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Job Shop Insights


The Pros and Cons of NetSuite for Job Shops

Feb 03, 2017
By: Mark Stevens

Pros and Cons of NetSuite 
The daily production changes and customization required by Job Shop projects demand software that is flexible across the board. While manufacturing software exists, it’s mainly aimed at discrete products and the predictability of their production. For Job Shops, this solution doesn’t deliver the best functionality.
NetSuite, on the other hand, is a robust ERP tool that integrates customizable platforms that have internal operational perks, but also extend processes to customers, suppliers and partners for greater visibility and better decision making. Couple that with ease of setup and use, intuitive user interfaces and real-time reporting, and Job Shops should theoretically be flocking to NetSuite. While many are, there are several perceived downsides to NetSuite that give some Job Shops pause, including:
1. Price
NetSuite is a considerable investment, but its value extends well beyond the software itself. There is no IT support, servers or other expenses related to maintaining computer technology in-house, offsetting the line cost and generally producing ROI over time. These are great benefits for larger Job Shops; however, their smaller counterparts won’t necessarily see it the same way. For them, NetSuite may be cost prohibitive altogether since there is a minimum number of users required for optimal value, or it may simply be too robust for their current and future needs.
2. Inventory Management
NetSuite is ideal for Job Shops that need to manage time and expenses, but it does not automatically track project-based inventory “out of the box.” This could be viewed as a potential detractor, but NetSuite answers with some customization options Job Shops can implement in keeping with their unique needs.
3. Scheduling
NetSuite is robust, and delivers a full-featured dashboard to monitor key performance indicators, offers easy and secure access from anywhere, and provides comprehensive reporting and customization. For all of these core capabilities, there is a bump in the road when it comes to scheduling. This isn’t a flaw inherent in the software, rather a result of the high-level overview approach to scheduling in the program colliding with the need for granular, on-the-fly changes in Job Shops. The many interrelated variables associated with trying to implement these types of changes into a scheduling system would ultimately render schedules immediately obsolete—and greatly frustrate employees.
NetSuite is a powerful ERP, as has been proven time and again in many organizations. Given the fluctuating needs of Job Shops, the fit, functionality and value of NetSuite must be evaluated on an individual basis. Ask yourself the difficult questions. Objectively evaluate needs and capabilities. It all lends to making a confident decision about when and how an ERP should be incorporated into your Job Shop.
Want to know more about how NetSuite can pave the way for the profitable growth of your job shop? Reach out to one of our manufacturing specialists today or learn more on our NetSuite web page.


Mark Stevens
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