Finding the Optimal Solution for your NetSuite Implementation

Dec 19, 2018 3:40:15 PM


Undertaking an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software implementation is a big decision that involves a lot of stakeholders, resources, planning, time, and effort. According to Gartner, nearly 75% of all ERP implementations fail. When considering the enormity of the project and what is at stake, this can translate to substantial business and revenue loss. Companies of all sizes and industries are subject to this risk, especially when attempting to implement an ERP system alone without the assistance of an experienced partner.

 Whether you are implementing an ERP software for the first time, or are making the transition from a legacy system to a cloud-based platform such as NetSuite, there are many opportunities for problems to occur along the way if you aren't careful. Ideally, you will want to obtain the benefits of a state-of-the-art ERP system, but if the software doesn't end up working the way you expected or costs have spun out of control, something has gone wrong during the implementation process. 

Understanding Common NetSuite Implementation Mistakes

1. Lack of understanding of your requirements and business needs.

When implementing an ERP system such as NetSuite, it is crucial that all parties involved have a full understanding of all your requirements. A partner should spend significant time mapping them out and project scoping. They need to have a grasp on your company's existing IT infrastructure and other business systems. When implementation mistakes occur, it could indicate there was not the right requirements-gathering processes, documentation, or time taken to get the right information. It is also worth mentioning that you as a client need to take the time to provide your requirements and outline all your scenarios.

A detailed plan is needed before moving to a new system in order to ensure business process migration, as you don't want to miss something that later has to be added to the system. A partner should address all project realities like timeline, scope, and budget in the project plan and be diligent in communicating these with you throughout the implementation. The more detail there is up-front, the more likely your project will meet your deadlines and give you the results you're expecting. 

Without an adequate understanding of your business requirements, the implementation process could be rushed into. As a result, your ERP may end up being based on what your management team 'thinks' the current systems are used for rather than what they are actually used for. When the system goes-live, you are left with a solution that does not fit your requirements and needs to be fixed.

2. Over-customization of your initial implementation.

Over-customization is an all-too-common occurrence when undertaking an ERP implementation. Lengthy customizations may seem necessary or desirable, but they can easily lead to the project not fitting the budget or timeline and ultimately, dissatisfaction with the end result. The focus of implementing an ERP solution often strays from the handling of core business processes to considering features that would be nice to have.

A good partner will be able understand and separate true business requirements from those 'nice to haves.' They will understand the impact of adding various functionalities to the timeline and cost of the project and be able to recommend solutions based on your needs. 

3. Bad data cleanup before migration.

Data is everywhere. It is usually spread across multiple locations and applications. Likely, there is also duplicate records, inaccurate data, or data in the wrong place. 

The importance of having the right data in the system is often underestimated, and an inadequate partner may not perform a thorough data cleanup prior to the migration. Before migrating to a new system, all your data needs to be cleaned up, organized, and archived, otherwise existing issues will occur in the new ERP system, data will be wrong, and mistakes will be made. 

4. Not enough testing after implementation. 

It is easy to assume that all the functionality of your new system works. However, this is often not the case, and a partner shouldn't expect that testing is not needed. After an ERP implementation, it is important to validate and test the application thoroughly in different areas of your business. 

Without ensuring that all your requirements have been met and the system works as you need it to, you end up being left with a faulty ERP solution that will only provide problems down the road and create a need for corrections.

5. No adoption or engagement strategy.

You've spent the time and resources required to implement a new ERP system. Now what? Implementation is only half the battle - you need your users to adopt and use the system effectively. 

Without planning for how to get your users to embrace the new solution, it could easily be misused, or worse, ignored all together. Post-implementation support is needed so you are not left on your own after go-live to make sense of it all and face mistakes and frustrations. User training and support can be provided by a partner who is fully committed to your success. It is important to engage with a partner who has a willingness to work with you side-by-side throughout the entire process, including the post-implementation period when you need additional support. 

Rand Group to the Rescue

If you're facing past ERP implementation or service mistakes, or are worried about making them, know that they can be mitigated by engaging with the right resources. The right partner will be able to assess the situation and put you on the correct path towards business success. Here at Rand Group, our NetSuite team has the capabilities to put you on that path, no matter what situation you may be coming from. Here are a few abilities that make our team stand out:

Methodology:  Often times, solution providers try to sell you on a particular software before assessing your current situation. This then results in the software not being suited to your needs and leaves the door wide open for errors. At Rand Group, our Upfront Methodology is designed to be transparent and it always puts the client first. We have a series of steps and checkpoints along the way that are meant to create accountability for all parties during the implementation. We undergo extensive requirements-gathering sessions and documentation - we document processes as they are meant to be working, provide testing scenarios and create templates to validate those processes.

Going beyond the minimum is our goal here at Rand Group. We ensure that we gain full knowledge of your business requirements and consider your current processes. Because we take the time to understand your situation, If there is a better way to do something, we will provide that solution to you and always work in your best interests. 

Communication: Communication is essential to understanding your requirements and providing you with the solution that best works for you. We hold a commitment to engage in continuous communication with our clients. It is very important to us that you understand what is happening at all times and everyone is on the same page. We go the extra mile to ask the right questions and if we aren't sure about something, we will work with you to achieve clarity and understanding.

Experience: Rand Group's NetSuite team is an experienced group of business professionals. We don't just provide the technology that enables your company to function - we have the business acumen to truly understand your requirements and solve your problems to help you achieve business success.

For example, one of our clients came to us having multiple systems that needed to be integrated and needed to meet strict business requirements. Our NetSuite team utilized our upfront methodology to gain an understanding of their needs and project scope. We were then able to integrate their entire operations into one system and customize it to match their specific revenue recognition requirements, going live with the full system in 6 months.

Remember, you aren't just buying software - you're buying a long-term relationship. You need a team who is prepared to provide you with the level of service that allows you to get the most out of your NetSuite investment and grows with you as your needs expand. For more information about NetSuite Cost or Rand Group's team, contact us below. 

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Topics: NetSuite

Daniel Owen

Written by Daniel Owen

Daniel Owen is the Vice President of NetSuite at Rand Group. He has over 11 years of experience in technology, implementation, and training for ERP systems. He has managed multiple implementation projects across various ERP platforms, including NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft Dynamics GP. His accounting experience includes general ledger accounting, accounts payable, manufacturing, job costing, services, distribution, payroll, human resources, and financial reporting.

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