Best Practices for WIP and Routing in NetSuite for Manufacturing

OpenTeQ Admin | Updated: Jun 14,2024
Best Practices for WIP and Routing in NetSuite for Manufacturing

In the fast-paced world of enterprise resource planning (ERP), where many unique business aspects come together, few things are more important than work in progress (WIP) and routing. Speaking from experience, understanding those functions is critical if you work in a small or medium-sized business and rely on NetSuite. Unlike when things are strained, it can help everything work smoothly, like a well-oiled machine.  

This blog is written to help clients understand WIP and routing in NetSuite. For those who are unfamiliar, NetSuite is a well-known cloud-based ERP software developed by Oracle. It consolidates all your finances for dealing with customer connections into one strong platform. Now, let us learn more about WIP and routing in NetSuite. 

What are WIP and Routing?  

WIP (Work In Progress) and Routing are often used words in NetSuite to describe manufacturing operations. Here's what they commonly refer to:  

Work in Progress (WIP)  

This refers to the inventory of partially finished goods at various stages of the manufacturing process. Products are often manufactured in numerous phases before being finalized.  

WIP represents the value of materials and labor involved in the production process but not yet converted into completed items. Managing work in progress (WIP) is critical for monitoring production efficiency, controlling expenses, and ensuring order completion on schedule.


Routing in NetSuite, or in any manufacturing setting, refers to the predetermined sequence of operations or processes that a product must follow during the manufacturing process. These processes may include procedures such as assembling, machining, testing, and inspection, among others.  

Each step in the routing identifies the work center or location where the operation will be conducted, the resources needed, and the time required to execute the activity. By creating and managing routings, manufacturers may ensure consistency, efficiency, and quality in their manufacturing processes. 

WIP and routing are frequently managed within NetSuite's Manufacturing module or inventory and production management functionalities.

Users can generate and manage work orders, track work-in-process inventories, define routings for different goods, and track the progress of production tasks through various phases. This allows organizations to streamline their manufacturing operations, maximize resource use, and keep control of production costs and schedules.

Exciting Partnership: OpenTeQ Joins the NetSuite Partner Network

Key Advantages of WIP and Routing in NetSuite

Work Center Management  
NetSuite, Work In Process (WIP), and Routing provide powerful work center management features. This functionality enables organizations to better organize and manage their production activities.
Work Center Management allows users to track the progress of commitments and successfully allocate assets. This guarantees that each element center is fully utilized, increasing production and decreasing downtime. Furthermore, managers can delegate specific responsibilities to each work center, streamlining the production process and increasing overall productivity.

Precise Pricing 

Accurate costing is critical for businesses to make informed decisions and maintain profitability. NetSuite's WIP and Routing capabilities allow businesses to achieve precise costs for their manufacturing operations. Organizations can accurately calculate the total production cost of each product by tracking materials, labor, and overhead costs in real-time. This allows for more effective pricing strategies, cost control, and financial management. Accurate costing enables firms to uncover cost-saving opportunities and improve their bottom line. 

Infinite capacity scheduling  

Infinite capacity scheduling is a powerful feature of NetSuite's WIP and Routing module, allowing businesses to optimize production schedules with no resource constraints. This indicates that production can be planned around available capacity, ensuring that resources are used efficiently while fulfilling production deadlines.  

With limitless capacity scheduling, businesses can react quickly to changes in demand or production requirements, eliminating delays and increasing efficiency. This adaptability enables enterprises to maintain a competitive advantage in changing market conditions. 

Drag-and-Drop NetSuite's WIP and Routing module  

It offers a simple drag-and-drop Gantt scheduler for effective production scheduling. This functionality enables users to readily visualize production timelines, detect dependencies, and alter schedules as necessary.  

The drag-and-drop functionality enables rapid adjustments to production plans, allowing organizations to respond quickly to changes in demand or resource availability. By offering a comprehensive perspective of the production plan, this tool improves team communication and collaboration, resulting in smoother production processes and higher efficiency. 

Keep track of Work-in-Process costs 

Businesses should track their Work Process (WIP) expenditures to assess overall financial success. NetSuite's WIP and Routing module can assist organizations in maintaining proper price control during manufacturing.  

This module tracks the expenses connected with materials, labor, and overhead in real time, providing organizations with insight into the cost of unfinished items at any given time. This allows for more precise spending management, budget documentation, and informed decision-making. Tracking work-in-process expenses can help firms identify inefficiencies, optimize useful resource utilization, and increase profitability.

Configuring the Manufacturing Routing & WIP Feature

To activate the Manufacturing Routing and Work Center capabilities, an administrator must perform the following steps:  

  • Go to Setup > Company > Tasks > Enable Features.  
  • Visit the Items & Inventory section.  
  • Check the option for Manufacturing Routing and Work Centre.
  • Save your changes. 

To use Manufacturing Routing and Work Center, make sure the following features are also activated.  

  • Manufacturing Work in Process  
  • Inventory across many locations, including work orders.  
  • Assembly Items  
  • Project Management 

To enable the Manufacturing Work in Process (WIP) capability, do the following steps:  

  • Select Setup > Company > Enable Features (Administrator).  
  • Navigate to the Items & Inventory subtab.  
  • Check the box for Manufacturing Work in Process.  
  • Save your changes. 

The Importance of Work in Progress in NetSuite 

With NetSuite for WIP management, you can really investigate how resources are used at each production stage, identify any snags that may hold things down, and maintain a tight eye on material flow across workstations with incredible accuracy.  

Managing your WIP (Work in Progress) in NetSuite can significantly improve your game. It not only soothes out your production schedule by eliminating slack, but it also improves your ability to quickly adjust to market demands.  

This means you may get your new or improved items on the market faster while also saving money by making better use of your resources and reducing waste. In short, getting clever with WIP management in NetSuite can significantly improve your production line, propelling your company to the top of the industry and gaining a competitive advantage.

Tips for Effective Implementation

Using NetSuite's WIP and Routing capabilities can significantly affect the game, but they are somewhat complex. Here are some recommendations to help you get the most out of these tools:  

Best Practices for WIP and Routing in NetSuite.  

Tips for Effective Implementation  

NetSuite's WIP and Routing capabilities can significantly impact the game, but they are somewhat difficult. Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of these tools: 

 Best Practices for Work in Progress and Routing in NetSuite  

  • Regularly update WIP data to reflect current manufacturing status.  
  • Gain insights from WIP data by using comprehensive reporting and analytics tools.  
  • Establish explicit WIP costing rules and examine them on a regular basis. 

Avoiding common pitfalls 

  • Inaccurate WIP data from irregular updates can lead to poor conclusions.  
  • Failure to link WIP activities to specified routing steps might result in inaccurate tracking and expense estimates.  
  • Ignoring the necessity of change management while deploying new WIP and routing methods might result in resistance and inefficiency. 

Partner with a Top NetSuite Services Provider  

A NetSuite Partner with deep manufacturing expertise can help you configure WIP and Routing functionalities to perfectly align with your specific needs. Top NetSuite Services Providers, like OpenTeQ, can provide: 

  • NetSuite Implementation Services: Ensure a smooth and successful implementation of NetSuite for Manufacturing. 
  • NetSuite Customization Services: Tailor NetSuite to your unique manufacturing processes for optimal efficiency. 
  • Ongoing NetSuite Support Services: Get expert assistance to maximize your return on investment with NetSuite. 

Why Partner with a Top NetSuite Partner in North America? 

Choosing a NetSuite Partner in North America with a proven track record in manufacturing offers several advantages: 

  • Deep industry expertise: They understand the intricacies of manufacturing and can translate your needs into a customized NetSuite solution. 
  • Local presence: Benefit from time zone advantages and easier communication with a North American partner. 
  • Proven success: Look for a partner with a history of successful NetSuite implementations in the manufacturing sector.

The NetSuite Advantage: A Well-Orchestrated Manufacturing Symphony 

By implementing best practices for WIP and Routing in NetSuite, and partnering with a Top NetSuite Services Provider, you can orchestrate a well-coordinated manufacturing symphony. This translates to: 

  • Increased efficiency: Streamlined workflows and optimized resource allocation lead to a smoother, faster production process. 
  • Reduced costs: Gaining control over WIP and production costs allows for cost optimization. 
  • Enhanced visibility: Real-time data provides valuable insights for informed decision-making. 
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Timely deliveries and consistent product quality lead to happier customers.

Using WIP and Routing in NetSuite is a necessity, not a luxury. In a world where speed and efficiency are paramount, knowing your stuff could be your secret superpower. You may propel your organization forward and create new standards for how things are done by strategically utilizing NetSuite's WIP and Routing.  

Remember that the data you collect with NetSuite is more than simply numbers. It is actually the language of your company processes, explaining everything in detail. It is up to you to decode it and put it into action. 

Ready to Take Control? 

NetSuite offers a powerful platform to elevate your manufacturing game. By mastering WIP and Routing functionalities, and partnering with a Top NetSuite Partner, you can unlock the full potential of NetSuite for Manufacturing. Contact OpenTeQ Technologies today to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help you achieve manufacturing excellence.

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