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Unify distributed manufacturing operations with NetSuite

Apr 29, 2020

We know our manufacturing clients are adjusting operations during the coronavirus crisis. You’re spacing workers six feet apart, stretching schedules to avoid crowding and implementing new safety and mask protocols. And where possible, remote teams are handling office work.

The result may be that shop and factory floors operate in one location, while company leadership and front office staff work elsewhere. Cloud-based technology can be used by organizations of all sizes to stay connected, no matter where people are physically located.

By accessing the cloud-based software from any device, you get real-time views into supply chains and financial and operational risk, and you can share information across teams. Here are some ways you can use Oracle NetSuite’s Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to maintain operational visibility during this time of unprecedented change:

Adapt to shifting conditions in the supply chain and work order processing

Your main supplier may be switching up operations to make personal protective equipment, but that will delay your product for a time. With NetSuite, you can: easily access and update purchase order dates; review the dashboards from any device for an instantaneous view into the supply chain; and see when materials are arriving and reassure your stakeholders. And with the new SuiteAnalytics Supply Workbook in NetSuite’s 2020 Release 1, you can easily review supply chain imbalances and automate work order processing.

Customize users and dashboard views

With company leadership, managers and employees dispersed geographically, you can leverage NetSuite’s customization features to create custom dashboard views and publish information for specific users on your distributed team . For example,  chief financial officers can use NetSuite to generate financial data and project managers can execute work orders and develop tasks for teams to accomplish.

Use key performance indicators (KPIs)

 Adjust to economic conditions using KPIs in NetSuite by setting thresholds for accounts payable balances, credit card balances, expenses, income, inventory and other data. Set reminders for when it’s time to fulfill orders, approve timesheets or run certain reports.

Enhance automation

As you fully realize NetSuite’s tools to automate accounts payable and purchasing transactions, consider removing the last bit of paperwork from your processes. NetSuite’s 2020 Release 1 includes a new manufacturing mobile app to go paperless on the factory floor. This could aid your social distancing program by reducing employee contact.

Monitor cash flow

As you keep a close eye on the balance sheet, look to the new NetSuite release for innovations such as direct bank connectivity which reduces record reconciliation time by having the system continuously match bank data to transactions in NetSuite.

Model and plan

In uncertain economic times, information is power. Take advantage of NetSuite’s planning and budgeting modeling features, approval workflows, and reporting capabilities to make more informed decisions, faster. For example, you can: create dynamic “what if” scenarios using predictive planning;  track, simplify and automate expenses; and conduct strategic workforce planning as your staffing situation adjusts.

Manage loans

If you plan to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, consider setting up a KPI in NetSuite to manage how these dollars are allocated and are phased in and out of your budget.

How Wipfli can help

Work with Wipfli’s NetSuite-certified advisers to discover more ways to use cloud ERP to help build business resilience. And head over to our COVID-19 resource center for more information on cloud-based tools for financial planning, analysis and accounting.


Shelly E. Worrel
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