Knocking at our door is the second major NetSuite update of the year. The main focus of NetSuite 2016.2 is to improve the warehouse management system. We can’t wait for the new updates, and we know that warehouse managers, inventory clerks, receivers, and pickers will be thrilled to know what’s coming. Below, we will highlight the main improvements of the advanced warehouse management system (WMS) NetSuite bundle.
The new features give more flexibility for the picking and receiving side of operations. By leveraging the latest technology, NetSuite improved their WMS system performance and data accuracy. The result: employees will be much more productive and can re-focus on tasks that add real value.
In the past, when receiving products in your warehouses NetSuite was slow, potentially causing delays in receiving. These delays can be upwards of 15 seconds per SKU, resulting in slow entry of your items received, and slow unloading of trucks. Netsuite addressed these issues enabling the deferral of putaway generations. Now, the system will generate putaways in the background, and your users can move on to the next task. Also, when receiving inventory on radio frequency (RF), NetSuite will no longer create putaway tasks in real-time, removing the delay you might be experiencing when receiving RF communication.
Human error can and always will happen. NetSuite knows that. The 2016.2 update includes system features to prevent wrong putaways. Currently, NetSuite does not ask your employees to confirm what items they’re putting away. This can lead to mistakes and items being placed in the wrong bins. NetSuite will now allow you to enforce a confirmation that requires your employees to scan the items before putting them away. Goodbye human errors!
Mixed pallets that contain multiple different items used to be hard to manage. The NetSuite update allows the assembly of multiple items on a pallet and to move the pallet on a single transaction, meaning you will be able to manage multiple items as a single pallet and putaway into a single bin. You will now be able to move mixed pallets easily between locations, as a single master license plate, and in a single transaction. This also has impacts on the way you track your items. You will be able to group and scan your items under a master LP.
The new NetSuite version will support alphanumeric License Plates, allowing them to change from numeric to text, in addition to supporting cross location LPs. Currently, LPs are limited to a single location meaning you need to assign a new LP when moving your inventory between locations. With the new update, your LPs will be carried across locations. Note: a license plate needs to be unique across locations! To help manage your items and license plates, NetSuite will allow the use of LPs in cycle counts. The count will update the items and quantities on a LP.
Currently, the picking confirmation happens in real-time via RF, causing significant delays, up to 5 seconds per item to pick. Similar to the deferred putaway improvement, the new version features a deferred pick confirmation. Again, NetSuite handles the process in the background allowing your employees to move on to next task.
What if an item has been picked but needs to be placed back into a bin? Currently, NetSuite might tell you the bin is full, or even prevent you from putting it back in because it contains other items. Goodbye to unnecessary frustrations, you can now apply pick reversal changes and put back your items in their original bin or another bin.
On a sales order, you might select items from multiple lots or serial numbers, but this might not be respected in the picking process. Without proper instruction, employees are likely to pick the same items, but from other lots, or with other serial numbers. NetSuite will now use the requested lots and serial numbers when generating the picking tickets to aid in inventory management and optimize the tracking of your lot/serialized items.
What would be great picking without great packing? NetSuite is simplifying your life with the 2016.2 update. Currently, all products must go through the packing process, but this is going to change for the items that don’t actually require it. Now, you will be able to select items that require no intervention, and mark them as ‘Ship As’, meaning they won’t require packing to ship.
Another great new feature is that your RF packing will also support carton numbers. As of now, the packing process was done by order number only, which is complex if you have multiple cartons within the same order. To give you more flexibility, NetSuite now lets you handle their packing individually.
NetSuite will give you more tools to improve the organization of your warehouse. As of now, NetSuite let’s you manage the picking, the packing, and the shipping of your items. In reality, there is the staging step that occurs after the packing and prior to the actual shipping. If you ship from a different area in your warehouse than your packing area, you will now be able to record the moving of the packed products.
Packing your products doesn’t mean that your orders will ship immediately. Suboptimal planning and uncontrollable factors, such as delays, can slow the shipping process as staged products pile up rapidly. With NetSuite 2016.2, you can move an order from a staging area back to a storage bin. NetSuite will still consider that order as ready to be shipped – its status will still be outbound, and it won’t be available for allocation.
Inventory movements in a warehouse can rapidly become chaotic. NetSuite is implementing a time-saving slotting feature in 2016.2. Now, you will be able to use a velocity code to segment your products based on how frequent they are being moved through your warehouses. In the past, the re-assignment of the items based on the velocity codes was manual. Using the pick volume of each item, NetSuite can now re-organize the items based on a set of fix rules:
Velocity A is the top 20% of inventory picks. B is the top 31-69%, and C is the lowest 30% of volume.
Are you ready for the update? Do you need more information about all the WMS new features (there are even more)? Do you need help planning and adapting to the new features? Call us, our team of expert consultants have you covered.