Retailers Sneak Peek: NetSuite 2021 Release 1 Focuses on Supply Planning to Help Increase Customer Loyalty

Chris Benner, Master Industry Principal

February 5, 2021

For retailers, success in 2021 will be all about the three R’s: rapidity, resilience and

responsiveness. To that end, in its annual predictions piece(opens in new tab), the National Retail Federation (NRF) says that over the next 12 to 18 months, retailers will continue to examine every step in their supply chains(opens in new tab) — from procurement to sourcing to reduced lead times. The world’s largest retail trade association predicts increased investments in logistics, as well as more “experimentation” in dark stores, ghost kitchens, micro-fulfillment centers and using malls as distribution centers.

Retail in 2021 will also continue to see significant changes to the customer experience and the way people shop. For example, driven by the need to provide touchless experiences in 2020, the use of mobile wallets for electronic payments — such as Apple Pay — increased 68%.(opens in new tab) This increased adoption is expected to continue in 2021 and beyond.

NetSuite 2021 Release 1 offers enhancements aimed at boosting supply planning capabilities, as well as enhancements that will provide accuracy and speed that shore up customer loyalty.

Commerce Enhancements

  • Customers can easily reorder previously ordered items by viewing a MyAccount purchase history. The update also provides a personalized, simplified customer experience (CX) for repeat orders of the same item based on the shopper’s profile.


Automated Inventory Management

  • The new NetSuite Pack Station provides scan and check functionality coupled with a touch screen interface to boost packing efficiency and accuracy. The software consolidates shipments going to the same location, allows for multi-level packing and accommodates the packing of multiple cartons at the same time. Integration with weight scales allow packers to scan weights directly from scales, to avoid errors from manual entry.
  • New warehouse management system (WMS) functionality can automatically create picking waves, organized by delivery times, delivery address, shipment numbers and more. Larger wave creation activities can be scheduled for off-peak hours to increase the capacity of the system during busy periods.
  • The new release enables users to allocate orders by channel, as well as reserve inventory in advance of a sales order to prevent overselling or underselling by channels. Instead of creating new locations, everything can be viewed together, which helps to deliver inventory management KPIs around fill rate, first expiry, first out (FEFO) rules and more (all of which are prebuilt in the new dashboard capabilities).
  • The release also includes the ability to allocate against a blanket PO, with best location recommendations to enable more accurate order promising for orders that will require multiple payments over a period of time. This includes by the earliest availability and when the supply is required by.

Autonomous Supply Planning

  • The enhanced supply chain snapshot now includes information on inbound shipments, blanket POs and allocated demand to give planners better visibility into supply as well as quantities available across multiple locations.
  • Advanced supply planning capabilities provide more flexibility in how items are viewed in the Planning Workbench. For instance, new functionality allows date-based views into expected demand and inventory transactions (transfers, work orders, etc) broken down by day to better understand the impact of certain decisions and provide insight for future decisions.

Smart Financials and Operational Automation

  • 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.
  • New expense commitments and budget validation functionality prevents overspending by validating purchase requests and orders against an organization’s available budget, ensuring that budgets are closely followed.

Find out more about NetSuite 2021 Release 1

Any customer that has gone through previous NetSuite refreshes knows that no blog post can do justice to all of the new functions and capabilities in NetSuite 2021 Release 1.

For a more complete picture of what new features are in this release, be sure to read the release notes(opens in new tab). And if you’re new to the release process, learn more about that in SuiteAnswers(opens in new tab).

Most importantly, don’t forget to request access to your Release Preview(opens in new tab) test account. Nothing substitutes for getting to test how all the new features will work with your data, workflows and customizations.

Connect with your NetSuite Account Manager.(opens in new tab)

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, timing, and pricing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products may change and remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.


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.