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NetSuite Launches Manufacturing Edition

Inventory controls and production engineering capabilities extend SaaS-based enterprise applications suite.

NetSuite today launched a special edition of its cloud-based ERP, CRM and e-commerce suite with new engineering, production and inventory-control functionality designed for manufacturers. NetSuite Manufacturing Edition extends the company into an adjacent market just in time to face competition from SAP's soon-to-be-launched Business ByDesign Suite.

With more than 10 years under its belt as a software-as-a-service provider, NetSuite counts many distributors and light manufacturers among its 6,600-plus customers. The experience has helped it build out functionality to manage global supply chains, high volumes of products, multiple locations, and multiple distribution centers. NetSuite Manufacturing Edition adds hard-core process functionality including material requirements planning and controls for production engineering, inventory, lots and serial numbers, and manufacturing costs.

"We'll let manufacturers do it all in a cloud computing solution so they can worry about execution while we handle all the IT," said Mini Peiris, vice president, product marketing at NetSuite. "We already have more than 3,000 customers with multiple locations and 50 customers who manage more than 50,000 product SKUs, so we know this will be a very scalable solution for large manufacturers."

Manufacturing is an increasingly global endeavor, with outsourcing and cross-border supply chains as a given. Thus, Manufacturing Edition is said to be tightly coupled with NetSuite's OneWorld multinational and multi-subsidiary support capabilities.

"If you have multiple subsidiaries, NetSuite supports different tax engines and currencies across each of the different countries," said Peiris. "You get local control, forecasting and visibility, but everything can be seamlessly rolled up with currency conversion at every layer."

NetSuite competes most directly with on-premise ERP packages from the likes of Microsoft, Lawson, Infor and Epicor. Current cloud-based competitors include Workday, which focuses on ERP and HR functionality. Now that SAP is poised to enter the SaaS market with its resigned Business ByDesign suite, which is set to launch in July, NetSuite will have a direct competitor that takes the same, all-in-one suite approach encompassing ERP, CRM, sales force automation, and business intelligence. SAP also lists Web-enabled sales as a Business ByDesign capability, but Peiris said e-commerce will be a differentiator for NetSuite.

"More and more manufacturers are going direct to the consumer through their Web sites," she said. "Our e-commerce capabilities let you tap into the item masters and inventory records of the ERP application, so you never end up taking an order on a Web site that you can't fulfill."

NetSuite's standard SaaS service is $499 per month plus $99 per user, per month. The Manufacturing Edition is an additional $2,499 per month, per company with no additional per-user charges.

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