What's New in NetSuite 2017.2

Each new release of NetSuite brings a host of fresh features and improvements to existing functionality - 2017.2 is no exception. In a sign of Oracle’s focus on customer satisfaction, many of the new features originated as enhancements requested by the user community. This article will review a few of the most anticipated enhancements that are introduced in NetSuite 2017.2:

1. Advanced BOM functionality

Historically, a NetSuite Assembly item has a one-to-one relationship with a Bill of Materials. The Bill of Materials can be modified, but the modification would then be used in all future builds or work orders. Similarly, existing BOM versioning capabilities (Revision Number or Effective Date) ensure that all assemblies are produced using the same BOM at a given point in time.

The Advanced BOM, introduced in 2017.2, severs the link between Assembly Item and BOM, allowing multiple concurrent BOMs for a single assembly item and for a single BOM to be used with multiple assembly items. The Components subtab on the item record is replaced by the new Bill of Materials subtab, as shown below:

Following are some of the highlights of the Advanced BOM:

  • Ability to define multiple, concurrent BOMs for single assembly item
  • Ability to specify and default a BOM by location (previously, the same BOM had to be used for all locations)
  • Ability to specify a BOM and Revision on a particular Work Order or Assembly Build

  • Ability to view full history of BOM revisions and effective start/end dates
  • Ability to create “future revisions” to address component changes ahead of time
  • Ability to link a specific Manufacturing Routing to a specific BOM

Note that items will not be automatically migrated to the new format; the Advanced BOM must be enabled by selecting the checkbox for Advanced Bill of Materials in Setup > Company > Enable Features. For a more detailed explanation of the Advanced BOM and access to training videos and other resources in preparation for your upgrade, search SuiteAnswers for ‘Advanced BOM’.

2. Improved Location Details screen

For companies using multi-location inventory, the Location Details screen on item records can quickly become an unnavigable jumble of settings and values. Accounts with many locations suffered the most, as you were unable to view all fields in a single screen, column headers did not freeze and many attributes were unused yet could not be removed from view. The screenshot below exemplifies the importance of improving usability for this screen:

In 2017.2, the screen received a complete makeover and is reintroduced as Advanced Item Location Configuration, available in Setup > Company > Enable Features. Not only is information displayed in a much more organized and personalized fashion, the screen offers new functionality for duplicating attributes between locations and/or items that allows users to quickly and easily update values on new or existing item records.

With the new dropdown list of views, users can filter data based on logical groupings of attributes like ‘Inventory Count’, ‘Costing’, or ‘Planning.’ With the Advanced Item Location Configuration, users can look forward to drastic improvements in item attribute accessibility, maintenance, and performance.

3. Journal Entry Printing

In the current version of NetSuite, if you wish to print a journal entry (whether to paper or screen), you must export the GL Impact view of the entry to Excel or CSV, or you must create a saved search and print or export the results from there. Neither option allows the user to obtain the data in a quick, easy-to-read manner.  While it did offer a Suite bundle  (8792 Printing Option for Journals) that provided Journal Entry print capabilities, it required separate installation and did not align with current transaction print capabilities.

In 2017.2, a new Print icon appears when opening a Journal Entry in view mode, as shown below. Click the print button to generate a printed version of the Journal Entry using a new Advanced PDF Template available in 2017.2. As with other Advanced PDF Templates, this form can be customized using FreeMarker to add fields, rearrange data and individualize the presentation/formatting.

4. Fixed Asset Management Enhancements

Prior to this release, custom segments were not supported in Fixed Asset management, meaning that an organization could not analyze assets or depreciation expense using dimensions other than Subsidiary, Class, Department or Location. In the new release, custom segments can be linked to Acquisition, Depreciation, Transfer, Revaluation and Disposal records and journal entries.

Another improvement introduced in 2017.2 is pre-calculated depreciation for primary and alternate methods.

When new assets are generated through an asset proposal, the asset record will now contain forecasted depreciation values for primary and alternate methods over the entire asset life. Previously, a user would have had to run reports to obtain this information. Any changes in the asset’s value will result in an update to the forecasted values. If assets are imported or created manually, a scheduled script will identify assets without a depreciation schedule and create one based on the depreciation start and end date.

Be sure to check the release notes to read about other FAM enhancements that will be released this fall.

This article represents just a few of many enhancements available in 2017.2. For a smooth transition, be sure to conduct testing in your release preview environment, review Help documentation / Release Notes in SuiteAnswers. If you need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us by submitting a contact form below.

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