Retailers: Accelerate Operations with Improved Item Management and Supply Chain Optimization Delivered in NetSuite’s 2020 Release 1

Chris Benner, Master Industry Principal

January 24, 2020

Move over, Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials: Generation Z is the next group that will drive retail innovation. In order to meet their high expectations, retailers will need to adapt—fast.

At roughly 9 to 24 years old, Generation Z has grown up with access to the internet and all the hardware and software that goes with it. Their access to modern technology forms the basis for their expectations of shopping with retailers.

In a recent NRF/IBM study(opens in new tab), Generation Z respondents confirmed their expectations of today’s retail experience. Here are a couple of their most telling answers:

  • 44% said the ability to decide how and where to shop was one of the most important things to them when shopping across channels.
  • 54% said tools that would allow them to try out/on products in store were among the new shopping technologies they’d most like to see in the future.

And, a whopping 42% said they’d most like to see the ability to design unique products and create them on-site with a 3D printer. That’s a far cry from shoppers of the past.

With the 2019 holiday shopping season at a close, it’s clear that their desires are playing out in the market. Buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) experienced huge increases(opens in new tab) during Black Friday (43%), Small Business Saturday (46%), and Cyber Monday sales (40%). Ecommerce retail sales over the holiday increased by almost 19% compared to 2018(opens in new tab). And what about all those gifts Generation Z doesn’t want? Well, 30% of respondents plan to resell them(opens in new tab).

The aftermath of Holiday 2019 is replete with calls for retailers to respond in time for next year, and they’ll need nimble internal systems to do it. NetSuite’s 2020 Release 1 offers a number of features that allow retailers to directly connect all parts of the business, providing customers with a superior omnichannel experience:

  • When supply is short, the new order allocation exceptions feature will automatically analyze incoming inventory; as well as other orders that have already been allocated the requested item(s). Intelligent recommendations are generated to re-allocate from other orders. When the user has made the final choice and accepted the recommendation, NetSuite automatically executes the re-allocations across the selected orders.


  • Users will benefit from improved usability of the merchandise hierarchy feature thanks to enhanced visualization with symmetric layout of nodes and columns, and new expand, collapse and zoom capabilities. Additionally, users can apply merchandise attributes within the item record and create new attributes from within the hierarchy manager screen, simplifying operations.
  • Delivery delays are a constant problem for retailers. Extended capabilities of the Intelligent Predicted Risks functionality now takes transfer orders and compares them to historical data to determine when a delivery may be at risk. Recommended actions to take are also provided to avoid a late delivery. Users can also create ‘what-if simulations with the projected risks to see how they may impact future transactions. If a manufacturer is experiencing delays from a specific location or vendor, the company can project the impact on its supply chain and make adjustments before delays occur.
  • More supply chain enhancements include the ability to automatically create fulfillment requests when the expected ship date is reached to drive efficiencies. With the new functionality, retailers can opt to only auto-create and send fulfillment requests to fulfillment locations once the expected ship date is reached.
  • With NetSuite’s new mobile application for manufacturing, employees on the shop floor can easily record manufacturing completion and consumption activities against work orders. This provides manufacturers another move towards paperless manufacturing processes by scanning data directly into NetSuite via the mobile scanner in an easy, interactive and consistent way instead of capturing data manually and entering it into NetSuite.

  • Many companies utilize third parties to manufacture their products, which can make communication challenging. Now, with the ability to automatically create work orders when placing a purchase order on your contract manufacturer activities, it’s easier to track the progress of the manufacturing process and the consumption of inventory.
  • Effective sampling is critical to maintain quality standards, lower inspection processing times and reducing overall costs. The Quality Management application can now handle much larger volumes of data, further speeding up the sampling process. Inspectors will find it easier than ever to capture information in real-time through the tablet application which has been updated with a new grid entry interface.

Learn More About NetSuite 2020 Release 1

These are just the highlights; regardless of what industry you're in, there's much more in NetSuite 2020 Release 1 than can be covered in a single blog post. For more specifics on the complete list of new features, be sure to visit the New Release Portlet to access the release notes.

New to the release process? Learn more about it here(opens in new tab).

Finally, be sure to request access to your Release Preview(opens in new tab) account when it becomes available. There, you'll be able to see how the new features will work with your own data and get a jumpstart on maximizing the impact of NetSuite 2020 Release 1.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.

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