Manufacturing the Cloud: It’s a SuiteWorld After All…

Anyone who has taken their children to Disney will probably have also taken them to the “it’s a small world” ride. The theme song has become one of the most well-known tunes of all time and was originally written and composed in 1964 by the Academy Award-winning team of brothers Richard and Robert Sherman at the request of Walt Disney, who wanted a simple song that could be easily translated into many languages.

So excuse the artistic license in replacing “Small World” with “SuiteWorld,” but after our mid-May user conference in San Francisco I think it’s entirely relevant. The global NetSuite community is increasingly vast and diverse (and yes NetSuite is available in multiple languages) but to be there in the middle of it all really does give you a feel for what is happening. In his keynote address, NetSuite COO Jim McGeever talked about momentum building behind NetSuite and that momentum was obvious at SuiteWorld, especially where I was stationed in the heart of the solution expo, fielding questions from users.

Specifically in manufacturing, we had the chance to sit down with the popular industry influencer and analyst Frank Scavo to introduce the manufacturing team at NetSuite and highlight some of the advances we have made and are working on. Check out Mr. Scavo’s blog here. It’s clear that with the advances we have already made and are planning, that Mr. Scavo feels we are on the right path:

“Bottom Line: NetSuite is making the right decision and good progress to build out manufacturing functionality as part of its core system, but there is still much work to be done to achieve functional parity with other cloud and on-premises solutions in the marketplace,” Mr. Scavo wrote. “Nevertheless, the rapid development capabilities of NetSuite's platform offer hope that it will get there quickly.”

Sure, the path may be long but we are determined to make the right decisions and those decisions will set us apart from the crowd over the coming years. Before we put any new functionality into NetSuite we consider the following:

  1. What functionality do the users want?
  2. How does it complement the current architecture?
  3. How can we deliver it from the cloud?

A great example is MRP. Materials Requirements planning has been around for 40+ years and a lot has changed in that time. The only reason that MRP was developed as a batch process initially was that we didn’t have the computing capacity to do it in real time. Hence MRP was also designed to rely on the user updating various settings on items, product codes, etc.

As a result, we decided to implement Demand Planning, which is in many ways similar to MRP (i.e., it can explode a bill of materials (BOM) to plan out lower level items and suggest planned orders) but at the same time it is more able to adapt without user intervention.


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