How To Create An Item in NetSuite?

It is an important question to ask and make sure that you are aware of your options and the impact that items will have. Setting up items incorrectly can be very costly to correct later. Taking the time now to carefully review will make a world of difference. Within NetSuite there are a variety of options for item creation so no matter your need or end goal you’ll be covered. We will review some of the most common, as well as provide the most important considerations if you do need to remake an item.

Inventory Items

Inventory items can range from raw goods used to create another item to empty containers to be filled at a later date. When creating an inventory item there will need to be a naming scheme. A name can be numerical, alphabetical, or alphanumeric. The item name / number field has a limit of 60 characters. It’s best to avoid using letters that can be confused with numbers like O or I. Also keep in mind that starting an item name with a zero (0) can cause frustration when exporting information to Excel. NetSuite will not let you duplicate an items name within an item type even if the item has been noted as inactive so be sure to make a unique name for each item. This is also true for the other item types.

Non-Inventory Items

Non-Inventory items are items that can be used for the companies own use like office supplies or something that is a resale item to customers. Non-Inventory items do not hold inventory in NetSuite. There are three options for non-inventory items. Non-inventory Item for Sale these are items that can only be entered on sales orders, cash sales or invoices. Non-inventory Item for Purchase can only be entered on purchase orders and vendor bills; an example of this would be office supplies. Non-inventory Item for Resale can be purchased and sold, which would include drop ship items.

Assembly Items

Assembly items are items that are made up of a single component or multiple components. For example, the assembly item is a jar filled with candy. The components of the assembly item will be inventory items of 1 jar, 1 lid and 5 grams of candy. With NetSuite you can track the inventory of your assembly items as well as track the inventory of the inventory items needed to make that assembly item. This is helpful for tracking what is needed to fulfill the demand for the assembly items.

Serial / Lot Numbered Items

Serial / lot numbered items help your company to easily track items through the entire manufacturing process. Lot numbers help to track groups of specific items whereas serial numbers help to track individual items. The importance of this is to be able to trace an item backwards from the customer’s order all the way to the specific supplier that the inventory came from originally. This is also a helpful feature for companies to catch issues with faulty inventory received from specific vendors. An identical lid could be purchased from two different vendors, but one of the groups of lid inventories purchased could have a weak spot and during the process of assembling the assembly item they continue to break. By being able to track the lot your team is able to pinpoint the vendor it was received from and resolve the issue. This in turn saves your company time and additional resources.  What about the candy inventory item? The benefits of using lot/serial numbers also provides the option of using an expiration date. Being able to track expiration dates of inventory items makes it very easy for your company to know which inventory to pick and use first, this is called First to Expire First Out (FEFO). Having easy visibility of this reduces waste and loss of profit for the company.

Service Items

Service items are services that your company buys or sells. Similar to non-inventory items there are additional breakdown options for this type of item. There are Service for Sale items this is an item that can be used to track a service that you provide for a charge, Service for Purchase is a service that your company purchases from another company, Service for Resale is a service that you purchase from another company but also sell to your customers. Unlike non-inventory items service items appear with in NetSuite time tracking interface.

Many times, items are made in NetSuite without fully understanding the ramifications of making them incorrectly. Some fields once saved when creating an item are unable to be edited. A few of these fields include unit of measure and accounting fields. If your company must remake items after they have already accumulated history, it will take a significant amount of time to resolve.

Top areas to be considered when remaking an item:

  • If it is an inventory item and is a component of an assembly or BOM items, those will need to be reviewed and updated.
  • If this item is part of a Kit those Kits will have to be updated.
  • Open transactions will need to be updated from sales orders, work orders, item fulfillments, purchase orders, etc...
  • If the items have inventory tied to them in NetSuite inventory adjustments will need to be processed accordingly before the old item is made inactive.
  • As mentioned above the names of the items being remade will need to be reviewed, NetSuite will not allow duplicate names even if items are inactive the same name cannot be used.
  • If your company is using an online ordering system, like Shopify, the linking for those items will need to be adjusted.

This is a bird’s eye view of item creation in NetSuite. Before your company proceeds with creating items or processing mass updates, we recommend reviewing with a NetSuite Consultant. FMT has a team with vast knowledge about item creation and updates. We would be happy to help you and your company with any inquires. Please reach out to FMT Consultants at or give us a call for more information we look forward to hearing from you.

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