Solving Manufacturing Complexity with NetSuite Work Orders & Assemblies, WIPs & Routings and Advanced Manufacturing

Abby Jenkins, Product Marketing Manager

October 13, 2021

Beyond current supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, manufacturers face a host of common challenges around their day-to-day operations. NetSuite offers three different production management products that can help manufacturers automate, collaborate and inform decision making.

Common Production Management Challenges

For businesses that lack a system to manage their manufacturing processes, or for those relying on multiple disparate systems, efficiently setting up and scheduling production is complex, time consuming and error prone. Businesses that rely on spreadsheets and Gantt charts to understand what components, raw materials, machinery and labor are required for production, and when, face a lack of real-time information which can ultimately lead to:

  • Poor communication with the production floor – manufacturers without a single system of record for both the product development/engineering level and the production floor have difficulty communicating bill of materials (BOM) changes to the production floor, which can result in products made out of spec. This then leads to reworks or scrap, ultimately increasing the cost of goods sold (COGS)(opens in new tab).
  • Delays in production – using spreadsheets and Gantt charts to understand what is required for production, and when and where it is needed, is a complex and tedious process. Any piece of the process that is not choreographed correctly – a missing component, a machine that is not available, labor not scheduled to run the production cycle – can lead to delays in the production cycle which then delays product availability, decreases production yield and increases operational costs.
  • Inconsistent quality – as with updates to the BOM, businesses need clear production processes that ensure products are made according to the right parameters, ensuring consistent quality products are delivered to customers.
  • Inefficient use of resources – relying on spreadsheets and Gantt charts to understand when and where machinery and labor is needed and how long each production run should take adds complexity. Without a clear understanding of these factors, schedulers can’t get the most out of machinery and labor to maximize production yields, which ultimately increases COGS.

Take Control of Your Production Processes

NetSuite production management capabilities give businesses the visibility and control of the entire production process to help businesses make better, more informed decisions each step of the way. NetSuite manufacturing solutions allow businesses to:

  • Understand what materials are required for production and ensure they are ready on time and in the right place.
  • Define assembly items and create work orders with minimal effort.
  • Capture and compile valuable shop floor data.
  • Configure works in progress (WIP) and routing to suit different manufacturing locations.
  • Optimize core business operations with enhanced scheduling and manufacturing execution capabilities.

Choosing the Right Solution

Because businesses come in all shapes and sizes, NetSuite offers three production management offerings that build on one another so businesses can choose the one that best fits their needs, all while having the peace of mind that they can easily scale as the business grows and matures.

Work Orders & Assemblies works best for companies that do some light assembly but don’t need to track work in process or the labor separately.

WIP & Routings adds the ability to define work centers, routings, track labor costing, infinite capacity scheduling and provides a Gantt chart with drag-and-drop functionality.

Advanced Manufacturing provides complete control of all aspects of the manufacturing processes, including finite capacity scheduling, batch management and manufacturing execution.


An overview of the functionality included in each module is:

Answering a few simple questions about the way your production processes work will guide you to the solution that is best for your business.


Ensure Your Production Process Runs Smoothly and Efficiently

Equipped with real-time information, businesses are better able to run their manufacturing operations efficiently. NetSuite’s manufacturing solutions provides real-time visibility into every step of the production process to help you make better-informed decisions. Get your products to market quickly and cost-effectively. To learn more about NetSuite’s production management capabilities register for our upcoming webinar Drive Manufacturing Excellence(opens in new tab).

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.