7 February, 2024

Bypassing Common NetSuite Implementation Challenges: A CTO’s Guide


Most businesses have dived headfirst into 2024 with new strategies, software implementations, and goals. Growing companies are increasingly choosing NetSuite as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. It solves many common issues from 2023, such as enhancing efficiency in accounts receivable and accounts payable, managing financial disclosures, and addressing cybersecurity threats. Its extensive functionalities make it a favorite among Chief Technology Officers (CTOs). If you are a CTO, you likely have or are considering NetSuite. While you are on track with your ERP choice, you should consider the common NetSuite implementation challenges. While NetSuite may be the right ERP choice, implementing it can come with challenges we want to educate you on. This article discusses why NetSuite tops the CTO’s A-list in 2024, the usual NetSuite implementation problems you might face, and how a NetSuite partner can help you navigate these challenges.

Why Do CTOs Prefer NetSuite For Their 2024 Software Upscale?

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Before we dive into how CTOs can bypass common NetSuite implementation challenges, it is important to understand why the popularity of this ERP software skyrocketed towards the end of 2023. Founded back in 1998 by Evan Goldberg, the software giant turns 26 in 2024. It has always been ranked as a top-tier solution with robust CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP capabilities. It has woven AI (artificial intelligence) and BI (business intelligence) features that make it an all-in-all system for businesses across the globe. But what changed this already popular software, the “Bruce Springsteen” of the software world? In my opinion, the boost in popularity and demand came from NetSuite’s strategic introduction of five in-demand features to their already extensive feature set. These features include:

NetSuite Generative AI:

NetSuite likes to stay ahead of trends. Their quick integration of generative AI across their suite is one of the many reasons the software is the preferred choice for CTOs like yourself. We all know that 2024 is the year of generative AI. NetSuite’s generative AI can help you ensure time and process efficiency across all modules. The platform also promises data security at a whole new level.

For example, your team can use AI to track and assess financial forecasts/plans in NetSuite. Another notable enhancement is NetSuite Bill Capture, which removes the challenge of manual processing and categorizing expenses. You can now leverage the generative AI capabilities to manage expenses based on historical data. It can also pre-populate information and data by scanning previous invoices.

Text Enhance:

NetSuite’s introduction of AI-fueled content generation for departments like finance, accounting, sales, marketing, customer support, and HR significantly enhances time and process efficiency, allowing companies to improve productivity. Text enhancement reduces communication bottlenecks and will enable employees to focus on more strategic and imperative tasks.

Better, Seamless Electronic Invoicing:

Users can now use an international API within NetSuite for smooth and easy invoicing compliance. No more legal mandates issues: NetSuite users can now easily use digital signatures, QR codes, etc. Not only does this feature help improve cross-border transactions, but it also makes NetSuite the number one choice for businesses with international dealings.

Taking off manual workloads, improving global transactions, and streamlining communication are top priorities for all C-levels, including CTOs! It is probably on your list, too. NetSuite encompasses all this and more to give modern-day C-level executives a robust software infrastructure. However, implementing this solution to gain its maximum benefits is another thing.

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What are the Common NetSuite Implementation Challenges of 2024

We’ve highlighted new features that spotlight NetSuite as a top 2024 software choice across industries. Now, let’s address potential challenges during NetSuite implementation and how to resolve them. Luckily, common NetSuite implementation challenges often stem from a simple mistake, easily corrected. We’ll reveal the solution later! First, let’s explore the NetSuite implementation problems you might face during the process.

this image shows the Common NetSuite Implementation Challenges of 2024

A System That Is Not Aligned with Your Existing Processes:

A common NetSuite implementation challenge CTOs face is neglecting to understand their business needs before adopting a new system. They often lack a clear vision and only focus on improved ROI. While NetSuite can meet this expectation, without identifying specific pain points and setting clear expectations, CTOs may end up with a makeshift solution that barely functions. As a CTO, you might be eager to use NetSuite for its robust capabilities. Remember, NetSuite will scale with your business over the long haul. Knowing what you want from your system is crucial to avoid this common NetSuite implementation problems.

An Inadequate NetSuite Implementation Team:

NetSuite implementation teams differ from hiring external partners. A key challenge is CTOs often not dedicating enough time and resources to their NetSuite rollout. Understandably, CTOs may avoid disrupting established employee workflows. However, without proper training for the internal team, most NetSuite implementations can go awry. This approach leads to significant drawbacks. For example, failing to assign a project manager to the NetSuite implementation often results in delays.

Additionally, without dedicated resources trained on the system, teams cannot fully utilize NetSuite. If a CTO cuts corners in assembling a NetSuite implementation team, the promised ROI improvement might remain unmet. This often leads to suboptimal system utilization, likely implementation delays, and resistance from employees uncomfortable with the new system. Such risks can inflate costs and negatively impact ROI, rather than reducing them.

For a deeper look into establishing a dedicated NetSuite team, read Building Your Team for NetSuite Implementation.

A System with Way Too Many Customizations:

Have you heard the phrase ‘don’t be the hero’? In NetSuite implementations, CTOs often over-customize to justify the investment. This leads to a common NetSuite implementation challenge: a system too complex, duplicating standard features in a complicated way. Excessive customizations increase training needs, complexity, and costs. So, don’t be the hero, or you might become the villain of your NetSuite implementation. Discuss with your teams what to customize and what to configure. This clarity is key to avoiding major NetSuite implementation problems and ensuring success.

A System with Data Integrity Issues:

If you move into a new house, would you bring all your old furniture? You’d likely do some cleanup, right? Consider your NetSuite implementation similarly. A common NetSuite implementation challenge is neglecting data cleanup and migration. Every CTO recognizes the importance of company data in today’s data-driven business landscape. For NetSuite, data is crucial! Therefore, CTOs must carefully plan data migration and cleanup to avoid delays in NetSuite implementation. Neglecting this process could mean that your old data, like old furniture, might get corrupted. This is a typical NetSuite implementation problem that can derail your project.

Miscommunication in the NetSuite Implementation Process:

Ineffective communication is a common NetSuite implementation challenge that often derails potentially successful projects. Unfortunately, many underestimate the importance of communication during the NetSuite implementation process, leading to a disconnect among stakeholders. Consider this first challenge:

Will NetSuite implementation go smoothly if stakeholders do not clearly communicate their system needs?

Effective communication is crucial in business, especially when implementing new systems. For CTOs like you, managing change is familiar territory. You know how challenging it is to introduce a new system and integrate it company-wide. User resistance, errors, and evolving requirements emerge. The solution to these potential problems is clear and open communication with your internal team and NetSuite vendor. You must ensure everyone involved, including software vendors and other stakeholders, are aligned. Properly communicate any changes to prevent surprises and misalignments in your NetSuite implementation. This approach helps address typical NetSuite implementation problems effectively.

To further explore the importance of effective communication for NetSuite implementation, please read Easing In ERP Implementations With Effective Communication.

These are the most common NetSuite implementation challenges that have stayed consistent over the years and have found their way into 2024. Surprisingly, all these challenges arise from one mistake made by decision-makers when they opt for NetSuite—the mistake of not selecting the right NetSuite partner.

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ERP Selection Checklist

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Who Are NetSuite Partners, and Who Are the Right Partners?

NetSuite partners are experts in software implementation, customization, and support, offering tailored services to CTOs worldwide. So, let’s tackle a crucial question: how do you identify the right partner before collaborating? The answer is straightforward: RESEARCH, COMMUNICATE, AND VALIDATE. Let’s explore each challenge.

Common NetSuite implementation challenges include failing to understand business needs, misaligned expectations, improper team setup, over-customizing, data integrity issues, and ineffective communication. Choosing the right partner initially can eliminate these challenges; you gain an efficient system that allows you to work smarter. Here are the benefits of having the right partner:

Aligned Business Processes, Expectations, and Goals:

The right NetSuite implementation partner would first and foremost ask you to share your pain points and ask what you expect from your NetSuite implementation. If you are already mid-way through your implementation and your current provider did not ask you this, well, that is why you are facing NetSuite implementation challenges. The right NetSuite partner will create blueprints with you. They will help you understand the limitations of your system and discuss with you the benefits you can get from the new solution.

A Dedicated In-House Team that Works with Your NetSuite Partner:

If a NetSuite partner tells you they don’t need you to dedicate people from your team for the implementation, that is a red flag. NetSuite implementation challenges are a product of disconnect from the client’s or vendor’s sides. Therefore, a good NetSuite implementation consultant or partner would be up-front and honest. They would ask you to dedicate the maximum amount of time for training; they would be happy to let your project manager oversee the implementation execution and welcome feedback from your IT managers, address their concerns, and so on.

A Configured and Customized ERP Without Going Overboard:

Reliable NetSuite partners are well aware of the risks of over-customization and, thus, will be more inclined toward configurations. They would only suggest customizations when necessary. Moreover, they will create customizations that do not impact the performance of your system.

Imagine you pay hundreds of dollars to customize your NetSuite ERP, only to find out that NetSuite already had those features all along! For a CTO, that hurts more than heartbreak. Luckily, good NetSuite partners don’t hurt you that way, and they have the know-how of every feature. They won’t be tempted to increase customizations to increase the bill. They will simply help you understand what you need and configure/customize accordingly. A reliable partner will solve many such NetSuite implementation problems for you!

A Fresh New Data Repository with Only Good Data:

A NetSuite partner will work with your team to clean up your historical data. The NetSuite partner will bring in the knowledge and expertise required to alleviate the common NetSuite implementation challenges associated with data cleanup and migration. Your internal team will bring an in-depth understanding of business processes, data structures, and overall requirements. As we mentioned in the blog, NetSuite is data-driven and has advanced reporting capabilities that add-ons and connectors can further polish. A reliable NetSuite partner will help you realize the potential of your data every step of the way. Data cleaning and migration are just the first steps of optimizing your NetSuite data!

Explore BOLDSuite Analytics: NetSuite Power BI Connector.

Effective Communication for the NetSuite Implementation Process:

All new implementations mean change and change always feels a bit uncomfortable. Effective communication can make or break a NetSuite implementation process. Would you believe that most NetSuite implementation problems are caused by improper communication? The right partner will help you overcome this NetSuite implementation challenge by simply communicating with you, and making sure you communicate with your team. They will work towards ensuring that all stakeholders overcome their initial disconnect and stay current on progress, expectations, and requirements. A good and reliable partner can guide you on best practices for communication when it comes to NetSuite implementation processes and thus can help you overcome the disconnect wherever it may occur.

NetSuite vs. Partners – Who Can Help with Common NetSuite Implementation Challenges?

You might wonder why this blog emphasizes NetSuite partners instead of implementing directly with NetSuite. You’re not alone in this thought. Many CTOs initially consider buying directly from ‘the OG,’ but quickly see the advantages partners offer that NetSuite cannot. Let me explain:

  • NetSuite, a large company with many customers, often lacks the specialized focus needed by growing organizations like yours. First-time NetSuite clients need more attention than what’s currently available. This is a significant NetSuite implementation challenge. A partner provides personalized, dedicated services that surpass your expectations.
  • While NetSuite limits customizations, partners understand when these are necessary. They help CTOs like you create solutions tailored to your business needs, thus overcoming common NetSuite implementation problems. Conversely, NetSuite typically offers only core ERP software with standard configurations.
  • Indeed, NetSuite serves a broad range of industries. But who is better equipped to assist your company with tailored implementation guidelines, support, and a customized NetSuite ERP? Is it a giant juggling countless projects with limited customization ability or a smaller, more focused partner with industry-specific expertise?

Many more reasons prove that NetSuite partners are more efficient for implementation, customization, configuration, and support. To explore this topic further, read A Deep Dive into NetSuite Support-Evaluating Direct vs. Third-Party Offerings.

Is your NetSuite Partner THE Partner for You?

Perhaps another common NetSuite implementation challenge in the modern-day ERP landscape is that too many partners are promising ERP nirvana to CTOs. Luckily, there is a solution for that as well. All you need to do is ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much experience does this partner have?
  • Does this partner have experience in my industry?
  • Does this partner have relevant case studies or client testimonials?
  • Does this partner have a specific methodology?
  • Does this partner have customized solutions for NetSuite?
  • Can this partner customize NetSuite based on my needs?
  • Has this partner developed add-ons or connectors for NetSuite?
  • Does this partner provide support?
  • Does this partner offer a free demo?

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AlphaBOLD – THE NetSuite Partner for Everyone

If you have not guessed it by now, AlphaBOLD itself is a NetSuite partner. We are certified, trusted NetSuite partners with successful NetSuite ERP implementations with multiple clients across industries. We have catered to implementation requests, solved complex NetSuite implementation challenges, customized and configured the software, and provided NetSuite support services to businesses of all sizes. Our customer reviews and testimonials speak for themselves, but let me prove that AlphaBOLD is the right choice for you, whether you are switching implementation partners midway or want a new one. Let’s bring back the list of questions:

  • How much experience does AlphaBOLD have?
    • AlphaBOLD has six years of experience implementing NetSuite ERP for companies across the globe. Our team is both big enough and small enough to provide the exact functionalities with a specific, personalized touch, as evidenced by our 95% customer retention rate.
  • Does AlphaBOLD have experience in my industry?
    • AlphaBOLD has provided NetSuite implementations to companies in the manufacturing, construction, financial services, healthcare, IT, retail and wholesale trade, and hospitality industries.
  • Does AlphaBOLD have relevant case studies or client testimonials?
  • Does AlphaBOLD have a specific methodology?
    • AlphaBOLD has a carefully crafted methodology for NetSuite projects, one that is designed to avoid all NetSuite implementation challenges. It is called BOLDRoute and is executed in four key phases: Blueprint, Orchestrate, Learn, and Deliver. You can learn more about it here.
  • Does AlphaBOLD have customized solutions for NetSuite?
    • Yes, we have two customized NetSuite solutions for NetSuite, both catering to unique challenges.
      • BOLDSuite Analytics is a NetSuite data connector fueled by Microsoft’s Power BI designed to enhance reporting, data visualization, and decision-making.
      • BOLDAssembly is AlphaBOLD‘s packaged bill of materials (BOM) solution built specifically for the manufacturing industry. It has a user-friendly interface and can quickly generate an ERP system’s Assembly Items or BOM records.
  • Can this partner customize NetSuite based on my needs?
    • Yes, our team of experts can help customize your NetSuite implementation and provide continuous innovation of features. Our team can help you optimize and customize every NetSuite update or feature to ensure you get the best of NetSuite.
  • Has this partner developed add-ons or connectors for NetSuite?
    • Both BOLDSuite Analytics and BOLDAssembly are original AlphaBOLD products that act as add-ons and connectors for NetSuite.
      • BOLDSuite Analytics is a NetSuite data connector fueled by Microsoft’s Power BI designed to enhance reporting, data visualization, and decision-making.
      • BOLDAssembly is AlphaBOLD‘s packaged bill of materials (BOM) solution built specifically for the manufacturing industry. It has a user-friendly interface and can quickly generate an ERP system’s Assembly Items or BOM records.
  • Does AlphaBOLD provide support?
    • AlphaBOLD has multiple NetSuite support offerings, both packaged and customized, to suit the needs of our customers.
  • Does this partner offer a free demo?
    • AlphaBOLD offers free consultations and demos to businesses that reach out to us. We act as your business advisors, not just consultants, and show you what you can achieve with an error-free NetSuite implementation.

See NetSuite in Action

You don’t have to take my word for it, go ahead and schedule your free demo today. Our NetSuite experts will help you understand how you can bypass common NetSuite implementation challenges and show you how your businesses can benefit from a proper, clean implementation.

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A CTO has immense responsibility; you need to drive technology innovation and adoption across your business all the while making sure that your IT infrastructure is secure, optimized, and up to date. It is not an easy task; do not make it more complex by leaving your NetSuite implementation up to chance. The right NetSuite partner will help you resolve any potential NetSuite implementation challenges and create a pathway that avoids them. In this blog, we discussed why NetSuite is the right ERP for all businesses, we discussed the challenges CTOs face with ERP implementations, and how a NetSuite partner such as AlphaBOLD can help CTOs successfully implement, customize, and optimize NetSuite. We’re here to lead the way; all you need to reach out!

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