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NetSuite adds automated packing to ERP suite

NetSuite targets post-Covid supply challenges


Mid-market cloud ERP software developer Oracle NetSuite is readying a collection of new modules to cater for a broader range of potential customers.

14th Apr 2021
Editor at large AccountingWEB
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Some of the new capabilities within the NetSuite 2021 Release 1 are designed to make life easier for the finance teams who drive the software, but specific functional modules have also been added for logistics and distribution companies.

The key finance features previewed in an online briefing from CEO Evan Goldberg during the company’s online Power Up event this week include a new centralised purchasing and billing module for the NetSuite’s Smart Financials product and an email approvals mechanism across the whole ERP suite.

Centralised Purchasing and Billing will let group finance managers consolidate purchases across multi-subsidiary organisations, automate cross charges and generate payments for suppliers from the central source.

“It gives you control over spend management and saves costs. If you can get better discounts by consolidating purchases from a single supplier, that’s obviously going to help,” Goldberg said.

Email appovals, meanwhile, will help control expenses by giving managers the ability to review expenses via mail, with their actions logged into an audit trail that can be reviewed before the transactions are entered into the system.

Within the SuiteAnalytics toolset, management reporting and analysis staff will be able to add calculated fields to columns to their workbooks for deeper queries and insights. Conditional formatting has been added to help highlight cells that may require further attention.

New supply chain features

For the warehouse and distribution operators, NetSuite will offer a a new touchscreen Pack Station interface to simplify the packing process. Further additions to the NetSuite Warehouse Management System will include wave picking, tally scans, cart put-away, and label printing.

The focus on supply chain efficiency reflects in part the increased ecommerce activity that has been processed by NetSuite users during the pandemic. With so much disruption taking place within supply chains, this sector will continue to be a focus for the developer, Goldberg said. 

Clearer focus on mid-market

When Oracle acquired the upstart cloud developer that started as a breakaway from the mothership, NetSuite was steered away from climbing up the customer food chain and redirected back to the middle of the mid-market.

According to NetSuite founder and CEO Evan Goldberg, the post-acquisiton strategy has proved successful, both for investors and companies. Separating the two product lines more visibly helped NetSuite increase its revenue by 24% over the past financial year. 

“When we were independent, we really tried to serve everybody. Oracle has a strategy that has two solutions - NetSuite for fast growing small and mid-size businesses and Fusion for large enterprises,” Goldberg said.

“We’ve found that’s a great way to do things. It’s nigh on impossible for a large enterprise ERP system, which tends to be more of a series of large applications, to address the market of small companies that want one simple solution.”

One of the other benefits of the Oracle acquisition was how it allowed NetSuite developers to plug into the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities available within the Oracle cloud infrastructure, Goldberg added.

“In our user experience team’s Redwood design system, there’s massive collaboration with Oracle’s team. We’re leveraging that to the hilt. We could never have matched that investment as an independent company.”

Looking to the company’s future and forthcoming On Air virtual event, Goldberg said: “It’s super exciting… the leaders of NetSuite are still here. You’re going to see a lot of continuity there. I don’t think that’s typical of an acqusition like this. We’re being given the latitude to reinvent ourselves for the next 20 years.”

More information on the NetSuite updates and other resources for growing businesses will be available from the NetSuite On Air Power Up EMEA virtual event on 27-29 April.

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