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Top 5 Tips for NetSuite Implementations

October 14, 2013 by The New Office

For your NetSuite implementation. Whatever the size of your business, the following 5 tips will keep you on track, creating a better transition and path into NetSuite for the present and future growth of your company. Later on, we’ll provide another 5 tips, completing our Top 10 Tips for Implementation series.

 

1) Define Strategic Goals In Advance

What was the initial value proposition that led you to select NetSuite? Looking beyond the implementation will allow you to focus more on what your top needs are as a company, defining which processes are most important. NetSuite can be configured or customized in endless ways to enable your goals as an organization, but if you aren’t clear on what those goals are before you start, then you may find yourself chasing a moving target or struggling to support competing interests.

Two questions that can help determine your strategic goals are

a) What value do I want to realize out of NetSuite soonest?

b) Looking down the road what do I need to automate in order to secure a competitive advantage in my industry?

 

2) Get Your House in Order

NetSuite can do a lot to provide greater visibility into your operations and help sustain key processes, but it will not wake up and cook breakfast for you in the morning. You have to be ready to manage the change that it will bring and recognize that no amount of automation will repair a process that was broken to begin with.

Bad data is bad data. If you’re already operating within an environment that encourages “one-off” procedures, silos of communication, or poor data integrity then you are sacrificing optimal results out of NetSuite—or at the very least, you’re setting the table for a painful implementation.

Before you begin to even discuss your ERP or CRM needs, evaluate your company’s data and process, and if need be, clean up your data, organizing it so the hierarchy, location, and relationships makes are consistent. Yes, this means extra hours on your end, but ultimately it will be well worth it to start with a solid foundation.

 

3) NetSuite is an Opportunity Not a Transition

It’s important to realize what NetSuite can and cannot do: it does improve business processes, it does not erase systemic problems. Keep an eye out for areas where you can enable something better, rather than just cramming what you did in your old system into NetSuite.

From CRM to ERP to E-Commerce and more, NetSuite has the ability to integrate just about every aspect of your business, helping to save time and creating more efficiency.

As your business grows, NetSuite can adapt, providing a solution that doesn’t hold you back and always keeps you moving forward. Using NetSuite to improve how your teams communicate and ways in which to track data is fundamental to how successful NetSuite is for you. If you think that NetSuite is the magic wand to every past problem you’ve had, you’re in for a ride. But when you see that you can leverage NetSuite to improve how your company operates, then you’ll find yourself in a better place.

 

4) Appoint an Executive Sponsor

Ensuring that your team has an executive sponsor is pivotal to the progress and success of your implementation. The executive sponsor should be an advocate for the project. Designating a leader keeps the project going, serving as the touch point and helping to avoid the characteristic delays associated with teams lacking management.

More importantly, the executive sponsor should be someone who carries enough weight to effectuate change in your company. In the all too common story, teams often are left scrambling and wondering what the next step is because there was no one to warrant buyoff and leverage power to activate change. NetSuite doesn’t just happen. It is propelled by leaders who energize and guarantee everyone is onboard, from entry level to top executive employees.

 

5) Assign an Implementation Team

Assigning an implementation team can help support your executive sponsor and commit everyone else. Be sure to assign the right individuals—too junior of employees might not have the best understanding of all their functions and details of their jobs to understand the needs for NetSuite and too senior of employees can get stuck in too minute of details—hampering progress.

You will want individuals that know what needs must be met during the implementation process while also understanding your company’s strategic goals. The team should be comprised of employees that can represent different departments, if the implementation is more company-wide. You shouldn’t, for example, have an accountant talking about the requests of your sales team. Your team can subsequently provide training for future employees and serve as the go-to people for NetSuite during and after the implementation.

And with that, you have the first 5 implementation tips. Remember, NetSuite can get darn close to doing it all. But to get the best results, you must plan ahead and then, give it a chance. We’ll be posting the next 5 tips soon. Stay close.


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