NetSuite’s Inbound Shipment module guides forecasting. Automation makes it accurate and instant.
Inbound shipments of overseas products have been a nightmare in virtually every industry. Sometimes they’re late, sometimes they’re incomplete. Sometimes they don’t arrive at all. And other times, companies pay way too much for freight.
Free on Board (FOB) indicates who is liable for goods that are damaged or destroyed during shipping. FOB origin means the buyer is at risk once the seller ships the product. Companies that buy or contract manufacturers overseas and operate with FOB origin must take ownership of the inventory when the supplier ships.
Netsuite’s relatively new Inbound Shipments module tracks products in transit from a supplier to the customer’s facility. Inbound Shipment records show the PO, quantity, boxes, containers, bill of lading, tracking, all the necessary advanced shipping notice data, and which POs the shipments are tied to. In short, it lets you take ownership of your inventory at shipment and records the necessary inventory transaction prior to physically receiving the goods.
Visibility is now more important than ever. Knowing the value of inventory in transit makes it possible to plan for receipt, forecast inventory carrying costs more accurately, and make smarter fulfillment decisions so you’re getting inventory out the door in time.
In addition to visibility, companies need more efficient ways to take ownership of inventory when the supplier terms are FOB origin. They also need more efficient ways to receive goods into NetSuite. The Inbound Shipment module provides the first step. When the shipment information is entered, users can take ownership with a single click. That triggers an inventory transaction to account for ownership. NetSuite can now account for owning inventory that is truly in transit but not yet received. When items arrive, making the receipt transaction is also done with a single click via the Inbound Shipment module.
All of this is well and good, but here’s the challenge: the only way to get data into the module is either manual entry (No.) or uploading a CSV (Also manual. Also no.). No one has time for that. No one can do it in real-time. No one can do it without errors. Many companies want the slick functionality of the module, but haven’t adopted it because of how difficult it is to get the information from suppliers and then into NetSuite. Getting shipment information from suppliers via email and spreadsheets is archaic in today’s digital transformation world. You simply cannot rely on manual communications. And you can’t depend on suppliers to remember to provide shipping data without any guiding mechanism. These are losing strategies if you need visibility into your intransit inventory.
The key is to adopt a single automated platform that is used by both buyers and suppliers. Suppliers are guided through the PO lifecycle, sending task reminders and prompting them to provide shipping info. With an automated integration, all the required data is written into the Inbound Shipment module, manual data entry is eliminated, and everyone has a comprehensive view of accurate inventory allocations in NetSuite. Now, you can properly assume goods and process payments. Manual entry is avoided. Data errors are avoided. High carrying costs are avoided. You get the picture. NetSuite’s Inbound Shipment module is an incredibly powerful tool, but without an automated integration, it remains impractical for many businesses.
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