Considering moving to Cloud ERP?
Discover a wealth of Questions and Answers, accompanied by invaluable resources, to guide you on your transformative Cloud ERP journey.
All your ERP Questions and Answers
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have become increasingly important in the modern business landscape, helping companies streamline operations, reduce costs, and make data-driven decisions. With so many options available, it's not surprising that businesses have many questions about Cloud ERP, from the basics of what it is and how it works, to the more complex aspects of implementation and maintenance. In this FAQ section, we will answer some of the most common questions about moving to an ERP system and NetSuite to help you make an informed decision for your business.
Data silos: If your business is relying on multiple standalone systems to manage different aspects of the business, such as accounting, inventory management, and customer relationship management, it can be difficult to get a holistic view of the business, and this can lead to data silos and inefficiencies.
Inaccurate or incomplete data: If your business is struggling to maintain accurate and complete data, it can be difficult to make informed decisions which can lead to inefficiencies and mistakes.
Difficulty scaling: If your business is having difficulty scaling to meet the demands of growth, an ERP system can provide the tools and automation to manage a larger number of transactions and data.
Manual processes: If your business is relying on manual processes, such as spreadsheets, to manage key business functions, it can be time-consuming and error-prone. An ERP system can automate many of these processes, making them more efficient and accurate.
Difficulty with compliance: If your business is having difficulty with compliance, an ERP system can provide the tools and automation to manage compliance requirements, such as financial reporting and inventory management.
Difficulty with supply chain: If your business is having difficulty with supply chain management, an ERP system can provide the tools and automation to manage supplier relationships, inventory management and logistics.
Difficulty with customer relationship management: If your business is having difficulty managing customer relationships, an ERP system can provide the tools and automation to manage customer data, sales, and customer service.
Difficulty with cost control: If your business is having difficulty controlling costs, an ERP system can provide the tools and automation to manage financials, inventory management and supply chain.
If you're experiencing some of these symptoms, it may be worth considering an ERP system to help streamline processes, automate data management, and provide greater visibility into the business, which can lead to greater efficiency, better decision-making and cost control.
Improving efficiency and productivity: An ERP system can automate many business processes, such as financial management, inventory management, and supply chain management, which can help reduce manual errors, speed up data entry, and improve overall efficiency.
Enhancing collaboration and communication: An ERP system will provide a centralised platform for sharing data and information, which can help improve collaboration and communication between different departments and teams.
Improving decision-making: An ERP system will provide real-time data and analytics, which can help businesses make data-driven decisions, identify areas for improvement, and track progress towards specific goals.
Reducing costs: An ERP system will help businesses reduce costs associated with IT infrastructure and maintenance, as well as help your business to save money by automating processes, reducing manual errors and improving efficiency.
Increasing scalability: An ERP system can handle the growing needs of your business, as it can easily scale up or down as the business grows, without the need for additional hardware or software.
Improving security and compliance: An ERP system will help your business to meet security and compliance requirements by providing a secure platform for storing and sharing data.
Improving mobility: An ERP system can be accessed from anywhere, on any device, which means that employees can access their data and applications from anywhere, which can be very beneficial for remote teams or employees who travel frequently.
Improving customer service: An ERP system provides real-time data and analytics that can help your business track customer interactions and improve customer service.
Keep in mind that the specific needs and goals of a business can vary depending on the industry, the size of the company and the specific pain points you are trying to solve.
An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) selection process is a multi-step process that involves evaluating and comparing different ERP systems to find the best fit for a business's specific needs. Here are a few key steps involved in an ERP selection process:
Define business requirements: This step involves identifying the specific needs and goals of the business, such as financial management, inventory management, and supply chain management.
Research ERP systems: This step involves researching different ERP systems to determine which systems have the features and functionality to meet the business's requirements.
Evaluate ERP systems: This step involves evaluating the ERP systems that have been identified as potential options, to determine which systems are the best fit for the business.
Create a shortlist: This step involves creating a shortlist of the ERP systems that are the best fit for the business, based on the evaluation.
Schedule demos: This step involves scheduling demos of the ERP systems on the shortlist, to see how the systems work in practice.
Evaluate vendor: This step involves evaluating the vendor that provides the ERP system, to determine if the vendor can provide adequate support and services for the system.
Make a decision: This step involves making a decision on which ERP system to implement, based on the evaluation and selection process.
Negotiate the contract: This step involves negotiating the contract with the vendor, to ensure that the business is getting the best deal possible and that the vendor can provide adequate support and services.
Implementation: This step involves implementing the ERP system, including data migration, customisation, configuration and training.
Post-implementation review: This step involves conducting a review of the ERP system after it has been implemented, to ensure that it is meeting the business's needs and that any issues are addressed.
It's important to note that the ERP selection process can take several months to complete and it's important to have a clear plan and budget for the implementation. Additionally, it's important to involve key stakeholders in the process, such as IT, finance, and business leaders, to ensure that the ERP system meets the needs of all departments.
Our Executive ERP Evaluation and Investment Roadmap will help you and your
team make a decision about the solution that works best for you and helps set you up for a successful implementation.
Project planning: This step involves creating a detailed project plan that outlines the tasks, timelines, and resources required for the implementation.
Data migration: This step involves migrating data from the existing system to the new ERP system, which includes mapping data fields, data validation, and data cleanup.
System configuration: This step involves configuring the ERP system to meet the specific needs of the business, such as setting up custom workflows, customising the user interface, and integrating it with other systems.
Customisation: This step involves customising the ERP system to meet the specific needs of the business, such as creating custom reports, custom fields, and custom integrations.
Testing: This step involves testing the ERP system to ensure that it is working correctly and that there are no issues with data migration, configuration, and customisation.
Training: This step involves training users on how to use the new ERP system, which can include online tutorials, webinars, and in-person training.
Go-live: This step involves going live with the new ERP system and making it available to users.
Post-implementation support: This step involves providing ongoing support to users, troubleshooting any issues that arise, and providing updates and upgrades as needed.
It's important to note that the ERP implementation process can take several months to complete and it's important to have a clear plan and budget for the implementation. Additionally, it's important to involve key stakeholders in the process, such as IT, finance, and business leaders, to ensure that the ERP system meets the needs of all departments. It's also important to have a clear communication plan in place to ensure that stakeholders are informed and updated throughout the process. Having a dedicated project manager can also help to ensure that the implementation stays on schedule and within budget.
NetSuite builds on that advantage with its SuiteSuccess implementation methodology, an approach that no other software vendor offers.
SuiteSuccess, launched in 2017, tailors the implementation to the business based on its industry and size. NetSuite offers SuiteSuccess editions for 12 verticals: agency, apparel and footwear, food and beverage, IT value-added reseller, manufacturing, media and entertainment, nonprofit, publishing, retail, software, solution provider and wholesale distribution. In addition, there are product-specific editions for financials, planning and budgeting, SuiteCommerce, SuitePeople and a starter edition for small, fast-growing companies.
The SuiteSuccess approach leverages industry-leading practices NetSuite has developed more than two decades of experience to deliver faster deployments and rapid time-to value, resulting in increased employee adoption — and more success for customers. The system comes with preconfigured KPIs, reports, dashboards and reminders. Many companies have gone live on NetSuite in 100 days or less thanks to the SuiteSuccess methodology.
While SuiteSuccess is designed with established best practices, the platform can be configured and customized to meet a company’s exact requirements. NetSuite was built with flexibility in mind and has a team of consultants ready to help customers get the most out of the solution.
Executive leadership: The executive leadership team should be involved in the ERP implementation process to ensure that the system meets the strategic goals of the business. They should also be involved in decision-making and provide support and resources as needed.
IT: The IT team should be involved in the ERP implementation process to ensure that the system is properly configured, integrated with other systems, and that data is properly migrated. They should also be responsible for the technical aspects of the implementation, such as security and infrastructure.
Finance: The finance team should be involved in the ERP implementation process to ensure that the system meets the financial needs of the business and that data is properly migrated. They should also be responsible for creating and implementing financial policies and procedures.
Operations: The operations team should be involved in the ERP implementation process to ensure that the system meets the operational needs of the business, such as inventory management, supply chain management, and production planning.
Human Resources: The human resources team should be involved in the ERP implementation process to ensure that the system meets the HR needs of the business, such as employee tracking, benefits administration, and performance management.
Project Manager: A dedicated project manager should be involved in the ERP implementation process, who is responsible for coordinating the activities of the different teams, overseeing the project plan, and communicating with stakeholders.
End Users: End-users of the ERP system should be involved in the implementation process, in order to ensure that the system meets their needs and they are properly trained. They should be provided with the necessary training and support to ensure that the system is adopted and used correctly.
Third-party vendors: Third-party vendors, such as consultants, integrators, and custom code developers, should be involved in the implementation process as necessary, to provide additional resources and expertise.
It's important to involve the appropriate stakeholders in the ERP implementation process to ensure that the system meets the needs of all departments and that the implementation is completed in a timely and efficient manner.
Communicate the change: Communicate the change to all stakeholders and explain the benefits of the new ERP system.
Involve stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders in the implementation process, such as IT, finance, and business leaders, to ensure that their needs and concerns are addressed.
Provide training: Provide training to all end-users to ensure they are familiar with the new system and can use it effectively.
Establish a change management team: Establish a change management team to ensure that the transition to the new system is smooth and that all stakeholders are aware of and prepared for the changes.
Create a change management plan: Create a change management plan that outlines the specific steps that need to be taken to manage the change, such as communication, training, and support.
Address resistance: Address any resistance to the change, and communicate the benefits of the new system to overcome any resistance.
Monitor and adjust: Continuously monitor the progress of the change management process, and adjust as necessary to ensure that the transition is smooth and successful.
Celebrate successes: Celebrate the successes of the change management process and recognize the efforts of the team.
It's important to involve key stakeholders in the change management process and to provide training and support to ensure that the transition to the new system is smooth and successful. Additionally, it's important to establish a change management team and to continuously monitor the progress of the change management process to ensure that the transition is smooth and successful.
Subscription costs: Companies subscribe to NetSuite for an annual license fee. That license is made up of three main components: core platform, optional modules and number of users. That annual license fee stands in contrast to the large, one-time payment businesses are charged for a perpetual license to use on-premises systems as well as ongoing maintenance and support.
Accounting, inventory management, order management and tax management capabilities are included with the core NetSuite platform. NetSuite’s modular pricing design means customers pay only for what they need when they need it. As a business grows, it can easily activate new modules and add users — that’s a key upside of cloud software.
Because every module is different and delivers unique capabilities, license costs vary.
Implementation costs: Implementing NetSuite can require a once-off investment, as it may include costs for system customisation, data migration, and training. These costs can vary depending on the edition and the specific needs of the business.
Maintenance costs: NetSuite requires less maintenance than on-premise systems, as the vendor is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and providing updates and upgrades. However, in some cases, your business may require additional support and maintenance which will incur costs.
When comparing the costs of NetSuite to an on-premise system, it's important to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) over time. While on-premise systems may have a higher upfront cost, they can be more expensive in the long term due to the ongoing costs of maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure, as well as the costs of licensing and support.
It's important to evaluate the specific needs of your business, and to consider the long-term costs of a cloud ERP system versus an on-premise system, in order to make an informed decision.
Identify the costs: Identify all of the costs associated with the ERP implementation, including the cost of the software, the cost of implementation and customization, the cost of training, and the cost of ongoing maintenance and support.
Identify the benefits: Identify the benefits that the ERP system is expected to provide, such as increased efficiency, improved data accuracy, improved decision-making, and cost savings.
Estimate the value of the benefits: Estimate the value of the benefits in terms of monetary savings, such as cost savings from automating manual processes or savings from improved inventory management.
Calculate the ROI: Divide the total value of the benefits by the total cost of the ERP implementation, and multiply the result by 100 to express it as a percentage.
Evaluate the results: Evaluate the results of the ROI calculation, and consider any additional factors that may have an impact on the ROI, such as the size of the organisation, the complexity of the ERP system, and the length of the implementation.
Compare with other options: Compare the ROI of the ERP system with other options, such as staying with the existing system or implementing a different system, to determine which option offers the best return on investment.
It's important to note that the ROI calculation can be affected by various factors such as the size of the company, the complexity of the ERP implementation, the implementation time and the scalability of the ERP system. Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that the benefits of an ERP system can be hard to quantify and that the ROI should be seen as an estimate rather than a precise figure.
Understand the current pain points: Understand the current pain points and challenges that your organization is facing, and how an ERP system can address those issues.
Research the market: Research the market to identify the best-suited ERP systems for your organisation, and understand the features and benefits of each system.
Identify the ROI: Identify the potential return on investment (ROI) of the ERP system, including the costs and benefits of the system.
Communicate the benefits: Communicate the benefits of the ERP system in a clear and compelling way, using data, case studies, and testimonials to support your case.
Highlight the potential risks: Highlight the potential risks of not implementing an ERP system, such as inefficiency, inaccuracy and lack of scalability.
Develop a clear implementation plan: Develop a clear implementation plan that outlines the costs, timelines, and resources required for the implementation.
Involve key stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders, such as IT, finance, and business leaders, in the ERP evaluation process to ensure that the system meets the needs of all departments.
Communicate ongoing support: Communicate how ongoing support will be provided after the implementation, to ensure the system is adopted and used correctly.
It's important to present a clear and compelling case that highlights the benefits and ROI of the ERP system and how it addresses the current pain points and to have a clear implementation plan in place. Additionally, it's important to have the support of key stakeholders and to communicate ongoing support will be provided after the implementation.
When evaluating NetSuite, it's important to consider how it will integrate with other systems and applications that your business currently uses.
NetSuite SuiteCloud Platform Integration uses industry standards for building reliable and scalable integrations that extend NetSuite into any business process, and securely exchange data from your NetSuite account with on-premises applications and cloud-native environments. Whether your architecture calls for direct-to-API integration using REST or SOAP web services or you have an existing investment in an integration middleware product, SuiteCloud paves the way to securely connect NetSuite business data with virtually any external system or third-party application.
NetSuite’s SuiteCloud platform allows customers and partners to extend the system’s capabilities and tailor it to their exact business needs. This gives customers the flexibility to meet the shifting business challenges of today and tomorrow. There’s no threat of version lock, as all customisations automatically carry over with platform upgrades.
Here’s a quick breakdown of SuiteCloud applications and developer tools:
Customisations: This tool makes it easier for developers to create custom fields, forms, records and roles. With SuiteBuilder, companies can tweak the system to reflect their organisational structure and terminology.
Process Automation: Developers can build custom workflows for different business processes with SuiteFlow. They can use an intuitive user interface to automate processes like lead nurturing and approvals for purchase orders and sales discounts.
Integration: SuiteTalk enables developers to build custom integrations so data flows smoothly from NetSuite to outside software applications. It does this through a few different integration tools.
Application Distribution: This tool helps both customers and partners bundle customizations and applications they develop for faster, easier deployment. SuiteBundler makes it easier for partners to send out new versions of these applications and for customers to apply customizations to different accounts.
Internationalisation: Create an environment for end-users and administrators that feels completely natural no matter which local language, currency, or tax and accounting rules apply to your global company or offshore subsidiary.
Performance Monitoring: Performance health dashboards provide visibility into systems health to maintain optimal performance and stability of your NetSuite account to ensure business continuity and keep users productive, and include integrated tools to rapidly identify root cause issues affecting product experience.
Data security, privacy, and compliance are critical concerns when it comes to any system that stores and processes sensitive data.
NetSuite application and operational security blocks unauthorised network and service connections while allowing customers convenient access to NetSuite from anywhere, with complete confidence. Security starts with strong encryption, role-based access controls, and robust password policies. NetSuite adds layers of additional protection, including multi-factor end-user authentication, and token-based application authentication. NetSuite’s round-the-clock monitoring and dedicated and tenured security team—backed by advanced tools, controls and policies—ensures the strongest operational data center security.
How NetSuite Works With You to Secure & Manage Your Data (Video)
Disaster recovery and business continuity are critical concerns for any system that stores and processes sensitive data. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating the disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities of NetSuite:
Many layers in the NetSuite system contain multiple levels of redundancy. This design allows uninterrupted service because redundant systems automatically assume processing in the event that one or more elements fail.
Within each region, data is replicated and synchronized between data centers. Oracle NetSuite conducts semi-annual disaster recovery (DR) exercises to ensure that the right systems and processes are in place, as well as to assess and enhance personnel preparedness. NetSuite data centers use archival backups to support customer-initiated data restores for 60 days.
NetSuite enables customers to deliver products and services, even in the face of adverse conditions. Climate change, global pandemics, geopolitical events, and cyberthreats can lead to challenges in operational resiliency, impacting your employees, customers, and supply chain. Sometimes, more than one threat can arise at a time. With NetSuite as your business technology, your organization benefits from a considerably reduced risk to business continuity.
NetSuite supports over 33,000 customers with over 1.5 billion data requests per day and more than 6 petabytes of data under management. The system has been designed to accommodate routine surges and spikes in usage, and to scale upward smoothly to address increased transaction volume. Oracle NetSuite is continuously expanding the delivery of its service to new global data centers and regions.
NetSuite SuiteCloud Application Performance Management (APM) provides administrators and IT teams with visually interactive, dashboard-centric insights into a wide range of metrics, with up-to-the-minute status information to gauge the overall health of all of your test and production accounts. By proactively monitoring your NetSuite account, SuiteCloud APM ensures users remain productive and enjoy a consistently good experience while able to taking full advantage of every NetSuite product capability.
Are you spending too much time asking the following questions of your ERP system:
Is it time to upgrade? Can I afford it? Which customisation/integration will break? How many additional resources will be required?
Am I being charged way too much for maintenance and support and not getting adequate value?
Should the ERP solution be replaced?
If these are things you know but simply do not have answers to i.e., known unknowns, read further since it’s probably time for a deeper reflection on your ERP system.
One of the key benefits of cloud-based ERP is that upgrades are performed automatically by the vendor. With cloud computing, there is a single code base and the vendor utilises a managed version upgrade process to minimize disruption. Customising ERP applications in the cloud is much faster and easier than on-premise because the code base is standards-based instead of proprietary. As a result, whenever a cloud application is upgraded to a newer version, customised components are carried over to the new version seamlessly without the need for any painful code retrofitting. Since ERP customisations are critical to your business yet do not automatically migrate to the upgraded version, it dramatically increases the cost and complexity of upgrades with on-premise ERP.
Since 100% of NetSuite customers are on the latest version of the software, it eliminates the version-lock problem associated with on-premise ERP systems. NetSuite upgrades software two times a year migrating customisations to the newer version thus enabling customers to take advantage of innovations delivered with the upgrade. Many companies have eliminated costly ERP upgrades by deploying NetSuite with benefits that are practically impossible to match with traditional on-premise ERP systems. These are things you (now) know that you know – known knowns!
Other NetSuite benefits include:
- Speed of Deployment: Cloud infrastructure enables deployment of mature, full-featured ERP without additional IT resources.
- Globally Enabled: Multi-subsidiary
enabled, used in 100+ countries across 190+ currencies.
- Limitless Customisation: Tailor the system to your business's processes without compromising upgrades.
- Customisations migrate automatically with every upgrade.
- Packaged Integration: Prebuild integration with other legacy systems through respected partners including Informatica, IBM, Cast Iron, and Dell Boomi.