Have you audited your IT infrastructure lately? If your answer is “No,” don’t feel bad. It’s not something most business owners check regularly. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not an important part of your company.
The size of IT department staff and infrastructure is larger than ever. A company’s digital presence and data management are some of its most vital assets.
That’s why an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation plan is so important. Every business should have one. NetSuite ERP is the premier solution in the industry.
NetSuite implementation can do amazing things for your business. But, implementing ERP solutions, in general, can take up a lot of time and resources. That’s why we’re providing you and your team with this article.
We’re going to discuss the steps, best practices, and other tips you may need to put NetSuite ERP to work in your business. By the end of this article, you’ll be calling a meeting with your team to get started with the implementation process.
The NetSuite ERP System
Why go through the trouble of migrating to NetSuite ERP? The best reason we can give you is that the NetSuite ERP framework gives you all of the tools necessary to take your business to the next level.
Oracle NetSuite’s ERP service can help you with supply chain management, order management, financial management, and financial planning. You’ll also be able to improve your team’s production management and procurement.
You won’t find a better ERP framework than the NetSuite solution when it comes to the growth of your business. NetSuite’s design allows you to scale easily by adding customizations and functionality as you grow.
You’ll also be able to make better decisions for your team by accessing NetSuite’s built-in business intelligence. This system allows you to combine your company’s data with visual analytics.
The result is that NetSuite’s system can help you to synthesize valuable insights about your business’s performance.
Steps of NetSuite Implementation Process
Every ERP implementation plan can be different. It depends on your industry, the size of your company, and your current IT practices. But, no matter how different each plan is, they all follow a particular framework.
The steps are designed to get you and your team from purchasing the software to using it in your business. You’ll face different challenges depending on which ERP platform you choose, but there are generally four basic steps.
ERP implementation takes a lot of resources. One of those resources is manpower. You’ll have several teams involved in making sure your ERP implementation goes off without a hitch.
The Engage step of the process is when all of these teams get together. Management will have team calls at the start of the process. Leaders from each team will hash out the budget, timeline, and expectations of all facets of the implementation process.
The teams will also discuss any contingency plans and procedures. Teams usually consist of managers, engineers, and project managers.
This part of the plan helps to “drive” action forward. Teams will work together to design plans for putting the ERP solution into action. During this stage, teams need to take care of any necessary ERP customizations.
Teams will also prioritize any cloud-based applications that are necessary. IT managers will assess and allocate any NetSuite licenses that are necessary for the ERP implementation plan.
This stage consists of planning for when the ERP solution goes live. During the Enable phase, the plans from the Drive phase are put into motion. Critical data migration takes place through employee training and rigorous testing of the solution after its installation.
The fourth and final stage is for businesses to convert to their new NetSuite cloud solution. Think of this stage as “flipping the switch” on your new cloud ERP system.
Consulting firms will use their NetSuite expertise to make any final data migrations before handing the system over to their customers. All this occurs before the go-live date. Everything is done strictly according to the implementation timeline.
This prevents any hiccups in the transition once the go-live date arrives.
A Good NetSuite Implementation Plan
ERP implementation partners should provide professional services. This means they should be able to walk you through the steps of a good NetSuite implementation plan. Usually, this is done via an ERP implementation checklist.
The checklist serves as a roadmap for the entire ERP implementation process. The vendor and customer use the checklist together to stay on the same page throughout the entire process.
This helps to ensure that ERP implementation occurs without a problem. The customer will be up and running on their new cloud ERP framework in no time.
Here are the key elements of a good ERP implementation plan.
During the research phase, you’ll be engaging with your ERP vendor and your team. There are activities that need to happen after the purchase of your ERP solution and you’ll discuss them with your team at this time.
You’ll also assemble your ERP project team. Once your team is together, they’ll look at your current business framework. The goal is to identify consistent problems in your workflows and any outdated tasks or system redundancies.
Next, you and your team will work together to schedule kickoff calls for the implementation process. You’ll also schedule recurring project meetings to keep everyone moving toward the same goal.
Finally, you’ll work to develop specific project action plans, setting actionable goals and objectives. This is an important step.
Having goals that the team agrees on helps to ensure they don’t get “lost” in the process. The ERP implementation process can involve a lot of time and resources. It’s important to do whatever you can to keep everyone on track.
This part of the ERP checklist goes over necessary elements to help the transition. Data migration is key to this stage of the plan.
Your team needs to develop a data migration strategy that ensures your data is in a usable format for your new ERP system. You’ll also need to work on a plan to keep your business up and running during the transition.
It takes a lot of time to migrate to a new ERP platform. Your business can’t afford to have that amount of downtime.
You’ll also come up with a strategy to train all employees on the new framework.
This is when the installation process begins. The first level of data migration occurs during this phase as well. This is usually your company’s static data.
Hosting platforms and hardware may need adjustments to help with the flow of data between departments. Then, the software installation and additional ERP customizations are finalized.
Engineers and other IT staff will check for data accuracy. They’ll make sure all of the data being migrated looks okay. Any duplicates or errors will need to be handled during this process.
They will also start to map data so it can flow between departments. Your team should be checking everything at this stage to make sure it’ll be ready in time for your go-live date.
During this phase, you’ll be testing all user interfaces and making sure all functions are working. You may experience errors in the infrastructure and ERP solution. If that’s the case, you and your IT team will have to troubleshoot them before you go live.
This is the time when the end-users of your system should receive training. Their training plan should come from the change management plan you made at the beginning of the process. NetSuite support technicians will meet with you to aid with your transition to the new solution.
The deployment phase revolves around preparation for the go-live date. Your team will conduct final tests and walkthroughs. During this phase, your ERP vendor will transition ownership of the system to you and your team.
The end-users of your system should receive more training to ensure their 100% adoption of the new system. You’ll also hold meetings with your team to discuss the end of the project and how responsibility will be passed to support teams.
The implementation process is almost complete! Now, everything within the new ERP framework will transition to post-implementation support teams.
The maintenance and support of the system are ongoing. Your team’s job now is to evaluate and assess the success of the system through KPIs.
Unleash NetSuite ERP
NetSuite ERP implementation doesn’t have to be hard. Follow this in-depth guide and you and your team will be able to transition smoothly. Minimize hiccups, errors, and downtime, and transition your data over to a system that works. Most importantly, find the right NetSuite implementation partner to guide you along the journey.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a NetSuite implementation consultant about how we can help, contact the team at White Glove Consulting Services LLC. We’re here to help you find the perfect NetSuite cloud solution for you.