What to Consider when choosing NetSuite as your ERP/CRM Solution
Thanks to Joe Son
Before I start, I will state this. I am biased when it comes to ERP/CRM solution. I have love and hate relationship with NetSuite but at the end of the day, I end up loving NetSuite for what it can do.
I had a great conversation with my friend today about what NetSuite really means to businesses. He is neither a NetSuite user or NetSuite Solution provider. He simply became curious about what NetSuite is based on what I do for living.
About 6 or 7 months ago, he expressed his interest in finding what NetSuite is and why I write about it on my blog. I took him through the basics of NetSuite (More like crash course); showing him what it’s capable of.
Today, I asked him what he thinks of NetSuite. He told me that he has done his own research on NetSuite and shared his view:
To me, it’s about transparency. NetSuite is a product that can help me see holistic view on state of my business. Because it’s combined ERP/CRM solution, I can see WHY certain things happened during the course of my fiscal year and be able to dig deeper into it.
I didn’t know NetSuite offered eCommerce solution but with that, it becomes even more powerful analytical and decision making tool.
He based his research from Business Perspective and what he said above is perfectly in line with what NetSuite is founded upon.
Over the years, I’ve come to realization WHY NetSuite CAN be critical in assisting businesses to grow but at the same time WHY businesses should consider very carefully before choosing NetSuite.
In my opinion, NetSuite is powerful because of five primary reasons:
- Single data source
- Cloud Based
Single Data Source:
Businesses that run on NetSuite are able to track/process your financial, employee and payroll, marketing and sales and company asset data from one system.
Businesses can take what NetSuite offers out of the box OR customize it to fit their business needs.
It runs in the Cloud (I can’t believe I’m saying this right now… So… Cliche) which means you don’t have run your own in-house server(s).
You can essentially integrate with 3rd party applications via WebServices. This means you can have NetSuite talk and exchange data with other web based applications that you use.
This goes hand in hand with Customization but it stands on it’s own. Businesses need to be able to adapt to changing environment. With the ability to customize NetSuite comes the power of adapting to changing environment.
That sounds great right? Well here are some negative aspect of NetSuite:
- NetSuite is not simple.
- NetSuite is combined solution.
Strength of NetSuite also becomes their weakness. Because NetSuite is combined ERP/CRM solution, it doesn’t excel in one ore more areas. It provides the shell for YOU to make it your own. This means, as a business owner; Big or Small; You WILL need to invest in it to make NetSuite run for YOUR business.
Power of customization comes with steep learning curve. It’s not easy. You WILL need to invest in training your users.
Keep these in mind when considering NetSuite as your ERP/CRM solution:
- Have clear understanding WHY you are taking your business to cloud based, combined ERP/CRM solution. What do you want out of it? Compare your current systems and outline what you are NOT able to or have to pay for to do. There are other platforms that excel in ERP only or CRM only.
- Accept and understand that NetSuite is a business tool. Just because you implemented NetSuite, it doesn’t mean everything will work magically. You need to invest in it.
- Be ready for change. NetSuite WILL bring changes to everyone in your company. Those who accept changes will welcome it… those who are set in their ways will FIGHT it.
- Choose the right partner/consultant to implement NetSuite. I’ve seen many cases where it wasn’t implemented correctly for two reasons: 1) You didn’t have clear understanding of what you wanted (#1) or 2) Partner/Consultant who just screwed everything up. Find out what their strengths are.
- Most Important: Commit to it. NetSuite WILL help you run your business more efficiently IF you commit to it.
NetSuite is a business tool like any other tools. But it comes with so much potential ONLY if you commit and invest in it.