Sneak Peek for Retailers: NetSuite 2021 Release 2 Optimizes Inventory Management, Eases Ecommerce Implementations

Chris Benner, Master Industry Principal

July 21, 2021

The retail sector is poised for a huge year, with pent-up demand and a cash influx fueling a resurgence that the National Retail Federation chief economist thinks could rocket retail sales as much as 13.5%(opens in new tab) over last year.

But retailers face challenges in meeting this historic demand — chief among them, supply chain issues creating delays and shortages of components needed to make their products. There’s also the labor shortage that is forcing retailers to increase pay and other perks to attract staff. All of this is increasing costs as retailers face pressure to offer some services — such as shipping and returns — for free.

Retailers need highly efficient supply chains and inventory management processes to drive down costs, and they need to continue enhancing ecommerce and omnichannel capabilities to deliver the experiences customers want. That’s a tall order — but enhancements in NetSuite 2021 Release 2 can help.

Unified Customer Experiences

  • New website setup automation condenses the many steps of setting up a SuiteCommerce(opens in new tab) site into a single click. The installation can run in the background, saving administrators up to five hours over the previous process.
  • SuiteCommerce site managers can use new aggregated website behavioral data such as visits, keyword searches, item views, page views, quote requests and orders with NetSuite CRM(opens in new tab)SuiteAnalytics(opens in new tab) and saved sea

  • The new NetSuite Connector(opens in new tab) provides integrations to marketplaces, including Walmart and Amazon, 3PLs such as ShipStation, and ecommerce platforms like Magento and Shopify. With the connector, sales and inventory data flow between NetSuite and your other platforms, improving operations and the customer experience.

Frictionless Inventory Management

  • For retailers that run their own warehouses, there are many enhancements to NetSuite WMS(opens in new tab)Tally scan, which increments inventory quantities as new items are scanned, has been extended to support inbound processes, such as receiving purchase orders, transfer orders, and inbound shipments. On the outbound side, workers can quick ship a pallet from a handheld device. Cartons can be added or removed from a pallet, offering shippers more flexibility in packing multiple orders going to the same destination and optimizing shipping costs by holding a pallet and not shipping it until it’s full.
  • The NetSuite Manufacturing Mobile app now supports items that are serial tracked.

Autonomous Supply Chain

  • When available inventory cannot meet all demand in the timeframe promised, new functionality automatically prioritizes the allocation of inventory to sales orders by gross profit or revenue. This allows inventory managers to quickly allocate items to key accounts, avoiding time-consuming and error-prone manual allocation. 
  • Current supply chain conditions make it difficult to promise inventory reliably. Users can now filter by “earliest available item” to quickly see when an item will be in stock and available at any given location. This calculation accounts for supply chain lead times, business priorities and even existing sales channel allocations and reservations. NetSuite can also generate suggestions for reallocating inventory if shipment times are not in line with customer expectations. This allows for a sooner ship date while giving users control over allocation rules, timing and exceptions.
  • Users can now get reports in the Planning Workbench by day, week and month, allowing planners to better visualize trends in inventory availability as they’re occurring. Planners can also automatically exclude previous recommendations from future forecasts once they’ve rejected those recommendations, reducing confusion in an already complex process.  
  • Users also now have access to a step-by-step guide to help administrators upgrade to new supply planning capabilities.

Smart Financials and Operational Automation

  • Accounts receivable can now send out invoices with a link to an online payment portal that automatically records full or partial payment, improving cash flow.
  • Give vendors the option to pay invoices by ACH bank-to-bank electronic payments via SuiteCommerce MyAccount. This helps retailers reduce the fees associated with processing credit card payments and allows them to accommodate higher invoice transactions, as there are no limits on payment amounts. ACH also helps improve data privacy and security protections.

Additional Resources

Any customer who's 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 2.

For a more complete picture of what the new features can deliver to retail organizations, read the release notes(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 hands-on access to see how all the new features will work with your data, workflows and customizations.

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.