ERP Guru's Container Management in NetSuite

Products and goods that are shipped overseas often come in containers. In an ideal world, there would be easy access to all of the container information - and it would be linked to the transactions performed in your ERP system. Luckily, such a solution can be customized in NetSuite.
You can track and manage containers in NetSuite using our Container Management Solution.  With this add-on you will gain visibility on the products in the container, the container value, and its status.

The solution comes packed with useful features:
  • Manage the tracking of container status from the supplier's location until it gets to your warehouse.
  • Manage multiple POs per container.
  • Manage Lot/Serial Number of products in the container.
  • Manage landed cost of products in the container.
The Container Management Solution leverages NetSuite’s best practice of procurement to pay -- a container record is created in NetSuite, then purchase orders are created (also in NetSuite).  When opening the container record you can see the container information at the header level.  The user can then 'fill' the container by clicking on “Select PO Line for Container”; this will list all open POs with line items not yet assigned to a container. The user can then select the items that will go into a specific container.

Back on the purchase order (PO), we can view the container number in which the item will be packaged, and the lot number if that information needs to be controlled.

Depending on who is responsible for the goods during transit, you may want to receive them in the “On The Water” location (In-Transit) to register the goods in your accounting books (as an inventory asset).  If this is the case, a transfer order should be performed upon arrival to the final destination in order to move them to the main warehouse.

The container record is set to be the central point of management. After the POs are created, assigning a PO line item and item reception will be managed through the Container Management form. Landed cost information can also be managed from this form onto the item receipt and/or  transfer order transactions. Vendor bill and payment follow NetSuite’s normal process.

Note: The container form also manages different statuses relative to delivery stage.

Container information is accessed through the reporting tool. In this case, information on the status and its value are shown. This is useful for tracking the container at every stage (in transit or in warehouse), as well as for insurance purposes.

This solution was customized for a specific customer's needs - a lot more information and processes can be added to the container record definition to add more flexibility and functionality (ie, blanket POs , units of measures, container volume management and drop shipping)

Max Lapeine is a Senior Consultant and Sales Engineer in the Distribution, Manufacturing and eCommerce department at ERP Guru.

Nader Hanna is a Consultant and Sales Engineer in the Partner Services division of ERP Guru. 

Janice Kwan is a former intern at ERP Guru. 

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