Automating Product Quoting with NetSuite

NetSuite allows sales representatives to be able to easily handle quoting or product configuration.  When quoting with NetSuite, sometimes it’s necessary to validate the items that can be selected based on more sophisticated logic.  In cases like this, we will typically build a custom item configurator for NetSuite. 

Item Configurator is a custom suitelet that was built to satisfy unique item allocation rules while keeping the Order to Cash process simple for the end-user when quoting with NetSuite. 

In some scenarios, regulatory bodies define the specifications of an item that can be imported into the country. For example, Australia may allow importing of devices manufactured in the United States, but not European or Asian countries. In this case, the NetSuite user, the seller of such items or devices, may want to segregate and sell items based on manufacturer or other attributes that adhere to the regulatory specifications. NetSuite’s Inventory Management and Order process do not allow picking items based on the destination country and its approved manufacturers. 

For these instances, users can create sub-items based on differentiating attributes. Item Configurator is a suitelet available on the Sales Order at the touch of a button. The user picks the parent item number from the item list on this suitelet and the item configurator searches the related list of subitems and presents a list of ship-to-country-approved or client-approved subitems to the end-user. The end-user, now, can pick an item from this list to be placed on the sales order. 

One such use of Item Configurator is for healthcare device distributors.

Regulatory bodies set out conditions for exporting or transiting devices across international borders. Each country has its own regulations that manage the import of a device into its country and often, it depends on the country of manufacturing, expiry dates, unique device identification (UDI) – regulatory classes or numbers that are assigned to the devices – and other approval rules, including Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). GTIN, when linked with the item’s batch number and expiration date, can facilitate traceability from production to deployment at a hospital site. Ultimately, the client must receive only those GTIN items that are approved for their country.

This poses to be a challenge for NetSuite users, as it is not efficient or productive to create an item record for each GTIN (Global Trade Item Number). One item SKU can be manufactured in different facilities, but assigned the same or different GTINs and this one item can be shipped to multiple countries depending on the GTIN it is assigned. 

In this case, a GTIN subitem list is set up in NetSuite. A user picks a parent item from the Item Configurator on the Sales Order. This, in turn, presents the user with a list of approved GTIN subitems for the destination country, and the user can pick their desired item to be sold.

Additionally, Item Configurator can be used on Transfer Orders and Inventory Transfers for international locations to ensure that the correct items are selected based on the business rules. 

There are many other use cases where you may need a custom item configurator for NetSuite. Perhaps you are storing a list of items externally, categorized by approval rules. A configurator can help.  Perhaps you have to refer to more than one list, such as department, class, or related items before you determine which item can be imported to your client’s destination. If that’s the case, replace the manual process, decrease your workload, and increase productivity with our Item Configurator. 

We’re standing by to help you discuss how your company can take control over configuring products, pricing, and quotes with NetSuite!

Written by

Suhanya (Sue) Bhuvan

NetSuite Consultant

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