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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding WIP and Routing in NetSuite

In the bustling global of company resource-making plans (ERP), in which many distinctive business features come collectively, a few things are as critical as Work in Progress (WIP) and Routing. Speaking of our experience, getting a good grip on those functions is essential if you’re involved in a small or mid-sized commercial enterprise and are leaning on NetSuite. Unlike when things feel more strained, it can make everything run smoothly, like a well-oiled machine.

We wrote this article to help customers understand WIP and routing in NetSuite. For individuals who might not recognize it, NetSuite is a notable cloud-based totally ERP software created by Oracle. It combines the entirety of your finances to deal with client relationships into one robust platform. Now, let’s understand more about WIP and routing in NetSuite.  

What is WIP and Routing?

In NetSuite, WIP (Work In Progress) and Routing are terms often associated with manufacturing processes. Here’s what they typically refer to:

Work In Progress (WIP)

This refers to the inventory of partially completed goods in various stages of the production process. In manufacturing, products typically go through multiple stages before they are completed. 

WIP represents the value of the materials and labor that have been invested in the production process but have not yet resulted in finished goods. Managing WIP is crucial for monitoring the efficiency of the production process, tracking costs, and ensuring timely completion of orders.


Routing in NetSuite, or in any manufacturing context, refers to the predefined sequence of operations or steps that a product must go through during the manufacturing process. These steps can include various operations such as assembly, machining, testing, and inspection, among others. 

Each step in the routing defines the work center or location where the operation will be performed, the resources required, and the time it takes to complete the operation. By defining and managing routings, manufacturers can ensure consistency, efficiency, and quality in their production processes.

In NetSuite, WIP and Routing are often managed within the Manufacturing module or features related to inventory and production management. 

Users can create and manage work orders, track WIP inventory, define routings for different products, and monitor the progress of production tasks through various stages. This helps businesses streamline their manufacturing operations, optimize resource utilization, and maintain control over production costs and timelines.

Key Benefits of WIP & Routing in NetSuite

Work Center Management

NetSuite, Work In Process (WIP) and Routing offer robust work center management capabilities. This feature allows businesses to efficiently organize and manage their production operations. 

With Work Center Management, users can track the progress of obligations and allocate assets successfully. This ensures that each element center is utilized optimally, increasing productivity and reducing downtime. Additionally, managers can assign particular responsibilities to each work center, streamlining the production process and enhancing universal efficiency.

Accurate Costing

Accurate costing is vital for firms to make educated decisions and remain profitable. NetSuite’s WIP and Routing capability enables firms to achieve precise costing for their manufacturing operations. Organizations can properly compute the overall manufacturing cost for each product by tracking materials, labor, and overhead costs in real-time. This provides more effective pricing tactics, cost control, and financial management. Accurate costing allows organizations to identify areas for cost savings and enhance their bottom line.

Infinite Capacity Scheduling

Infinite capacity scheduling is a strong feature of NetSuite’s WIP and Routing module that enables enterprises to optimize production schedules without resource limits. This implies that production may be planned around available capacity, ensuring that resources are used efficiently and meeting production deadlines. 

With limitless capacity scheduling, organizations can respond swiftly to changes in demand or production requirements, reducing delays and increasing throughput. This adaptability allows firms to maintain a competitive advantage in shifting market contexts.

Drag-and-Drop GANTT Style Scheduler

NetSuite’s WIP and Routing module includes a user-friendly drag-and-drop Gantt-style scheduler, making production scheduling intuitive and efficient. This feature allows users to visualize production timelines easily, identify dependencies, and adjust schedules as needed. 

The drag-and-drop functionality allows for quick modifications to production plans, helping businesses respond promptly to demand or resource availability changes. By providing a clear overview of the production schedule, this tool enhances communication and coordination among team members, resulting in smoother production processes and improved efficiency.

Track Work In Process Costs

Businesses should use their Work Process (WIP) costs to monitor monetary overall performance. NetSuite’s WIP and Routing module can help corporations hold control of those prices as they should during production. 

This module tracks the costs associated with substances, hard work, and overhead in actual time, giving companies insight into the cost of unfinished items at any given time.  This helps manage expenses more accurately, document budgets accurately, and make informed choices. Tracking WIP expenses can assist organizations in becoming aware of inefficiencies, optimizing helpful resource utilization, and enhancing profitability.

Enabling the Manufacturing Routing & WIP Feature

To activate the Manufacturing Routing and Work Center functionality, an administrator needs to follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Setup > Company > Setup Tasks > Enable Features.
  • Access the Items & Inventory section.
  • Tick the box for Manufacturing Routing and Work Center.
  • Save the changes.

Ensure the following features are also enabled to utilize Manufacturing Routing and Work Center:

  • Manufacturing Work In Process
  • Multi-Location Inventory
  • Work Orders
  • Assembly Items
  • Project Management

To activate the Manufacturing Work In Process (WIP) feature, the following steps should be taken:

  • Access Setup > Company > Enable Features (Administrator).
  • Navigate to the Items & Inventory subtab.
  • Select the checkbox for Manufacturing Work In Process.
  • Save the changes.

The Importance of WIP in NetSuite

With NetSuite for WIP management, you get to really dig into how resources are used at every production stage, spot any hiccups that might slow things down, and keep a close watch on material flow across workstations with amazing accuracy.

Managing your WIP (Work In Progress) inside NetSuite can seriously up your game. It’s not just about making your production schedule smoother by cutting out the slack, but it also cranks up your ability to quickly adapt to what the market wants. 

This means you can get your new or improved products out there faster and save a bunch of money by using your resources smarter and cutting down on waste. In short, getting smart with WIP management in NetSuite can really change the game for your production line, pushing your business towards being the best in the biz and snagging that competitive edge in your industry.

Tips for Effective Implementation

Using the WIP and Routing features in NetSuite can really change the game, but yeah, they’re a bit complex. Here are some tips to help you make the most of these tools:

Best Practices for WIP and Routing in NetSuite

  • Regularly update WIP data to reflect the current state of production.
  • Use robust reporting and analytics tools to gain insights from WIP data.
  • Establish clear WIP costing standards and review them regularly.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Inaccurate WIP data due to infrequent updating can lead to misguided decisions.
  • Failing to link WIP activities to specific routing steps can result in lost tracking and cost accuracy.
  • Disregarding the importance of change management when implementing new WIP and Routing processes can lead to resistance and inefficiencies.


Using WIP and Routing in NetSuite is a must-do, not just a nice-to-have. In a world where being quick and efficient wins the race, knowing your stuff could be your secret superpower. By smartly using WIP and Routing in NetSuite, you can push your organization ahead and set new benchmarks for how things are done.

On your NetSuite journey, always keep in mind that the data you collect isn’t just numbers. It’s actually the language of your business processes, telling you all the ins-and-outs. It’s on you to decode it and turn it into action.

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