The Key to a Functional NetSuite Implementation


Here’s the thing no one says about an ERP implementation: it’s not really about the system. So what’s the key?

There are specific things that an ERP needs to be able to deliver—compliance, core accounting, business management—but at the end of the day, a new tool is just that: a tool. In order to be functional and useful, it needs to be implemented correctly in your business.

Behind every great, shiny new business system is a team that needs to be able to use it. In order to capitalize on a new software implementation, you need to consider the processes and people as part of the solution.

The key to a functional ERP implementation in your business is to remember that behind every process is a person.

A NetSuite implementation is a transition that takes time, countless meetings and many, many decisions. People often get tired of this process.

It is important to remember, however, that these implementations are much more than just transactions and data. Behind every process is a person. The decisions you make during this time will have a real-world impact on your team and your organization Forgetting this will leave you with an ERP that simply will not function correctly.

When an executive leadership team fails to consider the people behind the processes and systems they are implementing, not only is the implementation itself likely to fail, but employee morale is also sure to fall. Taking a holistic approach to implementations and remembering the people behind the processes will alleviate frustrations aimed at executive leadership, namely the sentiment that “They sit in meetings all day and have no idea how their decisions affect us here on the floor.”

Such was the case of one client who came to us after they had self-implemented their NetSuite ERP. They jumped in and found themselves in an inventory nightmare: the individual tasked with picking orders was only able to successfully pick one in every four orders.

The CEO was grappling with the level of effort it would take to correct the implementation’s deficiencies, but he knew that something had to change. He wanted his employees to go home at the end of the day and feel satisfied with the job they’d done.

In the end, the company made the decision to re-invest in the solution—which was ultimately an investment in the job satisfaction and happiness of their employees.

Because, to be functional, your ERP needs to work with your business. It should be your top employee, pulling its weight with your team and making their jobs easier, not more cumbersome. Your ERP shouldn’t something to work around or simply put up with. Behind every process is a person, and behind every functional ERP implementation is a focus on how your business needs to function.

How to Pick the Right NetSuite Consultant

When you’re ready to implement NetSuite, you want to be sure you’ve got a good partner on your side. The right NetSuite consultant can make or break your project, so how do you go about picking the right one?

Just typing “best NetSuite consultant” or “NetSuite solution provider” into Google is no way to make this decision. Anyone can claim to be the best. After all, it’s the internet. Credibility must always be questioned, and you need to do your research.

Word of mouth and recommendations from NetSuite themselves can be a great place to start. From there, there are a number of “industry standard” questions you should ask before hiring a NetSuite consultant.

Questions to Ask a NetSuite Consultant

  • Number of successful NetSuite implementations
  • Experience related to your industry
  • How they would approach your specific requirements/needs
  • Number of consultants devoted to your project
  • The team’s certifications and experience
  • Who will be your primary contact
  • Project timeline and end-user training expectations
  • And most importantly, what their clients have to say about their work

Tailor the questions to your project. If you don’t have a defined scope, ask how they would gather your requirements for your NetSuite implementation. What steps would they follow?

If you have a NetSuite module or a business process that is very specific to your business, be sure to probe your NetSuite consultant about it. How they would approach your situation? Have they had similar experiences in the past? How did those projects go? The more you can get a potential NetSuite consultant talking about what they know and have done, the better. This is where you will be able to tell if they are a fit with your culture and needs.

The Importance of Good References

Now, we’re not discrediting the importance of the other questions. But does it get any better than hearing feedback directly from previous clients?

References and case studies are a great way to measure a NetSuite consultant. This is where you can separate the NetSuite consultants that are all talk and those that actually have the chops. Because you can’t sensor client feedback. It’s either good, or it’s not.

When a NetSuite implementation partner knows what they’re doing, and does it well, they can reach almost hero status with their customers. Having experience is only one piece; having positive experience is the key. If a NetSuite consultant has the experience and it’s had a positive outcome, their clients should be willing to sing their praises.

Every business and NetSuite implementation is different, and no one NetSuite partner is right for everyone. Find your fit by asking the questions, drilling into your needs, and asking for real client stories to make sure your NetSuite consultant measures up.

By the end of your ERP implementation, you should be able to say this about your NetSuite consultant:

The Best Reference: NetSuite Partner of the Year

Eide Bailly has been recognized as a leading NetSuite partner six times in the past seven years. We believe in always doing the best for our clients. And doing the best means having the best people. Being named NetSuite Partner of the Year for the fifth year in a row, our team has shown that, year over year, they are some of the best in the world at what they do.

This achievement is much more than just another award on our shelf. It’s a badge of honor that we wear proudly. It showcases our team’s continual commitment to client success on the NetSuite platform. And to our clients, it’s another vote of confidence in their NetSuite solution provider of choice.

Our strength at Eide Bailly is in exceeding our client’s expectations and delivering expertise that covers the whole scope of a NetSuite ERP implementation. With our team’s continued growth, we’re increasing that powerful skill set to a level unheard of in the industry. It makes me truly excited to think about what we can accomplish together for our clients.

Stuart Tholen, Director of ERP 


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