NetSuite Implementation Guide and Strategies

Form a team to discuss strategies and processes.

Are you thinking about implementing NetSuite in your company but are worried about the process? Worry not because you're not the only one who feels this way. Nowadays, many businesses are unsure about their NetSuite setup, have questions about implementation partners, and how to successfully incorporate NetSuite into their operations.

It can be challenging to introduce a new system into a company, whether it's changing CRM software, moving to a cloud-based platform, or integrating an ERP system. You'll find that difficulties are more likely to develop if you don't take the time to fully integrate the project into your business operations.

Implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning system like NetSuite is a significant undertaking that will alter the way things are done within the company. You may maximize the likelihood of a smooth and successful deployment by selecting the most suitable implementation approach for your organization.

The complete implementation approach typically consists of planning and preparation, configuration, and data migration. It will also involve testing and training afterward.

A good project manager is essential for a successful NetSuite rollout. You should have a project leader in place before you begin any ERP implementation. A NetSuite deployment could become a full-time job for someone depending on the size of your organization.

That's the short version of it. But if you're looking for a more detailed guide for your NetSuite implementation strategy, we've got you covered. We'll start with the parts of an implementation strategy.

Planning Phase

Every ERP implementation strategy starts with the planning phase.

Essentially, the company organizes a project team to gather the company's needs and difficulties that an ERP system should be able to solve. This team is assigned to shortlist vendors, issue quotation requests, and select the most suitable ERP system. They should also manage the deployment and ensure that the ERP satisfies the company's requirements.

However, the planning phase isn't solely about accomplishing assigned tasks. Before you even start, you must relay the plan to everyone involved.

It's critical to ensure that all of your staff are on board with any business decision. It's nearly impossible to complete a project without the support of your teammates. When it comes to preparing a NetSuite deployment, be sure that the right people from your company are on board.

Design Phase

The design phase is where the team assesses existing workflows and determines how to adapt them to the new system. During this phase, any ERP software customizations to better match the firm are decided.

Flexibility is vital because administrators and business process owners who are in charge of day-to-day operations must be willing to change how they do their jobs. 

By analyzing your workflows and business processes, you may determine what ERP capabilities you require. You may also consider the areas where customizations or changes to your own procedures may be necessary.

Development Phase

The integration partner and your team work together. They will configure the software to meet the needs of the business and to provide training materials and documentation.

To facilitate the new procedures, the project team collaborates with the implementation partner to set up and customize the ERP software. In the case of NetSuite, it allows you to develop and configure your business within the system. The system settings are optimized, dashboards created, reports customized, and data moved.

Testing Phase

It's critical to evaluate your system's performance in a variety of settings before it goes live. All business scenarios and functions are covered in this user acceptance testing.

The transferred data should also be checked and confirmed during this phase to guarantee that it has been transferred correctly. Test the system, fix any issues, and make any necessary corrections. All of the ways in which an employee utilizes the system should be reviewed to ensure that it is error-free.

Deployment Phase

Your system can finally go live now that everything is tested, data moved, and users trained. The implementation partner and project team are ready and waiting to deal with any issues that may arise. This involves both system-related and owing to workers' unfamiliarity with the new system.

Support Phase

After you've gotten your system up and operating, the last step is to ensure it gets the maintenance and support required. The project team confirms user support and offers assistance in upgrading the system and resolving issues.

You'll require specialized IT personnel for security, maintenance, and troubleshooting if you choose an on-premises ERP system. Cloud software will upgrade in the background without the need for the same degree of hardware as on-premise software.

The project team also collects input in order to improve the system in the future.

Top Implementation Strategies

After getting familiar with the phases involved in an implementation strategy, it's time to choose the type of strategy to go for.

Big Bang Transition

The "single-step approach" is another name for this strategy. In this strategy, the new system must be configured and tested to ensure that everything is error-free. In addition, sufficient training for all personnel is required to make the new system more efficient.

There is no time of transition where old systems coexist with the new ERP system. The advantage of this technique is that the ERP system's benefits, such as increased productivity, can be rapidly accessed.

However, getting things right is crucial because the old systems will be obsolete and unavailable. As everyone adjusts to the new system, there may be a temporary decline in production.

Phased Rollout Strategy

The deployment of an ERP is done in steps under this technique, which might take weeks or months. The risk of a phased approach is lower than that of a single-step plan. It also allows the company to learn from and fix difficulties that arise early in the process, preventing them from affecting subsequent stages.

What's disadvantageous about this method is that it takes a long time for a business to experience the benefits of an ERP system. It also requires paying for two ERP systems at the same time.

Parallel Operation Strategy

With this technique, the company implements a new ERP system alongside its existing one. This technique bears the least risk since if the new system fails, the business may go back to the old one. This method maintains critical functionality while also making it easier for users to adjust to the new system over time.

On the downside, this technique makes for a costly implementation because the company is simultaneously running and paying for two independent systems.

Hybrid Strategy

The business uses this method to blend elements from two or all of the three previous tactics. ERP is deployed according to the company's needs and using multiple ways under the Hybrid approach.

For instance, you can use a single-step strategy for the organization's core functions and a phased approach strategy for other locations or business units.

How to select the correct strategy

Because every company is unique, the same implementation plan will not work for everyone. It varies depending on a company's requirements. The following factors influence the implementation strategy.

Company Size

The firm size, as well as the number of people who will require an ERP system license, may entail a significant impact on the length of your deployment. Larger businesses must evaluate the quantity of training necessary for each employee and the customizations required for the ERP system to function properly. The number of departments affected by the deployment should also be considered.

For small and midsized businesses, the single-step technique may be a viable alternative. This is because a smaller company has fewer locations and people to migrate to the new system, making it easier to manage everything at once.

On the other hand, the Big Bang method is most suited for small and medium businesses with all employees in one place. It allows you to manage the full transition process at once.

Involved Risks

A single-step technique may be too risky for firms that rely on their systems to perform all of the time flawlessly. It may also not be suitable for companies that cannot afford any problems during implementation without causing significant business disruption.

Employees who have big challenges when they first start utilizing a new ERP system may negatively impact the firm. When employing a Big Bang strategy, this has a more significant impact on the firm. A simultaneous adoption is a viable solution to avoid this risk.

Cost of Implementation

Due to the numerous adjustments and plan options that your company may require, estimating the cost of a typical NetSuite deployment is quite challenging.

Using two parallel systems for a period of time or as part of a months-long phased project can weigh heavily on finances. This involves both in terms of the costs of having access to the systems and in terms of the time staff spend inputting data into two different places.

The Big Bang technique for implementing a new ERP system is more cost-effective compared to other strategies.


NetSuite has the advantage of running on the same version for all customers. Unlike other ERP software, you won't need to keep adding integrations over time. It's critical to plan ahead of time with your NetSuite installation partner so that they can contribute their expertise to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

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