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Create a Production Schedule With NetSuite

NetSuite offers a production schedule “module” or add-on to their software platform. And it costs a lot! So I took it upon myself to see if I could create a production schedule with NetSuite using saved searches.

Here’s how it came about. (Note that I am limiting the specifics to protect business data but I’ll try and explain it the best as possible.)

Problem – No Workable Production Schedule

The company I work for manufactures custom products using a wide range of components to produce a final product. The options involved means there are thousands of variations and SKUs.

When an order is placed for X number of an item, a WORK ORDER is automatically created. These work orders make up a large portion of the business. Production can get bogged down as new orders pop up while other orders are in process. With no way to properly schedule this in NetSuite, much of the work was done using Excel or by guesswork.

Solution – Create a Production Schedule With NetSuite Saved Searches

Each assembly takes an estimated amount of time to produce so the first task was to assign a build time to each assembly. This meant I created a custom item field on assembly items and then did a large import based on estimated time. These times can easily be updated as needed, and since the data is in NetSuite, it will update any saved searches using the custom field.

The next step was to create two saved searches: the Production Scheduler and the Production Schedule.

Create a production schedule with NetSuite

The Production Scheduler searches for all open work orders that have not been given a production date (another custom field). This search provides a valuable overview of the work orders including: how many items need to be made, the estimated time needed to produce the items, and the ship due date.

The sole purpose of this saved search is to assign a date on the production schedule, which is done using the custom date field I created. This field is editable directly on the saved search.

The Production Schedule organizes all assigned work orders by production date. These work orders are grouped together to sum up the total estimated build time in minutes and hours. Now we know how much time has already been assigned for the date.

Additional formatting and highlighting is applied to the results to show when a date is over or under scheduled. By using these two saved searches, production can quickly schedule work orders, edit production time, and update dates. All users with proper access can view this information, including sales, making new order allocation run more smoothly.

Need help producing saved searches in NetSuite? Contact me!