Adopting a cloud-based ERP solution like NetSuite to grow your business is a strategic initiative that will contribute to your bottom line for years to come. However, ERP implementations are no easy task and are the type of project that you want done once and done right.
You’ll likely need a team of skilled and well-versed NetSuite implementation experts who can dedicate significant chunks of time to the project in order to maximize your ROI. Implementation success is much more likely when performed by a team highly experienced with NetSuite, its powerful features, customization capabilities, best practices etc. In fact, The Gartner Group reports that 75% of ERP projects fail, and one of the prime causes being that companies don’t have the necessary internal talent to implement the software. Yet, they still try to wrangle the project by themselves, or try to cut corners by hiring a “discount” implementation partner who lacks sufficient experience.
The best way to ensure NetSuite implementation success is by partnering with a leading NetSuite implementation partner with a proven track record.
What Is a NetSuite Implementation Partner?
NetSuite implementation partners are third-party consultants who specialize in helping companies implement and optimize the world’s leading cloud-based ERP system. Like every other business decision, choosing a NetSuite implementation partner can feel like a challenge. With so many partners to choose from, it’s difficult to know how to narrow down your options.
This guide helps business owners and decision-makers understand why NetSuite consulting partners are valuable and how to choose the best NetSuite partner for their needs.
Things To Consider When Choosing a Netsuite Implementation Partner
This is perhaps the most essential criteria when looking for the right NetSuite ERP implementation partners. Experienced NetSuite consultants bring industry expertise, delivery experience, and knowledge of best practices to your business. Through their extensive experience, they should have a firm understanding of what to expect throughout the process, potential roadblocks to overcome, challenges faced by your specific industry or operating environment and more.
An implementation partner not only has a general understanding of NetSuite functionality but can also ensure that your new ERP system integrates seamlessly with your current software systems and business processes. If custom connections or integration work is needed, an implementation partner will be able to carry it out for you.
You can identify a NetSuite partner’s technical expertise by looking at their certifications, awards, recommendations, and reputation. For example:
- Is the partner recognized by the software vendor as an Oracle NetSuite Solutions Provider?
- Do they work closely with NetSuite themselves to keep up-to-date on NetSuite’s latest news and updates?
- Do they have a relationship with other software vendors for potential implementation and integration work?
- Do they have case studies and customer references to support their expertise?
Successful NetSuite implementations require both parties, your business and the NetSuite implementation provider, to remain in regular and consistent contact. The flow of information between the two parties is essential to project success. When vetting a NetSuite implementation partner, make sure that you’re receiving regular communication from them that is accurate, friendly, and responsive.
Keep in mind, communication is a two-way street. Your team will need to be equally accessible and responsive in order to ensure implementation success. In fact, one of the leading causes of failed implementations is lack of communication or buy-in from the end users. Being accessible to provide your implementation partner with data, logins, and reasoning behind existing processes and more is essential to success. Not only will this communication help the project, but will also help you remain informed on project status, milestones, budgets, timelines and more.
When dealing with large-scale projects like ERP implementations, it’s important to have a partner who knows what they’re doing, communicates efficiently and effectively, and keeps everybody cool, calm, and collected.
Training & Go-Live Support
Your NetSuite implementation’s success depends heavily on user adoption and acceptance. Getting employees to accept and utilize the new platform will require them to know their way around it, particularly in their role specific tasks. A proper NetSuite implementation partner will get your staff prepared for a seamless transition to the new system so your business and its people don’t skip a beat.
Certifications & Recognition
It is highly recommended to look for implementation partners who have a track record of successfully implementing Oracle NetSuite.
If your potential implementation partner doesn’t list any NetSuite certifications on their website or marketing materials, be sure to inquire. Certifications such as the NetSuite Solution Provider designation showcases a provider’s capabilities and know-how around NetSuite implementations and optimization.
Apart from company wide certifications like the NetSuite Solution Provider designation, there are individual certifications held by each consultant such as:
- ERP Consultant
- Financial User
- SuiteAnalytics User
- SuiteCloud Developer I & II
- And many more.
Top providers like ScaleNorth boast staff members spanning every NetSuite certification type, so you have access to a Subject Matter Expert regardless of the task at hand.
NetSuite has a broad customer base that spans countless industries and micro-verticals. Each one of these industries has its own pain points, challenges, rules & regulations, and operational strategies that accompany them. You’ll want a NetSuite partner that has experience and knowledge within your industry, so they can advise on ERP configuration best practices that will align with your specific operations. The NetSuite instance of a $10M wholesale distributor will look vastly different from the NetSuite instance of a $100M software company. Be sure to ask your potential implementation partner about their experience in your industry.
Post Implementation Support
Another important component of your ERP migration is post-implementation support. Once you go live on your new ERP system, you might uncover desired functionalities that were not identified in the existing scope. Your business might also grow and expand into needing new features that were not required at the time of your implementation. Hence, most NetSuite customers utilize some form of NetSuite consulting support to keep their operations as streamlined and efficient as possible. Be sure to select a NetSuite implementation partner that offers post go-live support packages. ScaleNorth for example, offers NetSuite consulting and support in the form of ad hoc services for one off projects as well as managed support packages.
When implementing NetSuite, it’s essential to find the right NetSuite implementation partner for your business. These complex and vast projects are not something you want to take on in-house, unless you have a dedicated team of certified NetSuite experts on your payroll. However, not all NetSuite consultants are alike. There are the industry leading experts, and there are the “budget” shops who lack experience. Considering that a NetSuite implementation will affect every corner of your business for years to come, it’s not something you want to trust in the hands of an inexperienced consultant.
By following the recommendations in this article and doing your due diligence on the provider, you’ll be able to mitigate project risk and increase the chances of a successful implementation.
ScaleNorth’s expert NetSuite implementation consultants have a collective 1,000+ years of experience on the NetSuite platform. We lead white-glove implementations and have a phenomenal track record on getting our clients where they need to be to thrive.
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