NetSuite is the preeminent cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) in the world. With thousands of customers ranging from Fortune 500 to pre-revenue life science companies, NetSuite has the solutions to fit every mold.
What is a NetSuite implementation?
Migrating from any business software to another is a giant consideration. Migrating your financial systems—the root of how your business pays and collects money—is monumental. Making the right decision on what software to select and how to implement is a critical step.
How does a NetSuite implementation work?
Phase 0: Project Scoping
All the best projects start off with a project scope. Whenever you are interested in choosing an ERP like NetSuite, you need to also choose a partner to work with who understands NetSuite and your business. Phase 0 is where Black Forge Consulting (BFC) solution architects work collaboratively with your team on what your implementation will look like.
During this phase is when decisions are made on approach—whether you are interested in a fast-paced ‘big bang’ approach or something more tempered such as a ‘phased’ approach. BFC is here to help you through these early decisions and will accommodate the approach your team is most comfortable with.
Phase 1: Project Execution and Kickoff
The “t’s” are crossed, and “i’s” are dotted. Now it's time to kick off the project! Often, this is the shortest phase of the project, but it holds a big punch. It is when you get to meet your BFC project team and when the project plan comes to fruition. Your BFC team will be onsite as needed or can manage remotely. Either way, the most successful kickoffs start with reviewing the scope together to introduce the full team from both companies and determine how we can best work together to make this project a success.
Phase 2: Discovery
The project is underway—but now, your BFC team needs to know everything about your business. Do you have multiple subsidiaries? Are those subsidiaries in different functional currencies? How are the books currently consolidated? CTA?
The discovery phase is the most important part of the project. It is when our project team develops a full understanding of not only how business is done today but going forward, what opportunities or potential obstacles are foreseen. The goal here is to align on a final Business Requirements Document (BRD) that we review and sign off on prior to beginning phase 3.
Phase 3: Configuration
The BRD has been signed, which gives BFC the direction we need to start the work on building your NetSuite system. At this point in the project, your BFC team will take all information from discovery and start to build out your NetSuite Sandbox account. The Sandbox account is where all NetSuite projects should first start. If a partner you are working with does not want to use a Sandbox account, that is a large red flag.
While your BFC team configures the account, we request that you are reviewing, validating, and conducting training. Our goal is to make the end-user as self-sufficient as you would like. If your company’s long-term plans are to bring the administration of NetSuite in-house, we want to enable your users to be able to manage the entire NetSuite application. Our goal is not to be bottlenecks or inhibit any user’s growth by not allowing them behind the scenes as to how things come together. Alternatively, some clients don’t have plans to hire in-house administrators. BFC can assist here with our Managed Services offering.
At the end of the configuration, we get into the second most important concept of an implementation, which is User Acceptance Testing (UAT). UAT is when the end-users are logged into NetSuite with BFC’s guidance through the system and with testing. Prior to beginning UAT, your BFC team will work with you on test scripts and ensure that all use cases are identified and have appropriate testing plans. It is critical to fully vet any solution prior to putting it into the production account.
Phase 4: Deployment
We have made it! After months of working together, we have reached the agreed-upon go-live date and are ready for launch. Prior to migrating data into production, your BFC team will work to ensure proper sign-off on testing and authorization before beginning the production migration. Before enabling the customer to enter transactions fully end-to-end, BFC encourages ‘smoke tests’ where applicable to ensure that there are no problems with any of the functionality prior to it being in full use.
Phase 5: Support, Optimize, and start other phases where applicable
Now that you’ve gone live, BFC is still here to help! We will be by your side as much or as little as you need. Whether it’s assistance running certain reports or regrouping on a small piece of the implementation, you can be assured that your BFC team will still have your book. We also guarantee help when closing your books (we do have CPAs on staff for this!).