How Millennials are Changing the Field Service Industry

How Millennials are Changing the Field Service Industry

The Millennial generation or Generation Y includes those that are born between the 80s and 90s. They are a generation that grew up with mobile technology and the internet at their fingertips. This instant access to information has bred an inherent expectation that at work, as in their personal lives, they will have instant access to information, from any device, whenever they need it. And if they don’t get this, they won’t be happy.

Millennials are the new generation of the field service workforce. Forward-thinking businesses are making considerable effort to understand the drivers of this generation to ensure they attract and retain top talent. Generation Y’s are today’s 25 to 38-year-olds, and they make up 20.56% of the Australian population (5.13 million). They also make up the largest cohort in the workforce (33%). By 2025, Millennials will make up close to 70% of the total labour market, and their unique way of working is having a significant impact on all industries, including that of field service.

%

Generation Y population in Australia

%

Millienials percentage of the Australian workforce.

%

Total labour market by 2025.

How do Millennials approach their jobs?

These are the top things that Millennials are looking for when it comes to technology that supports them to do their jobs.

1. Collaboration

The constant change of field service work demands collaboration. With the masses of data that are being captured by most businesses, both in the field and in the office, the Millennial Field Tech expects to be able to share this information and collaborate with coworkers in real time. Field Service Management (FSM) software, such as NetSuite and NextService, do just that. They give mobile access to all relevant asset and customer information on a mobile device and allow the Millennial field tech a comfortable and familiar way to capture job-related information.

2. Integrated Mobile Technology

No one tends to love new technology more than the younger generation. For jobs to be done quickly and accurately, most companies use phones, tablets, and a combination of different software to capture the information they need both in the office and in the field. FSM Software gives a business a single platform of technology to manage every aspect of running a field service business. These systems simplify the technology ecosystem and expand the usefulness of captured data, as it can be reported on from a single database, rather than having to spend time aggregating data from different sources.

3. Autonomy

Millennials expect a level of independence in their roles and do not respond well to being restricted by physical work locations. It is a generation of problem solvers. They are entrepreneurial and autonomous in their actions, both at home and at work. They understand that technology can be used to complete mundane tasks, which free’s up their time to value-adding activities. These qualities can be harnessed to its fullest, by giving the Millennial the tools and technology to eliminate the mundane tasks, such as manual capturing of information or duplicating data entry.

Embracing flexibility with mobile field service software.

In the modern world, communication has become expected, and flexibility in communication is an essential factor that Millennials need in their work-life. With field service management software, flexibility is a key focus. Millennials will be able to see their entire schedule from their phones, sign in and out of a job and complete work orders. This way, workers would not have to make trips back to their office and can spend more time in the field, generating income.

These mobile applications also give Millennial technicians access to the information they need to do their jobs well, such as online manuals and guides on repairs. Because a library of information is now available from their smartphone, techs can solve problems faster and get access to the information they need to get the job done right the first time around.

Download NetSuite Guide for Field Service

Find in this guide all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your growth.

Millennials champion field technology

Millennials can play a crucial role in assisting with technology change in a field service business. By embracing new technology, they can lead by example and help other generations in the company better understand the positive impact of technology, that might otherwise have been met with lacklustre enthusiasm. How to manage Millennials effectively.

Maximising the efficiency of Millennial field services is necessary for field service organisations, and as time goes in, this is going to be amplified. Field Service businesses can help empower Millennials by:

1. Investing in technology

Give them what they want. In every aspect of their lives, Millennials are making the most of modern technology, and work should be no different. To satisfy the needs of this generation, businesses should be looking into technology that automates, increases efficiency and gives real-time access to information. Field Service Management Software, such as NextService by NextTechnik, does just this.

2. Giving them flexibility

The nature of field service is mobile, so many Millennials who choose a career in field service are not wanting to be tied to an office. If they can complete 100% of their roles outside the four walls of an office and spend more time actually generating income they will be more satisfied as workers than having limitations that they see as easily solvable.

Reasons why Millennials are suitable for field service

1. Millennials are result-oriented

In situations whereby customers are dependent on technicians to fix the necessary system to get their business up and running at full capacity as soon as possible, being practical is one of the things Millennials have in abundance.

2. Millennials are confident

Their parents have raised Millennials that can accomplish anything, and such encouragement tends to boost the confidence of generations entering the workforce.

3. Millennials are educated

Millennials are found to be the most educated generation in history. Millennials tend to improve their learning skills, which is vital for companies when trying to hire technicians based on their abilities.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Field Service Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can make your field business a real customer-centric beast.

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NetSuite Portlets 101 – Part I

NetSuite Portlets 101 – Part I

A portlet is essentially a visual plug-in that you can add and arrange on NetSuite dashboard to highlight specific information. It gives a snapshot of the business, and there are a plethora of portlets options in NetSuite that allow tailoring and improving your day to day experience.

In this article, we will dive into the different types of Portlets used for different dashboards in NetSuite. We will primarily discuss Portlets which are used in the Home Dashboard, but many of these are also available in the customer dashboard, vendor dashboard and any other work centre in the system.

What is a NetSuite Dashboard?

A dashboard is a page which provides a visual representation of accurate real-time data that gives users better visibility about different processes inside NetSuite. The data displayed in the dashboard is based on the role of the user viewing the page. This view will help the users to make efficient decisions and edit records based on the information displayed on their personalised dashboard. There are different types of Dashboards present in NetSuite, like the Home Dashboard, the Project Dashboard etc.

Different Types of NetSuite Portlets.

Dashboard content can be displayed in various types of Portlets based on the user’s requirement. Some portlets provide access to raw data, and other portlets display data that have been transformed into different types of business metrics, i.e. Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Trend Cards, Performance Scorecards, chart-based workbooks and report snapshots.

For each Dashboard page, NetSuite provides a default set of portlets to be displayed on the page. The Administrators have the freedom to change the look and content of the dashboard as per their organisation’s requirements. This personalisation can also be applied to a group of users, e.g. Accounting role or Finance role etc. The Administrator can also give access to users to modify their own dashboard as per their daily needs.

Let’s talk about different types of commonly used portlets in detail.

Lists and Saved Searches

This type of portlet is used to show a list of records of the selected record type. When the user adds a new List type portlet, they have to configure it in the set-up option. The user can choose the record type, number of results that they need displayed and whether they want to allow in-line editing for the records in the result page.

One of the most powerful features of NetSuite is that these dashboard lists are also directly editable through in-line searching. That means you can update the record straight from your dashboard, without having to go into the record, edit and save.

When used right, this saves NetSuite users HOURS every week.

Calendar

NetSuite lets users publish their calendar to their desktop so they can manage their phone calls, events and tasks quickly, and give visibility of their activities to the rest of the business. NetSuite calendars can also be integrated into Gmail and Outlook, which will synchronise the data between the two and keep everything up to date.

With this portlet, users can display activities for a particular period, and see their activities in different views, i.e. Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Agenda. The list of activities includes events, phone calls or task. By default, seven activity records are displayed, and we can change it as per the requirements.

Custom Search

We can display the results of a saved search using this portlet. In the set-up option of this portlet, the user can configure the search whose results are to be displayed, the portlet title, no. of results, allowing in-line editing etc.

Key Performance Indicators

This type of portlet is used to display raw data as a quick view of Key Business Metrics. These metrics are summarised data from reports or saved searches within the selected date range. It also has the functionality to show the comparison between date ranges and highlight results if targets are not met.

A maximum of four KPIs is allowed to be defined as headlines. The rest of the KPIs are listed in the lower panel.

KPIs can be minimised as per their usability.

There are three types of dashboards portlets that display Key Performance Indicators:

Key Performance Indicators portlet. Displays summary line for each selected portlet.

KPI Meter portlet. Visual Representation of KPI data in a semi-circular meter showing a comparison between date ranges.

Trend Graphs portlet. Displays the differences in data for different time intervals for multiple KPIs in a single chart.

KPI Scorecard Portlet

KPI Scorecards display a performance scorecard which includes numerous types of comparisons between various KPIs over different date ranges or accounting periods.

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You might have noticed that some of these portlets look different to the NetSuite user interface. That is because in NetSuite 2019.1 Release we are seeing a massive update to UI, Portlets and reporting functionality. If you are interested in finding out more about NetSuite 2019.1 release, then subscribe to Klugo Insiders to receive early updates, webinar invites and NetSuite hints and tips straight in your inbox.

If you enjoyed this tip, come back next week for part two of our NetSuite Portlets 101.

 

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More tips on our LikedIn

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Michael Dean

Michael Dean

Business Consultant

Read more posts and articles from Michael in his LinkedIn profile. Follow him for tips and tricks on leveraging the power of NetSuite.

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Find out how cloud-based technology can support your business growth.

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The Benefits of Warehouse Pick, Pack and Ship Automation

The Benefits of Warehouse Pick, Pack and Ship Automation

Through a combination of hardware, such as RF devices, and software, such as NetSuite, smaller distributors are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in technology that is designed to streamline their warehouse operations. Australian wholesalers are fast catching up with retail managing their operations more effectively while making informed decisions about shipping, staffing, accounting, demand planning and warehousing.

What is warehouse automation?

Warehouse automation is the use of software and technology to support your warehouse team in their mission to pick, pack and ship your customers orders as quickly and efficiently as possible. This type of technology is designed to streamline the operations of your warehouse, as well as reduce costly errors. Traditionally warehouse automation technology was used by large companies, such as Amazon and Coca-Cola; however, modern cloud ERP is bringing the benefits of what was traditionally large scale software to small and medium-sized wholesale distributors.

What is an automated storage and retrieval system?

Automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) is the combination of machines and execution software to move product in and out of the storage unit without any human supervision. These machines use sophisticated technology and integrate with a distributors ERP system to minimise human intervention in the picking process. Overhead storage units, by manufacturers such as Hanel, allow distributors to automate their picking process and take advantage of the overhead space in their warehouses.

Ten Benefits of warehouse automation

1.Increasing Speed

There is no way a human can memorise an entire warehouse and beat a fully functional automated system that can instantly identify the location of the items in a particular order. Warehouse automation software is the brain of your warehouse and gives your team the information they need to do their jobs quickly and efficiently, right at their fingertips.

You can also increase the management of an inventory process with warehouse automation. Instead of having people manually record items, RF scanners can short cut the process of collecting information about orders and simplify the administration associated with inbound deliveries and order dispatch.

2. Maximising space

One resource that is not often considered is that of overhead storage. The footprint of your warehouse is finite, and without costly extensions, this cannot be increased. Warehouse automation allows for practice use of overhead space by using machinery and technology to automate the retrieval of inventory items stored at height. In addition to this, depending on the location of your warehouse, more often than not, the cost of extending up, instead of out is usually far less.

How does it maximise space?

Majority warehouse automation systems include robots or other machines that collect products and store them. It means that there is no need to send people to aisles, which could remove the need for wide aisles that accommodate large spaces with a wide turning radius. Automated warehouses have unique movable shelves that can move goods around on a pallet. However, they tend to take up more space than a pallet, whilst a robot needs less room for maneuvering. This automation logic means that you can install products with smaller aisles, which can create more space for storage.

3. Decreasing Costs

Whilst there is a reasonable investment associated with implementing warehouse automation software and hardware, the benefits of reduced costs in labour, order errors and fulfilment velocity far outweighs the cost, which leads to rapid ROI for a wholesaler.

4. Low injury risk

Warehouse automation technology also helps minimise the risk of injury to warehouse workers, by using machines to carry out dangerous tasks. One of the main drivers of the IOT and Smart Factory initiatives is that of safety.

5. Accuracy

Accuracy in the warehouse business is no doubt necessary; it helps reduce errors in dispatch, which result in returns and extra administration. Wholesalers who use ERP technology and warehouse automation software see drastically lower errors in picking, packing and shipping and report higher levels of customer satisfaction and repeat business.

6. Increased efficiency

Automated tools help strengthen the entire process, from picking and receiving items through assembly lines and out to distribution. Wholesale Distribution Software vendors, such as NetSuite design their packages to meet the demands of every warehouse, which will keep products organised and send out automated alerts.

7. E-commerce

Automated warehousing can provide benefits like space saving, reduced building costs, improve productivity, needing fewer people, saving money and reducing operation cost. When this is paired with integrated e-commerce platforms, a wholesaler can expand their sales channels whilst still maintaining control over their warehouse.

8. Accurate analytics

Automating a warehouse is a short-term investment on time and labour, however, the additional data being captured by the system gives wholesalers access to better analytics and information about their business which empowers strategic decision making.

This knowledge helps in taking your business to the next level as you can share real-time data to managers, gain insights into your business and identify key areas of improvement.

9. Save time and money

With a warehouse automation system and ERP software being able to keep track of goods and supplies is more manageable, as the system is largely taking care of what people had to track manually. This strategy helps reduce the number of employees required to maintain your current level of operation and allow you to grow without having to put more people on to cope with the additional workload.

10. Better Inventory Control

Features in ERP technology, such as demand planning help a wholesale distributor by providing intelligent suggestions as to what to order, by using the data in the system to calculate expected supply and demand plans.

NetSuite Guide for Wholesale and Distribution

Do you want to know more about the Best-in-Class ERP that is modernising Aussie’s Wholesale? Download our guide to all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, and decide if it’s the right platform to support your growth.

Cloud-Based Warehouse Software

A cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS), such as NetSuite makes sure all warehousing operations are executed smoothly. NetSuite tracks data in real-time, which can help managers get instant notification of inefficiencies or errors in the business and correct these to ensure continual improvement of operational efficiency. The advantage of the cloud is also the ability to connect your ERP other automation technologies such as robots, conveyors, overhead storage and other machines through API technology that interacts with the Internet of Things.

Gigant Chinese retail Alibaba, ramped up robotic labour in 2017 in one of its warehouses, cutting down the workforce by 70%. Robotics will continue to have a significant impact on the supply chain. Choosing a platform that eases automation will enable wholesalers to adapt to future trends, move quicker than the competition, manage their operations better and target strategic growth with informed decisions.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Wholesale and Distribution Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support your business growth.

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Klugo Group announces Mark Culverson as new Chief Executive Officer, Annaliese Kloé stays on as founding Director

Klugo Group announces Mark Culverson as new Chief Executive Officer, Annaliese Kloé stays on as founding Director

Klugo Pty Ltd is delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Culverson as its new CEO, effective immediately.

Since April 2018, Mark has been instrumental to the growth and continual improvement of Klugo’s NetSuite sales practice, professional services and NetSuite development services offerings in his current role as General Manager.

Mark will take over from Annaliese Kloé, current CEO and Board Member, as the business starts its next chapter of growth and expansion.

New Horizons for Annaliese Kloé

The decision to step down as CEO of Klugo has primarily come about due to the rapid success and international growth and expansion of Klugo’s sister company, Next Technik. Next Technik is a NetSuite Product Development house and has pioneered the market with the leading Built for NetSuite Native Field Service solution, NextService.

Since 2014, NextService has gained international acclaim as the leading Field Service Management solution for NetSuite customers. In 2018 Next Technik proved its dedication to the North American NetSuite customer base by opening its US office in Dallas, Texas. Since operations commenced, Annaliese has successfully managed both Klugo and Next Technik in tandem. However as both businesses continue to excel, the need for “fearless focus” has become apparent.

Annaliese says:

“I am excited and proud to have built Klugo’s executive leadership team to a point where I, as CEO am confident to step back from the day to day management and concentrate on strategic direction as a member of the Board. Next Technik is earlier on in its business lifecycle and requires the focus to ensure growth and expansion in new international markets.”

A New Challenge for Mark Culverson

Announcing Mark’s appointment, Annaliese Kloé has said:

“It is an exciting time for both me and the board of Klugo as we have found an outstanding leader and motivator in Mark Culverson. Over the past twelve months, Mark has shown a resounding dedication to elevating Klugo to the next level and has been warmly welcomed by the team at Klugo. Mark has been chosen to fulfil this role and champion the business due to his wealth of experience in building high-performance teams in the software and technology industry, and his previous involvement in taking a number of high growth businesses to new levels of success.”

Over his 30 years in the software industry, Mark has contributed to some of Australia’s greatest technology success stories. A key member of the team in Attaché, one of Australia’s earliest and most successful accounting software businesses, through to 15 years with TechnologyOne, a now internationally renowned ERP solution, Mark has excelled in many critical areas across those businesses including sales leadership, customer success management and executive leadership.

Mark Culverson says:

“Since joining Klugo as the General Manager in 2018, I have been continually excited and impressed by the agile nature of the company, the strength and detailed knowledge of the team, and the Board’s drive and ambition to continue to grow. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with each member of the Klugo team, as their passion and dedication to improving our client’s businesses is a testament to the core values imparted by the business’s directors, Annaliese Kloé, Daniel Perry, Stephen Nankervis, Richard Kloé and Di Kloé.

He also says:

“Klugo, as one of just a few NetSuite Partners who has achieved consistent 5 Star status over many years has an immense opportunity to further contribute to the strengthening of the NetSuite product’s position in the Asia Pacific region as the cloud ERP of choice for small, medium and large businesses. No other product on the market offers the level of functional coverage and flexibility in development that NetSuite does. In 2019, we are starting to see from our customers that the choice to move to the “cloud” is becoming the “rule”, rather than the exception. Having been born in the cloud over 20 years ago, and one of the first true cloud vendors, NetSuite has cemented itself in the market as the leader, and with the backing of Oracle, it will be a lofty task for any other vendor to catch up.”

“Our future is very bright,” says Mark Culverson. We have an outstanding group of people who continue to dedicate themselves to Klugo’s vision of being “the leaders in leveraging the power of NetSuite”, and I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to lead that team. 

Media enquiries or interview requests can be forwarded to:

Michael Dean,
Marketing Manager
Klugo Group
[email protected]
+61 400 064 914

Need a specialist’s free advice?

If you are a growing online retailer, a distributor who is wanting to expand their sales distribution channel or a large retailer who is wanting more accurate and usable data, talk to one of our experts today.

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Drilling into NetSuite Custom Fields

Drilling into NetSuite Custom Fields

Custom fields in NetSuite are an essential part of every module. Custom fields are those created manually by users based on their businesses requirements. All standard or customised records can have custom fields.

This is particularly useful during implementation and after go-live, as NetSuite users have the ability to continually grow and adapt the system to meet the continually evolving needs of their organisation.

Creating a Custom Field in NetSuite

To create a custom field, navigate to Customization > Lists, Records, & Fields > Find the type of Record you want to create the custom field on > New

There can be two types of custom fields in a transaction record:

  • Body fields
  • Line level fields

You are always advised to provide relevant Field Name, ID and Description while creating the custom field. It helps other business users get a clear idea about the functionality and purpose of the respective custom field.

Custom fields are divided into different types based on the data stored in them. Some commonly used custom field types are:

  • Checkbox. A simple tick box that is essentially saying something is either True or False.
  • Currency. A Field that records a dollar value.
  • Date. A date field that is formatted to your country’s date format.
  • Email Address. Ensures email addresses into the system have correct structure and syntax.
  • Free-Form Text. An open text field that allows entry of any alphanumeric characters.
  • Hyperlink. And active hyperlink to another URL.
  • Inline HTML. Allows for entry of text that can be formatted with HTML.
  • Integer Number. Allows the entry of a standard numeric character.
  • List/ Record. Displays Records contained within a specific list in other areas of the NetSuite system.
  • Multiple Select. Allows for multiple options to be selected from a predefined list.
  • Phone Number. Ensures phone numbers entered into the system are done so in a consistent manner in line with local country standards.
  • Text Area. Allows entry of text into a field that is expected to be short. (Less than 255 Characters)

You can select the data type of the custom field that you want to use based on the data you are planning to store in that field.

There is also an option to store the value in the custom field by checking the ‘Store Value’ checkbox and vice versa. This option is checked by default while creating a custom record. If this option is unchecked, then the value in the field is not stored which means that it can have dynamic values.

To show the field in the records list, we have to check the ‘Show in List’ checkbox.

The user can also search for related records to this field globally with the field value. To enable this option, they have to check the ‘Global Search’ checkbox. If this field is greyed out then check the ‘Store Value’ checkbox.

Applies To Tab

In the next step, the user has to select the record they want the custom field to be applied to from the list of records displayed in the ‘Applies to’ tab. The list of records differs for each type of custom field.

Display Tab

In the ‘Display’ tab, the user can configure the field to show it in a particular Subtab. The user can also select the Display Type for this field based on the business process. It is also advised that a meaningful detail is captured for the field in the ‘Help’ field to help the users interacting with this field get a better idea of its intended contents.

Validation and Defaulting Tab

In the ‘Validation & Defaulting’ tab, a field can be made mandatory by checking the ‘Mandatory’ checkbox. This is also possible by checking the mandatory checkbox in the Custom Form column as discussed in this previous post. We can also enable spelling check for the entered field data by checking the ‘Check Spelling’ checkbox.

There is an option to assign a default value for this custom field. We can add a value or a formula in the ‘Default Value’ field to assign a default value for this custom field. Please note that if you are adding a formula, it is advised to check the ‘Formula’ checkbox on the right. We can also add search results in the custom field. More about this on the upcoming articles.

Sourcing and Filtering Tab

We will move to the ‘Sourcing & Filtering’ tab. In this tab we can choose the Source List and field to source specific data for the custom field.

Access Tab

In the ‘Access’ tab, the default permissions for accessing and searching the custom field data is defined. These permissions can be Edit, View or None. This is where an administrator is able to decide who in the organisation can see or edit the information in the field, or whether or not they can see it at all.

Finally, when we are about to save the field, we can choose the option ‘Save & Apply to Forms’ to select the forms we want the custom field being applied to.

A word of caution!

Whilst adding fields to forms and transaction records in NetSuite is very simple to do, any business planning on using this functionality should have an internal policy on how new fields are proposed, implemented and rolled out across the business.

 

In our experience, there should be a single resource within the business who has the responsibility of maintaining all custom fields in your NetSuite system along with completing in the documentation that is required to track and manage all business-use cases.

At Klugo, we also provide a complete range NetSuite administrative and managed service offering and provide our customers with the peace of mind that’s they are collaborating within NetSuite expert to ensure the best use of NetSuite and paying attention to the bigger picture.

Need a NetSuite Health Check?

We are experts in helping existing NetSuite users to review their platform, identify risks and improvements, and assist with enhancements.

Are you having difficulties with your NetSuite implementation? Our team of local experts can evaluate your current development and configuration, advise you on remediations and provide solutions for ongoing improvements.

More tips on our LikedIn

Follow our company page on LinkedIn for more tips, how-to’s, support and news from the Best-in-Class ERP software for the cloud. Keep posted with all things NetSuite.

Michael Dean

Michael Dean

Business Consultant

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How Millennials are Changing the Field Service Industry

The Millennial generation or Generation Y includes those that are born between the 80s and 90s. They are a generation that grew up with mobile technology and the internet at their fingertips. This instant access to information has bred an inherent expectation that at...

The Benefits of Warehouse Pick, Pack and Ship Automation

Through a combination of hardware, such as RF devices, and software, such as NetSuite, smaller distributors are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in technology that is designed to streamline their warehouse operations. Australian wholesalers are fast...

Top KPIs that Every Wholesaler Should be Tracking Right Now

Wholesale distribution has emerged as one of the top performing industries in terms of cloud technology take up. This early adoption, when compared to other industries such as professional services or manufacturing has seen Australian wholesale distribution business...

Manufacturing Software in 2019. How MRP Platforms have Changed.

In the past decade the manufacturing industry in Australia has changed dramatically, and so has Manufacturing Software (also known as MRP software). Interestingly, the concept of Enterprise Resource Planning software was born in the manufacturing industry. In the late...

The Omni-Channel Retail Customer is Changing

In 2019, the average consumer has evolved into a multi-channel purchasing machine. As the traditional customer buying journey continues to grow, retailers and wholesalers need to consider opportunities to cater to a new, savvier buyer. The question is though, where...

How is Field Service Software Helping Businesses to Get Ahead 2019?

Since 2014, we have seen a steady increase in both new field service businesses coming to market, as well as strong growth in existing operations. What is even more interesting is the number of retailers, wholesale distributors and manufacturers who are looking it...