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9 Signs You Need a Netsuite Admin Resource

The market for enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) like NetSuite continues to grow rapidly. Total market size is expected to reach nearly $50 billion by 2025. Of course, success is not automatic. To truly leverage your ERP for business improvements, you need an effective NetSuite admin who can be the internal expert in all things related to the platform.

With the right admin in place, you’ll be able to leverage the substantial benefits NetSuite can bring to your business. But this may not happen with internal resources alone. This guide will focus on the benefits of prioritizing the role of your NetSuite admin before digging into the nine signs that suggest you might need an external resource to unlock these benefits.

The Role and Benefits of an Effective NetSuite Admin

NetSuite has built a reputation for the wide range of benefits it can provide, especially for growing organizations. It enables comprehensive digital business management, including the ability to scale up and down, report on all core data from a single source of truth, and enhance customer relationship management software and efforts. But it can only be that invaluable resource with effective administration.

The reason is simple: the benefits of the software focus on managing complex business processes, but you need someone who can integrate that complexity into the platform. The admin has to manage not just the platform itself along with all users, but must also customize it to match your business’s specific needs. Add the need for effective data management and integrity along with the need to interface with your customers, and it’s clear that this cannot be a part-time responsibility for someone not intimately familiar with NetSuite.

Related: Do I Need a Full-Time NetSuite Administrator to Get the Most Out of NetSuite?

An effective NetSuite admin, on the other hand, can take on these responsibilities and then some. Equipped with extensive NetSuite knowledge, they become the central driving force and point of contact for everyone in the organization. They ensure data and user role integrity, manage system updates and customizations, and more.

That role can quickly get extensive, which is why you might need to look outside of your own organization for support. If you come across one or more of the following nine signs, it might be time to start researching potential NetSuite admin resources for your business. 

1. Struggles with Increasingly Nuanced User Roles

Unless your ERP only has a single user, roles will quickly become an important part of its operations. NetSuite offers a broad range of roles and permissions that can help with what we call the segregation of duties: making sure that each individual only has access to what they need, when they need it. Building and maintaining these roles, though, can become challenging as your organization grows and employee duties become more specific. Where one employee might have managed both Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable in the past, business growth may necessitate the separation of those duties. Too often, businesses take the shortcut of providing broad access just to avoid having to manage those nuances, even though NetSuite has the ability to provide more specific access.

That’s where external NetSuite administrative support can enter the equation. A dedicated admin can set differentiated and custom roles, ensuring the segregation of duties in the process. They can also help with broader access, like the ability to set up and work with mobile users for increased flexibility. Finally, regular security audits can ensure that passwords are secure and access continues to be well-maintained.

2. Difficulties Maintaining Your System

The ability for NetSuite to be customized to meet your business needs can also make it challenging to keep up with maintenance. The parent software releases new updates twice a year, and most will update dynamically in the background. But they might not account for your customizations, and simply letting NetSuite handle the update process may cause you to miss new features. 

Aside from updates, regular system maintenance and support is crucial. Beyond keeping accurate user roles in place, regular informational and system audits ensure data integrity. Like any system, upkeep takes regular work, and you’ll begin to notice when the resources to perform that work are unavailable as the platform begins to degrade.

Again, your NetSuite admin can play a vital role in preventing these issues from popping up. If you notice system updates becoming a major issue or simple maintenance tasks remaining undone, consider looking outside your organization for administrative expertise.

3. Lack of Expertise in NetSuite Features

Of course, even the most dedicated professional won’t get far in becoming a successful admin on NetSuite if the expertise simply isn’t available. Both the standard features and new functionalities added through updates can only help your organization if your administrator knows how to implement and service them to benefit your business.

In our estimation, it takes about two years for an admin to familiarize themselves with the software enough to fully perform their role. Before that happens, the lack of expertise in core and advanced NetSuite features may come back to haunt your business, or simply lead to missed opportunities in how you could be leveraging the software.

This sign tends to be easy to spot. Is your current admin considered a reliable expert on NetSuite and all of the features you’re using? Or are they simply taking on the role by necessity, more as administrative support than administrative leadership? You might need external admin resources.

4. Continued Data Integrity Issues

Part of NetSuite’s value proposition is its ability to gather all core business information, from financials to inventory, into a single system for more efficient auditing and reporting. Of course, that is only a true benefit if you can trust the data stored in the system and generated in the reports.

Look into how your NetSuite admin is ensuring data integrity. Understand the deduplication processes and how integration error logs are reviewed. You might even want to check reports and saved searches for accuracy on an ongoing basis.

Failure in any of these points could lead to data integrity issues. At best, that means making business decisions based on inaccurate data. At worst, any external audits relying on that data may be off or become much more complicated. If you find yourself not trusting the data and reporting within NetSuite, consider hiring a dedicated admin resource.

5. Struggles with Reporting on Core KPIs

Even the best and most accurate data matters little if you cannot pull it out of the system. It should be no surprise, then, that research consistently shows analytics to be among the biggest challenges for business leaders looking to leverage their ERP. According to one survey,

40% of CIOs struggled to access, analyze, or even use enterprise and customer data for better decision-making.

Can your NetSuite admin build reporting that matters to your core business goals and focuses on your central KPIs? Are those reports reliably delivered to everyone who needs them, both via dashboards and external mechanisms?

If not, you might need additional admin expertise. After all, comprehensive and streamlined analytics are among the core benefits of implementing any ERP. Consider hiring out if you need help in building and distributing those reports out of NetSuite.

6. Lack of Customization to Suit Your Business

Every business is different. Small organizations that don’t integrate with existing systems or other tools may work just fine with an out-of-the-box NetSuite implementation. But that isn’t always the case. In fact, one survey found that 25% of executives lamented the lack of flexibility in their ERP solution when trying to grow their business.

To truly make the most out of NetSuite, you may need that customization for your business. That means going beyond the standard delivered features and into external integrations and even custom features.

Related: The Ultimate NetSuite SuiteBundle for 2023

But of course, building those customizations can be challenging—especially when your existing admin simply doesn’t have the time or expertise to dig into the details. A dedicated support resource with extensive, NetSuite-specific expertise can go a long way toward making your ERP truly customized to your specific business needs and challenges.

7. Business Inefficiencies That Lead to Performance Issues

Another core benefit of NetSuite, of course, is driving business efficiencies. By moving to a single system for your resource planning, you’re able to streamline and even automate business processes that can make daily tasks easier for everyone involved.

But that can only be true if the software is leveraged to its full advantage. From setup to maintenance and from user roles to training, your admin has a core role in ensuring the smooth operation of the platform in all aspects of the business.

When that doesn’t happen, business performance can start to suffer. Processes and workflows that were supposed to be more efficient are actually less so. When that happens, you might need external NetSuite support designed to build those processes more efficiently, audit existing processes to find potential optimizations and improve daily operations.

8. Reactive Relationships with NetSuite Support

Vendor support is a natural point of contact for any software admin. But the way in which that support occurs can make a difference. Too often, it tends to be reactive: something goes wrong, so you need a fix. A feature isn’t working as intended, so you need additional training. This type of support is reactive. It can be helpful, but it depends entirely on the responsiveness of the vendor. 

In an ideal world, your admin interacts more proactively with support, predicting future needs and concerns. At the same time, they have an expertise level high enough to require less reactive support for fixing immediate issues.

Reactive interactions tend to take time away from more productive work while working entirely on the vendor timeline. Proactive relationships, however, can actively improve the way the software functions over time. A reliable NetSuite admin resource can help you get there.

9. Inability to Scale and Grow Effectively

Finally, NetSuite can only help your business to its fullest capabilities if the platform can grow and adjust alongside it. No business, after all, is stagnant. Growth is likely a key business goal, and NetSuite has the capability to grow with it.

You might, however, run into issues where your usage of the platform seems insufficient for your growing business. Features may become less functional, and reports may become less relevant. When these signs become obvious, it might be time to move to an expert admin who can help you keep the software moving and scaling alongside your growing business.

Find the Right NetSuite Admin Resource to Get the Expert Help You Need

Whether you are currently running on NetSuite or in the midst of an implementation process, take these nine signs seriously. They might be the most important indicators that you need external help to truly unlock the benefits NetSuite can provide.

At Limebox, we don’t just focus on helping customers implement NetSuite as quickly as possible. We also offer comprehensive and ongoing support services as you need them, along with help in customizing your ERP. That’s how we’ve become a trusted long-term partner for 150+ businesses, helping to improve and streamline business efficiencies within the software.

We’re ready to leverage our expertise to help you as an external NetSuite leadership resource. Get in touch to talk about your current business situation and how we can help you maximize your ERP opportunities.

At Limebox, we help organizations implement and optimize enterprise-ready NetSuite, and custom software solutions, for their entire ecosystem. We deliver bonafide results the first time. With an eye for simplification and a genius for problem solving.

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