ERP

NetSuite implementation not going as planned? GBS can help with that.

By April 8, 2020 April 17th, 2020 No Comments

Need a NetSuite rescue? We’re sorry to hear that your implementation isn’t going as planned, but we’re here to help get you back on track. First, let’s look at the problem.

Here’s a common scenario we’ve seen played out time and time again: Recently, you made the decision that an ERP like NetSuite was the solution to mounting paperwork, outdated processes, business lag and other factors that were holding your company back from operating with maximum efficiency, growing and competing in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Great decision!

But soon you realized things weren’t going according to plan. You began to suspect that your ERP wasn’t the business Shangri-La your partner made it out to be. Project milestone dates have been missed. Your project is over budget and behind schedule. Your investment not only missing the high flying expectations you had for ROI, but the project isn’t even getting off the ground.

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. You’re not the first company that has experienced snafus before implementation, and you won’t be the last. Just know that it’s not the fault of your ERP. Your decision to invest in NetSuite was the right one, and we can help you right that ship. The problem? Your implementation partner.

There are any number of implementation mistakes that could be contributing to your troubles. Here are a few of the most common mistakes we’ve encountered:

Common NetSuite Implementation Snafus

Choosing the wrong partner. NetSuite implementations demand experienced, seasoned pros. This is not the project to hand off to your sales manager’s brother, and it’s not the time to cut corners with cut-rate vendors. Your NetSuite investment deserves an implementation partner who can do the job.

Your project team is unclear on your goals. Your implementation partner and the internal project team need to know the most important business challenges you are solving with NetSuite, and have clearly defined solutions to solve those problems. If they don’t know that, they can’t implement NetSuite in a way that optimizes your business processes and helps your company automate routine financial and operational tasks.

The project is over budget. You find yourself with half an implementation job that has eaten up all of your budget. This is a result of poor estimates on the part of your provider, or an inefficient implementation. The typical professional services cost for a NetSuite implementation is 1.2 to 1.5 times your first-year licensing costs. If your implementation partner is providing estimates that are outside of this range, they may be cutting corners to fit within budget expectations.

Problems in data migration. Data migration is a huge part of any implementation project, and if it’s not done right, your ERP won’t be working at its best for you. Defining what data is migrated to the ERP and what data can reside in the legacy system or a data warehouse is a key decision in NetSuite implementation. Making the wrong decision on where data will be stored can have a huge impact on your reporting capabilities, your project timeline and your budget.

Premature launch or insufficient user acceptance testing. An in-depth user acceptance testing (UAT) plan is critical to a successful go-live. If your project is behind schedule or over budget, skipping this step in the implementation process can be a recipe for disaster. Never sacrifice testing to hit a go-live date. The UAT process can be up to a quarter of the overall project timeline. This careful testing, fixing and regression testing process is iterative and should never be cut short.

No user training and buy-in. Change management is an integral part of a successful ERP migration. You need buy-in from users and they need the training to use the system properly. The change management process includes communication, training and development of job aids that will help make the digital transformation a smooth and effective one.

If you’re experiencing any or all of these problems, we can help. Here’s how.

The GBS NetSuite Rescue Process

We’ve done many rescue operations over the years, and have fine-tuned our process to help customers get out of the weeds and into maximum efficiency quickly and without too much disruption and downtime. After all, you’ve had enough of that while your former provider was implementing the system. Here’s our process:

Discuss business goals. Just as we do when we start any implementation process, we’ll talk with you about what you want this system to accomplish, how you want it to grow, and other factors leading to your decision to install an ERP. This will give us the foundation on which to rebuild what went wrong.

Examine the current system and business processes. We’ll do a deep dive into your system, looking at everything that your provider has, and hasn’t, done to get you up and running. This will let us know what’s working, what we need to fix, and what needs to be scrapped. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Identify and document needed customization. Any customization to NetSuite should have clearly defined requirements documented thoroughly in a functional requirements document. This includes all customization from custom fields and records to SuiteFlow workflows and SuiteScript custom developed scripts.

Integrate with third-party vendors. Your NetSuite instance does not exist in a vacuum. You likely have a need for integration with third-party vendors for EDI, Credit Card Processing, Transportation Management Systems, 3PL warehouses or any number of other systems. A system architecture diagram should include all of the applications in your business ecosystems and how they will integrate with NetSuite.

Create a project plan and timeline. Once we know what needs to be fixed, we’ll give you a project plan. We can work together to determine your must-haves, needs and extras if the budget allows. We will prioritize tasks and backlog items that are not go-live critical.

Configure environment. This stage varies with every project. It might mean migrating your data in different ways, adding or removing modules, and any number of other actions designed to get your system configuration aligned with your business processes.

Test the system. Testing is a critical step that is often sacrificed when a project is behind schedule. A thorough and concise testing plan is critical for the success of an ERP implementation.

End-user training. Prior to go-live, end users will go through an in-depth training organized by each functional area. Once training has been completed, users can reinforce these concepts in the sandbox environment.

Plan system cutover. In the final weeks before go-live, a careful plan needs to be executed to cut over from your old system to NetSuite. This includes specific dates and times to stop transaction processing in the old ERP, migrate the final delta of master data and open transactions, and when you will process the first transactions in NetSuite.

Go live. This is the finish line you’ve been running toward since the start of your digital transformation project. After carefully executing the steps outlined above, you are ready for the much anticipated go-live.

If your ERP implementation resulted in anything less than stellar performance, contact us for a free consultation! We’ll get you back on track.

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