Review of NetSuite ERP & CRM 2017.1 - Part 2

Introduction

This is part 2 of our review of the 2017.1 release, written by David Kennett.

This part of the review covers SuiteApp add-ons, Items, Inventory Management, Projects, Taxation, UI, eCommerce, Analytics, Workflow, Development and Platform updates. 

If you missed part 1, you can access it by clicking here.

We welcome any questions or requests for advice on the NetSuite 2017.1 release, which you can contact us with via this page.

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SuiteApp updates

SuiteApps in NetSuite provide a wide range of cool and interesting functionality that enhances the user experience. Below is a list of the SuiteApp updates in NetSuite 2017.1, with a few of our favourites highlighted in bold and explained in greater detail.

  • Dun & Bradstreet for NetSuite Integration Enhancements
  • Dunning Enhancements
  • Electronic Payments Enhancements
  • Grid Order Management Enhancements
  • Project Resource Management
  • Enhancement to Mexico Compliance
  • Software Vertical Contract Renewals Enhancements
  • Recurring Billing Enhancements
  • Script Queue Monitor in Application Performance Management (APM)
  • StickyNotes Enhancements
  • Subsidiary Navigator Enhancements
  • File Drag and Drop Enhancements
  • Fixed Assets Management Enhancements
  • Support for Per Nexus Cash Basis Tax Reporting in International Tax Reports
  • Accounting Context Support for Tax Audit Files

Dunning Enhancements

The Dunning Letters SuiteApp is fantastic for helping customers to reduce their Days Sales Outstanding, and improving Credit Control through automation.

The Dunning Letters SuiteApp has new features that provide enhanced control and customisation in working with dunning letters:

  • The Dunning Letters SuiteApp supports 20 additional languages for automatic matching of templates according to your customers’ preferred languages.
  • Choosing to attach a statement when creating a dunning template enables new fields. In the fields, you can define a statement date and statement start date.
  • Dunning template records can be tracked using System Notes, which logs changes to the fields of a dunning template.
  • A new FreeMarker tag for customer dunning enables the Days Overdue field in dunning templates.

Project Resource Management

To address some of the shortcomings of the Project Task Manager and the separate Resource Allocations Chart, NetSuite are bringing a new SuiteApp to the table in 2017.1 which will provide a way of combining both views to great effect.

The Project Resource Management (PRM) SuiteApp offers visual management of your project task assignments and resource allocations, in a single visual view. You can edit existing tasks and allocations, and create new task assignments and allocations directly from the grid.
The grid is organized first by project and then task and resource. It displays the estimated hours and percent complete for each project and task. For each resource, the Project Resource Manager displays the allocated hours and percentage as well as the assigned hours and the number of hours worked.

The Hours Allocated, Hours Assigned, and Hours Worked columns roll up to display the totals for each project listed.

StickyNotes Enhancements

StickyNotes is a very handy SuiteApp which allows you to place Post-it notes on records within NetSuite as a handy reminder or note to other users. The latest version of the StickyNotes SuiteApp includes the following enhancements:

  • Attach files to notes – You can now drag and drop any file to attach it to a new note or to a reply note. Supported images can be viewed as a thumbnail, and other files are displayed as an icon that corresponds to the file type. 
  • Reply to notes through email – Note recipients are now notified through email whenever someone replies to a note in which they are tagged. You can reply to the notification email to add a reply note to the record where the note was created.
  • Search public notes – You can now search for specific keywords on all public notes on the account, even if you are not a recipient. If you have access to the global search feature in the StickyNotes board, you can enter keywords in the field provided to search all notes.
  • Export notes to a CSV file – From the StickyNotes board, you can generate a CSV file of all the notes, including replies to notes, that match the criteria you specified. A link to the note attachments is accessible from the CSV file, so you can still view the files you have attached to certain notes.

Subsidiary Navigator Enhancements

The Subsidiary Navigator is one of those NetSuite features which has a definitive WOW factor, as well as being incredibly useful, particularly for finance teams in multi-entity companies. The latest release comes with a number of helpful improvements which improve its usability even further.

  • Availability as a Dashboard SuiteApp – You can deploy Subsidiary Navigator as a dashboard SuiteApp to complete the setup process in fewer steps. Dashboard SuiteApps are available only on the home page. On other dashboards, you can still set up Subsidiary Navigator as a custom portlet.
  • Subsidiary information tooltip – Point your mouse to any subsidiary in the Subsidiary Navigator portlet to display information about the company. The tooltip shows general information about the selected subsidiary.
  • Change Subsidiary shortcut – The Change Subsidiary shortcut at the top of your dashboard lets you change your subsidiary, regardless of where the portlet is located on the dashboard. The shortcut makes it convenient to change the subsidiary view if the Subsidiary Navigator portlet is on the bottom of the page.
  • Add subsidiary logo – You can upload an image to a subsidiary to use as a company. When the administrator enables the Show Logo setting, the company logo is shown on the subsidiary node and on the tooltip.

Fixed Asset Management Enhancements

The Fixed Asset Management SuiteApp is one of the most popular SuiteApps, and for good reason - it is a very handy module for managing the complete lifecycle of fixed assets in your business that you may need to depreciate and dispose of.

Asset Proposal Sublist Customisation - You can now add more fields to the asset proposal sublist, so that more information is available to you from the asset proposal page. The additional information will help you properly review the proposal before the assets are created.

Map Transaction Fields to Asset Record and Proposal Record - Custom fields in a transaction line can now be mapped to the proposal record and asset record. This field mapping capability eliminates the need to manually update the asset records.

Performance Enhancements have also been made to the processing of fixed assets, with advance processing available as an option for companies who may have large numbers of fixed assets that need to be depreciated every month, and do not wish to run a single batch process at month-end to create depreciation journals.


Items & Inventory Management

NetSuite have been slowly but surely building out NetSuite's core capabilities when it comes to Items and Inventory Management, with notable recent developments like the global vendor record and more advanced warehousing capabilities.

This release sees the introduction of a few developments - some of which will be useful to everyone, others which are very much targeted at Wholesale Distribution businesses.

Vendor Dashboard

The Vendor Dashboard falls under the category of "useful for everyone" - it is very similar to the Customer Dashboard, and provides you with a 360 view of everything relating to the selected vendor, including transaction history, communications, and visual portlets like KPI meters and Graphs.

Intercompany Transfer Order Enhancements

Previously, the Use Item Cost as Transfer Cost preference was not available on intercompany transfer orders. On intercompany transfer orders, the transfer price was always used for transferring inventory. Also, partial fulfillments of intercompany transfer orders were not allowed.

In 2017.1, you can set the Use Item Cost as Transfer Cost preference on intercompany transfer orders, and orders can now be partially fulfilled when the Use Item Cost as Transfer Cost preference is enabled.

In-Transit Items

Accounting and Group Average Costing

Previously, in-transit items were excluded from Group Average Costing calculations. Now, if you use the Group Average Cost feature, when you calculate, balance, and report on group average cost items, you can include the account values for group average cost items that are in transit for more accurate calculations and reporting.

Ownership

You can now define when the transfer of ownership occurs for items being transferred between locations. Ownership can transfer either at the time of shipping or the time of receipt.
For example, Location A is transferring 10 widgets to Location B. In some cases, you may want Location B to take ownership when the item is received. In other cases, you may want Location B to take ownership as soon as the item is shipped.

For transfer orders and intercompany transfer orders, the following default international
commercial terms (incoterms) can be used to define transfer of ownership:
■ Ex Work (EXW) – inventory ownership is transferred at the shipping point
■ Delivered at Place (DAP) – inventory ownership is transferred at the destination point

Other noteworthy enhancements

Improvements have also been made to simplify Commit Orders Scheduling, allowing the use of search criteria on the form instead of a saved search, and on Purchase Order Forms to allow the choice of the Expenses subtab as the default view rather than the Items subtab.


Projects

Since NetSuite bought the market leading Project & Resource Management tool OpenAir in 2008, NetSuite has pursued a strategy of continuing to sell, market and develop the OpenAir product, whilst at the same time gradually re-coding the OpenAir functionality into the NetSuite core platform to provide native Project & Resource Management capabilities in NetSuite, termed 'SRP' (Services Resource Planning).

This release of NetSuite sees a few incremental improvements in this area. Internal roadmaps suggest that we should expect this gradual process of improvement to continue until NetSuite SRP eventually reaches feature parity with OpenAir in a few years' time.

Charge-Based Billing Enhancements

A new type of project revenue recognition rule is now available to recognise revenue as actual charges are generated. With 'as charged' project revenue rules you can recognise the revenue from actual project charges as they are created rather than when they are billed.

In addition, NetSuite has changed the way charges are updated on projects. Automatic charge runs now take into account the set time zone for the company or subsidiary, which is important for companies running projects across international boundaries and different time-zones.

Advanced Project Profitability Reporting

NetSuite 2017.1 introduces a new Advanced Project Profitability reporting function based on items and accounts. Previously, the project profitability report was based on transactions associated with your project. Advanced Project Profitability gives you more flexibility in reporting on the profitability of your projects and also enables you to define both the account and item mapping for your report. You can create custom mappings to determine
where both committed and actual costs and revenue appear in your report.

Project Resource Management

To address some of the shortcomings of the Project Task Manager and the separate Resource Allocations Chart, NetSuite are bringing a new SuiteApp to the table in 2017.1 which will provide a way of combining both views to great effect.

The Project Resource Management (PRM) SuiteApp offers visual management of your project task assignments and resource allocations, in a single visual view. You can edit existing tasks and allocations, and create new task assignments and allocations directly from the grid.
The grid is organized first by project and then task and resource. It displays the estimated hours and percent complete for each project and task. For each resource, the Project Resource Manager displays the allocated hours and percentage as well as the assigned hours and the number of hours worked.

The Hours Allocated, Hours Assigned, and Hours Worked columns roll up to display the totals for each project listed.

Support for Time-Off Management

This is a much requested feature and will now enable companies to ensure that approved time off is accounted for when scheduling planned time. Previously, an employee’s work calendar, which may or may not include time off, was used for scheduling planned time. When new planned time is created for an employee, NetSuite now takes into account any
submitted time off and adjusts the project plan accordingly. If time off is submitted after the creation of planned time, the project must be recalculated for adjustments to occur.

Void Time Improvements

Enhancements have also been made to how voiding time for job costing works, with the ability to select the accounting period for reversing journals.


Taxation

Taxation is an area which NetSuite tends to excel, and they certainly see it as a competitive differentiator. In recent releases there have been multiple updates to support a huge range of worldwide taxation regimes. In this release, the improvements are more focused on improving underlying technology rather than increasing the breadth of international taxation support.

Purchase Tax for Imports on Vendor Bills

You can now track and report import VAT/GST separately on vendor bills with specific import/export tax codes for different tax nexuses.

Support for Per Nexus Cash Basis Tax Reporting in International Tax Reports

The International Tax Reports SuiteApp adds support for the Tax Reporting Cash Basis accounting preference in NetSuite. VAT return, drilldown, and supplementary tax reports for all countries can now be generated using cash basis tax reporting.

Accounting Context Support for Tax Audit Files

For more flexibility in the use of Tax Audit Files, NetSuite have added support for Accounting Context. The Accounting Context will replace the Statutory Chart of Accounts (SCOA) for Tax Audit Files, which will soon be deprecated. Accounting Contexts enables users to define the statutory chart of account names and numbers to include in the tax audit file.
Updates to SuiteApps


User Interface

There are a number of minor user interface tweaks in this release, mostly to make existing functionality easier to use and/or more effective.

Updated Payment Processing Profiles Page

The Payment Processing Profile page now contains a list of all available gateway integrations that you can install and use with NetSuite. The list is automatically updated, so you can always see which gateway integrations are available for your use.

Browser Support

Support for Safari 7 is discontinued in this release, and NetSuite provide advance notice that Safari 8 support is targeted to end in the next release later this year, NetSuite 2017.2.


eCommerce

Since the acquisitions of Venda and Bronto, NetSuite have been pouring a huge amount of resources into creating an increasingly powerful eCommerce platform, which has the huge competitive advantage of sitting on-top of NetSuite ERP and CRM. With the introduction of SCIS (SuiteCommerce InStore), and the announcement of customers such as Billabong and The Unlimited Company, NetSuite are also increasingly pushing into Bricks & Mortar retail environments, with a single solution proposition that is rarely seen in the mid-market retail software space.

Given the large number of improvements to eCommerce in this release, I have decided to provide a list, and can answer further questions on request via this contact us page.

SuiteCommerce Advanced 'Vinson' Enhancements

  • Alternative Payment Methods
  • Application Performance Management (APM) Changes
  • Category Integration
  • Checkout Usability Improvements
  • Configuration Changes
  • Device Fingerprinting for Transactions
  • Field Set Setup Script
  • Header Improvements
  • Newsletter
  • Quotes Enhancements
  • Save Credit Card Information
  • SCIS Integration
  • Services Architecture Changes
  • Site Access Restriction
  • Store Locator  

Site Management Tools & Commerce Platform

  • Disable Escape to Login
  • Content URL Enhancement
  • Enhanced seodebug Log
  • Flexibility in Specifying the Related Field Sets
  • Shopping Cart Performance Enhancement
  • Support for Store Pickup in the Commerce API
  • Support for Store Pickup in the Item Search API
  • Support for SuitePromotions in the Commerce API
  • Shopping Cart Information Exposed to Search
  • Enhancement to URL Components
  • Secure Web Store Shopping Domains
  • Single Secure Domain for Web Store Shopping and Checkout
  • Web Site Setup > Domain subtab optimized for ease of use
  • Automatic Redirects for Secure Domains
  • Web Store Performance Enhancement – User Event Script Execution Context

Technical, Development & Platform Enhancements

There are a wide variety of enhancements in this release which fall under this heading, which I have decided to summarise for the sake of brevity. More information is available on request.

SuiteBundler

Various enhancements in relation to the way that bundles are supported during release phasing, the audit trail, custom segments and versioning.

SuiteBuilder, SuiteAnalytics & SuiteFlow

From the following list, there are 2 enhancements in particular which are worth calling out in further detail (highlighted in bold).

  • Enhancements to Custom Segments
  • Advanced PDF/HTML Templates Available for Printing Saved Search Results
  • Enhanced Management of Large Custom Lists
  • Inclusion of Role in System Notes
  • Custom Segment Support for Additional Transaction Types
  • Support for Custom Segments on Bill Payments for Multiple Vendors
  • Custom Segments Included in Automatically Generated HTP Journals
  • CSV Import Supported for Consolidated Exchange Rate Updates
  • New Column Exposed in SuiteAnalytics Connect Service to Support Advanced Intercompany Journal Entries
  • NetSuite UI Menu Location Change for SuiteFlow
  • NetSuite UI Location Change for Enabling SuiteFlow
  • Logging for Workflows Locked by Bundle

Advanced PDF/HTML Templates Available for Printing Saved Search Results

Before this release, advanced print templates were only available for transactions. Now, they are available to any saved search. When the Advanced PDF/HTML Templates feature is enabled, saved search results for any record type can now be printed using advanced PDF/HTML templates. Administrators and users can define multiple print templates for a single saved search, in the same editor used to define transaction print templates.

This allows for much more flexibility in the presentation of search results, and could potentially be used for generating detailed customer or vendor facing reports which are professionally branded with your organisation's branding. 

Enhanced Management of Large Custom Lists

For customers who need to import large lists into NetSuite via CSV import, the 10,000 line limit has now been raised to 25,000 lines.

Improvements have also been made to the management of imported lists - helping users to avoid the need to scroll through huge lists, making lists much easier to manage and view/edit/add/delete values as required.

NetSuite Custom List Management.png

SuiteScript, SuiteTalk, SuiteCloud & Development Framework

With the recent introduction of SuiteScript 2.0, the SuiteCloud IDE and the SuiteCloud Development Framework, NetSuite is making a big effort to make the development and integration experience in NetSuite much more 'developer friendly'. It is also becoming more enterprise ready, with the introduction of more advanced features that increase the power and flexibility of the development environment.

Here is a list of the enhancements in this release:

  • Enhanced Security for Admin Scripting
  • New SuiteScript Scheduling Permission
  • Web Store Performance Enhancement – User Event Script Execution Context
  • Changes to SuiteScript Handling of Header Names
  • Workflow Action Script Type Extended
  • Enhancement for the Deposit Record
  • SuiteScript 2.0 – Enhancements to require Object Configuration (Existing Script Impact)
  • SuiteScript 2.0 – Flat File Streaming Support
  • SuiteScript 2.0 – New Method for Retrieving NetSuite Domain Data
  • SuiteScript 2.0 - Account ID Parameter Added to Relative URLs
  • SuiteScript 2.0 – New Methods for Working With Select Options
  • 2017.1 SuiteScript Record Exposures
  • 2017.1 SuiteScript Records Browser
  • Script Queue Monitor in Application Performance Management (APM)
  • Disabling of WSDL 2009.2 and Older Endpoints
  • Absolute Session Timeouts for Web Services
  • Release Preview Version of 2017.1 WSDL Now Available
  • Araxis Merge DIff File for the 2017.1 Endpoint
  • 2017.1 SuiteTalk Schema Browser
  • SuiteApp Development Support
  • Ability to Import Bundles into Account Customization Projects
  • Modification of Attributes for File Cabinet Files and Folders
  • Updates to SuiteCloud IDE Context MenusComparison of Custom Objects in Projects with Custom Objects in NetSuite Accounts
  • Updating of Multiple Custom Objects with a Single Action

If you would like to find out more about release 2017.1, or NetSuite in general, please feel welcome to contact us.


Review of NetSuite ERP & CRM 2017.1 - Part 2.

Description: David Kennett of ONCS reviews the latest NetSuite release 2017.1 Rating: 5 out of 5