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Archive for 2013

What are the options for mobile enabling my website

25th November 2013

What are the options for mobile enabling my website?

If you are thinking of expanding your online sales channels beyond a desktop website, then you need to be thinking about mobile enabling your website. Before you do so its worth asking some questions: Is the cost of a mobile website justifiable? And if yes then what are the options?

The Monetate Q1 2013 Ecommerce Quarterly gives insight on smartphone vs. tablet vs. desktop share of audience for large eCommerce brands. From the graph below you can see that tablet and smartphone use nearly doubled in a year based on 500 million visits for these retail clients. Mobile share is now around 25% on average.

mobile

With the rapid expansion of mobile web browsing and mobile shopping, it is becoming critical for retailers to provide an easy to use mobile shopping experience for their customers.

The fastest way to work out your mobile traffic demand is to look at your web analytics. Analytics tools such as Google Analytics allow you to see what proportion of your traffic comes from mobile phones. You can even see which device or operating systems the traffic comes from. If a significant amount of traffic is coming from mobile phones then you are potentially loosing sales due to the fact that your website is not optimised for mobile and hence not convenient for completing a purchase.

Mobile enabling your e-commerce business can be done in different ways:

1. Mobile website: A mobile website is the mobile version of your desktop site. Typically the way it works is the mobile website is a subdomain of your desktop site. When users accesses your website from a smartphone, they are automatically re-directed to the mobile website address, for example, m.yourdomain.com. If you type the website address of most of the large retailers such as Tesco or John Lewis, you will see that you are automatically redirected to the mobile version of the site which is easy to view and use in a smartphone.

2. Responsive design: if you are a small company and want to mobile enable your eCommerce website, this is probably the fastest and most cost effective way. Responsive design is relatively new and with advances in HTMLS and CSS technologies it is becoming increasingly popular. Responsive design means that your desktop site will adopt itself to different screen resolutions, which will make it easy to use on a small smartphone display. This means that unlike mobile website which has its own subdomain, a responsive website will have the same domain name as your website. The disadvantage of a responsive website is that since it is not specifically designed for mobile, the user interface is typically not as optimised for mobile as a mobile website.

3. Mobile apps: Retailers use mobile apps primarily for two different functions: brand promotion or selling of products. Benadryl for example has a free app that gives pollen forecast, which is good for brand awareness. The Benadryl app also has a buy now link which takes the user to a selection of affiliated shopping websites. Tesco on the other hand has an Android and iPhone app for grocery shopping. A mobile app can take full advantage of the native features of the smartphone and hence provide the best user experience. A mobile app however will be the most costly solution in terms of development costs and the fact that you will need both an iPhone and an Android app to cover most smartphones.

In next months article I will explain in more detail the pros and cons between responsive design and mobile websites.

Processing a VAT Refund in NetSuite

25th November 2013

Finance User Tip

Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you find yourself having to refund the VAT/Tax element of a Sales Transaction only?

As standard NetSuite is normally configured to automatically apply the appropriate VAT/Tax code to any international sales transactions. For example with European Union (EU) transactions the system normally applies VAT to Sales Transaction based on the ship to country and whether or not the Customer is VAT registered and has a Tax Registration ID or not. For example if a sale is to an EU country the system will automatically apply an EU VAT code. If the customer record has a Tax ID included then a 0% Exempt EU VAT code will be applied to the sales transaction. However, if the Tax ID is not present on the customer record then a Standard rate EU tax code would be applied and the customer would be charged VAT at the appropriate rate.

Problems can occur where VAT is applied to such a transaction and the customer subsequently advises you that they do in fact have an VAT registration number and request you to refund the VAT only portion of the sales transaction. In such an instance you will need to process the following:

1. Update the Tax ID on the customer record so that VAT is correctly accounted for on all future sales to the customer.

2. Setup an "Other Charge" item type with sale amount set to zero.

3. Create a standard Refund transaction against the original Sales transaction and save it as follows:

Item Rate Amount Tax Code Tax Rate Gross Amt Tax Amt
Other Charge
0.00
0.00
VAT:ES
0.00%
6.00
6.00

 

Version 2 of the NetSuite iPhone application is here

25th November 2013

Version 2 of the NetSuite iPhone application is here

For those who used Version 1 of the NetSuite iPhone application you will no doubt recall that the app substantially provided "view only" access to records. The fact that users were unable to create or edit transactions or cases limited the usefulness of the application. This has all changed with the new Version 2. Now users of the iPhone app can not only view records but they can also create and edit records as well. This makes Version 2 significantly more useful as you can now effectively process transactions and cases on the move.

One small limitation we noticed is that with the standard user/role setup you are unable to access the application using the Administrator role. This does generally create a problem for users in smaller organisations who tend to make more use of Administrator access in their day to day roles. While NetSuite generally suggests not providing Administrator access on a mobile device primarily for security reasons, there is a workaround that you may want to consider. 

To effect the workaround and allow Administrator access login to NetSuite on your desktop and using the Administrator role go to SETUP > COMPANY > ENABLE FEATURES. On the Employees sub-tab check Global Permissions. This effectively means one can then set any permission for an employee across all roles whereas normally you would be required to go into each role individually to apply a permission. Next go to your Employee record under LISTS > EMPLOYEES. Select and edit the appropriate Employee record by going to the Access tab and then to the Global Permissions sub-tab. Select and add "Mobile Device Access" and under Level select "Full". Save the Employee record. This should then now allow you to select the Administrator Role when logged into the NetSuite iPhone application.

Automating AR Statements

24th October 2013

Being on top of your AR collections is important. To help with this process customers often ask how to create an automated process for emailing out AR Statements on a regular basis. Read how you can effectively automate the AR process in NetSuite. To automate the process perform the following steps:

  1. Create a Customer Saved Search to select customers who you want to receive an AR Statement  
  2. Create a simple workflow to trigger emailing the statement based on the Saved Search results

Setting up the Saved Search
Create a customer type saved search. The criteria for the saved search can vary depending on your requirements for sending out a statement. For example you may want to send out a statement to include all customers at month-end, only customers who become 1 day overdue on a daily basis or only customers who have an overdue balance at month-end. So you will need to adjust the criteria to select the customers you want included.

Setting up the Workflow
Create a workflow for the Customer record and set a daily schedule for the workflow. You create a single state with a Send Email action and a Set Field Value action for the ‘Email Scheduled’ option on the Customer record. After you create the workflow, NetSuite runs the saved search daily or monthly depending on your requirements.

To create the workflow:

  1. Go to Setup > Customisation > Workflow > New.
  2. In the Name field, enter ‘Send AR Statements’.
  3. On the Record Type and Sub Types fields, select Customer.
  4. On the Release Status field, select Released.
  5. Under Initiation, select Scheduled.
  6. Under Scheduled, select the saved search you created above on the Saved Search dropdown and select ‘Daily’ or “Monthly” on the Frequency dropdown. By default, on the Daily schedule, SuiteFlow runs the saved search every calendar day at midnight.
  7. Click Save.
  8. To create a state, click New State and enter ‘AR Statements’ for the state name and click the Do Not Exit Workflow checkbox. Click Save.
  9. In the workflow diagram, select the state.
  10. Create a Send Email action with the following settings:
    1. In the Trigger On field, select Scheduled.
    2. In the Schedule area, set Time of Day.
    3. Select the email sender.
    4. Select the recipient of the email. You can use the email address of the customer.
    5. Specify the content of the email. You can select a template or enter the email details manually.
    6. Click Save.

BlueBridge One marks 10 year milestone

16th October 2013

This year marks the 10th anniversary of BlueBridge One as a company. Reaching this milestone, we reflect back on the highlights since starting off back in July 2003. During this period we have seen significant growth on the back our successful implementations and the success of NetSuite as a leading cloud-based business management suite:

o We have seen NetSuite grow from being a private start-up company with total revenues of around $15m in 2004 to a public company with revenues of $308m in 2012.

o During the period BlueBridge One has acquired over 300 NetSuite customers globally - customers that we support by serving either as their NetSuite assigned partner, or by providing them with professional services.

o Over the period our support team has helped customers deal with over 8,500 customer cases. Our goal has been and continues to be that of providing support as a free service to NetSuite customers who we represent as their registered NetSuite partners.

Here are the key achievements or decision points that we passed along the way.

2003

October 2003 saw BlueBridge One sign up as the first UK based NetSuite Solution Provider. Although starting off as a Sage and Act reseller we soon recognised the potential NetSuite offered for our customers and ourselves. While Sage, at the time, was a more mature product, we felt it offered less upside potential for our customers. Within a few years our direction had changed totally to being a focused NetSuite solution provider. The switch served us well.

In December 2003 we signed up Justoffbase, as the first NetSuite UK customer.

Read more about Justoffbase and NetSuite.

2007

It became apparent that many of our customers needed elements of functionality that were not standard in NetSuite. To support these customers we launched our SuiteExtender add-ons in June 2007 with the introduction of the Postcode Lookup SuiteExtender using the PostcodeAnywhere service. Since then we have launched more than 30 new SuiteExtenders which are used by NetSuite customers in more than 10 countries.

Read more about our SuitExtenders.

2008

In February 2008 we recognised that eCommerce offered an important sales and marketing channel for our customers so we started providing NetSuite eCommerce services. Our first project was providing advanced customisation services for the getgeared.co.uk website. Since then we have continued to help many customers launch successful NetSuite websites.

Read more about GetGeared.

2009

In June 2009 we officially signed up as a NetSuite Solution Developer Network partner. Since then we have provided advanced NetSuite customisation services, helping customers extend NetSuite’s standard functionality or by integrating it to 3rd party services.

2010

We completed our first OneWorld implementation in September 2010 for Warmup PLC. Since then we have continued to complete a number of multinational implementations for growing mid-market customers, all seeking to use the NetSuite platform to expand internationally.

Read more about Warmup PLC’s OneWorld migration

2013

In August this year we were certified by NetSuite to provide SuiteCommerce Advanced implementation services. This extends our eCommerce capability beyond only developing NetSuite SuiteCommerce Sitebuilder sites used currently by most customers. Our first SuiteCommerce Advanced implementation is due to commence shortly.

Here’s to the next 10 years of NetSuite and BlueBridge One. All of us look forward to the next 10 years of NetSuite and BlueBridge One. You can rest assured that we’ll keep up our high standards of service and support, backed with the outstanding expertise that has lead to us being recognised by NetSuite as a leading NetSuite UK Solution Provider and Solution Developer Network Partner.

Click here to register for a FREE 14 day trial of NetSuite, the recognised leader in cloud-based ERP for growing and mid-size organisations.

4 ways for achieving user-centred design

16th October 2013

In my previous post I explained the importance of user experience and mentioned a few examples on how central it has been to the success of many leading online retailers.

But what if you are a small company or a start-up? Does it have to be a very costly and resource intensive to involve the users in every stage of the design process?

Below you will find 4 effective methods for capturing user feedback that can lead to actionable insights for a better user experience. You will also see that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to capture user feedback.

1. Focus group: Focus group is a groups of people you gather together to get feedback from. Typically a focus group is used at an early stage before the launch of a new website, product or marketing campaign. You can for example take a website concept in the shape of some sketches or wireframes to a focus group, present the concept and listen to the feedback and reactions from the focus group. The session can also be used for brainstorming and bouncing ideas.

You can find participants using paid services such as findfocusgroups.com, paidfocusgroup.co.uk, place and advert on sites such as peopleperhour.com, use an agency to carry out the research for you or if budget is limited, you can quite simply select members from your circle of friends or colleagues.

The format of the session works best when participants are led through series of questions in conversational patterns. These questions should be prepare beforehand. The group questioning process should be structured enough to cause participants to give you the information you seek, yet informal enough that participants build on others' comments and ideas. It’s best to record the session but if not possible then somebody needs to take down all the notes.

2. User testing: The soon you have a working website, you can put it to test by inviting people to test your site following specified tasks. Since face to face testing can be time consuming and costly, most small businesses can benefit from online testing services such as usertesting.com or whatusersdo.com. You can select the demographics of the testers and upload the tasks you want them to carry out. What you will receive is a recording of the session where the tester will spend 15 minutes browsing your site following the test script, at the same time as speaking their experience.

In my experience user testing is very beneficial and I have always drawn useful learnings and insights which neither the creative team nor the client had anticipated.

It is far more effective to conduct user testing early in the project as opposed near the end or after go-live. In addition to it is best to do multiple testing sessions at different stages of a website project. In his book, “Don’t Make Me Think”, Steve Krug illustrates how doing two tests with 3 users each highlight more problems than doing a single test with 8 users. This is because following the first test you can make certain changes and corrections and then doing a fresh new test with new tasks, will normally uncover new areas of problem.

3. Split testing: Focus groups will give you ideas about what your audience wants and likes. User testing will help you identify problems with the site. Now the question is how do you solve the problems identified from user testing?

Although the solutions to some of the problems identified at user testing will be self-evident, many times the solution will involve trying different options to find out which option performs best. This also knows as conversion optimisation, where the goal is to convert more visitors to buyers.

If for example the user testing identifies that the offer price is not clear, then there are different ways you can show an offer price to capture the buyers attention. This is where the insight of a usability expert will be useful. A usability expert might suggest 2 or 3 different ways to show the special offer price. You can then do split tasting, where two different version of your page will be displayed and you can then compare which version performs best in terms of conversion.

4. Heat maps: Heat maps help you visualize where on the page people click. This is useful for fining out which links are popular or what call to actions are being ignored. There are various paid for tools what will create heat maps for you. A couple of popular tools are http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com an http://www.crazyegg.com/. These tools will generate detailed heat maps reports that can be very useful. There is however a free option to get this type of report and that is via Google Analytics InPage report which you will find in under the content menu. The InPage report is not as detailed as the mentioned paid solutions but is a good place to get started.

Heat maps are also a good way of putting to test different versions of a page to test and see for example which call to action gets the most clicks.

 

Why is user experience critical for eCommerce success

13th August 2013

user experience website design User Experience and User Centred Design are by no means new phenomenon. CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has a famous company mantra: “Starting with the customer and working backwards”. It is said that Bezos periodically leaves one seat open at a conference table and informs all attendees that they should consider that seat occupied by their customer, “the most important person in the room.”

Apple’s philosophy is very similar: Steve Jobs is quoted to say “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.”

Whilst leading online retailors know the importance of user experience and invest heavily in user centred design, many smaller online retailors fail to follow key processes that result in a memorable user experience for buyers – something that is critical to online sales and customer loyalty.

In many cases I have come across, the website design process involves an expert designer with strong views on design and usability, and a director or business owner with strong views on how the website should look like. Subsequently the site goes live without having captured any feedback from customers – the people who are actually going to use the site and buy the products.

The idea of a user centred design is to involve the customer at each stage of the design process. There are various ways to do this such as, focus groups, user testing, prototyping, and split testing.  I won’t go into details in this article, but will cover these methods in a follow-up post.

What is User Experience?

ISO 9241-210 defines user experience as "a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service". 

Website user experience involves a person’s emotion about using a website to find the information they need to complete a purchase. Many factors can contribute to a user’s perception and emotional experience of your websites. These include: design, look and feel, user interface, content, navigation, ease of use, reliability, performance, and customer support. Each of these elements will play an important role in the overall shopping experience a customer will have.

User experience is dynamic as it is constantly modified over time due to changing circumstances and new innovations.

With the increased popularity of mobile computing, customer experience is no longer limited to one touch point. By mid-2014 more people will access the web through mobile devices than PCs, according to research by iDate. This shift is radically changing how consumers interact with retail brands and the mobile strategy will inevitably play a crucial role in the over all customer experience of your brand.

Why is user experience critical for eCommerce success?

Perception is everything and if you make it easy to do something, you will gain the perception of speed and being user-friendly. Much of the success of companies such as Apple and Google can be attributed to breakthroughs in user experience.

There are many figures which prove how much more expensive it is to gain new customers than retain current ones. Good user experience is vital for customer loyalty. If a customer loves your site, not only they will return for more, but also it is very likely that they will spread the word by leaving a good review and telling their friends.

To survive in a competitive market your site must also draw customers in; provide ideas, inspiration and help all without being overly attentive and obtrusive.

Most successful online retailers such as ASOS and H&M are constantly evolving to remain attractive to repeat visitors. Both these sites use their home page and navigation to showcase latest products and display new images regularly.

What both ASOS and H&M have achieved is an extra level of assistance that helps their customers get that bit further. There are a number of ways these sites achieve this, either by passing on trends from the catwalk or providing ‘looks’ that the experts have pulled together – e.g. the ‘Holiday wardrobe’ or ‘Festival Fashion’ on ASOS.  Furthermore, on its product pages, ASOS shows a catwalk view, showing the item being worn as the models move down a catwalk – a nice feature that will certainly enhance user’s experience with the site.

Above are just a few examples of how leading brands invest heavily in user experience, and judging from their success it is certainly paying off for them.

In next month’s article I will be going into more details about the most effective methods to capture user feedback early on in a website design project.  

 

International Expansion – Smaller companies are becoming more competitive

28th June 2013

As companies seek new markets the lure of international expansion often becomes a major consideration in driving sales growth. Until recently, however, the costs and risks of establishing and managing such an environment have created a barrier to entry for small and mid-size companies. Typically you would have to look no further than the following to understand the uphill battle faced by smaller organisations:

  • The cost of the additional IT infrastructure
  • Country specific taxation reporting requirements
  • Staff recruitments
  •  Logistics around product distribution
  • Consolidated reporting
  • General administration
  • Potential cost of a failed venture

This situation has turned around somewhat with the advent of Cloud-based systems, which together with the emergence of business process outsourcing, have helped reduce the barriers. The relative low cost of using and maintaining a cloud-based infrastructure makes it an ideal tool to drive international expansion. Lower initial setup costs, lower maintenance costs, lower support costs and more agility to be able to quickly scale up or down and remote office access, all add to the mix. It is entirely understandable why many large corporations today deploy cloud-based platforms alongside their corporate ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, specifically for this reason.

While a cloud-based infrastructure provides the ideal environment for organisations that intend expanding internationally there are local compliance requirements that also need consideration. Here the role of the cloud-based ERP vendor is important. Take for example NetSuite where you have a cloud-based ERP application that as standard provides for localised taxation reporting in 51 countries and support for 21 languages. Having the ERP vendor manage this area significantly reduces the onerous task of managing compliance in any foreign country.     

The final piece in the jigsaw is the use of a business process outsourcing partner to help scale the international business by providing resources and specialised skills. To be effective in providing these services it is important that the outsource partner has international reach and can provide assistance and advice across various countries. Take for example RSM Tenon, they can help establish and manage the operations in the foreign country without you establishing a costly local infrastructure. Find out more about the outsource services RSM Tenon provide.

So in summary, by deploying a cloud-based business management tool together with the services of a reputable business process outsource partner, smaller mid-size companies now have an easier form of access to compete on an equal footing with larger corporations for their share of the international market, all of this with relatively low levels of risk. 

Shopping cart abandonment facts and how to avoid it

27th June 2013

What are the statistics and what are the steps you can take to lower cart abandonment on your web shop?

Shopping cart abandonment statistics

Shopping card abandonment means that a buyer adds products to their shopping cart but doesn’t complete the purchase. There are various abandonment statistics published online with slight variation in their findings. Thankfully the folks at Baymard Institute have collected data from 19 reliable recourses and as a result they have calculated an average abandonment rate of 67.35%.

So what are the prime reasons for buyers abandoning their cart?

This infographic from Milo lists some of the top reasons:

cart abandonment reasons

Research findings from the comScore 2013 Stat Of Retail Presentation highlights some more useful statistics:

  • 44% of those buyers who abandoned a shopping cart, did so because of long delivery times
  • 49% of consumers say free shipping is the most valuable online shopping incentive retailers can offer
  • 3 out of 4 have added to their cart to qualify for free shipping
  • 2/3 of shoppers review a return policy before making a purchase

A survey of 2,000 UK consumers, conducted by Econsultancy and TolunaQuick found that 74% of shoppers would abandon a purchase due to high delivery charges, while 54% would drop out if they experienced any technical problems. Other popular reasons are: the price is too high (49%) and the need to register before buying (25%).

8 reasons consumers abandon shopping carts

Having analysed all the statistics from the above three sources, It is possible to conclude 8 main reasons in order of importance:

  1. Shipping cost too high or lack of free shipping
  2. Not ready to purchase yet. Saving items for later
  3. Delivery time too long or not displayed early in the process.
  4. Price too high. This is normally the total shipping inclusive price.
  5. Technical problems
  6. Not happy with the return or refund policy
  7. Ability to place order without registering
  8. Ability to pay by PayPal for buyers who want to use their PayPpal account to pay instead of using a credit card.

Note that although I have been only mentioning cart abandonment, most of the points mentioned above will have an impact on both cart abandonment and checkout abandonment.

How to improve the cart abandonment rate

Having identified the top reasons why people abandon cart, it is not difficult to arrive at viable solutions to overcome the main obstacles.  Here is my summary:

  • According to comScore, 49% of consumers say free shipping is the most valuable online shopping incentive retailers can offer. If you can offer free shipping and clearly display early on that buyer qualifies for free shipping, then cart abandonments due to free shipping should no longer happen.
  • Save for later or wishlists, allow the shoppers who are not ready to buy yet to save their items for later and hence not use the add to cart for this purpose
  • Clearly display delivery and stock information on the product page and provide fast delivery times.
  • According to comScore, 67% of consumers will shop more with a retailer if they offer a hassle-free return policy, hence offering an attractive return policy helps as an incentive
  • Usability and error free checkout. It goes without saying that it is critical that the cart and the checkout process are well designed, user-friendly, and free from technical problems.

For more detailed tips and a visual presentation here is a useful info-graphic

NetSuite Manufacturing Gets An Upgrade

21st June 2013

NetSuite beefed up manufacturing support in the latest and one-before releases with the addition of enhanced assemblies and work orders coupled with new routing and work centre features.  You'll want to keep up to date with these new features if you use assemblies in any way in case your business can benefit.  Here's a quick trip through the changes to manufacturing.

Assemblies

If the components of your assemblies change over time - possibly due to design, engineering or sourcing reasons - the new Effective and Obsolete Date fields on each component are what you need.  You'll find these on the Components sublist of each assembly item.  Using these fields you can specify the lifespan of each component, effecting changes to the BOM over time.  When you build an assembly the BOM effective at the date of the build is used.

Netsuite manufacturing -  assemblies

Assemblies also sport new fields to support WIP (see next) - WIP checkboxes on the Locations list to indicate that an assembly should be tracked for WIP at specific locations, plus WIP, Scrap and Cost Variance Accounts on the Accounting tab which point to the GL accounts that will be used to track work in process for the item.

Work Orders and WIP

If you're building assemblies then you're probably using using work orders.  Work orders commit components before the assembly is built, allocating inventory when the order is created (just like a sales order does) to give you real-time component availability.  Before this release work orders were either pending or built, so you would mark the work order built in NetSuite once manufacturing/assembly was completed.  Now with the new Manufacturing Work In Process feature enabled, you issue components to work orders, indicate the work order process is complete and finally close the work order all as different steps, enabling NetSuite to track WIP over time.  

Netsuite manufacturing work orders and WIP

The new WIP workflow is enabled on the Work Order itself by ticking its WIP checkbox.

Manufacturing Routing

This new feature enables complex work orders that involve multiple people or processes to be set up and executed.  NetSuite tracks progress of the work order through its manufacturing/assembly process and enables machine and labour costs to be rolled in to the assembly's asset value.  WIP is updated as the work order executes and can include a number of elements calculated during the process.

Routing uses Work Centres to define groups of employees that perform specific roles in the work order process, for example a Spray Room group.  Once you've set up your work centres (and a few other things that are needed) you can define a Manufacturing Routing, which is a template containing the list of steps in the work order process.  Each step can involve a different work centre and have different overhead and run rate (duration) costs.

Netsuite manufacturing routing

Netsuite manufacturing bill of material

Once your routings are ready you can attach them to assemblies on the item's new Manufacturing tab, and specify them on Work Orders in the new Manufacturing Routing field.  When you save the work order a list of manufacturing tasks are created based on the routing template.  As work progresses you update the tasks by marking them In Progress and finally Completed, and also record actual overhead and run time for the task.  NetSuite uses the routing template to calculate machine and labour costs for the task and adds this to the assembly's WIP.   

Please see NetSuite Help for more info on the above features, and also for Standard Costing for Manufacturing which is not discussed here, or call or email our support team.

2013.2

Finally, an update on the upcoming release 2013.2 (hopefully you've now finished getting your head around 2013.1!).  The next release rollout to customers starts 19-July and is scheduled to finish 6-September.  It's worth adding the New Release portlet to your dashboard if not already there, to keep an eye on your preview release and upgrade dates as well as access the new features release notes: on your dashboard click Personalise Dashboard, then add the New Release portlet.  We'll have more on 2013.2 in my next post; in the meantime if you'd like help with planning or executing your release testing just give us a call or email our support team at support@bluebridgeone.com.

Is NetSuite shifting up a gear?

23rd May 2013

 

Netsuite growth and dominance in ERP

After spending much time in the shadows of some of the more well know on-premise ERP vendors such as Sage, SAP and Microsoft, NetSuite at last appears to be emerging as a distinguishable player in the ERP market sector.  The momentum shift seems to be coming from a number of different sources. While the likes of Sage can undoubtedly still claim to have a significant edge in terms of market reach and customer install base it’s fast becoming evident that NetSuite is gaining ground and on their once dominant positions.

Take for example last week, where NetSuite, without much notice edged past Sage in terms of overall stock market valuation. What does this mean in real terms? Well not much right now in terms of market penetration, however it does appear to indicate is that technology wise investors are now seeing greater value in what NetSuite has to offer for the future than they are seeing from some of the more traditional players like Sage.  

While one could argue that market capitalisation on its own is not really a relevant measure of a company’s size or dominance in any sector, it does undeniably reveal what investors are thinking in terms of a company’s ability to outperform its peers over the coming years. Given the current valuation put on NetSuite these investors can only believe it will outperform its peers.

Another source of this anticipated momentum shift is Gartner’s recently published Financial Management Software (FMS) report showing the relative annual growth rates of the top financial management software vendors for 2012. NetSuite's global growth rate came in at a healthy 49 percent, significantly higher than all other vendors listed in the report. Take this into consideration together with its relative growth in its overall market valuation then one can easily be forgiven for thinking that a momentum shift is in progress and that NetSuite's true Cloud-based offering is seemingly about to disrupt the once dominant positions held by Sage and the other major on-premise vendors.

For now however Sage investors will remain relatively satisfied with the last 5 years return on their investment, but the question remains, can they expect to remain satisfied with their returns over the coming years? Only time will tell but I know where my money is for now.   

5 ways to enhance your NetSuite web store

21st May 2013

If you use NetSuite for your webstore and want to improve the customer experience and convert more visitors to buyers, this article outlines 5 useful add-on’s that will enhance your Netsuite webstore. The add-on’s mentioned below are called Suite Extenders and have been developed by BlueBridge One. Suite Extenders are customisation bundles developed following requests from customers over the past few years.

1. Blog Manager

Netsuite Blog Manager

One limitation the NetSuite platform has is the lack of built-in blogging software or the possibility to host your blog outside NetSuite whilst having the blog URL, part of your shop domain. For example if your webstore URL is www.myshop.com, you cannot host your blog outside NetSuite and still have this URL: www.myshop.com/blog.

Having the blog as part of your domain has SEO advantages because your blog will add SEO value to your domain and will improve your search engine rankings.

If you host your blog outside NetSuite ­– using popular blogging software such as WordPress – you will have to choose a different domain or sub domain such as blog.myshop.com. The general consensus is that Google treats sub-domains as a different website, hence the SEO and ranking benefits are not passed on from your blog on a sub-domain. You can read more about this at seomoz.org.

The Blog Manager Suite Extender is a comprehensive blog management tool, which allows you to manage all your blogs directly from NetSuite with no third party service required.

Features of the Blog Manager Suite Extender include:

  • Blog styled to fit within your site’s existing style and the possibility to fully customise the look and feel
  • Automatically archive articles and display archived links in the sidebar
  • Allow Blog readers to post comments
  • Set up moderators to approve/reject reader comments
  • Provides SEO optimisation through control over page title, URL component, meta tags and HTML for control of SEO elements
  • Display latest blogs widget on home page
  • Enhanced NetSuite HTML editor for easy blog post editing

Click here for more information

2. Product Reviews

Netsuite Product Reviews Add-on

User reviews are a well-proven sales tool; there are plenty of surveys that show how important they are to online shoppers when making a purchase decision. In this article Retail Week refers to a YouGov survey that revealed 81% of consumers use reviews when shopping online.

There are however two types of reviews: The first one is customer review about the overall shopping experience, often managed by a verifaiable third party review system.

The second type are product reviews whereby a shopper leaves feedback about a particular product after purchasing the product. The benefits of managed product reviews are that you can moderate them and they also add valuable user generated content to your product pages.

  • The BlueBridge One Product Reviews Suite Extender adds the product review capability to your NetSuite webstore.
  • Features of Product Reviews Suite Extender include:
  • Customer reviews use the general styling of HTML elements included in your website's existing stylesheets.
  • Setup moderators to approve/reject product reviews. Moderators are emailed when new reviews need approval
  • Fully templated and HTML and the form can be customised

Click here for more information

3. Customer Loyalty Scheme

Netsuite loyalty point suite extender

According to Inc., it costs a business about 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one - and on average current customers spend 67% more than a new one.

Implemented correctly, loyalty schemes have proven to be an effective way of rewarding your best customers in a way that keeps them coming back.

Features of the Customer Loyalty Scheme Extender include:

  • Reward customers for their loyalty
  • Operate a fully automated loyalty scheme on your web store
  • Customers earn points when they buy and are rewarded with gift vouchers
  • Gift vouchers can redeem on future purchases
  • Rules can be set determining how many points each sale earns

Click here for more information

4. Webstore Geo Targeter IP Address

Netsuite Geo Targetting

If you want to direct visitors from different countries to different landing pages then this can be achieved with Geo Targeting. This will enable you to display country specific pages without the need of having a separate website.

The script detects the user's country from their IP address and then uses this to redirect them, using a list of countries and targeted URLs which you define.

The SuiteExtender geotargets IP addresses using either a free online service or, for greater accuracy, MaxMind's Geo IP Country service.

Click here for more information

5.  Webstore Postcode lookup

Netsuite post code lookup

Enable your Webstore Customers to automatically fill out their address details by simply searching on their Postcode.

The ability for webstore visitors to quickly and easily setup an account enhances the customers buying experience and makes them more likely to return to your site.

The Postcode Lookup SuiteExtender enables webstore visitors to quickly enter their address by entering only their postcode and then selecting a building number. The address fields in NetSuite are then automatically populated with the correct Royal Mail approved details making address entry a snap for visitors and ensures the accuracy of the data supplied.

What you get: A postcode lookup field embedded in the NetSuite Webstore which allows visitors to lookup their address by postcode, select their building and then automatically populate the NetSuite address fields.

Click here for more information

 

 

What are the best SEO practices in 2013?

19th April 2013

best practice SEO 2013

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a term that has different meanings for different people. What’s certain is that the way Google ranks pages in its search results has changed dramatically in the past two years, following major updates, referred to as Panda and Penguin!

For a small online business which relies heavily on Google traffic, a drop in search rankings will mean a drop in sales. That can have severe consequences.  

With so many different SEO companies out there and so many different opinions, how do you know who to listen to and who to trust?

I think the best place to start is to actually listen to what Google recommends. Think of it as straight from the horse’s mouth. I follow the Google Webmaster Central posts and also listen to Matt Cutts, the head of Google spam team. Furthermore, I am a member of SEOmoz and have been involved with SEO optimisation for many eCommerce sites. 

Here is my summary: 

The past

It’s no longer viable to use tricks behind the scene or resort to low quality artificial backlinks to boost the ranking of a website. I have seen first hand various sites being penalised by Google due to acquiring links from sites that are only there to provide links; such as low quality directories, low quality press release websites, article directories, artificial blogs, etc. Basically, the Google search algorithm has become very smart. If it identifies a link that looks un-natural or paid for (often acquired by SEO companies), your site’s ranking will suffer.

The future

Focus on the needs of your site’s users and the SEO benefits will follow. That is what Google says and I tend to agree with them. Now, what does that actually mean? It means understanding the specific pains, problems and needs of your specific target customers and providing them with the relevant and high quality information that they are searching for.

It means providing your target customers with an unparalleled user experience – a user experience that means buyers can find what they are looking for with minimum amount of clicks, and then be able to complete a transaction in a seamless manner. SEO still has a place when it comes to fixing the technical and HTML aspects of your site – so-called on-page optimisation.

On-page optimisation is everything to do with making your site more SEO friendly and more optimised for the right keywords. Again, the focus here should be on what will benefit your audience first, followed by keyword optimisation based on the knowledge gained from researching what people actually search for.

Here is an extract from a recent post from Google Webmaster Central, Another step to reward high-quality sites, which explains good practice SEO in a concise and easy to understand paragraph.

“White hat search engine optimizers often improve the usability of a site, help create great content, or make sites faster, which is good for both users and search engines. Good search engine optimization can also mean good marketing: thinking about creative ways to make a site more compelling, which can help with search engines as well as social media. The net result of making a great site is often greater awareness of that site on the web, which can translate into more people linking to or visiting a site.”

What's new in NetSuite 2013.1 release?

11th April 2013

Netsuite release 2013.1

NetSuite completed the rollout of their latest version – 2013.1 – last month. If you haven't yet had a chance to investigate what's new, it's definitely worth taking a look. There's something for (almost) everyone. We've had a month or so to work with clients on this new release and here are some important highlights that you might have missed...

By now you will have encountered the additional authentication requirement. You'll need to use the answers you set up whenever you log jn from a new browser or computer, just like Facebook and other sites already require you to. Email notifications will keep you up to date when this happens in case it wasn't you who logged in. Login security is always a hassle, but it's good to see NetSuite implementing current best practice. If you need an additional level of security for all or even some of your users (like administrators). then NetSuite have also enhanced their two-factor authentication solution, as well as making the price a no-brainer. Support is provided for both standalone token devices and for token apps you can install on Android, Blackberry and iOS devices, so implementation should be simple.

Your accounting team will be pleased to learn that NetSuite now performs gapless transaction numbering, along with the ability to automatically number additional transaction types such as customer deposits (but, alas, still not Bills). Your auditors can find the new transaction numbering log at Transactions > Management > Transaction Numbering Audit Log.

The rollout of the new SuiteCommerce web store feature set is now well under way. The communication around SuiteCommerce has been less than clear at times, so here's my take on where we are. The old "Advanced Site Builder" module has now been renamed "SuiteCommerce Site Builder" and offers the same core features as before, with the following enhancements:

* SuiteScript Server Pages (SSP) is now out of beta. SSP is NetSuite's long-awaited server-side page template engine technology, enabling sites to be built in the same way as in other popular tools and languages, such as ASP, ColdFusion and PHP.

* NetSuite provides a SSP "reference" implementation: Cart & Checkout. Reference implementations are pages built using SSP that can replace built-in pages and that developers (not NetSuite users, for now anyway) can modify by using the reference SSP code as a starting point. NetSuite exposes a number of "touch points" where SSP pages can be used to completely replace built-in functionality: Log in, Log out, Checkout, Register, Cart, Customer Centre and Home Page.

* File Cabinet assets are now delivered using CDN (content delivery network) caching, which should provide substantial site speed gains.

In addition a further new "SuiteCommerce Site Builder Advanced Features" module is now also available. This module provides additional ecommerce features, including the ability to build your site from the "ground up":

* The ability to replace the entire ecommerce shop flow with SSP pages.

* A new item indexing and search API to enable developers to build best-of-breed site search solutions within NetSuite itself.

* A reference shop, cart and checkout implementation as a starting point for developers to build a new store. This implementation includes features such as responsive design, instant search, faceted navigation, enhanced product display and merchandising, product reviews and gift cards.

* A new content delivery (CMS) structure that enables NetSuite users, not developers, to maintain the content that appears in the SSP templated store pages.

* CDN caching of SSP pages for faster page delivery.

If you operate one or more web stores in NetSuite, our advice would be to keep a close eye on the new ecommerce infrastructure in this release and the next. You'll definitely want to leverage all or parts of SuiteCommerce in your own site at some point, even if you're not ready to do so now.

For those with integration solutions in place, smbXML is being retired from release 2013.2 onwards. If you're still using smbXML to integrate with NetSuite, you should be working now to replace this with a current technology solution, utilising web services or NetSuite RESTlets instead.

Finally, and on a similar note, if you're an Internet Explorer user please note that NetSuite is ending the support for IE versions 8 and earlier from t             heir next release, 2013.2. This means you have five months or so to move to an up-to-date browser, such as IE 9 or 10, or the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Getting this organised now will mean less to worry about when 2013.2 arrives later this year!

IE 9: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/internet-explorer/downloads/ie-9/worldwide-languages

IE 10: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/internet-explorer/downloads/ie-10/worldwide-languages

Chrome: https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/

Firefox: http://www.getfirefox.net/

Safari: http://support.apple.com/downloads/#Safari%205.1.7%20for%20Windows

There's plenty more that's new in 2013.1, including major enhancements around manufacturing. I'll discuss these in my next post. If you can't wait until then, NetSuite's release notes do a good job of detailing the changes; you'll find these in Help under Additional Resources > Release Notes, or see the pdf version here: https://system.netsuite.com/help/helpcenter/en_US/PDF/ReleaseNotes_2013.1.0_v14.pdf

NetSuite named as one of America’s most trustworthy companies

25th March 2013

Assessing Accounting and Governance Risk

Independent US research firm GMI Ratings has named NetSuite among the 100 most trustworthy American companies. The highly respected firm focuses on corporate governance, director/executive compensation and forensic accounting.

GMI Ratings maintains broad coverage of the environmental, social, governance (ESG) and accounting-related risks affecting the performance of public companies. The firm publishes two proprietary ratings of public companies. ESG ratings are established for nearly 6,000 companies worldwide, helping investors assess the sustainable investment value of public companies.

GMI Ratings also determines Accounting and Governance Risk (AGR) ratings for approximately 18,000 public companies worldwide. AGR ratings reflect accounting and governance practices statistically associated with risks likely to cause sharp drops in equity value.

NetSuite highest ranked large company

NetSuite’s AGR score of 99 makes it the highest ranked company (out of nine) with a large market capitalisation. James A Kaplan, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of GMI Ratings said: “There are two unique factors to this list. First of all, it is compiled using a different set of tools. AGR uses governance and forensic accounting measures that are rarely incorporated in traditional analysis. These extra-financial measures are, in our view, an important factor in trying to understand value. Secondly, to our knowledge there are no other lists that focus on the trustworthiness of a business. There are many lists that focus on other attributes.”

He continues: “Also, we have found evidence that, on balance, the most trustworthy companies outperform their peers over the long term.  Of course the greatest benefit to a well-managed company is that their risk of negative events is minimised.”

UK customers can trust NetSuite from BlueBridge One

UK wholesale and distribution businesses looking to implement cloud based ERP and cloud-based e-commerce can rest assured that entrusting financial and business operations to a NetSuite custom implementation by BlueBridge One poses the lowest risks of any comparable solution. BlueBridge One is recognised by NetSuite as one of only two UK NetSuite Three Star Award winners, and we inherit the values and the trust levels that are determined by GMI Ratings AGR.

Click here to register for a FREE 14 day trial of NetSuite, the most trustworthy ERP solution on the planet.

Click here to see the article ‘America’s 100 Most Trustworthy companies’ and full list at Forbes.com

Cloud-based e-commerce and ERP from NetSuite offers wholesale distribution great direct sales opportunities

12th March 2013

Mixed signs of recovery and UK High Street remains challenging

There continue to be mixed signs of recovery. While stock markets boom on both sides of the Atlantic, the UK has recently reported record numbers in employment as the US reported a 4 year low in unemployment. Supply chain economics have seen US industrial giant GE (General Electric) repatriate some manufacturing and creating jobs in the US.

Despite this The UK High Street continues to look extremely challenging; with Blockbuster busted, the fat lady singing for HMV and things turning nightmarish for Dreams, the last couple of months have offered little good news to embattled retailers.

Replace lost sales to High Street retailers with direct to consumer sales

Many point out that the changes in the High Street are simply a marketplace correction which has cleared out a legacy DVD hire business; a business model that failed to adapt to the consumer trend of online music sales; and a business characterised by big ticket prices and high overheads - furniture retailing. Marketplace correction or not, inevitably the contraction of the High Street means the market for’ traditional’ wholesale distribution (WD) is shrinking. However, some in WD are seizing this as an opportunity by replacing the business lost through the High Street with direct to consumer sales.

At first glance many in WD this may seem unrealistic. The increased costs and complexity of direct to consumer sales may be undesirable. However with cloud-based e-commerce integrated with a cloud-based ERP solution, direct to consumer sales is an opportunity not to be missed.

NetSuite cloud-based e-commerce and ERP from BlueBridge One

SuiteCommerce is cloud-based e-commerce, an online store environment offering the internet shopping experiences which consumers expect. With performance and functionality optimised for any device, SuiteCommerce provides support for 19 languages and more than 190 currencies. It lets you deliver B2B and B2C e-commerce services from a single site and is taxation compliant in over 40 countries.

SuiteCommerce is the e-commerce layer which sits on top of NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP. NetSuite works in the background, joining up the essential business functions that ensure a great online shopping experience. While making sure consumers have a good time, NetSuite also provides the core functions that ensure your business runs efficiently; Accounting/ERP, Inventory Management and Order Processing.

Additional tools that drive sales and enhance customer service include Salesforce & Marketing Automation, Customer Support and Partner Collaboration. For WD Advanced Inventory is available and for bigger businesses Demand Planning module is included.

Why not talk to BlueBridge One to find out more about how you can replace lost WD sales with direct to consumer sales? We are one of only two UK NetSuite Three Star Award winners. Click here to register for a FREE 14 day trial of NetSuite.

NetSuite Buyers Guide to Financial Management Software - making the case for cloud-based e-commerce and ERP

25th February 2013

Successful companies break the ‘spreadsheet mentality’

The one thing that successful companies in all sectors and niches are almost certain to have in common is a solid financial footing. Often this means that they have made the essential break from the ‘spreadsheet mentality’, which is error prone and inefficient.

Instead, many will have adopted ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), a robust and capable business management system. Such systems promote accuracy and efficiency while enabling businesses to obtain intelligence in real time. Both cloud-based ERP and cloud-based e-commerce are pivotal information systems for businesses that need to respond quickly to changes in the operating environment and gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Rock solid financials

To help those that want to break free of spreadsheets NetSuite publishes The Buyer’s Guide to Financial Management Software. This enables a full understanding of NetSuite’s capabilities and why it is the best cloud-based ERP solution for growing and mid-size companies. This comprehensive guide ensures that those tasked with making the numbers add up have all the essential information to make an informed decision. In short, it enables decision makers to select a solution that provides the rock solid financials needed to succeed.

NetSuite cloud-based e-commerce and ERP from BlueBridge One

The guide covers the capabilities of NetSuite Financials, which forms the core of all NetSuite ERP solutions. NetSuite Financials contains all the essential tools for growing and mid-size companies with a minimum of 1 User and up to 500 Employees. The core modules are Accounting/ERP, Inventory Management and Order Processing.

To enable NetSuite to fully meet the needs of wholesale and distribution businesses, CRM and e-commerce features are added. These include Salesforce & Marketing Automation, Customer Support, Ecommerce and Partner Collaboration capabilities plus Advanced Inventory. For larger deployments the Demand Planning module is also included.

As one of only two UK Three Star Award winners, BlueBridge One is recognised by NetSuite for its expertise and commitment to delivering customer value. With NetSuite cloud-based e-commerce and ERP custom implemented by BlueBridge One, you be sure that you get the rock solid financials you need for your business to succeed. You can click this link to download The Buyer’s Guide to Financial Management Software.

Cloud-based e-commerce and ERP ideal for developing overseas markets like Brazil

12th February 2013

Brazil’s annual party shuts down the country for five days

This weekend saw the climax of Brazil’s carnival celebrations with millions of locals and international visitors and celebrities flocking to the annual five day party, a national holiday which shuts down the country for five days.

The Brazilian economy was not insulated from the problems of the global financial crisis of 2008; it experienced two quarters of recession as demand for commodity exports dried up. However, Brazil was one of the first emerging markets to begin recovery as consumer and investor confidence caused GDP to hit a growth rate of 7.5% - a 25 year high.

Brazil winning the economic race

In 2011, Brazil overtook the UK as the 7th largest economy in terms of GDP. Brazil not only exports to Asian markets it also attracts significant investment from countries such as China, further driving prosperity.

The recovery of the UK economy cannot happen in isolation; with our key European market bumping along the bottom, it is imperative to look to overseas markets wherever possible. The growth of consumer markets in Brazil holds enormous potential; between 2003 -2014 Brazil’s lower-middle class has grown by 52.1 million, and the A and B demographic jumped by 15.7 million.

Develop overseas markets with cloud-based ecommerce and ERP from BlueBridge One

For UK businesses that wishing to cost effectively establish a presence and develop opportunities in any overseas markets such as Brazil, a scalable cloud-based business management platform is essential in reaching out to these new markets. While NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP provides the underlying platform, NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce provides the cloud-based e-commerce presentation layer, allowing companies to effectively manage their entire global wholesale and distribution operations in one system.

As one of only two UK Three Star Award winners, BlueBridge One is recognised by NetSuite for its expertise and commitment to delivering customer value. With NetSuite cloud-based e-commerce and ERP custom implemented by BlueBridge One, you can make the most of opportunities to develop overseas markets. Simply click here to register with BlueBridge One for a FREE 14 day trail of NetSuite.

Follow this link to see our blog which tells you what to expect from SuiteCommerce.

Climate changing the economics of the supply chain

18th January 2013

Climate change driving extreme weather

Wild fires sweeping New South Wales in temperatures of 50 degrees centigrade; the worst storm in 20 years bringing snow to the Middle East; one of the wettest years on record in the UK, climate change is throwing global weather patterns into turmoil. One of the biggest changes observed is melting of sea ice in the Arctic. Last September it was 18% lower than the previously observed record minimum set in 2007. While this may hold some serious implications for further extreme weather, it also brings the real prospect of changing the economics of manufacturing goods in Asia-Pacific for distribution in Europe.

Significant potential for change in world shipping

The shrinking Arctic sea ice opens up the Northern Sea Route, sometimes called the North East Passage. This allows shipping to pass from the Pacific via the Bering Strait and navigate along the north coast of Russia and down past Scandinavia into the North Sea. Through the Suez Canal, today’s usual route, the distance from Shanghai to Rotterdam is 19,300km. Via the Northern Sea Route it is just 14,875km*, a 23% reduction in distance and perhaps 10 days in journey time. At the moment opening up regular commercial routes using the North East Passage seem some way off; however there is another change coming much sooner.

Although likely to be of less impact to Europe, the widening of the Panama Canal is set to complete in 2015 and may influence the pricing structure of world shipping. The current limitations of the canal restrict ships sizes to those carrying 5,000 20-foot standard TEU container units. Widening the canal enables ships with a capacity of up to 13,000 containers to take the 50 mile short-cut from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

Be ready for change with NetSuite

The potential impact of such changes to global shipping on wholesale and distribution are significant; greater capacity and shorter routes suggest lower transport costs and faster restocking, both of which offer the possibility of reduced TLC (Total Landed Cost) for goods. When change arrives, you quickly need to be able to exploit it. NetSuite cloud-based ERP enables you to factor in the impact of such variables on your supply chain.

We are one of only two UK Three Star Award winners, recognised by NetSuite for our expertise and commitment to delivering customer value. With a NetSuite ERP solution custom implemented by BlueBridge One, you can be ready for whatever change brings. Discover pricing for NetSuite by clicking here.

Follow this link to see The Geography of Transport systems webpage at New York’s Hofstra University.

* - Academic attribution: Rodrigue, J-P et al. (2012) The Geography of Transport Systems, Hofstra University, Department of Global Studies & Geography, http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans

‘Made in America’ campaign shows how ‘Made in Britain’ can drive economic growth and reshape supply chains

10th January 2013

One third prospering…but what about the rest?

We’re familiar with many of the factors that have contributed to the recession in the UK. The inciting incident is the credit crunch, which sent the entire global economy into a tail spin. This in turn revealed the UK economy’s over-exposure to a financial services sector, which at best may be characterised as self-serving.

Over the last 20 years or so, the focus on a service and knowledge based economy has moved us into a post-industrial era. This has seen UK owned businesses largely exit from many industries such as motor manufacturing and ship building. Many operate globalised supply chains, outsourcing the manufacture of a vast amount of goods from overseas markets.

In the US, this experience is broadly similar. About one third of the US workforce is prospering in the knowledge economy. But what about the rest? Some commentators believe the majority of these are unemployed or low paid service workers that are falling further behind, increasing the polarisation of society in the US.

The case for bringing manufacturing back to the UK

The relationship between the disappearance of skilled jobs and the growth in the numbers of unemployed and low paid workers is strongly recognised in the US. Bad handling of the issue proved terminal to Mitt Romney in his attempt to woo voters in the key swing state of Ohio during the 2012 US Presidential election.

US broadcast network ABC has probably done no harm to its popular image with its ‘Made in America’ campaign. Since 2011 a strand of ABC ‘World News’ has used ‘Made in America,’ to examine American manufacturing and the economy. Throughout 2012 it highlighted various American businesses that are contributing to their local economies and creating more jobs in the U.S. In the run up to the festive season ‘Made in America Christmas’ simply asked each American to pledge to spend $64 on one gift, as US economists have stated that if everyone did this then it would generate 200,000 jobs.

As issues such as increasing transport costs and rising wage demands continue to drive up the TLC (Total Landed Cost) of BRIC manufactured goods for wholesale and distribution in the UK, ‘Made in Britain’ could become a mantra for those operating supply chains; if UK consumers shift to this mindset as well then it could be the way to see rapid economic growth and the return of prosperity to the UK.

Know when the time is right for ‘Made in Britain’ with NetSuite

NetSuite cloud-based ERP lets wholesale distribution businesses take control of the supply chain by enabling better management. With accurate cost analysis and the ability to understand how individual variables such as transport costs or labour costs impact TLC, NetSuite lets you see when ‘Made in Britain’ becomes a solid financial business policy for your business.

As one of only two UK Three Star Award winners, BlueBridge One is recognised by NetSuite for its expertise and commitment to delivering customer value. We custom implement NetSuite ERP to meet the specific needs of each customer. Click this link to register with BlueBridge One for a FREE 14 day trail of NetSuite.

Follow this link to see the ‘Made in America’ homepage at ABC News.