A NetSuite ERP is a big investment for a growing business - not only are there the license fees to consider, but also the cost and time of deployment and ongoing system management. In fact, most ERP implementations cost three to four times more than expected and take up to 30% longer than anticipated.
This can be daunting for a small business, especially if you have limited in-house expertise. However with the right NetSuite implementation partner at your side, these challenges are easily controlled and mitigated, and disruption to your operations kept to a minimum.
So how do you choose the right partner? A careful selection process is critical before signing on any dotted lines. We recommend using the following 8-point checklist to assess which of your potential NetSuite partners will meet your unique business goals and needs.
Experience and expertise
This is perhaps the most essential criteria when looking for the right implementation partner. Experienced NetSuite consultants will bring industry expertise and delivery experience to your organisation. They know what works, what doesn’t and how to deliver your required solution quickly and efficiently.
Consider their NetSuite certifications – ensure they are NetSuite partners and that they have the right NetSuite credentials for your implementation. You can also check their online reviews, request customer references, review their customer and industry history, and read through their case studies. By doing so, you will be clearer on what in-house skills and capabilities they offer, and how these can be applied to your deployment.
What you find will reflect how well your partner understands and cares about, your business and industry needs.
Aligning business goals
It goes without saying that your project should be scoped appropriately. An experienced, knowledgeable partner will help you determine the breadth of your project by asking a lot of questions about your business. This inquisition will allow them to understand your goals, and what’s unique and most important to your business. It is also critical to shaping a solution that introduces new efficiencies and improves your processes. In fact, it’s a serious red flag if they don’t ask many questions.
And you shouldn’t be afraid to pry either. Ask questions about what is and isn’t in the project scope, and if they will be undertaking a system analysis. An experienced partner will be able to answer these questions and anything else you might want to know.
Given the many functions of an ERP solution, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are multiple ERP implementation options. Generally, smaller organisations opt for pre-configured functionality with pre-built reports, dashboards and roles. Larger organisations are more likely to require a custom ERP with multiple integrations, customisations and apps.
That said, keep in mind that you will likely require some level of customisation. A 2018 survey found that 10% of respondents required minor customisation, 33% need some customisation and 37% required significant customisation. Understanding the complexity of your implementation and ensuring your chosen partner is able to deliver on your specific customisation needs will play a vital role in determining which partner is best for your organisation.
It may not fulfil your technical requirements but cultural fit is also important in a NetSuite implementation partner. ERP implementation can take several weeks to months, or even years, if you require long term-support and improvement cycles. During this time, you will be working closely with your implementation partner. Sometimes your partner’s consultants are embedded in your organisation, working physically alongside your team. Other times you are video conferencing often. Ensuring project success will require an extended team that works well alongside your people.
While physical closeness isn’t such a critical factor since the pandemic, having an ERP team that is in close proximity to your business can be beneficial, particularly during the discovery and planning stages or for post-launch training and support.
Good customer service never gets old. It’s important to find a partner who can provide top-tier customer service with that personal touch. Quick response times are important too. Try looking for a smaller partner who won’t treat you like a number.
The testing process is a frequently overlooked part of the NetSuite implementation process. In fact, testing is listed as one of the top two problems during an ERP implementation, alongside process engineering.
A partner who undertakes rigorous testing, including use-case and user acceptance testing, will better position you for a successful outcome.
Training and support
Training and support are often underrated despite it being a huge factor in the success of your implementation. Look for a NetSuite implementation partner who can provide pre and post-deployment training and support, without abandoning you after you go live. This way your team can hit the ground running, and quickly catch and correct any hiccups with the ERP functionality.
A NetSuite implementation is a major undertaking for any organisation, but it doesn’t have to be painful. A partner with a proven track record in your industry will help you achieve the operational agility required to get ahead of the competition in a smooth and pain-free manner.
At Annexa we are more than just NetSuite experts
We provide industry-leading solutions customised to the NetSuite platform. With our in-house integrations, extensions, partnerships and full-service capabilities, we deliver end-to-end solutions for our customers to help them grow and expand their business potential..
- 5-star NetSuite Partners
- 20 years of industry expertise across Wholesale Distribution, Retail, Manufacturing, Services, Digital and Not for Profit
- In-house AnnexaApps and powerful integration platform, AnnexaConnect.
- Australia’s leading NetSuite Commerce experts
- Long-term relationships with our customers
- Local Australian team in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane & New Zealand
Contact us today to speak to an expert about how we might be the right NetSuite implementation partner for you.
Annexa is a leading NetSuite partner with extensive experience designing and implementing comprehensive and customised business systems, including payroll solutions, financial management, warehouse management and ecommerce solutions.