Oracle’s NetSuite is an industry-standard Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. The cloud-based program contains a full-scale content resource management (CRM) functionality, which enables users to build extensive customer profiles by tracking contact information and transaction history. Standard features include financial management and planning; order, production, and supply chain management; warehouse and fulfillment; and procurement. Additional specialized and advanced modules can be purchased by NetSuite subscribers.
The capacity for customization is part of what makes NetSuite so heralded, but its complexity can also be a bit intimidating and confusing for new users. Consequently, organizations may not leverage NetSuite fully. Here are five hacks that you can use right away to unlock the power of NetSuite:
Hack #1: Maximize the chart of accounts
Organizing your assets, expenses, liabilities, and revenue all fall under the chart of accounts. This feature provides a snapshot for your company’s financial health, streamlining data and workflows across partner companies and subsidiaries. To make use of this, it is critical to understand how all of your accounts are related and keep your general ledger information properly mapped out. Any amount in your subsidiary accounts should be reflected in the parent accounts above them, so maintaining a regularly updated mapping file facilitates accurate data migration.
Once the relationships between your accounts have been identified, the next step is to create a file map and upload it into NetSuite. To do this:
- From your Home dashboard, click the Setup tab
- Go to Import/Export > Import CSV Records
- Under the Import Type dropdown menu, select Accounting
- Record Type > Chart of Accounts
- Upload your parent CSV file and click Next
- Select Add and click Next
- Click the pencil icon next to Subsidiaries, select Internal ID under the Reference Type, and click Next
- Name your map to be used for future reference; then click Save & Run
Once confirmed, you can see a record of uploads and file changes in your job status history. Organization is the name of the game for your chart of accounts, so mapping and delineating these account relationships will only help to improve your company’s efficiency.
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Hack #2: Customize your dashboards
Your NetSuite dashboard is a set of portlets that relay real-time data corresponding to your role and the page you are on. You can either allow each employee to set up his/her own dashboard or create a preset template that is structured according to role. Each dashboard corresponds to a specific section of NetSuite. The examples in this article utilize the Home dashboard.
To customize a dashboard:
- Click Personalize on your Home dashboard
- Select the type of portlet you would like to add to your dashboard
- Once you have added all desired portlets, close the Personalize Dashboard window
- To change the layout, click Layout and move the portlets to the desired locations
To publish a dashboard (you must have the permissions to do so):
- Follow the above steps to set up the dashboard according to your needs and preferences
- Click Publish Dashboard on the settings portlet
- Enter the name and description of your new dashboard
- From the Apply to Roles subtab, select the roles that will receive this dashboard
- You can apply these settings to both new and previous users by checking the “override existing users settings” box
- From the Apply To sub tab, select which sections to apply this tab to (i.e. Home)
- Set the mode to Unlocked, Locked, or Add/Move Content
- Unlocked – users are free to dictate any changes
- Locked – no changes can be made
- Add/Move Content – users can add or move portlets around, but cannot remove portlets
- Click Save
By creating and customizing the look and functionality of your dashboards, members of a team (or those with similar roles) can quickly integrate and assist each other as needed.
Hack #3: Go mobile
People are increasingly using mobile devices in addition to traditional computers, and NetSuite accommodates this trend. The program allows users to accurately track and log expenses from anywhere in real time through expense details. Taking advantage of this capability will spare you the headache of entering everything right before the close, which is both cumbersome and prone to errors.
The way expense details work is simple. After making a purchase, employees take a picture of the corresponding receipt and fill in a brief description of the expense. This forms the components that go into the expense report. NetSuite Mobile allows users to attach up to four images per detail and categorize the expenses by type.
To create an expense detail:
- From your Home dashboard, tap New Expense
- Tap the camera icon
- Take a picture of the receipt (alternatively, you can easily upload an image from your device later on)
- Write a brief description of the expense
- Tap Done to save the expense detail
Hack #4: Unleash the power of RSS feeds
When you subscribe to an RSS feed (for example, a news website or social media influencer), information from that source automatically publishes at timed intervals for you for view. This is similar to any social media content management system that allows users to track things like trends, mentions, announcements, or any other relevant engagement metrics. In this way, subscribers can remain updated on information that may drive business decisions.
NetSuite allows RSS feeds to be generated internally or externally, with tools to build a custom feed that can be shared across multiple teams or divisions within an organization. Conversely, users can easily subscribe to the many available feeds that come standard with the software. Some of the default feed options include Reuters, CNN, and Yahoo Business.
Adding external feeds requires that the source website has an available feed to begin with. An RSS feed comes in the form of a special URL that you will paste into the NetSuite feed customization. RSS feeds will sometimes be represented by their universal logo to mark their location.
To setup an RSS feed:
- From your Home dashboard, click Personalize
- Drag the RSS Feed option to the location where you would like it to appear
- Click Setup
- Enter the RSS feed URL into the text box
- Click Save
Hack #5: Get the most out of your employees
NetSuite empowers your employees by improving user experience through real-time access and transparent visibility. While your customers are your company’s lifeblood, it’s your employees that make it all happen.
One of the most defining features of NetSuite is lead incentivization. Sales team members can see exactly what the current sales incentives are at any time. Additionally, NetSuite automates sales order closes and calculates commissions.
NetSuite’s time tracking feature maintains time logs for employees’ individual interactions with both tasks and customers. This allows you to gain a detailed view of each client or lead to properly assess their needs and value to your organization.
There is a wealth of resources to help you leverage NetSuite for your business. Understanding the ways ERP software can be maximized is essential for staying ahead in managing your clients, employees, and maintaining growth.
Not sure what ERP software is best for your business? Read about the differences between Oracle NetSuite and Sage Intacct here.