In NetSuite, manufacturing is the process of building products and tracking that build process, and that’s what we’ll look at in this video.
Before we dive into NetSuite, let’s take a look at how the manufacturing processes in NetSuite work. To do this, let’s think of the idea of a bicycle. A bicycle is made up of pieces, which in NetSuite are called components. The bicycle has to be assembled into a final product. This product is then placed on the showroom floor and sold. In NetSuite this is done with assemblies.
We start with the components. Those are then built into assemblies. The assemblies are then turned into the finished goods to be sold. The process of moving through these stages is typically controlled through the use of a work order. Inside the work order there are various states, including Created, which is where the work order is brand new. Released, which is where the work order can be worked on. And Closed, which is when the work order has been completed. The Components and Assemblies have a sort of back and forth communication with the work order. So, all of this is pretty simple, to think about. Now let’s take a look at how this works in the system.
Most of what we will do in NetSuite, that is related to manufacturing will be located under Transactions, and Manufacturing. Let’s start by creating a new work order for a bike which we can do by clicking Enter Work Orders. Because of the way this item is setup, we could also have had the work order created automatically through a sales order. Similar to many other transactions the first thing we need to do is select a subsidiary. Now we can choose an Assembly up here, and I’ll choose bike, since that’s what we’re going to build. We can see the items for the bike appear below. We have the frame, handlebars, seat and two wheels. If there was a reason we wanted to, we could customize this, and maybe remove one of the wheels making it a unicycle, or add streamers or something else. But I’m not going to do that right now, because I like this bicycle just the way it is.
There are a few fields I want to call your attention to. This Revision field is used to determine what revision of the product we are currently building. This is good if you have a product that might change slightly over time. Typically, you will use the latest revision when building new product, but you don’t have to. You can also select a customer here if this is being built for a specific customer, and that is something that you are very likely to do if you are adding or removing items, and therefore making this a custom build. If this build was part of a project, you could also select that here.
We talked about the status of the work order earlier when we were looking at the diagram. Up here I could change the status of this work order, and if I did that I would also have the option to have the work order marked as firmed or not. Think of firmed as finalized, that is you will not be making any more changes to the work order, and you will be building it. This is for supply planning purposes. The last thing I am going to do is pick a location. When we are all ready to go with the work order, we can click Save. I’ll do that now.
Now that I have the work order ready, we need to issue components so that we can build the bicycle. We do that by clicking Issue Components. We could have also skipped some of these steps by choosing Enter Completion. Everything here looks fine so I’ll go ahead and save the issuance of the work order.
Let’s go back to the work order by going to our recent records, and we will now assume that the work order has been completed. That is, we went out to our shop, selected the components, and put together the bike. We can change the work order status to complete by clicking the Enter Completion action button.
Here we need to set the starting and ending operation, so I’ll set those. I will also set the completed quantity here to one, since that is how many bikes we built. And I’ll save this record. We now have a bike to sell, or at least try to sell.
As we were doing these operations, we were mostly doing them in a one-off manner. That’s fine when we need to build just a few items, but what if we need to build more? You may have noticed that under the Transactions, Manufacturing menu, there were also options to Mass Create Work Orders. This allows you to create many work orders at once. Similarly, there are also options for building work orders in mass, as well as many other actions.
At the bottom of the Manufacturing submenu, there are also the options to look at bill of materials, and where components are used with these menu selections. Let’s open the Bill of Materials Inquiry. If I choose a subsidiary of Honeycomb Mfg, and our Bike Assembly, I can see the components that we have used to build this item. Similar to this, the components where used menu item would allow us to select a specific component, and see where that component had been used.
There is more to manufacturing than we covered here, but this at least covers the basics. Manufacturing gives you the ability to effectively manage a shop floor, and now you know how.