NetSuite is a really big software. This means a few things: (1) it is extremely powerful, with the ability to handle nearly every aspect of your business operation, (2) it is a lot to handle, and can easily be overwhelming to use, and (3) to reduce the chances of being too overwhelming, NetSuite hides some of its features and functions in the standard version, and only leaves the most commonly-used features enabled by default. Sometimes, though, you want to use a feature or function that is hidden from use by your current account setting. To use that feature, you will first need to enable it. Enabling features occurs at the company level; that is, the enabled (or disenabled) status of a feature will apply to all users, not just you. (With subsidiary level features, features apply across each subsidiary).
It usually makes sense to wait to enable any feature until you are sure that you need that specific feature – this helps eliminate an overly-complex NetSuite environment for your company, as well as to avoid overwhelming users with too many options. Generally, the best two ways to know which specific features you need enabled are to either (1) ask your favorite NetSuite consultant or (2) look for whatever functionality you desire in SuiteAnswers, NetSuite’s help article repository. Many SuiteAnswer articles, and especially the more general, introductory ones, will indicate which features need to be enabled to use a particular functionality in NetSuite. One caution, however: sometimes the name of the feature is not exactly the same in SuiteAnswers as it is in NetSuite itself.
Following this conservative approach of enabling features only when you need them will go a long way towards keeping your NetSuite user environment (the look and feel of the page) clean and efficient. In fact, a good NetSuite implementation team can even help you to disenable features you don’t need.
The basic way to enable a feature is by means of Setup > Company > Enable Features. Here you will see a set of subtabs such as Company, Accounting, and CRM. Under each subtab is a list of the features, grouped by category. For instance, under the Company subtab is the category Projects, which contains most of the features needed for handling project management within NetSuite. Simply click the checkbox and hit Save to enable a feature.
Some features have prerequisites (other features that must be enabled for them to work); if you click on one of these, NetSuite will alert you of what those prerequisites are.
Sometimes it is difficult to find a particular feature that you want to enable, as NetSuite will occasionally tuck a feature into a category you haven’t thought of. Here are two tricks you can use to help if you get stuck:
1. If you try searching the Enable Features page using your browser’s search toll (Ctrl+F), it will
only search the subtab you are currently on. To search all the subtabs at once, first click the little button on the far right of the blue subtab navigation panel. This will expand all the subtabs one on top of the other, all within the same page view, for easy keyword searching.
2. A second way to search for features is through the general Setup Manager. Rather than navigating from Setup > Company > Enable Features, just click Setup. This page is a general, comprehensive resource for all sorts of setup tasks, including importing data, setting default company information, and various preferences. The search bar in Setup Manager can help you find any of those things as well as features you can enable. For instance, if I search using the keyword “marketing”, it displays all the marketing preferences and features. When I click on one of those features I am are taken straight to the correct spot in the enable features page, still within the Setup Manager.
Enabling the right features is essential to making the most out of NetSuite. If you have an expensive toolbox like NetSuite, it is worth digging around to find the tool you would use every day. To minimize the amount of digging required, and to receive guidance on which tools would best suit your company’s needs, reach out to ERP consultants with experience and certifications across the entire toolbox that is NetSuite.
Hopefully, this post gives you something to work with while trying to understand NetSuite and what it can do for your business. If you have any questions and want some free consulting advice, feel free to contact our team at Anchor Group.