Throughout a product’s lifecycle, performance or process issues may necessitate changes to a product’s specifications. Often, these changes to specifications can take the form of a process or component change to the product’s bill of materials. In the manufacturing space, tracking these changes is important and over time a product may undergo a series of revisions which need to be tracked for regulatory or internal quality control purposes.
These changes may also need to go through approval by several personnel before a change can be implemented to the product’s manufacturing process. NetSuite’s engineering change order module can help you manage this process and provide a centralized approach for reviewing these changes.
Prerequisites & Setup
The engineering change order module comes included with the Supply Chain Management SuiteApp. In addition to having the SuiteApp installed, the following features will need to be enabled to fully utilize the engineering change order module:
- Advanced Bill of Materials
Enabling these two features allow the engineering change order module to implement changes to bill of materials once they have been approved, and the SuiteApprovals bundle itself provides the mechanism for routing engineering change order approvals to the correct personnel. Note that Legacy BOM is not supported, but you can still use the engineering change order records in your process. However, you will not be able to utilize NetSuite’s engineering change order implementation function which I’ll cover below.
Once the pre-requisite features have been enabled, the engineering change order module can be enabled by navigating to:
- Transactions > Management > Supply Chain Management > Preferences
- Click Edit.
- Under the Engineering tab, check the Engineering Change Order box.
- Click Save.
Finally, note that you will need to add engineering change order permissions to any custom roles. For a comprehensive guide on setup procedures, refer to the following SuiteAnswers article: https://suiteanswers.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/76402
Creating An Engineering Change Order
Now that we’ve set up the feature, we’re ready to use it. To create an engineering change order, navigate to Lists > Engineering > Engineering Change Order > New:
- Set the Subsidiary.
- This will refresh the form, so I recommend setting this first.
- Select an option from the ECO Type list.
- The options on this dropdown list help classify the type of change and are fully customizable to your needs. You can add additional types to this list.
- Set the Problem field.
- This is an optional text field that can be used to note the reason for the change.
- Set the Description field.
- This is a required long-text field to be used to provide a more in-depth description for the engineering change.
- Set the Date.
- Set the Effective Start Date.
- Once approved, this will determine the effective date for the change. Note that it will also set the effective start date on any BOM revisions that are created.
- Set the Effective End Date.
- This field is optional but will determine when the engineering change order ends. Note that it will also set the effective end date on any BOM revisions that are created.
- Enter the Product Changes or Process Changes.
- Note: You can also enter both, but you’ll need to enter at least one of the two.
- Note: Process Changes do not update BOMs, however product changes do.
- To enter a BOM Change:
- Click the Add BOM Changes button.
- Select the action. You can Add, Remove, or Replace items on a BOM revision.
- Select the item you are adding, removing, or replacing.
- Click the BOM Change button.
- Select the Assembly item you are modifying with the above change.
- Enter the quantity.
- If applicable, enter the component yield.
- Select the BOM and BOM Revision to modify.
- Enter the new BOM Revision to create.
- Click Add BOM Change.
- Click Save.
- Click Save again.
- Set the Subsidiary.
Streamlined Implementation, Easy Access, and Powerful Visibility
After the engineering change order is saved, it will be routed through approval to the designated personnel. The SuiteApprovals portion is beyond the scope of this article, but regardless, you have the option to automatically implement the change order once it has received final approval. Otherwise, you can manually implement the change order. Once you implement the change order, NetSuite will make any necessary changes to the impacted assembly items and will also create any new BOM revisions based on your inputs if needed.
The engineering change orders will be stored in NetSuite and can be reviewed at any time by navigating to the Engineering Change Order Page. Additionally, the engineering change orders support saved searches and saved search alert emails as well, providing you with full visibility into engineering change order activity.
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