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3 Reasons your NetSuite Implementation Failed (and How to Fix It)

NetSuite Implementation Issues

Did your NetSuite implementation go wrong? Perhaps the software isn’t working the way you expected it to. Maybe the implementation took weeks (or months) longer than you planned, or the costs spun out of control. If you’ve had this experience—or are dealing with it right now—there’s a lot to be learned from it. But there’s also an opportunity to set things right again…and move forward with an ERP solution that works for your business.

What Went Wrong?

Unfortunately, a number of things can cause a greatly anticipated technology change to fail. It’s rarely a shortcoming of the software itself, especially in the case of a powerful solution like NetSuite. And it’s not necessarily that the application isn’t a “good fit” for your needs. What’s more likely is a significant mismatch or disconnect between your company and the implementation vendor you worked with—or that you never worked with a partner in the first place, choosing instead to work directly with NetSuite to configure your environment. In any case, the source of trouble can be traced back to the very beginning of the project.

Here’s what may have happened:

1. You Were Beguiled By the Sales Pitch

Chances are, the problems started from the get-go. Upon deciding to adopt NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP solution, you either jumped into an engagement with NetSuite’s corporate implementation team or shopped around for an implementation vendor. You may have received a recommendation from a colleague or found a local company online who seemed like a good fit.

It’s possible that in either scenario, you were promised a fast project turnaround or a special price to get you in the door. That’s not to say they intended to mislead you—or even that they practiced unsavory salesmanship. But at the end of the day, their capabilities didn’t deliver according to your company’s requirements—and here you are, not completely satisfied with the product you purchased or the service you’re (not) receiving.

2. The Project Was Inadequately Scoped

Again, we’re referring to the work that happened (or didn’t happen) before the implementation started—before any data or code was touched. It’s critical that your technology vendor have a solid grasp on your company’s existing IT environment and other business systems; your plans for the new software, data, and tools; the challenges you’re seeking to overcome; the business users the software will serve; and more. There are myriad factors that go into the project’s scoping, and the more detailed you get up-front, the more likely your project will end up on time, on budget, and that it will give you the results you’re expecting.

Sadly, even sufficient project scoping doesn’t always carry the project through. When your implementation team contains inexperienced or otherwise poor quality staff or there’s consultant turnover, focus drops—and it’s easier to miss critical details or lose sight of timeframes and costs. Another possibility is that the partner doesn’t provide ongoing support after pressing “go” and you’re essentially left on your own to make sense of your new software and tools. Without resources who are fully committed to your success, your project inevitably suffers.

3. Just Not a Good Partner Fit

Implementation partnerships fail for a wide range of reasons, but after all is said and done, sometimes the relationship just wasn’t meant to be. When a growing company begins to introduce new technology, there’s an eager and sometimes urgent need to get the new solutions up and running. When this comes at a cost to your vision, however, you eventually pay the price.

As the client, you may not have much experience with technology deployments—or ERP systems, for that matter. You’re essentially relying on the software or partner vendor’s experience and familiarity with the process to see you through. From the vendor’s perspective, they can be hungry for business or they earnestly want to do the right thing for your company.

But if their core capabilities don’t line up with your needs—for instance, they’re not used to working with companies in your industry or of your size, or they haven’t done many cloud software implementations—they will end up missing the mark. Either they won’t set systems up correctly or they won’t provide the level of service you need to make the most of your software solution.

How to “Fix” Your NetSuite Software

If you want your ERP solution to do what you need it to do, you’re going to need a new vendor to come in and assess the situation. The right vendor should be able to identify what went wrong from a technological standpoint—they’ll see what needs to be reconfigured, from system integrations to the way data was moved over to the cloud. They may have more advanced knowledge of the software itself and have tricks in their back pockets to improve the user learning curve and use of the software tools. In other words, they’ll work hard to get your users productive—they’ve waited long enough, after all.

Here’s what to look for in a partner who can rescue your technology investment:

  • Relevant technology experience with NetSuite and your other business systems you may want to integrate
  • Familiarity with your industry’s specific security and compliance needs
  • Expertise working with other clients in your company’s stage of growth that have similar current (and future anticipated) business requirements
  • Proven ability to scope and price projects meeting your exact needs
  • Willingness to work with you side-by-side and in-person through the entire process, including the post-implementation period when you need additional support
  • A team who’s prepared to offer you the level of service you need to use your software effectively, get your questions answered, and take any next steps as your needs grow—for the long-term 

If your NetSuite software implementation didn’t turn out like you expected—we can help. Find out if we’re a good fit for you! Schedule a free consultation with us. And don’t miss NetSuite: Why Partner? Why MIBAR?

Category: NetSuite

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