, and workers are prompted to immediately correct errors before moving onto their next task.

  1. Operational Accuracy

RF-SMART suggests that operational accuracy is the next major hurdle for NetSuite users that manage inventory. Once the reliability of your data has been compromised, you’ll likely begin to experience problems like mis-picks, mis-ships and accrual of redundant stock. Ideally, you want to prevent these issues from happening in the first place – but you can sharpen up your processes at any stage to bring harmony back to your warehouse.

To measure operational accuracy, you might track KPIs such as:

For manufacturers, there is also room to improve performance on the assembly line. Mobile data collection can be applied here too; by labelling your components and using scanners to track the progress of each work order, you can accurately produce more with fewer resources.

  1. Ongoing Costs

The final top challenge covered in our webinar with RF-SMART is the issue of on ongoing costs. In this instance, these are the costs that you incur as you undertake projects to enhance and build upon your NetSuite platform for greater performance.

Whenever you undertake a new project alongside a third-party vendor – be it a WMS implementation or another product – be mindful of:

  1. The added cost of enhancements. Be sure to evaluate whether the base solution that’s offered covers your full list of requirements. If not, will you have to purchase further customisations down the line? Calculating your ROI and pinning down the total cost is an essential step.
  2. Iterative downtime. Much like NetSuite’s biannual updates, WMS vendors will roll out fixes and new features throughout the year. Depending on how this is conducted, it may mean that you have to pause operations while the updates take place. This can be influenced by the solution’s level of integration to NetSuite; with hybrid and integrated solutions, consider the possibility of data loss, additional professional services costs and connectivity limitations.
  3. Help and support. Will the solution provider charge you extra to deliver support and to resolve any issues that crop up along the way? If so, these costs could potentially spiral into a sum you’re not prepared to pay later on. Find out exactly what level of support will be available to you before problems arise.

RF-SMART has 30 years of experience in delivering mobile inventory solutions for Warehousing, Manufacturing, Retail & eCommerce. They currently help over 1,000 global NetSuite customers to manage their inventory more efficiently – learn more about their take on the top challenges for NetSuite customers by watching the full webinar below: