Pretty much every business I can think of sells something, and I’m guessing that yours does too. In fact, it’s difficult to think of a business that does not sell some sort of product or service. The process of selling, and collecting payments in NetSuite is known as order to cash, and in this, and the next video we will cover that process. This video will cover the order piece, which includes taking the order and getting the merchandise to the customer.
In NetSuite the sales funnel or pipeline starts with creating an opportunity. An opportunity is a transaction that can be thought of as a chance to sell to a customer. A quote is then created from the opportunity, this is where you generally provide a written price to a customer. This price can also include a work proposal. Once the customer is happy and decides to purchase, a sales order is then created from the quote. This links all the transactions in the system together so you can see what sales orders were generated from what quotes, and what quotes were generated from what opportunities.
You don’t have to use all of these steps however. You can go right into creating a quote without an opportunity. You could also create a sales order that never had a quote or opportunity associated with it. You can even go directly from an opportunity to a sales order without a quote in between. The only thing you really can’t do is go backward. So, you could not create a quote directly from a sales order.
Let’s take a look at how this works in NetSuite. First I’ll create a new opportunity by going to Transactions, Sales, and clicking Create Opportunities. There are a few fields that I have to fill out, but most of them have defaults. I will go ahead and give this a title of “Telephones for ACM”. I’ll select a company here in the drop down, let’s choose this ACM Group. Now I can select Items that I would like to sell to them, down here in the Items subtab. I will choose this ACC02 item, and let’s select 10 of these. I’ll add it by clicking Add. We can see my projected total has been increased to reflect the total amount, if this eventually converts into a sale. I can fill in any more information here that I want, but for right now I am going to leave much of this blank. I’ll click save, and my opportunity has been saved.
Now, let’s say my customer has called and wants me to send them a quote. I can create a quote from this opportunity very easily by hovering over this paper with a plus sign and selecting Quote. You can see here though, I could just as easily create a Sales Order from this opportunity and skip the quote step all together, or I could create any number of other records. Choosing Quote creates a quote with all the information from the opportunity filled in. It is possible that there are more fields that you want to fill in on this form, such as if you now have information that you did not originally have. There also may be fields that you need to fill in, that is they are mandatory and marked with an orange asterisk. For me there are none, so I can save the quote with just the information that came over from the opportunity. Now I can print the quote if I want to, by clicking the printer icon. I could save this and send it to my customer. Back at the quote I could also email this directly by choosing email under the actions drop down.
The next step in the process, assuming the customer wants to purchase the products, is to create a sales order from the quote. That’s done by selecting this Sales Order button here at the top. Now I have my sales order, and everything is filled out. One of the things I did not do earlier was select a location, but I am going to add that now. I could still save it without this, but we are going to fulfill this order in a moment, and I wouldn’t be able to fulfill it without a location selected. All I need to do now is save it. So you can see, creating a sales order in NetSuite is pretty easy. You may of course want to enter more information than I have entered. For example, I did not select a shipping or billing address, but rather let this default from what was on the customer record. I actually didn’t even check to see that this was correct, but you could if you wanted to by reviewing the data on the shipping and billing subtabs.
Now, I want to cover a few points here that I did not cover while we were going through creating the transactions. First, depending on how your NetSuite system is setup there are sometimes differences in the way you create one transaction from another. For example, creating a quote from an opportunity might be done using a dropdown, which is the way my instance is setup, whereas it may be a button for you. This may vary, but the concepts are the same. The second point is that while I was going through each of these transactions I did not have to get any approval in place. Most organizations do have some form or approval, review or other gate check method in place where a supervisor will review opportunities, quotes, or sales orders, and there are a variety of reasons for this. If this happens it is likely that you do not have the option to immediately move from one transaction to another, until the approval process has taken place. Both of these points apply not only to the transactions we just looked at, but the ones we are about to look at as well.
Once a sales order has been created the merchandise is typically shipped to the customer. This is done in what NetSuite refers to as the Pick, Pack, and Ship process, and the process is just that. First, you will need to pick the items from the shelf, bin, or wherever else they are located. Next you will pack them. Finally, you will ship them to the customer. This is mostly applicable to physical goods, but there are instances where you might use parts of this process for nonphysical goods as well. Similar to the order process you can turn these steps off, or have some or all of them skipped. You could also automate the entire process, but that is beyond the scope of this course. Let’s take a look at how we would do this in the system.
There are a few ways you can start the order fulfillment process. You have the option to fulfill the order directly using the action buttons up here. But we can also go to Transactions, Sales and Fulfill Orders. Here we get a list of all the orders we have that need to be fulfilled. Here at the top we have our ACM Group order. I’ll click on fulfill to begin our fulfillment process. Now, depending on how you have your NetSuite instance setup, you may go through the entire pick, pack and ship process, or you may simply come to the ship process. In my case I am taken directly to the ship process.
The pick process simply allows you to print a pick ticket and mark items as having been picked. The pack process is the same thing but for packing the items. The screens look very similar to each other, and similar to the screen I am looking at right now.
From this item shipment screen, I can select the lines I want to fulfill. Since I only have one line I will leave it selected. I could go to these tabs, and verify any information that I need to. Once I am satisfied that everything is correct I can click save and the item fulfillment has been created. I am dropped back at the fulfill orders screen so I can continue fulfilling orders, however had I fulfilled this from the sales order I would have been left on the item shipment screen. Let’s go back there now. We can do that by going to our recent records and selecting this first Item Shipment. On the item shipment screen, I can do things like print the shipping label for this shipment.
You could also have a cash sale that skips over fulfilling the order all together. The order is still fulfilled, but the assumption with a cash sale is that the order is being purchased at a store front, this is how you are receiving the cash. The customer is then taking the merchandise with them. Of course, like everything else in NetSuite this process can also be customized, and we will not go over it here, but you should be aware it exists.
Now that you know the first half of selling a product, the order part of order to cash, we can move on to the second part of receiving payment from your customers.