It doesn’t matter if you’re a non-profit, small business or major global industry leader, when you stand up your NetSuite solution, proper implementation is imperative. You’re drawing eyes from every department, IT to Accounting, and everyone wants to see ROI. That also means securing buy-in upfront from organizational leadership as well as your tech professionals.
What can you do to ensure NetSuite implementation success from day one? Let’s start with some high-level fundamentals:
Get a Grip on Requirements
Take the time to learn what’s critical to the integration of any new solution for your business management. This is imperative on the front-end, as you contemplate whether or not to use NetSuite cloud ERP. It’s a bit more intricate than a plug-and-play or off-the-shelf solution, so be sure to get clarity on the type of team you need to spearhead your implementation process.
There’s an (unfortunately) common scenario where companies don’t take the time to include the right people when figuring out their true business requirements. That leads to the solution not being an ideal match for the scenario. Get your project team primed and dedicated to understanding the full depth and breadth of your implementation, and you’ll set yourself up for the best chance of success.
It’s More than a Transition; It’s an Evolution
Get an absolute sense of what a NetSuite implementation can and can’t do for your business. It’s renowned, for example, for being able to refine various business processes; it can even eliminate glaring systematic issues outright. If you can envision systematic improvement somewhere throughout your business lifecycle. It’s worth the extra effort to scrutinize your business processes and look for opportunities to improve. Don’t just try to force old methods into the new system. See if the new system can be a means to business improvement throughout the organization. Ecommerce, ERP, CRM and so many other aspects can be refined via NetSuite. You’ll become much more efficient and operationally effective — a prerequisite to more profitability.
Clarify Your Strategic Goals from the Start
Ask yourself why your organization decided to go with NetSuite in the first place. That can often illuminate your vision for how it’s going to perform in the immediate wake of implementation, which will in turn let you focus on your organization’s business and operational priorities. You’ll see what’s essential, determine your priorities, and develop the best roadmap for implementation success. If any of those goals are vague, you’ll invite unwanted challenges. You compromise the chance to optimize your solution and might find yourself struggling to manage a host of different interests.
Count on a Professional Implementation Team
Proven implementation pros have a focus and dedication that can mean the difference between an adequate or an exceptional implementation. Be rigorous in finding the right people for the right seats. Younger employees may lack experience but possess much-desired energy; conversely, older employees might know the ropes, but get too stuck on their own perspective. A balanced team with open-minded leadership and decision making is going to keep things aimed at the ultimate goal for everyone: realization of business goals. Calling the shots, you want those who keep the organizational imperatives top of mind. Beneath that level, get representation from all the departments throughout the company who are either involved or stand to be impacted and ultimately benefit from the implementation. And in the midst of the process, find some individuals who are trainable throughout the process — they can become your future NetSuite experts!
Make Sure All Business Operations are in Order
Chief among NetSuite’s strengths is how it offers unprecedented visibility into business operations — visibility that can help improve key business processes and agile decision-making. But, and this is critical, it is no profitability panacea. Overseeing the transition is up to thoughtful leadership, and the solution itself is only as good as its data. If your business environment is struggling with bad data, NetSuite is not going to fix that. You need to address integrity, communication silos, and isolated procedures that don’t sync with the solution. Remember, no amount of automation will fix a flawed process.
As your CRM and ERP strategy begins to take shape, make a point to evaluate your data and study your existing processes. You may have to spend some time and effort cleaning up information, getting organized, and establishing clear chains of command and responsibility. Then you’ll have a solid platform from which to launch your NetSuite implementation.
Assign an Executive Sponsor
An executive sponsor championing this transition is vital to implementation progress and success. The right leader, in short, keeps you on the right track. It also gives the organization a single point of contact and interaction. That can be an easy way to streamline interaction and avoid delays that can result from widely dispersed decision makers trying to manage an effort.
Make sure you appoint a project leader and executive sponsor (they don’t necessarily have to be the same person) who have enough organizational authority to facilitate change. NetSuite implementations demand leadership leverage, which minimizes confusion within and among implementation teams.
Once underway, a successful NetSuite implementation demands many carefully calculated steps. Start with these six high-level aspects, and you’re going to greatly increase your odds of things going off without a hitch. For more information on NetSuite implementations or services, contact me directly to discuss your organization’s requirements.