From wholesale distribution and manufacturing to nonprofits and e-commerce, NetSuite is an excellent Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for your fast-growing company. With the all-in-one NetSuite cloud platform, you can manage your whole business process within a single system to maximize visibility, improve efficiencies, and scale your business.
But the key to running your business smoothly on NetSuite is a proper implementation guide. One that takes into consideration your current and future needs, the existing platforms in use, and any customizations that you may require. With a fully developed plan of action, the right people in place, and the proper training, you can start to see bottom-line impact from NetSuite right from the start.
Is NetSuite easy to implement?
NetSuite is a powerful and customizable ERP system, but it can be difficult to implement. It requires a lot of planning and preparation, and it can be time-consuming to configure and migrate data. However, with careful planning and execution, implementing NetSuite can be a smooth process.
Can you self-implement NetSuite?
It is possible to self-implement NetSuite, but NetSuite is a complex system with a lot of features, and more often than not requires the assistance of a trained team of NetSuite professionals.
If you do decide to implement NetSuite yourself, you will need to have a team of experienced NetSuite developers and administrators at the ready for any customizations. You will also need to make sure you have a solid plan for migrating your current data into NetSuite.
The self-implementation process can be time-consuming and expensive. It is important to factor in the cost of the NetSuite licenses, as well as the cost of your internal resources. If you partner with a NetSuite professional implementation team, you will likely be able to start reaping the benefits of your investment in NetSuite faster.
If you’re not sure whether you should self-implement NetSuite or hire a professional implementation team, get in touch with one of our experts at Limebox who will be happy to help assess your needs and determine the best option for your business.
How to Have a Successful NetSuite Implementation
Have a Strong Internal Implementation (Assist) Team
Even though you will likely be working with a professional NetSuite implementation team that will do most of the heavy-lifting, you should identify a strong group of internal team members who will lead the migration to NetSuite within their respective departments. These subject matter experts (SMEs) should be leaders in their departments and have a firm understanding of the systems their departments are currently using. This team will assist in creating process functions in their new NetSuite, and will be a key leader when it comes time to transitioning and training their internal teams.
Allocate Time: You Get Out What You Put In
Again, even if you are working with a NetSuite implementation partner, your internal resources are still critical for a successful implementation. The only way your NetSuite partner will know how to best configure your ERP is by doing a deep-dive into your business, asking questions and talking to your teams, and working with your teams throughout the process. In order to prevent delays in your NetSuite implementation, make sure your internal teams are prepared to shift some of their time to team planning, meetings, and data cleanup.
“When NetSuite is done poorly and without participation from the future users, you might as well be fitting yourself with cement shoes.”
Use the Crawl, Walk, Run Approach
NetSuite’s capabilities are vast. Identify the crucial needs up front, and prioritize them. Keep Phase 1 as simple as possible, and continue expanding your NetSuite footprint from there. If you’re working with a NetSuite implementation partner, they can help you develop a plan that outlines each phase of the project.
Pick a Strong Implementation Partner
As mentioned above, NetSuite implementations are complex and require a lot of time and resources. So if you’re working with an implementation partner, make sure you pick the right one. For one, you’ll be spending a lot of time with them, so you better like working with them. Second, make sure they have the experience you need. Ideally, pick a partner that has experience across various industries, because they will typically have a broader understanding of NetSuite’s full capabilities. You will also benefit from working with an implementation partner, like Limebox, that has experience helping both small and large companies. Those partners who have helped smaller companies tend to offer more value through general business process optimization because they’ve had to help their clients develop systems from the ground up.
Have a Go Live Date From The Start
As with any project, it’s best to have a deadline to work against. Once your Phase One deliverables have been identified, set a Go Live Date and stick to it as best you can. This will help keep your team focused on the high priority deliverables, and prevent inevitable delays that happen when that focus shifts.
Don’t be Afraid to Add Value Through Customizations and Configurations
Some processes that your business can benefit from will be best achieved through customizations and configurations. These may cost more and may take more time on the front end than you would like. But as your system goes live and these customizations and configurations take over, they will be well worth the initial investment. One warning when it comes to customizations: some NetSuite partners will push heavy customizations, even when they aren’t necessary. Make sure there is not an existing solution out there before you head down this path.
Migrate Clean Data
NetSuite licenses and implementations are expensive. So don’t get them started off on the wrong foot. Data migration is key to this success, and should have the appropriate budget allocated to it. No one wants to start a new system with old and not cleaned data from a legacy system.
Be Flexible and Get Your Team On Board
One thing many business owners struggle with during their NetSuite implementation is team adoption. Your new NetSuite will likely not match your current processes, and its success will require that your processes change to match. Of course, we all know you’re implementing NetSuite because you need your current processes to change, but some people just don’t like change. So prepare your team well in advance and get buy-in early. Highlight the short and long-term benefits to them personally, and the company at large.
A successful NetSuite implementation requires careful planning, time, and resources. By identifying your NetSuite internal and external teams, understanding the resources required and committing to the project, and getting your team on board early, you can get your business up and running on NetSuite smoother than most.