Top 10 NetSuite 2016.2 Release Updates

As we transition to the dog days of summer, NetSuite has released a new update, version 2016.2. I've seen many version changes over the years, but this is probably the most feature-packed one yet with over 100 enhancements.

As always, system administrators will benefit from a close scrutiny of the Release Notes to see what new benefits can be leveraged. The Release Notes can be found by opening the Help in NetSuite and, in the left-hand navigation pane, opening "New Release->Release Notes->NetSuite 2016.2 Release Notes". Keep in mind the Release Notes will continue to be updated throughout the release cycle, so check back every now and then to see what's new.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite updates:

1. Quick Close

It will now be possible to close a bunch of periods in one swoop. The intended scenario is a case where you need to go back and reopen a period from several months ago to make a change. Up until now, after performing whatever necessary adjustments in that old period, you then needed to close every single period up to the current month, one by one. Now, you'll be able to close all subsequent periods with the press of a single button. The question still remains: SHOULD you do that? However, at least now if you think that's the right thing to do, you'll actually be able to. Rest-assured, the ability to Quick Close can also be entirely disabled.

2. CTA Drilldown Reporting

If you run a global organization, then while you likely enjoy NetSuite's Cumulative Translation Adjustment (CTA) balancing functionality, you probably wish the system was a bit more verbose about the CTA figure it reaches, allowing you to investigate oddly high figures and make corrections. Now you'll be able to! NetSuite will offer drilldown reporting detailing what makes up the CTA balance.

3. Numerous ARM Enhancements

NetSuite's Advanced Revenue Management (ARM) module is deservedly a trending topic. I've recently discussed it in my blogs, Will NetSuite’s New ARM Module Solve your Revenue Recognition Challenges? and Technical Deep Dive: NetSuite's new Advanced Revenue Recognition Module. NetSuite continues to show its intention to make ARM a key module of NetSuite by pouring lots of love into it in 2016.2. There are really good engine and usability updates that continue to make ARM ready for ASC606. One outstanding pick from the bunch is the growing support of Revenue Recognition for Charge-Based Projects. This is going to make a lot of people in the services industry happy.

4. Spam Protection for Support Case Email Messages

Spam is a pain point for anyone exposing a support email address on the web, but if you run a support department, sometimes this is unavoidable in order to allow your user base to contact you. The new version will now include the ability to zap any email sent to your support address (which results in a Case being created) considered spam. Of course, the key is to determine what is considered spam. For this functionality release, the Spam filter will monitor only the support email configured in your Support settings. The filter will zap any email sent there with a "From" address that isn't found in the Email field of an Employee, Customer or Contact record in your system.

Unfortunately, this isn't going to work for everyone. If you receive support requests from unregistered users, you won't be able to implement this rule. But, if you can setup pre-registered authorized contact points with your customer support base, this feature should allow you to stop spam case creation.

5. Fulfillment Requests & Automations

Release 2016.2 contains many enhancements for Retail, Manufacturing and Distribution. The Fulfillment Request is a new transaction type that sites between the Sales Order and the actual Item Fulfillment. You can also specifically set a fulfillment capacity for warehouses and stores. This enhances the communication exchange between a central order dispatcher and satellite locations, whether stores or warehouses. It allows these satellite locations to communicate that they are going to try to fulfill the requested products, while also giving them the leeway to tell dispatch if it turns out they don't have the requested stock. The dispatcher can then look for the stock elsewhere. We all know that reality often outpaces the ability of satellite locations to keep the system up to date, so having a person check stock and confirm that they can or cannot meet fulfillment requests helps alleviate confusion, and thus strengthen the customer experience.

6. Void Credit Card Authorization

Continuing 2016.2's line of excellent front-line enhancements, we gain the ability to cancel a Credit Card fund authorization request. As a reminder, the Authorization is a hold on Credit Card funds placed by a Sales Order, in prevision of the actual charge. Up until now, the only way to cancel the Authorization was to go in your actual Gateway provider portal and cancel the request. Now, simply Closing or Cancelling a Sales Order fires off the signal to release the hold. This will be greatly appreciated by anyone that takes credit card orders.

7. Use Item Cost as Transfer Cost when Transferring Allows Partial Fulfillments

Transfer Orders using "Use Item Cost as Transfer Cost" will now allow partial fulfillments. Previously, you had to fulfill the entire order in one go.

8. CSV Import Supported for Inventory Adjustments

Inventory Adjustments can now be imported via CSV Update. A boon for anyone doing an implementation, but also for your day-to-day inventory management.

9. Change to CSV Preference for Script and Workflow Execution – Per Import

There is a setting in the system that tells NetSuite if it should or should not execute User Event Scripts and Workflow when records are created via CSV Import or Web Services. This setting used to be global – you could turn on/off scripting, but it had to be for ALL imports and web services. Now, there will be granularity to control that on a per-import basis. This conforms much better to real-world use cases, where the reality is that you probably always want to run scripts by default, with the occasional well-defined exception where you do not.

10. SuiteScript 2.0 SFTP File Transfer API

In a widely requested update, NetSuite scripting will now be able to upload files to a (secure) FTP server. You’ll no longer need to set up a cumbersome Web Service-based middleware platform to simply upload files to an FTP. Now it can be quickly and painlessly accomplished with SuiteScript.

I encourage you to check out the full release and contact us if you need help understanding how to make NetSuite's enhanced capabilities work for your organization.

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