Preparing for a NetSuite Implementation
Netsuite is a cloud ERP solution that has been around for over 20 years. There has been a lot of development on the platform meaning it does not comprise a broad suite of enterprise products. It is widely used by mid-market companies. We have seen it used in growth-stage businesses turning over £5m up to businesses turning over close to a £1bn which shows its very broad market.
Netsuite is designed as a SAAS and is pretty much an off the shelf product. It does not allow for much customisation compared to the likes of Microsoft Dynamics 365. This can make for an easier systems implementation, however, it can also limit the system’s capabilities and means more work may be required around adapting business processes.
Once you have decided that Netsuite is the best system for your organisation, here are the main areas that need consideration in the planning stage of the implementation:
· Gap Analysis – Netsuite provides a full could ERP system but does from financials to fulfilment but aspects of it may not meet your business requirements. For example, we have recently worked with a construction business who felt the project costing module within Netsuite did not meet their needs for estimating. Estimating was a vital part of their business so it was vital to know this in advance of beginning the project so as we could plan, cost, and demonstrate this deficiency to business management. Gap Analysis is a vital stage in the process as sometimes businesses will find that Netsuite is not, in fact, the best system for their business.
· Implementation Plan – Suitesuccess is the Netsuite implementation plan and it acts as a great starting point for the implementation plan. This plan is relatively homogenous and is designed to apply to more standard Netsuite implementations. Where the implementation plan will need more work is on topics such as
o Change Management
o Data Migration – this is often one of the most challenging aspects of the implementation and something that can keep organisations using a system that no longer fits its requirements.
o 3rd party integrations – Which processes will the business not use Netsuite. This may be down to Netsuite limitations or reluctance to change high performing business areas. What software will be used? How will the integration work? Is a workaround required?
o Business Process Reorganisation – to get the most from the new system some business processes will need to change. This may be drive efficiencies and other times it may be advisable to alter some business processes to fit the system.
· Project Resource Plan
o External Resource – Netsuite is great at getting companies to organically start using its product. But organisations often complain that they don’t get enough support from Netsuite or its implementation partners. The additional resource which needs to be considered includes Programme Management, Organisational Change Management, Integration Developers, Data Migration Specialists.
o Subject Matter Experts – It is vital to subject matter experts within the business who are assigned to the project. They need to have time to dedicate to the project from planning through to deployment.
· Change Management Plan – this is often overlooked by businesses but is essential to getting buy-in from end-users. A change management plan is necessary no matter how big your organisation is. Obviously, it gets more complex the larger the organisation, however, a change management plan is essential to landing the new system correctly and moving users across to it successfully.