The typical NetSuite consultant can cost between $150 and $350 an hour, depending on their depth and breadth of experience. That adds up to a price tag of $7,500 if you only need one for 50 hours of modifying custom PDFs or rises to $XX,500+ if you need a highly experienced consultant for the length of a big project that includes business analysis and complex workflows.
When you’re considering NetSuite consulting services, take a look at the benefits they provide, such as experience with the software, in-depth knowledge of how to make projects succeed, and a solid line of communication between your company’s business stakeholders and delivery resources, including third-party developers.
While knowing that implementing a good ERP improves processes for the vast majority of businesses, that’s not enough insight to justify the cost. It requires knowing exactly how you’re going to get that $7,500 to $XX,000+—and then some—back in terms of more revenue, more efficient processes, and happier team members.
The first step is fully understanding what both NetSuite and NetSuite consulting services can bring to the table. When you understand the role consulting services have in NetSuite implementation projects, you can better determine the extent to which you want to lean on them and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth during the project itself. You can also start anticipating the ROI of your NetSuite consultant in terms of the real financial savings and growth their services should provide.
The Value of Starting NetSuite Implementations With NetSuite Consulting Services: A Quick Overview
Whether you have an ERP already or your business is making do with Quickbooks-style or spreadsheet-based process management, you already know how beneficial making the change to NetSuite can be for your business. But the transition from wanting to have NetSuite to smoothly running your business on it can be incredibly challenging.
- Approximately 50% of businesses fail their first ERP implementation project
- The process can often stretch 30% longer than your timeline
- It can even cost 3-4x your initial budget
NetSuite consulting services can help you overcome those three big challenges by mitigating the risks in the first place, because they’ve been here many times before and can help indentify and avoid potential pitfalls or sub-optimal configurations.
Go Beyond the Basic Benefits
NetSuite is built with a powerful array of tools for every facet of ERP management. It includes full-scale reporting, communication, data, and accounting capabilities. It’s built to be universally accessible across virtually any niche. However, extremely powerful and universalized software has three downsides:
- It’s complex
- It has features in the foreground that you don’t need
- It may be missing features you do need
All of these factors can make it difficult to handle the software straight away, let alone transition your team and data to it. NetSuite consulting services can help you decide what your business’s unique iteration of NetSuite will look like. This involves:
- Understanding your business’s operations and needs: During the discovery stage of the project, consultants can develop a deep understanding of your business’s flow. Then they can identify which NetSuite capabilities make the most sense for your dashboards, reports, and interfaces for different roles across the company. Essentially, they’re translating your business into NetSuite terms so they can help configure NetSuite to fit your business.
- Advising on the right steps for customization: A full-scale customization effort is rarely the right fit for businesses. NetSuite already offers the majority of fields and functionalities you need—it might just not do it exactly right the first time you log in. Consultants can advise you on different NetSuite modules that are available to round out advanced capabilities. They can also strip down your customization wishlist so you can identify high-priority elements, changes that truly require custom scripts, and small changes that don’t require much customization at all.
- Testing workflows at set stages throughout the implementation project: Depending on the size of your business, implementation may take months or possibly more than a year. A consultant can check implementation at key points in every phase to ensure it tracks with your plan and overall business operations. They play a critical role in ensuring the NetSuite you get at the end of the project is the one you envision.
Build an In-Depth, Customized Implementation Plan
ERPs aren’t as simple as other softare; even CRMs can feel plug-and-play in comparison. But if you’re not a NetSuite expert, it can be hard to identify the stages between where you are and the finish line.
NetSuite consulting services—especially NetSuite-Certified Partners with experience in your industry—have project frameworks they can use to build your company’s personalized implementation plan. They can ask the right questions about your data architecture, walk you through the stages and costs of a full implementation plan, and act as your guide in unknown territory. This is essential for reducing the risk of underbudgeting or creating timelines that you can’t meet.
Move Forward without Hiring In-House Experts
When you lack experience with NetSuite, moving forward with it is a little bit terrifying. It’s a big financial investment, and hiring a third-party implementation service may feel like you don’t have a hand on the wheel anymore. To address this, some companies hire an in-house expert or delay the transition until they have a couple of internal stakeholders familiar enough with the ERP to manage the process.
However, a worthwhile NetSuite consult partner can offer you that same degree of control without the risks or limitations of waiting for the perfect NetSuite hire. When you choose the right company, the consultant knows all the rules of NetSuite implementation, but they’re playing for your team. They’ll walk your IT or executive team through the process, establish objectives and milestones, and help you go live sooner while navigating around obstacles and sources of friction.
One of the highest-value adds for using a fully-staffed NetSuite partner is the ability to titrate staffing levels based on your current requirements. You only use the high-powered resources when needed and don’t pay for them when you don’t.
A Financial Deep-Dive: How NetSuite Consulting Services Save Your Company Money
The idea of an easier, more controlled, and guided implementation sounds good, but that ambiguous price tag that comes with hiring a consultant might still be holding you back. Consider these crucial cost-saving and revenue-amplifying aspects of assistance your NetSuite consultant can provide.
Know the Numbers
NetSuite consulting services should be experts in their craft, and that value starts on day one as you’re beginning to explore the costs of your implementation project. For example, general estimates can place ERP implementation between $10,000 and $100,000—but where does your business fall on that scale? Similarly, the typical budget for ERP is $8,265 per user, but what’s making up that number?
There is no concrete answer in general online resources, and salespeople might not give you the detailed and unbiased perspective you need. However, consultants have a more robust obligation to give you expert, accurate numbers as the foundation for your implementation project plan.
Create a Roadmap to Mitigate Costly Missteps
The key to a successful NetSuite implementation is a detailed roadmap. Some of the biggest hazards to avoid are delays, underbudgeting, and not having good data.
Delays are a big business risk, and they carry direct costs like paying for more hours and indirect costs like client-facing disruption. Underbudgeting can halt a project when it exceeds its allotted money, leaving your system dead in the water and costing more every month. Starting without solid data systems will lead to errors and downtime, and there have been lots of headline-making ERP disasters that resulted from not having a strong plan.
Achieve the Right Mix of Standard and Custom Features
Right after helping you create an implementation plan, one of the biggest advantages a consultant offers you is guidance when you’re choosing customizations. If you opt for full custom work (which some NetSuite services will push you toward), that can easily bog down your project and make it far too expensive. If you try to make do with manual processes, you’re undercutting the value of your new ERP in the first place.
Your consultant will advise you on optional solutions for your business, such as different NetSuite modules that cut out the custom work and give you easy access to advanced or niche capabilities. They can also point to where customizations make the most sense so you can prioritize different custom functions, create a list for future projects, or simply go into the customization development stage with open eyes.
Improve Productivity with Better Operations
Ultimately, your NetSuite ERP is all about improving company-wide efficiency and productivity. Among surveyed companies, the typical time to a positive ROI for adopting a new ERP is 2.5 years. Done correctly, implementing NetSuite can pay for itself within less than two years, at which point the increased productivity becomes pure profit. Upfront costs, such as consulting fees that can help you achieve that timeline or deepen the long-term potential of your ERP, are worth the investment, especially if you can calculate the real savings or increased revenue over time.
Know Your Options for Future Custom Work and Support
Consultants don’t simply see you through the end of the implementation project. They often provide guidance for training during the transition, support resources during the initial months, and advice on managing your NetSuite iteration long-term. This includes:
- Advising you on how to best manage customizations now so you can make efficient updates and changes later
- Knowing the industry-standard costs for support, preventative maintenance, and third-party or in-house service rates so you can start shoring up resources
- Considering current steps you can take that align with future growth goals or products
By planning for future costs and changes now, you can significantly reduce the cost of custom coding, cleaning up your data structures, or stripping down and rebuilding systems that don’t fit your business anymore.
Find More Opportunities for Cost Savings
Consultants who are familiar with your business can identify gaps in operations that are costing you opportunities or overhead that can be reduced by a few simple changes. For example, they might recommend completely off-premise ERP management and more cloud-based software, which reduces in-house expenses. They can assess your business growth plan and use their experience in the industry to recommend a few modifications.
Consultants offer a unique advantage over in-house experts. They may have overseen dozens of NetSuite implementation projects in recent years, and that means they have an extensive knowledge of where cost-cutting works, where it falls apart, and what tactics offer the biggest return.
See How NetSuite Consultants Can Start Saving You Money
Implementing NetSuite is expensive. Of course, this large upfront expense is offset by all of the growth potential it offers you by automating everything from billing and procurement to inventory management and shipping. But that doesn’t change how your organization needs both a clear budget for the project and as much cost-trimming as possible without jeopardizing quality.
At Limebox, we offer complete end-to-end implementation planning, management, and custom development work. Our NetSuite consulting services are designed so you have a transparent understanding of the costs and value at every stage of your project, and we stay with you long-term through support and custom scripting project options. Contact us today to discuss how our consultants can save you money.