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Every business wants to succeed and grow. However, to achieve these goals, companies require the right technological infrastructure to streamline their operations. In this article, we will explore how NetSuite’s leading practices, which are available in all SuiteSuccess editions of NetSuite, offer clients the ability to align their processes with industry-specific best practices derived from thousands of implementations. 

What are NetSuite Leading Practices?

NetSuite Leading Practices are a series of predefined workflows based on the experience and expertise of a global team of NetSuite professionals with years of experience in implementing various types of solutions across a wide range of industries. The SuiteSuccess team has identified and documented leading practices across all industry-specific NetSuite SuiteSuccess Editions and covers all aspects of a business, from accounting to customer service, HR to inventory management.

New To NetSuite? Here’s a Quick Rundown 

NetSuite is a cloud ERP solution that offers businesses an efficient way to manage their operations. It provides a robust infrastructure for managing all key business areas, such as financial management, sales and customer relationship management, supply chain and inventory management, production, project management and more. NetSuite also allows clients to customise the platform, allowing businesses to modify fields, forms, records, dashboards, reports and feature behaviour to their specific needs. NetSuite also offers an easily configurable workflow engine that helps businesses to automate their daily processes, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing errors.

The NetSuite Stairway: Financials First Approach

NetSuite offers a strategic, phase-based approach for businesses seeking to implement SuiteSuccess. This phasing follows a “Financials First” approach, initiating with foundational aspects and steadily expanding to encompass a broader range of features.

“NetSuite’s phased, ‘Financials First’ approach is a strategic pathway for businesses. It begins with the foundational elements and then steadily broadens its reach, accommodating more sophisticated features. It’s a progressive way to tap into the full potential of SuiteSuccess.” – Nigel Wooden, Managing Director – DWR Consulting

Establish: Building the Base

To kick-start the journey with NetSuite, it’s crucial to focus on the fundamental components of your business operations. During the initial phase, establishing critical areas of the NetSuite platform forms the cornerstone for your business’ successful growth trajectory.

Laying Down the Financial Framework

The core of any business operation is financial management, and it’s essential to set up this critical component at the very onset of your NetSuite implementation journey. NetSuite allows you to streamline your financial operations, which includes everything from handling accounting tasks, and budgeting responsibilities, to managing comprehensive financial reporting.

With NetSuite’s robust financial management capabilities, you can gain real-time access to live financial data, drastically improving your financial closing process, increasing transparency over financial performance, and driving better decision-making. It’s about integrating your business’ financial core with technology, leading to efficient financial control and transparency.

Customer Relationship Management

Next up is Customer Relationship Management (CRM), a significant pillar supporting your business. NetSuite’s CRM functionality is not just about managing customer information and interactions. It goes a step beyond to provide a 360-degree view of your customers, suppliers, partners, and any other business contacts, helping you better understand their needs and behaviours.

From sales and support to marketing automation and customer service, NetSuite’s CRM system effectively manages all your customer-focused activities. This broad-based approach provides a real-time, unified view of each customer, enabling cross-departmental collaboration and increasing customer satisfaction.

Visualising Success with Analytics and Dashboards

Businesses need the ability to visualise and track key business metrics. This is where NetSuite’s analytics and dashboards come in. These features provide an easy-to-understand visual representation of real-time business data, allowing for the proactive management of business operations.

NetSuite’s analytics provide sophisticated, on-the-fly business insights, while the customisable dashboards offer role-specific business intelligence, from top-level summaries down to detailed drill-down analyses. This lets you monitor, report, and analyse overall business performance, making data-driven decisions to drive growth and profitability.

Establishing these foundational aspects of NetSuite not only sets your business on the right track but also paves the way for further advancements and optimisations as your business evolves.

Elevate: Stepping Up

After setting a firm foundation, the next step in the journey with NetSuite is to elevate your business operations by integrating more complex and powerful functionalities. This phase is all about stepping up and preparing your business to meet greater challenges and demands.

Going Global: International Expansion

In the interconnected business world, operating on a global scale often becomes a necessity. NetSuite provides capabilities for international expansion, helping your business transcend geographical boundaries. It offers features to manage multinational and multi-subsidiary operations, allowing seamless business operations across different currencies, languages, and tax regulations.

By equipping your system with NetSuite’s global business management capabilities, you can consolidate multi-country operational and financial business processes into a unified platform. This helps maintain global compliance, standardise processes, and provide real-time global business insight.

People Management: Nurturing Your Greatest Asset

An organisation’s success is highly dependent on its workforce, and managing your people effectively is a critical aspect of business growth. NetSuite offers advanced Human Resources (HR) capabilities to manage your workforce, from recruitment to retirement efficiently.

With NetSuite’s people management features, you can streamline HR processes, manage workforce analytics, and provide employee self-service options. This allows HR teams to focus on strategic initiatives, fosters employee engagement, and drives better decision-making.

Planning and Budgeting: Fortifying Financial Forecasts

With growth comes complexity, especially when it comes to financial planning and budgeting. NetSuite provides tools to enhance these processes, making them more accurate, streamlined, and collaborative. NetSuite’s planning and budgeting capabilities let you quickly adopt a robust financial planning solution, enabling faster decision-making and greater alignment in your financial operations.

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Implementing NetSuite Leading Practices: Financials First

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Asset Management: Tracking Tangibles

As your business grows, so does the need to manage a multitude of assets efficiently. NetSuite’s asset management module helps you maintain and control the complete lifecycle across depreciating or non-depreciating assets from creation to depreciation, revaluation, and retirement.

This functionality allows your business to track, manage, and report on assets throughout their lifecycle, providing better visibility and control, and ultimately improving operational and financial efficiency.

The elevate phase, through these extended capabilities, further strengthens your business operations, aligning them with industry-leading practices and ensuring you’re well-equipped to tackle the challenges that come with business expansion.

Expand: Growing the Capabilities

Once you’ve successfully elevated your business operations, it’s time to further enhance and expand your NetSuite system’s capabilities. This phase brings in more sophisticated features to further optimise your processes, leading to increased efficiency, improved accuracy, and more strategic decision-making.

Project Management: Streamlining Execution

NetSuite’s project management module can play a crucial role in managing your projects effectively. This solution allows you to plan, track, and manage projects and resources in real time. By utilising project management capabilities, you can ensure timely completion of projects, efficient utilisation of resources, and accurate cost management, all contributing to better project outcomes and increased profitability.

Billing and Advanced Revenue: Optimising Financial Operations

Another critical aspect to consider when expanding your NetSuite capabilities is the billing and advanced revenue recognition features. These tools can help streamline your billing processes, automate revenue recognition in compliance with accounting standards, and provide real-time visibility into your financial operations. The result is a reduction in errors, a boost in efficiency, and an overall improvement in financial management.

Advanced Reporting: Unveiling Deeper Insights

As your business grows, so does the need for in-depth data analysis. NetSuite’s advanced reporting tools provide deeper insights into your business performance. By integrating these tools, you can access real-time, comprehensive, and flexible business intelligence. This leads to more informed decision-making and strategic planning, which is critical for business success in today’s data-driven world.

Requisitions and Procurement: Streamlining Purchase Processes

Efficient procurement management is vital for business success. By utilising NetSuite’s procurement features, you can streamline your procurement processes, from requisition to payment. This leads to cost savings, improved vendor relationships, and greater compliance with company policies and procedures.

Inventory Management: Enhancing Supply Chain Operations

Expanding your NetSuite capabilities should involve integrating robust inventory management features. These tools help you effectively manage your supply chain operations, from tracking inventory levels to automating order processes. By incorporating these capabilities, you can improve product availability, reduce excess inventory, and increase customer satisfaction.

By taking the step to expand, you further enhance your NetSuite solution’s capabilities, aligning them more closely with industry-leading practices. This progression allows your business to continue thriving as it grows, ensuring that you’re well-equipped to meet any challenges that come your way.

Accelerate: Fast-Tracking Success

Now that your NetSuite system has been expanded and enhanced, the next step is to accelerate your growth and success. At this stage, you’ll introduce more advanced features to fast-track your progress, increasing efficiency and driving innovation.

Expense Management: Greater Control Over Expenditure

Integrating NetSuite’s expense management features allows businesses to manage expenses more effectively. With these tools, you can automate expense reporting, approval, and reimbursement processes. This automation reduces manual errors and provides greater visibility into employee expenses. Furthermore, it helps enforce company expense policies, leading to cost savings and more accurate financial reporting.

Fulfilment: Enhancing Order Processing

Streamlining order fulfilment is another crucial step in accelerating your business success. By leveraging NetSuite’s fulfilment features, you can automate and manage the entire order process, from sales orders to delivery. This efficient management helps decrease delivery times, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction, ultimately driving your business growth.

Ecommerce: Embracing Online Sales

Incorporating ecommerce capabilities into your NetSuite system is critical in today’s digital era. NetSuite’s ecommerce solutions allow you to manage your online sales effectively, offering a unified platform for your ecommerce website, inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer relationship management. By integrating these features, you can provide an exceptional online shopping experience to your customers and increase your online sales.

Multi-book Accounting: Managing Multiple Sets of Books

The multi-book accounting feature in NetSuite allows you to handle multiple sets of books. This feature is especially useful for global businesses that need to comply with different accounting standards and regulations in various countries. With multi-book accounting, you can maintain separate books for GAAP, tax, and management purposes, all while having a consolidated view of financial data.

By accelerating your NetSuite capabilities, you fast-track your business success. The advanced features introduced in this stage equip your business to handle growing demands, adapt to changes, and stay ahead in a competitive market. With this, you’re not only following NetSuite’s leading practices but also paving the way for future growth and innovation.

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Dominate: Full-Fledged Mastery

Achieving full-fledged mastery over your business processes allows you to truly dominate your market. By leveraging NetSuite’s powerful tools and best practices, you can rise above the competition and drive your business towards unprecedented success.

Talent Management: Building a Stellar Team

Talent is a crucial driver of business success. Hence, integrating NetSuite’s talent management module is crucial for attracting, managing, and retaining top talent. This feature provides an efficient system to manage all aspects of the employee lifecycle, including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, and succession planning. A well-managed talent pool fuels productivity, enhances job satisfaction, and fosters a culture of excellence, contributing to your business’s overall success.

Email Marketing: Connecting with Your Audience

NetSuite’s email marketing tools enable you to reach out to your customers with targeted and personalised communication. You can create and launch email marketing campaigns directly from NetSuite, tracking their effectiveness with real-time analytics. Email marketing helps nurture customer relationships, drive engagement, and, ultimately, boost sales. By mastering this tool, you can foster brand loyalty and enhance customer satisfaction.

Advanced Planning: Strategising for Success

For your business to dominate its market, implementing NetSuite’s advanced planning capabilities is essential. These tools provide an efficient and flexible approach to business strategy, forecasting, and financial planning. It allows you to anticipate market trends, prepare for potential challenges, and seize opportunities for growth. By leveraging these planning tools, you can ensure your business is always strategically positioned for success.

Domination of your market requires more than just following best practices—it involves leveraging every aspect of your NetSuite system to drive consistent growth. With full mastery of these tools and features, your business can not only meet its current goals but also pave the way for future success and market leadership.

Measuring the Impact of Implementing NetSuite Leading Practices

Understanding and measuring the impact of implementing NetSuite’s leading practices is vital for assessing their effectiveness and the potential return on investment (ROI). A systematic approach to measuring these impacts involves evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs) and conducting an ROI analysis. This process not only validates the worth of the investment but also opens the door for continuous improvement.

Measuring Key Performance Indicators

KPIs serve as critical metrics to monitor business performance. They provide quantifiable outcomes of various business processes, offering a clear snapshot of the company’s operational efficiency and strategic effectiveness.

When implementing NetSuite’s leading practices, businesses should identify and track pertinent KPIs relevant to their goals. NetSuite’s real-time dashboards can provide immediate access to these KPIs, which may include sales figures, customer churn rates, financial ratios, supply chain efficiency, and more. The monitored results can offer valuable insights and direct correlation to the effectiveness of the implemented practices.

Return on Investment Analysis

Analysing the return on investment (ROI) for NetSuite’s implementation involves careful consideration of both tangible and intangible benefits against the associated costs. This evaluation should include factors such as the cost of the implementation, time savings, process improvements, increases in operational efficiency, and potential revenue growth.

Additionally, benefits like improved decision-making, enhanced customer experiences, and boosted employee productivity should also be factored into the ROI analysis. Tracking ROI helps businesses not only to validate the financial feasibility of their investment but also to benchmark their success and plan for future scalability.

Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

Implementing NetSuite’s leading practices provides an opportunity for businesses to continuously improve and adapt their processes. With the regular evaluation of KPIs and ROI, companies can identify potential gaps, eliminate inefficiencies, and refine their practices for better alignment with evolving business goals. This ongoing cycle of analysis, improvement, and adaptation fosters business resilience and promotes sustainable growth.

The Wrap Up

The journey to success and growth for any business is multi-faceted and requires a robust, adaptable technological infrastructure like NetSuite. The phased approach offered by NetSuite’s SuiteSuccess editions, starting with financials and gradually expanding to encompass a full suite of business functions, provides businesses with a path to streamline their operations, implement best practices, and accelerate their growth. As a business evolves, NetSuite’s advanced features can be integrated, enhancing operations and enabling strategic decision-making. Harnessing these capabilities, businesses can navigate their path to success with confidence, efficiency, and agility.

Remember, the journey is not just about implementing leading practices—it’s about harnessing every aspect of the NetSuite system to optimise operations, foster innovation, and drive consistent growth. Leveraging over two decades of experience in implementations, NetSuite’s leading practices offer businesses a fast-track to efficiencies and growth. From establishing the foundation to elevating, expanding, accelerating, and ultimately dominating—every phase is a step towards greater success and market leadership.

Tiernan OConnor

Tiernan O'Connor is an accomplished Sales Director and NetSuite expert at DWR Consulting, a top-tier NetSuite Solution Provider and Implementation Partner. With over 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Cloud ERP and technology, Tiernan has become a trusted authority in the NetSuite Partner community, helping businesses of all sizes streamline their operations and achieve success. Tiernan's in-depth understanding of NetSuite's capabilities and his extensive experience in implementing cloud-based ERP solutions have positioned him as a thought leader in the industry. He is known for his ability to identify and execute tailored strategies that meet each client's unique needs, ensuring they unlock the full potential of NetSuite's powerful features. Connect with Tiernan on LinkedIn

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