The Top 10 Tips for a Successful NetSuite Implementation
Implementing NetSuite is no small feat.
We've helped a wide variety of clients successfully implement NetSuite for years. Whether they're in manufacturing, retail, or food and beverage, each client has unique needs we can solve with NetSuite.
Just as each client is unique, every NetSuite implementation is different (and they aren't always successful).
There are so many steps throughout the implementation process it's not uncommon to hit roadblocks, forget to plan ahead for something, or simply choose the wrong company to work with.
So, how do you ensure that your NetSuite implementation is successful? Here are our top 10 tips.
1. Identify Business Pain Points
You can't have a successful NetSuite integration without knowing the exact scope of it. The first (and potentially most important!) NetSuite implementation tip is to identify the business pain points you want NetSuite to solve.
This needs to be done internally before you can confidently speak to your exact needs. A good NetSuite implementation partner can also help you out with this step if you aren't sure where to start.
2. Detail Every Workflow
NetSuite is a complex software capable of automating detailed workflows, approval processes, and business functions. However, in order to fully take advantage of everything NetSuite has to offer, you need to figure out exactly what your workflows are (if you haven't done that already).
Get detailed workflows ready for whoever you'll be working with to implement NetSuite. You should include:
- Every step of the process
- Employees involved with each step
- Approvals needed for each step in the process (if applicable)
- Tools and data needed
Having your business processes and workflows well-documented makes it that much easier for your NetSuite implementation partner to jump in. Plus, they'll be able to determine whether you need additional NetSuite integrations, add-ons, or customizations.
3. Set a Budget and Timeline
Create a budget and timeline for NetSuite implementation. Then, figure out the absolute top limits for your budget and timelines. The price of NetSuite all depends on your business needs. You can work with a NetSuite provider to figure out the true cost of NetSuite for your company.
We're not saying every single NetSuite implementation goes over budget or takes longer to complete than initially expected, but it's not uncommon to stretch towards the top of your estimates.
That's why we recommend working some wiggle room into your budget and timeline. This way, you can plan for a little extra spending or a few weeks without NetSuite up and running yet.
4. Designate an In-House Project Lead
Before you start communications with whoever will be helping you implement NetSuite, it's important to designate who will lead the project.
We recommend appointing one main person to head the project, and also department leads to handle questions, workflows, and tasks for their respective areas.
Don't just pick the most technical people in the room — make sure the implementation team leads are very familiar with end-user processes.
5. Don't Forget to Involve IT!
Even though your in-house implementation team shouldn't solely consist of employees on the IT team, they still absolutely need to be involved.
In-house IT resources will be important for maintaining and updating NetSuite. Some NetSuite providers offer these services for you, in which case you wouldn't need your own IT resources. However, if your company has an IT team, make sure they're involved with the process.
6. Pick a Trustworthy NetSuite Implementation Partner
This step alone can determine whether or not your NetSuite implementation is successful. Not all NetSuite partners are the same, so it's important to do your research!
- Experience. What kind of experience does this company have? Look for NetSuite providers that have worked with businesses of all sizes in different industries. Don't be afraid to ask them how long they've been in the business and how many implementations they have completed. The best-case scenario is they have some case studies they can share!
- Problem solving. You need to make sure they can tailor the NetSuite setup to your needs. If you have some pressing issues you really want to make sure NetSuite will solve, bring them up and ask how they have helped clients in similar situations solve them.
- Flexible pricing. Some implementation firms might offer a flat-free pricing setup. While this might sound attractive at first, it's usually not in your best interest. A flat-fee price means your partner will only do the amount of work included in that price. If you end up needing additional customizations, training, or development time, they might not be able to offer that and you could get stuck with a solution that doesn't meet your needs.
Should You Work Directly with NetSuite?
You could also choose to work directly with NetSuite for the implementation process.
While you know you're working with a team that really knows the ins and outs of NetSuite, this isn't always the best option. Why? Because, although they can get the software up and running, they don't always have the ability to make additional customizations, add-ons, or support like a dedicated NetSuite partner does.
7. Create Attainable Goals & Project Milestones
Another crucial step for a successful NetSuite implementation is to set specific goals and deliverables along your timeline.
While you might not know every single little detail of how the implementation will go, set as many milestones as you can. This will help gauge the progress of your NetSuite implementation as you're working through it.
Instead of getting two months into the implementation and not knowing what the status is, you'll be able to tell exactly how far along you are (and communicate that to key stakeholders!)
Our in-depth NetSuite implementation guide can give you more insight into the process so you can plan accordingly!
8. Don't Forget About Data Cleanup & Migration
Moving data from existing systems into a brand new one is daunting. Don't forget to make sure your NetSuite partner has a plan for data migration! Especially when it comes to figuring out how your data will be carried over.
The first step here is to make a list of key data points, such as:
- Customer records
- Sales data
- Company financials
You should also take this time to review data that is about to be migrated:
- Is all of the data correct?
- Is the data free of formatting issues? If it's in the wrong format, it could harm the data migration process.
- Are there duplicates? Maybe there are duplicates of customer records or vendor information. Clean this up before migrating, as you wouldn't want to bring over more than what's absolutely necessary.
Then, make sure there's a clear plan for migrating your most important data.
9. Take User Testing Seriously
When your NetSuite implementation reaches the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase, you and your team need to thoroughly test every aspect of NetSuite.
If you don't test every task, workflow, or process your employees use on a daily basis, you might not know something's broken until someone's in the middle of a busy workday and can't get their job done!
The testing phase ensures NetSuite meets all of your business needs, works smoothly for employees, and isn't missing anything. You'll need to properly test and work through any and all issues before NetSuite is ready to be set live.
10. Don't Skip Out on Employee Training
Okay, so you've planned, tested, and implemented NetSuite. Congrats! It's a huge milestone! However, you still aren't done.
Now, it's important to get every employee who will be using NetSuite properly trained. Switching your legacy ERP to NetSuite is a big deal — you want to make sure employee adoption and success is high once everything's said and done.
No one will enjoy the incredible functionalities of NetSuite if they have no clue how to use it. So instead of trying to manage frustrated and confused employees, get them all the training they need ahead of time and provide them with any additional resources they might need for support.
Do You Need More NetSuite Implementation Tips?
While we did our best to cover our top 10 tips for implementing NetSuite, we've still barely scratched the surface. If you need more tips, training, or help implementing NetSuite, reach out to us today!
We can set up a FREE consultation to walk you through how we can help you on the road to a successful NetSuite implementation. Contact us today!