December 22, 2020

3 Underutilized NetSuite Workflow Actions

By Arjun Nag

Drive greater process efficiencies with these easy-to-use workflow Actions

Happy holidays! I hope everyone is ok with skipping the Seinfeld-esque “So what’s the deal with 2020, am I right?!” pleasantries, because if you’re as over it as I am, you won’t mind. What we can do is begin smothering the rear-view mirror with duct tape and gently accelerating towards the bright light that is NetSuite automation (cue chuckle). Without further ado, let’s jump right into the top 3 workflow actions that are not only heavily underutilized, but are extremely versatile and easy to set up. Why not enter 2021 having automated a few things for yourself? Here we go:

  1. Return User Error Action

    The Return User Error action is used for field or record validation to display incorrect data on a record form to the user by displaying an error message. This prevents the user from saving the record with incorrect, invalid, or unwanted data.

    By using a condition (when do we want this message to pop up?) on the action to define the error, you can then set a custom message in the text box that’ll display in a pop-up window to the user. Let’s take a look at an example pulled from NetSuite:

    Return User Error Action Netsuite

    In this situation, the condition is set to display the custom message when a number greater than 10 is input into the Customer Rank field.

    Given the versatility of this action, you could substantially limit user input error in a variety of ways ranging from date field windows, to $ amount limits, to basic numeric controls as seen above. The Return User Error action opens the door for a high level of control, but more importantly, a live level of control that eliminates the time-wasting future edits by forcing correct data input in the present.

  2. Create record action

    The Create Record action does what its name implies: it automatically creates a new record. We can use this action to have a standard or custom record automatically created based on a set criteria. We not only specify the type of record to create but can also choose specific field values to populate on said record upon creation.

    For example, let’s say we wanted a Task record to be created and assigned to a specific employee to initiate a phone call every time a new invoice is flagged. We could set the Create Record action condition to be when an invoice is flagged, and set the Parameters of the action to create that Task record while also populating fields on that record that we want filled, such as Customer Name and Invoice #.

    Let’s look at another example from NetSuite:

    Create Record Action in NetSuite

    We can see that when this workflow action is triggered, an Event record type will be created and 4 fields will be populated either by the hardcoded data inputted, dynamically calculating a value, or by sourcing into the field from elsewhere. The ability to customize these values is amazing.

    The Create Record workflow action produces countless opportunities to automate follow up activities, as well as valuable time savings related to increased efficiency where applied. By shoring up processes using this simple NetSuite automation, you can unlock various cost savings that quickly add up.

  3. Send Email Action

    If you’ve made it this far, maybe you’ve encountered email automation in NetSuite in some shape or form. The Send Email action may sound simple, and while setting it up may be an easy task, its uses are quite expansive.

    We use the Send Email action to send an email when the action executes based on a set condition. The sender, the recipient, and the email content be it an attachment or specific template, are all customizable in this action. Need to automate correspondence with a customer on a scheduled basis? Want to automate emails to your vendors based on your own unique criteria or threshold? Looking to automate messages to customers when a custom invoice $ amount criteria is met or a due date passes? All of these scenarios and many, many more can be automated and customized to fit your business and process needs.

    Here’s what part of the workflow action looks like:

    Send Email Action in NetSuite

    In just the image above, we can see how extensive the options are for customizing any email automation process using a basic workflow action. Dynamically setting the recipient field in a variety of ways, as well as including PDF attachments sourced straight from a record in NetSuite, are both uses of this action that can aid in the improvement of existing functions. This action can also be used internally for email distribution.

    The Send Email action is a simple yet customizable way to engage with your customers, vendors, or even your employees in ways completely unique to your business. With the condition visual builder, you can create endless criteria to trigger communication without writing a single line of code.

Summary

The three workflow actions discussed in this post are just a few of the automation processes that NetSuite offers through its workflow capabilities. The possibilities are endless with workflow actions in NetSuite spanning from basic CRM automation, to Manufacturing and SaaS controls. For all things NetSuite, Bridgepoint can help in a variety of ways.

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About Arjun Nag

Arjun Nag is a consultant in Bridgepoint’s NetSuite Consulting practice who brings two years of NetSuite implementation experience to the firm. He has worked with and deeply customized numerous modules including Order to Cash, Inventory Management, and Fixed Assets. His experience in NetSuite advising within a variety of industry verticals allows him to contribute effectively to a diverse mix of clients. With a background working on Software, Manufacturing, and Services integrations, Arjun’s focus is to optimize processes, ensure a smooth transition, and bring considerable value to his clients.

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