New Features of NetSuite 2013 Release 2

Responding to ever-shifting business requirements and customer needs, NetSuite has shipped NetSuite version 2013 release 2.  In this release, Netsuite has delivered significant new enhancements to its ERP, CRM, OneWorld, SuiteCoud Platform, and Ecommerce products.

New features deliver a real-time view into projects, a new recurring billing module that handles various revenue models, and improved cost-accounting features.  NetSuite has beefed up its Eclipse-based IDE, allow programmers to do line-by-line debugging, an essential tool for developers.  The new release provides a clever new way to broadcast emails, each of which is automatically customized for each client.  Finally, there is a new iPhone app to take your business on the road.

Here we look briefly at some of the new features:

iPhone App

NetSuite has a sleek new app available for the iPhone and iPad.  Gary Wiessinger, SVP Product Management, says with it, “You no longer have to be at the business, to run the business.”

Running on iOS7, the NetSuite app lets you update data and not just view it.  You can:

  • Accept payments.
  • Approve sales orders and expense reports.
  • Update your calendar and tasks.
  • View KPI metrics and Scorecards, Trend Graphics, Report Snapshots, and run saved searches.
  • Edit your custom fields and scripts.

scr-2013-2-new-netsuite-for-iphone-lProject Management

Included in the new release are improved project milestones and an enhanced Gantt chart.

Milestones are important to a project.  This is the point at which you can take a breath, having accomplished something major, and then view upcoming tasks from the vantage point of something that is behind you.  Improvements to project milestones include:

  • Help project billing dates.
  • Render project milestones within a project schedule.
  • More easily track tasks in the project timeline and take action as necessary.

The new Gantt chart has an improved graphical interface that lets more easily get a handle on project status and manage the project more efficiently by letting you:

  • View the critical path.
  • See task predecessor relationships.
  • More easily monitor how much time a certain task is taking.

Work Orders

Raw materials are not always there when you need them.  Now you can enter some assumptions about expected loss of raw materials due to scrap, poor quality, and defects into the production process to help ensure that components are manufactured on time.  That way production planners do not have to manually adjust raw material purchases.

Expense Management

Managing expenses is always burdensome task.  New features in NetSuite 2013 Release 2 make this somewhat less cumbersome.  Now you can attach scanned images of receipts to the expense line item.  This helps those who are approving expense reports match up expenses with actual receipts.

Recurring Billing

Whether you bill your clients on a subscription or revenue-based model, the new Recurring Billing feature lets you automate billing and renewals.  You indicate how the customer should be billed and an invoice is create at the frequency you stipulate.  The actual generated invoices are enhanced by including HTML capabilities that let you make eye-catching billing documents that enhance the image of your business, thus improving your brand.

Cost Accounting

Now you have the ability to track landed costs at the line item and track material overhead absorption at a per quantity basis for freight, duties, and inventory type.  The new Costed BOM inquiry feature lets you click on an item in the bill of materials and dive into the details of the individual items and the subassemblies to get a detailed cost picture, freeing you of the need of calculating this roll-up using a spreadsheet.

Month-end Accounting Close

The month-end accounting close is always a stressful time, because you usually have to wait until the last day to calculate deferred revenue.  NetSuite now lets you enter deferred revenue at the sales order line item.  Before you could only enter them at the sales order level.  This reduces the need to make manual journal entries to match up deferred revenue account balances with their requirements.

Intelligent Order Allocation

The goal of inventory management is to keep inventory low to reduce costs yet adequate enough to meet customer demands.  The new Intelligent Order Allocation feature borrows from the mathematics of operations research to calculate what orders to ship to which customers.  Because some customers are more valued than others, and the sales staff has made commitments, you can modify the script that does this calculation, to tweak this calculation to steer deliveries according to priority.

Personalize Marketing Content

Everyone hates bulk email; we call this spam.  Now you can broadcast emails to your customers and personalize the content based on templates that you create.  That way the email reads as if it was written individually for each customer.  The email could, for example, refer to the customer’s last purchase and offer them a coupon.

SuiteCloud Platform

The SuiteCloud platform is built on top of the open-source Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment).  Eclipse is favored by programmers around the world.  SuiteCloud is now improved to allow integrated debugging of SuiteCloud scripts.  This lets the programmer step line-by-line through their program, inspecting variables, and fixing difficult-to-locate bugs.  That capability greatly enhances a programmer’s efficiency.

Another new feature is the script performance monitor.  This tool lets you drill down on a running script to find out where it is running slow.  You can either delete that code or improve it to fix the performance bottleneck.