Leverage Saved Searches to Automate Email Notifications in NetSuite

Use saved searches to create simple automated notifications to help manage AR and maximize existing resources. 

Challenges 

When the pandemic hit, just about every industry on the planet had to rethink how they normally do business. Businesses sought new opportunities to remain afloat in the increasingly demanding and changing market. The glass-half-full way of thinking was no longer a simple cliché. Consequently, many businesses opted to extend their lines of credit, i.e., allowing their customers to continue to buy and operate without upfront payment. If businesses were already offering these terms, they started to give their customers more time to pay their invoices. This was especially followed by utility companies (gas, electricity, water, etc.). Most internet and phone services did the same. Even landlords gave their renters some extra time to pay rent. By extending lines of credit, companies ensure that they remain afloat in a time of uncertainty. However, by doing so, they also had to face many challenges in terms of managing their accounts receivable. 

Managing accounts receivable inherently has its challenges.  These challenges become incredibly overwhelming for business owners when they face an increase in demand and do not have staff and products to handle the workload.  A spike of this nature can strain the existing or limited team, which results in lowered productivity and demotivation. 

Without automation, organizations often end up with a very exhausted and overworked AR (accounts receivable) person or team.   An overworked and understaffed team cannot function properly and thus are prone to errors. Communication is also disrupted when the AR team is unable to do its job efficiently. Eventually, the disruption in the company is translated into the sales and profitability of the company. In addition, a flawed AR process will ultimately hurt the company’s image and relationship with its customers. 

 An AR team/person is responsible for a lot of tasks, such as: 

  • Send monthly customer statements. 
  • Send invoices. 
  • Remind customers when invoices are due. 
  • Notify notorious customers regarding upcoming invoice payments. 
  • Notify customers with delinquent past regarding the invoices. 
  • Communicate with the internal team the customers with accounts on credit hold. 
  • Keep track of the customers with special arrangements. 

So, when an AR team/person messes up, the following are grossly affected: 

  • Cashflow 
  • Customer satisfaction 
  • Employee happiness 
  • Continued business growth 

Luckily, NetSuite can salvage all four of the points listed above in a simple and streamlined way with its advanced AR functionalities. The only human input required is that of initiation.  Someone will need to take the time and perform these tasks. You cannot simply enable a feature or click a button to automate “accounts receivable.” Since the company has already invested time and money to help their customers by extending their company’s credit and more time to pay their dues, collection efforts need to start asap. This solution will cost them no additional money, it is easy to deploy, and it’s the “grunt” work that needs to be done, but this solution to automate this small part will help them immensely. 

Solutions 

So, what is the “opportunity” here? NetSuite can do all the heavy lifting and automate these tasks for you! 

Here is one solution you can implement immediately:  

Notifying customers when their invoice is past due 30 days using saved searches. 

1. Create a saved search for the invoices. Here’s how:  

  • Navigate to Transactions > Sales > Create Invoices > Search, then click Create Saved Search. 

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2. In your criteria tab, filter for open invoices at 30 days overdue. Add/modify filters as needed to refine your search results. 

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3. In the results tab, add the fields to include in your search results.  

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4. Check the box to send emails according to schedule and add yourself as a specific recipient. Include any other specific NetSuite user as needed. 

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5. In the recipient field, add Email for recipient from results. This is the email on the invoice originally sourced from the customer record 

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6. Customize the email subject and message. Using the field IDs in curly brackets will return the search results values. For instance, {number} is the invoice number, {name} is the customer’s name, and so on. 

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7. Schedule emails to be sent daily at a specific time such as 8 AM, whatever works best for your business. 

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8. Name and save your search. 

Here are the results of the sample saved search and resulting email: 

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This may not seem like anything fancy, but this simple saved search method has the potential to save many hours for your AR team. This reduces the need to increase headcount and it is easy to create. With slight modifications, it can be copied and applied to different invoice ages. 

If you need more information, contact the AlphaBOLD team. We can help you build a more comprehensive automated process that follows your business’s standard operating procedures and rules. 

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