Now that we know how to login, let’s take a look at how to get around the system. After we first login we are left at this home screen. This serves as the starting point for everything we will be doing.
In the upper left, we have the NetSuite logo and your company’s logo. The NetSuite logo really isn’t that important, but the company logo is, since it’s one way to easily tell visually, that you are logged into the correct instance. To the right of the logo we have the global search. We can type in this dialog box and we see results beginning to populate immediately. This search searches most of the records in NetSuite, and we will come back to this in another video. To the right of this we have the new record dropdown menu which looks like a sheet of paper with a plus sign over it. If we hover over it, we have options to create new records; we will be coming back to this later as well. Further to the right we have help, and this link takes us to the help documentation. The help documentation is a categorized index of help and support files. We will be discussing this and its counterparts, Support and SuiteAnswers in a future video in this course. To the far right we have the name of the user we are logged in as; which generally will be your name. Hovering over the users name allows us to Sign Out or switch to a different role.
On the second row we have our navigation menus. These will be the most common way for you to move between tasks in NetSuite.
Starting from the left we have a clock icon that shows our recent records. By default these are the twelve most recent records, such as customers or transactions, that we have worked on. There is no need to click on the menus, they are activated by hovering over them. Once you find the option you want you select it by clicking. If I clicked on this, Smith Inc, customer record I would be taken to the customer form. I could also right click and choose to open it in a new tab like this. Right clicking is an excellent way to open multiple records in separate tabs and allows you to take advantage of the browser based nature of the system. I’ll go ahead and close this tab for now, and we are back at the home screen. To the right of our recent records we have a star icon, and the star icon provides links to your shortcuts or favorites. To the right of that is the home icon which will always take you back to this home screen.
Continuing to the right you have your menus which are your primary means of navigating NetSuite. Yours may look different from mine, and this is because they are based on the center or role you are using. Right now I am using the classic center, and I am going to be using this center for most of this course. Let’s look at how to change your menus so you can follow along. First, we need to switch to a different role. We can do this by hovering over my name and selecting a different role. Let’s choose this inside sales role. You can see the menu options are now different. If we hover over home and click on Set Preferences, then click the Appearance subtab and scroll down, we can check the box next to Use Classic Interface. Now we can click Save and the menus will be the ones that are shown in the classic center interface. We will talk more about centers and menus in a later video, but for now you should be able to follow along.
My menus in this role are a little more limited, so I am going to switch back to the Administrator role, again by hovering over my name, and clicking the Administrator role down here.
The Activities menu is where you can manage your day’s activities, including things like Tasks, Phone Calls, and your Calendar. Remember you only need to hover over the menus to activate them, but need to click to make a final selection. Under transactions you can find all sorts of transaction based activities such as entering Purchase Orders or entering Sales Orders. Lists provides access to many non-transaction based records in NetSuite, these are things like Customers, Vendors, Support Cases, and so on.
If we compare the Transactions and Lists we see a difference as we drill down to the record level. I’ll flip over to a power point slide for a moment so you can see what I’m talking about. Looking at these two menus side by side we can see that at the bottom level the transactions menu allows us to list transactions, sales orders in this case. The lists menu allows us to create a new record, in this case a customer. This is based fundamentally on how transactions work and how lists work. Basically all the stuff under Transactions can be thought of as actions, whereas all the stuff under Lists can be thought of as objects. This is a subtle distinction but it will become important as you learn more about NetSuite. This will become more clear as we get into the chapters covering transactions and lists. For now, let’s go ahead and switch back to NetSuite and we can keep exploring.
Reports is where you can access reports and saved searches that are either built into NetSuite or that you create. This menu is actually too large for my screen to display, so we see this triangle at the bottom. If I click on the triangle I can scroll down through the choices, but if I have a scroll wheel on my mouse it is even faster to use that to scroll through the menu. Documents is how I can access NetSuite’s file cabinet. The file cabinet is used to store documents in NetSuite, and it is likely that your administrators have setup a folder structure that they would like you to follow. Both, Setup and Customization, provide access to a lot of behind the scenes features and settings that are typically set by an administrator.
The last menu we will cover is Support. I have a few more options to the right but these are specific to my instance, and yours may not have these. Clicking on Support, and clicking on the Overview item under it, takes you to the same place; this Support Center. From here you can also get to SuiteAnswers.
Back on the home screen, below our menus, we see our home dashboard. The dashboard is made up of portlets, which are basically small windows that provide a view into certain pieces of data in NetSuite. For example here in the upper left I have my reminders portlet, and because of the time I am recording this I also have a New Release portlet visible. These portlets can be rearranged and we can change the layout of them. This is something we talk more about in our video covering the home dashboard. On the right hand side of the screen, below the menus and above the portlets we also have some portlet setting dropdowns, but just like portlets we will be covering these more in a later video.
If we scroll to the very bottom, we can also see the edition and release or version that we are working on, should you need this information.
One last point that I should mention. As you are moving around in NetSuite there may be times when you are tempted to use your browsers back button. Sometimes this works just fine, but there are other times when it can cause problems. The problems mostly happen if you were just at a screen where you saved or submitted data. Because of this, it is my recommendation to get in the habit of not using your browsers back and forward arrows when navigating between locations and records. Like I mentioned earlier though, opening records, transactions or other links in new tabs is a great way to take advantage of NetSuite being browser based. I have also never seen an issue come from using multiple tabs.
So, this was a very high level overview of navigation, in the next videos in this chapter we will dive into more of what we touched on here.