Best practices for Class and Department in manufacturing scenarios

Hi all,

Anyone willing to share some of their experiences (good or bad!) with classification schemes implemented for NetSuite manufacturing businesses?

NetSuite does not provide a lot of guidance around the best way to use Class for example. I’ve seen one consultant suggest that “classes are usually represented as Profit centers / Revenue Streams.” Do others agree?

How are people grouping/classifying their items? For example, raw materials vs. packaging items. Or even subcategories of your raw materials? Take bicycles as an example, you’d want to classify frames vs. wheels vs. components. Then sub-classify components into brakes vs. derailleurs etc. So you can see that a hierarchy is important too!

The goal would be to use the classification in reports and be able to slice and dice accordingly.

  • what’s my inventory value in packaging vs. raw materials
  • frames vs. components
  • brakes vs. derailleurs
  • and ultimately can I layer in Location when I need to

I’ve seen some cases where Class seems to work for this. What warnings do you have? Is there a problem that occurs with creating Class hierarchies with branches for both Revenue Streams and Cost Categories? Have people decided to solve this problem with custom segments? Were you happy with that approach?

Thanks in advance! Feel free to post a link to other discussions that have covered this topic.

Cheers,
Geoff

Rookie Asked on October 23, 2019 in Best Practices.
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1 Answer(s)

Class and Department are mechanically identical. You should use them when you want the segmentation to appear on financial reports. Most types of reports can slice and dice based on just about any field in NetSuite, not just segment ones. One thing though, while segments support hierarchy, they don’t report well on them. It’s difficult, though not impossible, to make a report that says “show me only this class and all of its children”. You’d think that be super easy, but it’s not really. You sometimes have to go an pick desired classes one by one.

All that said, based on your description, my first instinct would be to build an Item hierarchy rather than go with classes.  However, Classes would not be an incorrect fit.

If you think it’s worth it, one way to know for sure would be to rent a Sandbox and try it out. You can set up your Classes and build the reports and see if it comes out the way you want. If it doesn’t, refresh the sandbox and try something else.

Advanced Answered on October 24, 2019.

Thanks Olivier. This is really meta-data about items, so I would be hesitant to start building it into the Item hierarchy. E.g. I don’t think it makes sense to create a parent item named “components” just to get a reporting result. Thanks for the input on Class and Department too, I’ll do some testing.

Anyone else?

on October 25, 2019.
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