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What is NetSuite ERP?

What is NetSuite ERP?


ERP is a legacy term that’s unfortunately still with us in 2021. It stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, a term introduced in the 90s, which today is a bit of a misnomer. We prefer Business Management Software as a more accurate description of what NetSuite (and other ‘ERP’s’ such as SAP and Microsoft Dynamics) do.

NetSuite is a single system to run many facets (and in many cases all facets) of a business. A single software application that provides role-specific visibility & functionality against a common data repository. That means each job role in your business views the same data, but that data is always presented in a way that makes sense to the role accessing it and in a way to enable making the best possible decisions.

Typically Business Management Software is something businesses look to as they grow, or as they plan for growth. Businesses typically start with a small accounting-only system like Xero or MYOB and then add other independent applications (Excel, CRM etc) which work well when the business is small. However, there comes a point where a lack of single business system with an ability to provide real-time visibility, will prevent a business from striding forward.

The catalyst for business systems change is often:

  • Expansion into global markets
  • Organic growth in people and departments
  • Acquisition of large customers / large projects
  • Preparation for acquisition / IPO
  • Complex processes that need to be systemised
  • Damaging operational inefficiencies

At NetSuite’s core, as-is the core of any business, are financials. Built on top of that base are many business-category specific capabilities such as Inventory Management, Project Management, Customer Management, Sales Automation, Resource Planning, Manufacturing, Subscription billing, ecommerce any many more. This ‘chocolate-box’ of options makes NetSuite a great fit for almost all business types - Wholesale, Business Services, Manufacturing, Retail, as well as the many businesses that increasingly blur the lines of specific business types and look to control more of their supply chain.

The image below pretty much sums this up in terms of roles and breadth of the NetSuite business management software suite:

NetSuite chart

From the outside looking in it can be difficult to truly appreciate just how beneficial going with NetSuite can be. Comparing features or functions of the various ERPs whilst tempting to choose which is “best” isn’t really the point. Feature-functionality is NOT going to be the game-changer against your competition. Your ability to flex, adapt & pivot IS. This is where NetSuite shines compared to the rest.

With NetSuite you end up with people in your business who are no longer constrained by a business management system. NetSuite replaces the phrase ‘we can’t do that’ with ‘I’m sure NetSuite can do that, I’ll figure out how”.

It’s true, and NetSuite’s 20,000+ customers will attest to it.

In additional to the flexibility that NetSuite provides, other strengths are:

  • Market leader - over 20,000 businesses run NetSuite
  • Integral not integrated - one system rather than integrated modules
  • Supports highly complex business processes
  • Great for multi country / multi currency / multi subsidiary organisations
  • Highly adaptable through configuration and code
  • A “forever system” - Scales from family business to enterprise

Planning to go-NetSuite?

At a basic level, a business is a collection of people, processes and products. ERP done right will drive and govern all business processes. In that sense, ERP is unlike all other business software - unique because it’s pervasive throughout a business. Get it wrong, and you’re not just looking at a costly mistake, it can destroy a business. Doing nothing can too, or at least will see you slip behind your competition.

That said, paramount importance needs to be on selecting the right ERP solution and the right implementation partner. Get this right and your business will flourish.

Our How and What pages describe how we, at PKF Digital, approach NetSuite implementation projects. It all starts with carefully planning your implementation and understanding various dynamics of your business such as:

  • Strong Sponsorship - Is the senior leadership committed to change?
  • Demographics - how easy/hard are your people going to find the transition?
  • Location - one office or regionally dispersed?
  • Identify any areas of resistance to change
  • Understand impact on customer-facing systems and people

We believe planning a successful implementation requires careful consideration of these points, where the readiness or ability to succeed is more about your teams and peoples readiness for change in addition to the technology you are about to deploy. Our NetSuite Readiness Assessment helps businesses prepare their people & processes for transition.


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