What do you like best?
The most beloved feature? An amazing search function. There are all these little tricks built into NetSuite. For example, if I am a client among many, you could search for me by entering “cl: ele” in the top search bar. This works for any type of transaction. You type in the first two letters of the type (“cl” for client, “cr” for credit and so on), a colon plus the term to receive immediate results. As I work with thousands of transactions each month, this feature is incredibly useful.
NetSuite has a smart setup to serve our needs - once fully implemented and the kinks worked out. You can do mass updates to records easily. The imports tool is sophisticated and you can import, update and delete with it quickly and safely. You can save your parameters and view your progress on a separate screen.
Reporting has two features: Reports and Saved Search. Before we decided to go ahead with NetSuite as our vendor, I spoke to an executive at another company in our space who told me that “they have amazing reporting” (with an emphasis on the amazing) and it is so. You have to learn how to use it though. The NetSuite SuiteAnswers proved a thorough resource in this respect. Take a few minutes each day and pick a topic from there to read up on and watch the associated videos. You will learn to use features you may not have dreamed possible. (I learned the trick above from the site.) The NetSuite User Group and LinkedIn’s NetSuite groups are spots where you can post your questions for speedy responses from the community of users. Marty Zigman’s Prolecto blog is one I subscribe to and have learned from. There is a small Reddit community but I do not see it very active.
What do you dislike?
The implementation can be tricky. We are a small department and as I had some contacts who worked in the system and previous experience with SAP, I did some groundwork before final selection. I have now been working in NetSuite for a little over a year and, with the benefit of hindsight, I re-watched the demo on this page. I looked over my notes from the time we implemented it. As with everything, it is hard to envision the final form when you first see a demo or sit down with a NetSuite sales rep. I had expected a lot more of the system, things that are considered separate API implementations and not covered by the initial setup. It is not "plug and play." I believe that this is where an outside consultant doing the implementation would have provided the most value. For example, it is not simple to connect your Salesforce CRM to NetSuite to automatically push information over. If I want to push invoice numbers and payment status back to Salesforce to keep the opportunity updated, I need to implement a solution that may take a lot of time. An outside consultant could have taken care of this entire cycle whereas the NetSuite implementation team referred us to a company that does the Salesforce CRM to NetSuite connection. In the demos, you will be shown beautiful looking dashboards but left with little idea with how you will enter the information into the system to populate said dashboards.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Do as much research as humanly possible and speak to everyone that you can about their NetSuite and other ERP setups. You could never enter this process too prepared. There is a startup philosophy out there to wait until “it hurts” and to bootstrap/put off hiring for as long possible to keep costs down. Do not do this! You will read in other reviews that implementation can take a lot longer than anticipated and so it is.
You should also plan on spending one month in both your new and old systems. The first month can be tough, plan on working in your old system and this new one simultaneously.
Be incredibly detailed in what you need. SOWs for further customization work later will be very expensive. Then again - refer to Ted S.’s recommendation - you can be taken aback by what is not included. For example, we often need to copy people on invoices. In QuickBooks, I could save three email addresses on the client level, separated by commas, and send the invoice to all of them in one shot. In NetSuite, I need to add each email address to send unless I set up a workflow and write a script to automate the process.
You do not want to customize too much as it can make troubleshooting more difficult and prevent you from taking advantage of future features.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
I am able to do quick uploads and downloads from my ERP now. Using Transaction Pro to upload online campaign delivery information into the accounting system for billing used to take hours and was fraught with errors.
The reporting feature (once learned!) is amazing.
We are quicker. We are able to upload, handle and organize transactions with greater speed. We are able to add additional team members because we are working with a more standardized system.