Preventing And Detecting Duplicates In NetSuite
(Written by Dee Elliott, SuiteCommerce Consultant at 79Consulting)
Why do we hate making multiple trips or repeating the steps of a task? Sometimes even repeating statements over and over again can have an impact. As the old saying goes, “If you’ve got the time to do something more than once, you’ve got time to do it right in the first place.” As a child, I’d hear this a lot. This was because as a kid any chore or task that I had needed to be done as quickly as possible for me to get back to playing or enjoying the freedom of childhood. This saying was a warning to say to me, take your time and do things properly and once. Don’t waste the time doing it incorrectly because you’ll just have to come back and do it properly and this is a waste of time. That’s an example of how duplicate efforts can affect your day-to-day life. What if you applied this to business? Those consequences seem a lot more tangible, don’t they? Duplicate effort in business could cost me in employee time spent, materials, even customer retention if the duplicates affect a customer or product level. An example of this could look like 10,000 additional customer records in NetSuite that appear as true customers but are actually duplicates. Another example could look like $20,000 paid to a temporary employee for 6 months of cleaning up duplicate addresses. Maybe duplicates in your situation look like one department taking 2 days to complete a task that should take 50% less time but the process has a duplicate step to complete.
What does this mean for my business and how does it apply in NetSuite? Duplicates when dealing with NetSuite could mean anything from a duplicate customer or contact record, or even a duplicate field on a particular record. Also consider duplicate emails, transactions, and files, for example, images or folders.
Body?: Let’s address two specific scenarios for approaching duplicates in NetSuite. First, for new NetSuite users or existing NetSuite users who can gladly say that they are not currently experiencing issues with duplicate records but who would still like to prevent duplicates from occurring. Second, for the existing NetSuite user experiencing duplicates. All users should at least review if their business needs to enable the “Duplicate Detection” feature in NetSuite. This can be found by navigating to Setup > Company > Setup Tasks > Enable Features. Keep in mind that once this feature is enabled that you’ll need to set criteria to use when searching for duplicates before records can be flagged. NetSuite will search for duplicates by email by default. An effective way to prevent duplicate effort in business is to review your processes. For example, review your customer experience from the point of customer contact all the way through the delivery process. Review every form that a customer or employee may need to complete this process. Don’t overlook any fields or files that may be included in the process. If a customer makes a purchase and has to complete a customer satisfaction form, be sure to review this form and the process for how this request is completed. Make sure that the processes you are currently using truly fit the direction you’d like to scale the business. Be sure that you are following the most efficient process. Make a list of any unnecessary or duplicate fields, records, or processes. Now that you’ve done a full review from front to end of all departments and related processes, discuss these with your team. Find the most effective approach to eliminate the duplicates. Discuss your plan for merging or removing the duplicates and a time frame for this clean-up to have taken place. Once you’ve identified what duplicates you have in your system, use NetSuite to help you manage those duplicates and the clean-up of them. NetSuite has a Manage Record Duplicates Page that will help with certain types of duplicate records. This page is helpful in managing the records that have been flagged as possible duplicates for Customer, Vendor, Partner, and Contact records.
Please use NetSuite SuiteAnswers and the NetSuite Help to search for helpful articles provided by NetSuite for their users. Some of them will walk you through duplicate detection prevention and provide some helpful information. Here are a few articles that I’ve found helpful when dealing with duplicates:
Setting Up Duplicate Detection: Article Id 9823 https://netsuite.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9823/related/1
Duplicate Detection Preferences: Article Id 102386 https://netsuite.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/102386/kw/Setting%20Up%20Duplicate%20Detection
Prevent Duplicate Records(block import of records that appear to be duplicates): Article Id 31849 https://netsuite.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/31849/kw/Setting%20Up%20Duplicate%20Detection
Duplicate Record Notification(be notified of potential duplicates): Article Id 102387 https://netsuite.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/102387
Words Excluded from Duplicate Detection Matching: Article Id 8946 https://netsuite.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8946Manage Record Duplicates Page: Article Id 48677 https://netsuite.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/48677/related/1