NetSuite’s automation capabilities: Your next best new hire
I’ve mentioned in several of my recent blog articles that in addition to being recognized as the leading cloud ERP platform, NetSuite is also a powerful development platform as well. The power lies in how the software was architected which enables end-users to build their own ad-hoc reports via saved searches. It also gives users the ability to automate functions by building workflows. These workflows can be executed based on a predetermined schedule or when a specific event that occurs within the system. For example, a user might build an event-based workflow that is triggered when a record is added or updated.
Empowered with the ability to author saved searches, users no longer need to wait for IT resources that are scarce, limited and/or stretched too thin. When users are also able to author workflows to automate tasks (especially repetitive ones), that is where some great value can really be unlocked. The automation capabilities available within NetSuite means that the business can scale more easily without taking on increased costs to manage the workload. Instead of onboarding and training a new employee, users can simply teach their existing star employee: NetSuite. Without fail, NetSuite will execute; on-time, anytime around the clock without drama and without calling in sick. Here are just a few examples of how you can lean on NetSuite for automation of some common functions.
Accounts Receivable Automation
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article that outlined four simple ways that users could leverage workflows to automate accounts receivable efforts. In case you don’t want to read and are instead looking for the cliff notes, the ideas I discussed in that article included:
- Automate the billing of sales orders — automatically identify the orders ready to bill and automatically generate invoices.
- Automate the emailing of invoices and receipts — once invoices are generated, then next logical step is to automate the emailing of invoices
- Automate the sending of invoice-specific payment reminders for invoices past due.
- Automatically send customer statements for any customer with a past-due balance.
Each of the ideas listed above can be easily implemented along with your unique business rules via native NetSuite workflows. In addition to those ideas to help manage cash flow, there are also additional SuiteApps (plug-in applications) available in the marketplace that can enhance the collection process with a formalized dunning process.
Sales and CRM Automation
When it comes to keeping the sales engine humming, adding some simple automated workflows can help ensure that your sales team is properly tracking and closing deals. While it is essential to capture those net-new deals, it’s also important to maintain and nurture your existing customer relationships as well. After all, it’s much easier to sell to an existing client than it is to win a brand new one. Some examples of some automated workflows for Sales and CRM automation include:
- Automatically creating internal tasks/reminders for your sales reps to follow-up on open opportunities and/or estimates at prescribed intervals.
- Automatically generating follow-up emails to your prospects/customers regarding estimates/quotes previously presented. These types of notifications can also be triggered for when an estimate or quote is about to expire.
- For situations where reorders and/or subscription renewals are required at specified intervals, automated workflows can generate advanced notifications to the customer as well as the requisite sales transaction to be billed.
- Automatically creating internal tasks/reminder for sales reps or account managers to check-in & touch-base with existing clients. Setting these types of reminders to be raised periodically can help to ensure regular touch points with your valuable clients.
The (Net)Suite Summary
Considering just these simple use-cases I’ve outlined for accounts receivable, sales and CRM automation, it’s no wonder why so many companies that run on the NetSuite platform scale their businesses more easily.
Recalling my own experience with leading an in-house ERP team I’ve envisioned what it would have been like if my company was running on NetSuite. Not only would my end-users have been better empowered to handle automations and ad-hoc requests for our sales reps and customers, but the platform itself also would have saved the equivalent of at least one full-time developer. The time saved would have enabled my development team to focus on larger scale, more strategic development efforts instead of handling a steady stream of ad-hoc user requests.
So if you’re looking to leverage native NetSuite workflows and automations, be sure to head on over to SuiteAnswers and/or leverage your LCS pass to learn more.
If you have a challenging NetSuite problem that’s beyond native and believe that we can help with one of our SuiteApps, bundles or a custom-tailoring of our solutions, let’s have a conversation.