Wholesale Distributors: NetSuite 2020 Release 1 Helps Optimize Operations by Bringing Efficiencies to the Warehouse Floor

Gavin Davidson, Manufacturing and Wholesale Distribution Industry Lead

January 24, 2020

What keeps wholesale distributors up at night? The Amazon Business marketplace, which surpassed $1 billion in sales in 2016(opens in new tab) and has been growing by a staggering 20% month-over-month since then. Distributors are feeling the pressure: according to a Unilog survey(opens in new tab), roughly one-third of distributors believe Amazon Business to be their greatest threat.

Amazon’s ability to offer incredibly extensive product listings combined with cutthroat price competitiveness has drawn an estimated 400,000 registered users(opens in new tab) to the marketplace. In order to stay in business and remain competitive, wholesale distributors need access to much of the same technological innovation as Amazon.

That means optimization and simple processes that make work easier and automating processes wherever possible to reduce costly manual work. NetSuite’s 2020 Release 1 offers a suite of features that support these three critical goals:

  • NetSuite WMS continues to provide greater efficiency on the warehouse floor and additional convenience to end-users by improving printing and barcode scanning via the WMS mobile SuiteApp. You can quickly enter barcode data with GS1 barcode support. Large volumes of items inside inbound shipments are easily received with the new mobile receiving interface.

  • Enhancements to the order management process now allow fulfillment request records to be auto-created when the expected ship date is reached. Working with supply allocation, future expected ship dates are updated and optimized.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • With the new Supply Chain SuiteAnalytics Workbook, distributors can efficiently analyze supply-demand imbalances.
  • Fill/kill backorder management capabilities will automatically close any backordered items at the time of shipment if the customer does not want to wait for line item to go off of backorder, helping to manage regularly placed standing orders.
  • New route management capabilities can automatically assign the route, stop, and delivery time of a given sales order based on the customer’s address, alleviating the challenges of assigning delivery routes. Users can override assigned ship dates if a change is required.
  • Order Guides can now automatically keep track of items historical ordered and will automatically add items to a guide.

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.