As anyone who has ever involved themselves in the implementation of enterprise software will attest, choosing the best software is an important step. But here’s the thing: it isn’t THE most important step. In fact, the choice of software is only one relatively small part of the solution, with other factors leading factors including the right implementation partner who brings a proven methodology, and the right internal team sponsoring and managing the project.
It’s not just us who says this, either. Even the makers of great software say the same thing. In a recent whitepaper, Introducing NetSuite Manufacturing Edition which I highly recommend reading (it’s only 14 pages and will take about 20 minutes of your time) the point is made that the software is just one part of the puzzle. There are several others, as we shall see.
But first, let’s just get one thing out of the way. Apart from our internal people, who some might say has a high threshold for problem identification and solving (and others might just say a high threshold for suffering), ERP implementations are something akin to Dante’s 9 circles of hell. After all, while our folks have made a career of the challenges of understanding customer requirements, speccing the right solution, grappling with the (often arcane) business processes, figuring out the configuration and installation of the software, training the users, training the users some more, customising some aspects of the software when problems crop up, then training the users again, you probably haven’t.
In fact, it wouldn’t be and isn’t unusual for some implementations to feel a bit like they should have the inscription ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter into here’ above the project manager’s door.
This goes to the very heart of the premise of this blog. Yes, you want great software. Yes, you want great outcomes. And yes, unless you want to descend into the fiery pit, you want a partner who knows what they are doing, following a process that delivers consistently good outcomes.
Setting off on this arduous journey should be worth it because the promised land of milk and honey is far removed from the (likely) current situation your business finds itself in. In other words, when daily operations have become one, some, or all of those 9 circles of hell, with a preponderance of spreadsheets and manual workarounds telling you it’s time for new software, processes, or both.
The outcomes you’re after and which justify the mission of an ERP implementation include better business performance, easier and immediate access to accurate and valuable information and greater insights into business performance. The gain must be worth the pain! And great software like NetSuite’s Manufacturing Edition is, for many New Zealand producers, just the ticket.
Among the advantages you’ll get with NetSuite is the good stuff we all want in our businesses – like integrated cloud financials, inventory, order management, CRM, marketing, and eCommerce. And the all-important single-view and easy access to accurate information.
All these outcomes and more are crucial to a successful (and growing) manufacturing concern.
What NetSuite also provides is the SuiteSuccess approach, which bakes good stuff in like two decades of 20 years of industry-leading practices, a proven customer engagement model, and business optimisation methods. It differs from other ‘standardised’ approaches like templates and rapid implementation methodologies by productizing domain knowledge, leading practices, and KPIs while introducing an agile approach to product adoption.
Why is this important? Because we know from bitter experience that even manufacturers producing the same widget don’t do it exactly the same way. It is an enduring curiosity of business that absolute standardisation (beyond the financials, perhaps) is exceedingly rare. That means your software, your process and yes, our team, must offer flexibility as part of the package.
So, NetSuite is prepared to say that the software isn’t the only consideration for a successful ERP outcome. From your side, you’ll need strong and committed leadership and eyes open to the reality of the challenges of an implementation.
And from our side, we’ll bring a battle-hardened team that relishes the prospect of deploying transformative software into your manufacturing environment. You can take our word for it – or you can check out our past successes.
And feel free to get in touch to discuss your requirements. We’d love to hear from you.