What To Expect From The Latest Oracle - NetSuite Update: 2020 Release 2

Simon Soh
15-Sep-2020 14:24:34

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2020, and has been updated to reflect the changes that came with the latest updates from NetSuite.

Oracle NetSuite’s 2020 Release 2 Update was recently announced, and the second major update of the year is currently going live for customers on a rolling basis from August to October 2020.

This time around, NetSuite 2020 Release 2 delivers a set of enhancements that will enable greater automation for more than 20,000 customers around the world, and help them save on their time and resources.

 

To Get The Most Out Of Oracle NetSuite As An End User, Here Are Some Tips And Tricks For You.

 

These include Improvements to several of NetSuite’s functionalities, which include (but are not limited to) finance and operations, human resources and employee engagement and supply chain management. It also comes with new tools for developers as well.

Just like the update from the beginning of the year, the 2020 Release 2 update offers new features and functionalities tailored to the unique business needs of individual industries, along with those that are applicable to every customer regardless of the industry they’re operating in.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the highlights of the update.

 

Financial and Operational Management 

NetSuite 2020 Release 2 greatly streamlines invoicing and bank reconciliation, and brings significant improvements to the processing of intercompany transactions.

NetSuite Group Invoices

Overview of Group Invoices. Source: NetSuite

  • If NetSuite users had multiple invoices for a single client, they had to manually consolidate them into a single invoice, which is a tedious and time-consuming process. However, with the new invoice grouping feature, you can now automatically consolidate multiple invoices into an “invoice group” which can then be sent to your customers, facilitating ease of payment and improving the cash flow of your business.
  • You’ll now be able to automatically create and post transactions directly from imported data from your financial institution. This streamlines the automated bank reconciliation which was introduced in the last update, greatly reducing the time needed to match data from your bank with your financial data in NetSuite.
  • With intercompany cross charge automation, your accounting function can now automatically post cross charge transactions between your subsidiaries, reducing manual processing and streamlining your accounting period close process.
  • Your accountants and financial controllers can now offset mutual intercompany open balances and auto-generate intercompany netting settlements. This helps you easily net intercompany accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) by reducing open intercompany transactions, and minimising the manual effort needed to manage open balances.

 

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Expense Management 

With Release 2, NetSuite offers several new features to help you manage your employees’ business expenses.

NetSuite Expense Reports

Overview of Expense Reports. Source: NetSuite

  • If your business uses American Express corporate credit cards, you can now use expense report credit card integration to populate the expense lines in NetSuite’s expense module directly from your corporate credit card accounts. This streamlines the data entry and reduce errors, and can help increase user adoption.
  • The controls and notifications on your employees’ expense reports are now automated to ensure compliance with your company’s policies and contracts, reducing unapproved overages and limits excessive expenses.

 

Supply Chain Management

Manufacturing businesses using NetSuite will get a variety of new tools to help them manage their supply chain with 2020 Release 2, from material requirements planning to risk management.

NetSuite Planning Workbench

Overview of Planning Workbench. Source: NetSuite

  • Users who are using NetSuite Demand Planning will find that the cloud ERP software’s new material requirements planning (MRP) capabilities have been completely re-architected, and now features a dedicated planning repository. This helps your planners make decisions based on timely and consistent information.
  • A new planning workbench processes data by product line, plan, location, user-defined categories and groups, and highlights situations that require attention. This helps you avoid both shortages and surplus of supplies, and offers what-if analysis capabilities for simulating multiple plans.
  • Intelligent Predicted Risks have now been extended to include sales orders, providing you with greater insight into the potential risks on goods which are not shipping on time. It can also identify purchase orders at being at risk, and give you recommendations on alternative vendors based on its new machine learning (ML) algorithms.
  • Inbound shipments will now be included into the allocation of supplies in context with related purchase orders, providing additional precision to supply allocation. In addition, full rate optimization allocates existing supply to satisfy as many sales order lines as possible, based on available supply.

 

SuiteCloud Enhancements 

As is customary for all NetSuite updates, 2020 Release 2 comes with new features for developers. These include:

IDE-agnostic Node.js Command Line Interface (CLI)

Overview of IDE-Agnostic. Source: NetSuite

  • A new records catalogue which makes it easy to discover and view all standard and custom records, as well as fields in your NetSuite account data model
  • The IDE-agnostic Node.js Command Line Interface (CLI), NetSuite’s first-of-a-kind open source distribution is now available on both GitHub and com. Your developers can use it to efficiently manage and automate SDF projects across your development lifecycle.
  • SuiteCloud support for the open Jest-based JavaScript Unit Test Framework, for testing and debugging customer SuiteScript modules.
  • Asynchronous execution support for SuiteScript Query and SuiteQL APIs, making it possible to work with larger data sets and reduce the number of timeouts.
  • New Application Performance Monitor (APM) performance health dashboards, which lets you view account status in real-time, and provides at-a-glance overview of key health indicators and flags potential system resource bottlenecks so you can proactively prevent stability and performance issues.

These are just some of the highlights of the many new enhancements in SuiteCloud. To get the full list of platform enhancements, you’ll want to read this blog.

 

Questions About Oracle - NetSuite's 2020 Release 2 Update?

Some of the enhancements that NetSuite 2020 Release 2 brings to the table are, as was also the case for the previous update, intended to help businesses in specific industries with their unique needs.

Here are some blog posts that offer a breakdown of the new features and functionalities which are relevant to these industries:

The numerous enhancements applied to the features and functionalities of Oracle NetSuite will certainly stand your business in good stead, as you navigate the upcoming challenges of this year and the next.

 

Highlights of 2020 Release 1

Oracle has started the New Year with a bang, as they just announced the release of the first major update for NetSuite with the 2020 Release 1 Update.

As with the previous update, NetSuite 2020 Release 1 delivers a set of Automation, Integration and Insight enhancements to over 19,000 customers in more than 200 countries that use the true cloud ERP software.


Here’s A Refresher On The Features And Functionalities Previously Introduced In Oracle – NetSuite’s 2nd 2019 Second Update.

 

Just as before, the 2020 Release 1 update offers new features and functionalities that addresses the specific needs of various industries, as well as those that are applicable to NetSuite’s entire customer base across all sectors.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get into some of the highlights.

 

Financial Management

From integration with financial institutions to expense and cost tracking, Release 1 brings a host of new features to give you visibility and control into your business’s finances;

  • For businesses outside of North America, the new Bank Connectivity API lets your developers build plug-ins that connects any bank in the world of your choice to NetSuite
  • NetSuite will now also automate bank data reconciliation for you, using an intelligent rules engine using enhanced matching rules. This will ensure that your accounts and records are accurate and up-to-date.

NS - Financial Management

Overview of Match Bank Data. Source: NetSuite

  • The introduction of the Fixed Asset Management feature lets you monitor the health of your fixed assets through a dashboard. You’ll be able to see what processes require action and what corrections need to be made, as well as logging who took what action to make said corrections.
  • You can now link vendor prepayments to an existing purchase order through either a click in the purchase order form, or specifying a purchase order in the vendor prepayment form. On top of that, the new auto-apply feature lets you add automatic vendor prepayment applications to bills linked to the same purchase order.
  • Administrative control improvements to expense reporting lets your accounts recategorise the GL account that an expense report line posts to, without changing or creating new expense categories. It also addresses security and privacy concerns according to GDPR standards, allowing you to access receipts and documentation while remaining in compliance.

NS - Financial Management - Expense Reporting

Overview of Expense Report. Source: NetSuite

 

  • SuiteApprovals have been further enhanced with cost control improvements, featuring approval routing that allows you to build a customised approval chain where documents are routed through your employees for review.

 

Supply Chain Management

For businesses involved in the manufacturing industries, Release 1 brings increased automation and other functionalities to optimise your supply chain.

  • Order allocation exceptions management have been introduced, and you will now be alerted to possible late deliveries due to the allocation of your order. You can also review alternate allocations, and see whether the delay impacts any related orders. NetSuite will also recommend re-allocation from other orders, and automatically executes the re-allocation if you accept the recommendation.
  • Fill/kill order management has been introduced to automatically close any backordered items, and lets you identify exceptions to help manage standing orders for specific items that are placed on a regular basis.
  • Intelligent Predicted Risks now comes with extended capabilities to determine if your deliveries are at risk by comparing transfer orders with historical data, and provides recommended actions to avoid late deliveries.

NS - Intelligent Predicted RIsks

Overview of Supply Chain Predicted Risks. Source: NetSuite

 

  • What-if simulations helps you see how projected risks may impact your future transactions, giving you time to adjust your supply chain to account for delays from a location or vendor.
  • Fulfillment request records are now auto-created when the expected ship date has been reached, and future expected ship dates will subsequently be updated and optimised.
  • The Supply Chain SuiteAnalytics Workbook has been introduced to help you analyse supply-demand imbalances in your supply chain.
  • You can now automatically create work orders when placing a purchase order on your contract manufacturer activities, which improves communication with your third-party manufacturers, and helps you track the manufacturing process and inventory consumption.

NS - Purchase Order

Overview of Purchase Order. Source: NetSuite

 

  • You can now automatically calculate start and end production dates on work orders. You can also categorise data on production efficiency by product, class, manufacturing location and subsidiary, and use this to develop accurate action plans for improvements in operations.
  • The Quality Management application can now handle much larger volumes of data, making it easier for your inspectors to capture information in real-time with the tablet application, which has also been updated with a new grid entry interface.
  • Manufacturing date tracking has been introduced, allowing you to measure and analyse the efficiency of your production processes with actual production date tracking in your work orders.
  • With this update, NetSuite introduces a new mobile application for manufacturing, allowing your employees on the shop floor to record completions and inventory consumption, and add new fields with codeless customisation through their mobile devices.

NS - Mobile Application
Overview of Mobile Application for Manufacturing. Source: NetSuite

  • NetSuite WMS leverages on the new mobile application with improved printing and barcode scanning capabilities, providing greater efficiency on the warehouse floor.
  • The new route management feature relieves you of the need to manually assign delivery routes by automatically assigning the route, stop and delivery time of any given sales order based on the customer’s address.
  • The Order Guide module automatically tracks historical orders and uses the order guide flag to add items, helping you manage repeated orders that span several hundred lines.

 

Project Management

Release 1 offers an improved set of tools that simplifies the management of project budgets and workflow. These include;

  • New time modification enhancements give you better control of your billable hours by allowing you to modify time entries easily, and makes it possible to correct entries made against a wrong project with an audit trail. NetSuite Analytics also now supports time-modification requests and entries, which improves your visibility into changes made.
  • Smarter analytics helps you see how adding and editing project budgets affects your costs, and automated cost calculations increase accuracy by identifying miscoded time or expenses. NetSuite will also suggest updates for time estimates should unforeseen costs emerge.

NS - Smarter Analytics

Source: NetSuite

 

  • Automated calculation of key financial data improves the accuracy of your project, budget, and work breakdown structure records. Profitability reports, tracked and actual time are categorised into committed or actual costs, and better insight into project billing is achieved through tracking forecasted and actual charges.

 

SuiteCloud Platform Enhancements

Like all NetSuite releases, this one comes with new features for Developers. For Release 1, these include;

  • The introduction of the new REST API, which
    • Ensures secure integration of external applications with NetSuite
    • Includes full support for custom records
    • Expanded CRUD operations support
    • Record collection filtering
    • Supports executable record actions
    • Offers a new API browser that gives your developers a visual overview of API structure and functions
  • The updated SuiteScript 2.1 programming language, which supports the latest ECMAScript 2018 Javascript syntax to help your developers write powerful apps with less code.
  • The SuiteQL API which enables the creation of fast and scalable applications, increase performance speed, and improve efficiency
  • An updated SuiteCloud Development Framework (SDF) which improves the productivity of your developers, and broadens support for application features.
  • Enhanced auditing and change management features which make core auditing functions in the new System Notes v2 implementation more robust.
  • Expanded support for expense automation in SuiteFlow.
  • The new SuiteApp Marketplace, which presents a native consumer-like experience within NetSuite where you can purchase and download SuiteApps.

NS - SuiteApp

Overview of SuiteApps. Source: NetSuite 

 

Questions About Oracle – NetSuite’s 2020 Release 1 Update?

The enhancements that are part of NetSuite 2020 Release 1 answers the needs of businesses in specific industries. Here are some blog posts that offer a breakdown of the new features and functionalities pertinent to each industry;

With so many improvements across so many functionalities, you’re certain to find value no matter which industry your business is in.

If you’re interested in what NetSuite – Singapore’s #1 Cloud business software – can do for you and your business, leave us a message here or call us at +65 6323 0901.

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