How NetSuite is making supply chain management seamlessSyah Ismail
Product companies have always focused on excellence in supply chain management. However, with the acceleration of technology over the last several years, there’s an ever-increasing focus on optimising supply chains. Not to mention, many companies are executing new strategies to keep up or get ahead of competitive forces, requiring enhanced supply chain management.
Across businesses of all sizes and industries, improved supply chain management means improved production processes which result in faster, more efficient shipping and delivery of products and therefore happier customers.
In order to optimise the supply chain, companies need to look into the right supply chain management solution that fits their specific needs that will continue to change with the ever-evolving world of technology. Not to mention, a supply chain never stops and therefore, management solutions need to be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and provide real-time visibility in order to avoid issues or delays.
When you think about supply chain management, the keyword is “chain”. In a modern, global supply chain solution you can’t tackle just one area of the supply chain. Everything is linked and connected.
So when NetSuite decided to tackle the supply chain, they didn’t do it alone but did it with their customers. They invited a group of high tech and consumer electronics customers to their head office in San Mateo and mapped out their customers’ operations and had them identify where they felt the most pain with post-it notes. That simple, interactive process formed the basis of the SCOPE project: Supply Chain Operational Excellence.
That was in the fall of 2015 and since then NetSuite has repeated the process many times and with many more customers. In the 2018.1 release, NetSuite unveiled a variety of new or enhanced features that affect all parts of the business.
Supply chain control tower
One of the biggest initiatives within the product is NetSuite’s supply chain control tower functionality, allowing planners to view every element of the supply chain in one place. The solution also uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict supply chain issues and recommend solutions.
Customers initially said that the number one thing they needed was a single page from which they could monitor an entire global supply chain and be alerted of actual and potential issues and be able to resolve them with one click. The new Control Tower feature is the start of this key piece of functionality and will continue to evolve. Using AI and machine learning, customers will be able to predict which orders are going to be late, identify possible workarounds and flag affected orders.
Allocation and commitment engine
Of course, being able to do all that means that the system needs to know exactly which actual or future inventory it is going to allocate to which demand. In traditional ERP systems, that’s usually part of an MRP run but NetSuite has built an entirely new allocation and commitment engine that is rules-driven and continuous. The system will continually try to optimise how to best use inventory and even help allocate between channels to ensure you meet your desired service levels at all times.
Updated demand planning
NetSuite first introduced the demand planning solution around 2011 and has been receiving and listening to feedback on it ever since. NetSuite is now going to launch an entirely new planning engine. It’s going to be a multi-year effort to get this fully launched but you can expect to see the fruits of this labour relatively soon.
NetSuite ensures companies have the most differentiated tools on the marketplace, allowing them to optimise supply chains and compete in a world where time and quality are of the utmost importance.