Netsuite Implementation Guide

Use this Netsuite implementation guide to discover all the phases and typical obstacles of a successful Netsuite implementation.

Netsuite Implementation Checklist

netsuite-implementation-steps

To ensure that your Netsuite implementation is robust and a true representation of the business’ processes, it is important to build a strong foundation.

The biggest blunders we’ve seen occur when companies buy their Netsuite  licenses as the first step in the process.

From the moment you buy the license, the clock is ticking. Pressure is on to go live, compromises are made at the foundational level, and these compromises become part of the company’s SOP, because it is too difficult to revert back.

A strong foundation will provide you with the right framework for the C-suite to use the platform as a business intelligence tool.

That is after all the purpose of implementing an ERP system, to harmonize all of the company’s operational domains and provide the leadership team with good  information to become more competitive.

Netsuite Implementation Checklist

The eight steps below form the basis of this Netsuite implementation guide. 

  1. Current Process Maps
  2. Pre-Configuration
  3. Demo Build
  4. Migration Plan
  5. Netsuite Licenses
  6. Implementation
  7. Go-Live
  8. Optimization
Netsuite-implementation - Process Maps


STEP 1

VERIFY CURRENT PROCESS MAPS

The purpose of any ERP system is to provide an organization with a holistic view of its operations. 

Often, when the business processes of the organization are not well defined, organizations look to the ERP system to provide them with a process framework. The organization then (in effect) becomes a slave to the ERP.

Business processes are optimized to fit the default ERP processes, while anything that does not “fit” is maintained in a spreadsheet on the side.

The way to ensure that this does not happen to your organization when implementing Netsuite, is to map out all of your processes, and then to pre-configure Netsuite to reflect the reality of your organization.

Netsuite-implementation - Pre-config


STEP 2

PRE-CONFIGURATION OF NETSUITE SETUP

Once the processes are clear, you should start “mapping” the environment that you want to create.

Just as in the real world, where navigating an unfamiliar terrain is easier when you have a map, so it is with Netsuite. Creating a map of the implementation will make the actual implementation much easier. You need to consider the following domains when building your Netsuite implementation map.

  • Bundles & Modules
  • Company Information
  • Entities Setup
  • Support Preferences
  • Sandbox Configuration
  • SuiteApp Preferences
  • Interface Preferences
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Accounting Periods
  • Accounting Preferences
  • Advanced Billing
  • Advanced Financials
  • Advanced Revenue Recognition
  • Advanced Subscription Billing
  • Charge-based Billing
  • Multi-book Accounting
  • Subscription Billing
  • All Form Setups
  • Training Preferences
  • Testing Protocols
  • Opening Balances
  • Personalization
  • Workflow Development
  • Campaign Preferences

Over the last 10 years, we have developed a detailed master pre-configuration workbook, which we use in all of our client engagements.

The three day IntegriGate workshop (where we do the pre-config) usually brings a lot of clarity to the implementation team, and builds their confidence about their ability to execute a successful Netsuite implementation.

Netsuite-implementation - Demo Build


STEP 3

DEMO BUILD OF NETSUITE IMPLEMENTATION

Once your implementation is mapped, it is time to see how it translates to the real world, while not impacting the organization’s operations. This is the value of doing a demo implementation before going live.

Translating what was mapped in step 2 into a real implementation is not a straight-forward process, and the value of this becomes apparent during the demo implementation phase.

This phase is primarily used to test assumptions, workflows and system logic. Any configuration errors can be fixed at this point, without any risk to the business’ live environment.

Netsuite-data migration plan


STEP 4

DEVISE DATA MIGRATION PLAN

Once the team is confident that the demo implementation reflects the true nature, processes and desired outcomes of the organization, it is time to come up with a plan of how data will be migrated from existing systems to Netsuite.

Consolidation of disparate spreadsheets, legacy accounting, CRM and low-level ERP systems are the norm.

Ask the following questions at this point:

  • Are we in agreement about which data source best reflects the actual “truth”?
  • Are there any duplicates in the different sources?
  • How will we clean up the duplicates?
  • Is there agreement on the starting balances?
  • In which order will we be populating the legacy information to the new live environment?
  • How will we manage expectations during the transition?
  • How will we define success?


The last question may seem obvious, but while you are in the process of going live, it may not be as clear as you think. It is therefore important to agree upfront what success looks like.

Define it from the C-Suite perspective, because as global stewards of the organization, they will be the final arbiters of the value they get from the system.

Netsuite-licenses


STEP 5

PURCHASE NETSUITE LICENSES

Now that you have clarity on the exact modules that the organization will “actually” require, it is time to purchase your Netsuite licenses.

The Netsuite licensing regime is complex. Take your time to understand the different options, and find the happy medium between what your really need NOW and what you want to grow into in the future.

The more defined your implementation is after steps 1-4, the easier it will be for you to make a good decision at this point.

Netsuite-implementation-guide


STEP 6

NETSUITE IMPLEMENTATION

Once your licenses are activated, you can start to set up and implement Netsuite in your live environment. Use the templates created during the demo setup phase to set up the live environment.

This will save you a lot of time, and ensure that you get the maximum value out of the license fees that are now running against the clock.

A formal project plan, devised during steps 3 and 4 will go a long way to ensure your live implementation goes as planned.

A user acceptance testing (UAT) process and quality control process rounds out this step.

Netsuite-implementation-guide


STEP 7

GO LIVE

Your go-live event should be when you are able to demonstrate the success parameters that you have defined in step 4.

Once the system is up and running, it is time to onboard users, get them familiar with the new system, and help them to transition their default behaviors to a new way of working.

Getting people’s buy in is critical to the overall success of the implementation. If people feel left out, you will have a lot of internal resistance to adopt the changes.

Netsuite-optimization


STEP 8

NETSUITE SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION

An ERP implementation is never “done”. As things change in the market, or in the regulatory environment, so the organization must adapt.

Ensure that you have a clear change management process in place so that you can ensure that your Netsuite implementation always reflects the current reality that the organization finds itself in.

We trust that you have found some good value in this Netsuite implementation guide.

If you need help with steps 2-6 of this guide, please send us an email at [email protected] or schedule a video call with Wouter Nortje to discuss your requirements.