NetSuite Supply Chain Control Tower; End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility

By - January 17, 2019

Supply Chain Management or SCM is defined as a wide range of activities required to plan and control production, inventory, and distribution utilizing cost-effective methods. In the past few years, the term “Control Tower” has been used with Supply Chain to define the technology for enhanced visibility to assist with short and long term planning and decision making. That visibility is sometimes referred to as an end-to-end or a “360-degree” view of all supply chain activities in real-time, like an airport control tower.

NetSuite developed its own the Supply Chain Control Tower feature in Release 2018.1. It provides enhanced visibility into demand, supply and inventory balance through the defined planning horizon. With Release 2018.2, OneWorld is not required for the Supply Chain Control Tower feature.

This enhancement’s true power is the ability to simulate future demand and supply requirements by analyzing the inventory impact of current and past due transactions, including work order component demand and assembly supply, planned work orders and sales orders pending approval. The Supply Chain Snapshot Inquiry can be customized like any saved search using criteria, filters, add/remove columns, highlighting and can be exported.

Supply Chain Control Tower only works with Inventory Items and Assembly Items. Users must have permission to Supply Chain Snapshot List.

Enable Supply Chain Control Tower

To enable the Supply Chain Control Tower, go to Setup > Company > Setup Tasks > Enable Features (Administrator) > Items & Inventory, Inventory Section and Enable;

  • Inventory
  • Multi-Location Inventory
  • Advanced Inventory Management
  • Supply Chain Control Tower

Next, go to Setup > Accounting > Accounting Preferences and confirm (if the option is displayed);

  • Create Work Orders in Supply Planning is not set to “Do Not Generate”.


Then, go to Setup > Accounting > Inventory Management Preferences and set;

  • DEFAULT SUPPLY CHAIN SNAPSHOT FUTURE ORDER HORIZON (recommend 90 days unless there are long lead-times items, then use 180 days. The max is 365 days).




  • NOTE: you can also set the FUTURE ORDER HORIZON specific to an item on the Item Record in the Inventory Management Section.

Next, decide which Locations should be included in the Supply Chain Snapshot.

  • Go to the Location Record and check the box “Include in Control Tower”


When the Supply Chain Control Tower feature is enabled, the View Supply Chain Snapshot button becomes available on the Item Record Header;




If there were no previous Supply Chain Snapshots, you will be taken to this page – confirm Past Horizon and click on Save.

After saving or if there were previous snapshots, you will be taken to the Grid View that will list all open supply and demand activity as well as a running inventory balance within the past and future horizon dates.

The Supply Chain Snapshot will display both planned and released work orders, component demand, assembly supply, approved sales orders and sales orders pending approval, as well as transfer orders. If a transaction does not appear in the Snapshot, check the horizon dates and filters.

You can refresh the Supply Chain Snapshot as required. Use filters to check supply and demand across locations, view transaction details, simulate inventory levels to help plan purchase and production quantities.

Click on Edit, and checking the Refresh box allows adjusting the Past Horizon Date.

Supply Chain Snapshots can also be generated by going to Lists > Supply Chain > Supply Chain Snapshots > New.

For more information on this topic or others related to NetSuite, contact RSM at or by phone at 855.437.7202.

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