What are NetSuite process flows?

This article explains what NetSuite process flows are and how they can transform the way you manage your business.

4/11/20245 min read

two people drawing on whiteboard
two people drawing on whiteboard

Running a business can be a whirlwind. You juggle countless tasks, from managing inventory to processing orders and keeping customers happy.

It’s no surprise that things can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially as your business grows. Efficiency is just one key to success in this fast-paced world. That’s where NetSuite can help. It’s a powerful cloud-based business management platform that can streamline your operations and free up valuable time to focus on what matters most – growing your business. But here’s the secret sauce: NetSuite goes beyond just storing data. It allows you to automate your business processes, those everyday workflows that keep your business running smoothly. This is where NetSuite process flows come into play.

Imagine a scenario where every step in your business, from receiving an order to delivering it to the customer, flows smoothly and automatically. That’s the power of NetSuite process flows.

Think of process flows as a recipe for success. They’re essentially automated workflows that take care of repetitive tasks, ensuring your business runs smoothly.

They can be simple or complex, depending on your needs, and they can be triggered automatically based on specific events, like receiving a customer order.

Intrigued? Read on to discover the many benefits of implementing NetSuite process flows.  

NetSuite process flows explained

So, what exactly are NetSuite process flows?

Think of them as pre-defined sequences of automated tasks that guide your team through specific business processes. These flows are built within the NetSuite platform, and they can be triggered by various events, such as a new sales order being placed, a purchase order being approved or an invoice being paid. Here’s a breakdown of the key features and functionalities of NetSuite process flows:

·       Visual flowcharts: You can map out your workflows visually using drag-and-drop functionality. This makes it easy to understand the steps involved and identify any potential bottlenecks.

·       Conditional routing: Need different actions based on specific conditions? Process flows offer conditional routing, allowing you to define branching paths depending on various factors, like order value or customer location.

·       Automated tasks: Repetitive tasks like sending emails, updating records and generating reports can be automated within process flows, freeing up your team’s time for more strategic work.

·       Notifications and approvals: Keep everyone informed with automatic notifications at each stage of the process. You can also set up approval steps to ensure proper oversight and authorisation.

You can customise NetSuite process flows to fit your unique business needs and automate any repetitive workflow you can imagine. The possibilities are almost endless. Some of the process flows you can create include:

·       Procure-to-pay: This flow automates the entire purchasing process, from sending purchase orders to receiving invoices and making payments to vendors.

·       Order-to-cash: Streamline your sales cycle with this flow, which takes care of tasks like generating quotes, processing orders, managing deliveries and collecting payments from customers.

·       Inventory management: Automate stock replenishment, low-stock alerts and cycle counts with a dedicated process flow for your inventory.

·       Expense management: Simplify expense tracking and approval with a flow that captures receipts, categorises expenses and routes them for approval.

Benefits of using NetSuite process flows

Leveraging NetSuite process flows can transform your business into a well-oiled machine, operating with greater efficiency, accuracy and control.  The benefits are numerous.

You can eliminate manual work and automate repetitive tasks, freeing up your team to focus on higher-value activities. Automated processes minimise human error, ensuring accuracy and consistency in your business operations.

Process flows can track the progress of tasks in real time with visibility dashboards, allowing you to identify bottlenecks and make informed decisions.

You can also break down silos and enhance communication by ensuring everyone is on the same page with clear, defined workflows. New employees can be quickly brought up to speed by understanding the defined processes through visual flowcharts.

How to get started with NetSuite process flows

Now that you’re excited about the potential of NetSuite process flows, you might be wondering, ‘how do I get started?’ The process is more straightforward than you think. The first step is to identify repetitive, manual tasks within your business that would benefit from automation. Look for processes that are prone to errors, lack clear steps or consume a significant amount of your team’s time.Start small and scale up. Don’t try to automate everything at once. Begin by focusing on a single, well-defined process. This approach allows you to familiarise yourself with the process flow builder and gain confidence before tackling more complex workflows.NetSuite offers a wealth of resources to help you get started with process flows. NetSuite Help Centre provides comprehensive documentation and tutorials on process flows. You can connect with other NetSuite users and ask questions in the online community forum. And if you’re still not sure where to start, consider partnering with a NetSuite implementation partner like SuiteSparkle. We can guide you through the process, share expert tips and best practices, and design and implement bespoke process flows tailored to your specific needs.

Common NetSuite process flows challenges and solutions

While NetSuite process flows offer numerous advantages, you may also face some common challenges:

Lack of clear process definition

Before automating, it’s crucial to define your existing workflows clearly. This might involve mapping out the steps involved, identifying decision points and understanding roles and responsibilities. To overcome this challenge, utilise NetSuite’s visual flowcharting feature to document your processes clearly. This not only aids in automation but also fosters better understanding and communication within your team.

Difficulty managing complex workflows

Complex workflows with multiple approvals or branching paths can be daunting.

NetSuite process flows offer conditional routing and decision points. This allows you to define different paths based on specific criteria, ensuring smooth navigation even in intricate workflows.

Limited visibility and control

Without proper tools, it can be challenging to track the progress of tasks within a process, hindering control and decision-making.

NetSuite provides real-time dashboards that offer visibility into the progress of your workflows. You can identify bottlenecks, track task completion rates and make informed decisions based on real-time data.

Difficulty adapting to changing needs

As your business evolves, your processes might need to adapt as well. Modifying existing workflows might seem challenging. NetSuite process flows are flexible and easily modified. You can add or remove steps, change triggers and adjust settings without extensive coding knowledge, allowing you to adapt your workflows as your business needs change.

Limited internal expertise

Your business might lack the in-house expertise to implement and maintain efficient process flows.Working with an expert NetSuite implementation partner like SuiteSparkle fills this gap. We can provide guidance throughout the process, offer best practices and ensure successful process flows implementation that drives efficiency and growth for your organisation.

Remember, NetSuite process flows are a powerful tool for streamlining your business operations and achieving greater efficiency, accuracy and control. Understanding the benefits, challenges and available resources will help you leverage this powerful technology to propel your business towards success.

How can SuiteSparkle help?

So there you have it. This comprehensive guide has hopefully shed light on the power of NetSuite process flows and their potential to transform your business. So, if you’re ready to unlock the potential of NetSuite process flows and take your operations to the next level, contact us today.

As a dedicated NetSuite implementation partner, we offer expert guidance, support and best practices to help you identify suitable workflows for automation, design and implement effective process flows and get the most out of NetSuite’s features and functionalities.

Don’t wait any longer. Reach out now and let’s work together to streamline your operations, boost efficiency and empower your business for success.