It is widely reported that a large percentage of all Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation projects fail, especially when done in-house.
You’d agree that ERP implementation projects often require a serious financial commitment. You don’t want to invest all that money and then end up with a failed project.
Imagine if you could access a list of actionable and effective NetSuite implementation tips — from trusted NetSuite experts — to increase your chances of succeeding with your NetSuite project.
Fortunately, that’s what you’re about to get — 30 NetSuite project implementation tips, tricks, and tactics.
Even better, we’ve simplified and broken them down into bite-sized pieces that you can easily implement.
Let’s get to it:
- As tempting as saving on hiring a NetSuite partner could be, we recommend that you don’t strike out alone. You want to choose a NetSuite implementation partner who’s experienced and well-versed in all the important aspects of your project. ERP implementation is usually very complex and often requires expertise to run successfully. The right NetSuite Solution Provider will bring the wealth of experience and skills needed to ensure your NetSuite investment is worth the effort.
- Establish an internal NetSuite implementation project team to work with your NetSuite partner. Better yet, have an in-house project lead who’ll be at the forefront of the implementation, especially in communicating with your partner and in relaying the partner’s information to the in-house team. Your team should be cross-departmental and cross-functional, consisting of potential active daily users of the system and highly-skilled IT personnel.
- Create a Business Requirement Document (BRD) to outline the required outcomes and value your organisation hopes to get from the project by partnering with the NetSuite Solution Provider. The BRD should also highlight any high-level constraints that could impact a successful deployment.
- Work with your NetSuite partner to perform careful requirements gathering. This will help you collect, analyse, and document the requirements necessary for your project to pan out. It’ll also help you to examine the current condition of your business processes in order to identify common problems and work out the ways to solve those in your new system. What’s more, identifying project requirements is a crucial step in accurately defining the project scope.
- Define the project scope and ensure blueprint signoff. A well-defined project scope leads to the development of a comprehensive and realistic project plan.
- Create a project plan by setting specific goals and objectives for the ERP implementation. Your project plan should have a clear list of specific targets, tasks, deliverables, costs, and deadlines.
- For a successful implementation, document your current business needs and discuss the same with your NetSuite Solution Provider for everyone to know what to expect.
- Have a clear timeline with milestones and key dates to achieve them, but make it flexible enough to accommodate potential project scope creep.
- Once the project is in full swing, it is always better to stick to the project scope instead of requesting changes amidst installation. If you come across some new functionality that you’d like to add, discuss it with the team and suggest it as something you’re interested in adding at a later phase of the project. This will help keep the costs from increasing, ensuring the timelines are followed and unnecessary delays are avoided.
- Keeping a risk register where you identify any risks that could impact the project in terms of cost and timelines can be a great way to identify and monitor factors that could present a risk to the project implementation. Whether it be an up-coming holidays, seasonal busy periods which will place a greater demand on your project team, documenting these risks and identifying potential solutions in advance can help keep your project on track.
- Utilise the NetSuite sandbox tool. This is your test environment and provides an isolated and secure platform for ensuring the system meets your business requirements prior to going live. Once live, it can also be used to test features, for example, you can try to create and edit any feature and observe its outcome before actually implementing it within your live environment.
- Conduct a thorough data cleansing to remove incorrectly formatted, duplicate, or incomplete data before the implementation. This ensures that data is clean and usable for the new ERP solution.
- In collaboration with the Implementation Partner, develop a data migration strategy where you identify key data such as customers, suppliers, vendors, and financials related to your project scope and determine how everything will be migrated.
- Don’t forget to develop a backup and business continuity strategy for data. This helps you to get back in business if external factors cause delays to your project.
- Don’t just move your data. Take some time to review the accuracy of data being migrated to ensure that data is up to date and clean without duplicates or errors. If you hire a NetSuite partner who knows what they are doing, they can advise on some best practises.
- Opt to use agile methodology, which supports project breakdowns, constant collaboration with stakeholders, and continuous improvement and iteration at every stage.
- Your NetSuite implementation partner should be able to provide you with testing scripts to use as part of the User Acceptance Testing phase of the project. Make sure you take the time to customise these scripts to your own business processes so that all the areas of the system are tested in line with your required configuration.
- Before going live on NetSuite, make sure your project team spends time testing, end-to-end, all areas and functionality that you rely on as a business.
- Test and test again. Yes, this is a duplicate tip but it is the most important part of the project in order to de-risk the project. Usually, we recommend establishing two or three well-defined testing cycles. Once each cycle is complete, your NetSuite consultant can help clear down your issues list.
- Develop a strong change management plan which would prepare your people to smoothly transition and adopt the new system, and ultimately provide the support needed to drive organisational success for the project.
- User enablement is critical for project success. So develop a user enablement strategy for the training of all users and user groups in line with your project goals and based on training plans outlined in the change management plan.
- Establish regular communication with your NetSuite partner to ensure updates are shared between your project teams of how the project is progressing.
- Post-go-live training should be conducted as required across your organisation to ensure full user adoption of the new systems.
- Get buy-in from your team to guarantee the business is on board with the new software change. As well as garnering the commitment of top management to the program, also include end-users from all departments in the decision-making process, especially key employees who will be using the system the most. This ensures everyone’s on the same page and has a clear understanding of the project.
- Create a detailed project cutover plan. Cutover processes often include a series of final steps that must be meticulously orchestrated just before going live to ensure the successful deployment of project components from pre-production environments. It is always necessary for an effective transfer of systems throughout your organisation.
- ERP projects do not end after the solution has been successfully installed. You ought to take advantage of post-go-live support from your NetSuite partner. So evaluate the support options available to you and identify resources to assist with post-deployment issues and evolving needs.
- For the purpose of keeping track of your goals with the new system and identifying the differences between your current state and where you’d like to be, you may choose to run a gap analysis comparing actual performance with what was expected or desired.
- It’s likely that the newly-installed ERP system will disrupt processes and transform how employees work. Thus, your organisation should be prepared to commit to the ERP project with high levels of change management. It may not feel smooth the first couple of weeks, but making preparations for this will help you avoid chaos and prevent a buildup of resistance. Usually, in addition to training sessions, regularly reminding the users of the benefits can go a long way in ensuring success.
- After the new system has been fully adopted, review your business processes and identify improvement opportunities. Once live, you want to ensure your system continues to meet your requirements as your business changes and grows. Your account manager at your NetSuite Solution Provider should be able to advise you on how to ensure you continue getting the most out of your system.
- To ensure you continue to get the most out of NetSuite, it is important to ensure user knowledge is kept up to date. Whether it be through staff attrition or degradation of knowledge over time, make sure you train new employees and keep existing employee’s knowledge up-to-date by investing in training your staff.
Implementing ERP software in your organisation is truly a smart business move with notable benefits. But it matters how you go about it.
This list of NetSuite ERP implementation tips is in no way exhaustive, but it should be able to help you achieve results.