The choice to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system like NetSuite is a major milestone for any organization. While the system will ultimately increase productivity and efficiency through features such as automation and centralized data storage, the NetSuite ERP Implementation process is a massive project that will have a broad impact on the whole company.
In this article, we will list key practices that will help you tackle the complexities and potential challenges of an ERP implementation.
1. Have Strong Project Management in Place
Typically, ERP implementations take months to complete. Therefore, it’s crucial to strategize a project management framework, guiding the deployment phase beforehand. Your focus should be aligning the ERP initiative with your business scope while keeping track of the project and ensuring input from the management.
To ensure an optimal implementation process, organizations must:
- Set achievable expectations, milestones, and time frames for deployment.
- Align the ERP initiative while keeping in view the needs of the business.
- Devise a plan to make sure everything works accordingly.
- Keep in the loop the key stakeholders and senior management.
The biggest problem in a smooth ERP implementation is sidelining the project’s scope and continuously adding additional functionalities. A strong project management process can help identify the weaker points and enhance the overall implementation process.
2. Set Clear KPIs
A proficient NetSuite implementation consultant knows the importance of setting requirements for an optimal ERP execution. They make sure the prerequisites align with the goals of the business. For proper NetSuite ERP implementation, it is important to evaluate the following factors:
- Key business processes, workflows, and systems
- The desired goal through ERP implementation
- The methods through which process can be optimized
Your NetSuite consultants should ensure that the ERP implementation is not simply automating your existing process. They should look at the implementation as an opportunity to improve and augment the process. The KPIs must be realistic and according to your business needs.
For instance, KPIs for a manufacturer might be to ensure demand forecast accuracy, improve cycle time, order backlogs, or manage downtime. However, for a retailer, it would be customer conversion ratio, profit margins, sales per square foot, average purchase value, etc.
3. Cost Control and Data Migration
Most ERP projects are famous for exceeding the budget. The reason isn’t that NetSuite developers are incompetent but because the organization underestimates the work and time when strategizing. Sometimes, the internal personnel resources are insufficient, and the company has to turn to external consultants. Sometimes, it adds extra functionalities that weren’t initially planned. What is the result of all this additional work? Going way beyond the budget!
However, data migration can be controlled to manage the cost. There are two options: either go manually or automate the process. With a manual, you can clean the data of irrelevant suppliers and customers but at the cost of time and money. With automation, the process can be much quicker at the expense of unfiltered unrelated data.
Therefore, it’s essential to set realistic plans and budgets initially. And choose the data migration plan wisely before starting the NetSuite ERP implementation process.
4. Communication & Change Management
Communication in ERP implementation is vital. It’s necessary to include all the management and stakeholders to converse on the following:
- Reason for the ERP system and implementation.
- Expectations for work with the new system.
- Benefits of the new system.
- Opportunities during the implementation phase.
Change management is an essential part of implementing any new processes in the business. From the CEO to leaders and team managers, everyone must be in the loop to know the details. Experienced NetSuite implementation consultants will recommend that you discuss the process with the stakeholders before starting, avoiding any chance of conflict. It will also help in managing the costs from the start of the implementation process.
5. End user training
Expecting your team to be proficient from day 1 with the new ERP system is unrealistic. The NetSuite developers are experienced with the system, however, expecting everyone on the same page isn’t practical. The ideal solution for this is to target and introduce ongoing training to your team. Some enterprises offer training to a few employees. After extensive training on the new system, these organizations use them as a mentor for all the staff, managing the budget and training cost.
Once you are done with deciding which NetSuite ERP system to implement, it’s vital to follow standard practices throughout the process, supporting the requirements of your organization. It will ensure a successful implementation, delivering elicit results to your business.