How Long Does It Take to Implement NetSuite for Start-ups?

A startup company wanting to implement NetSuite.

If you’re already familiar with Oracle NetSuite, you know it’s one of the most robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business management solutions on the market. NetSuite’s lineup of solutions can help your business tackle its most significant challenges and thrive in the modern marketplace.

While there’s no question that NetSuite technology can deliver value for your business, many business owners find themselves asking, “How long does it take to implement NetSuite?”

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as the exact timetable for your implementation will vary based on several factors. In some cases, NetSuite implementations can be completed in as little as a few months, while in others, they may take a year and a half or more.

You can expedite your implementation process by following a proven deployment roadmap, understanding which factors will influence your implementation timetable, and investing in the right resources.

If you’ve been considering NetSuite as your business management solution, here’s everything you need to know about facilitating a seamless transition.

Critical Steps to a Successful NetSuite Implementation

A NetSuite implementation strategy will be tailored to your company’s needs. However, every successful plan involves several fundamental steps.

1. Create a Chart of Accounts

A chart of accounts lists all financial accounts for your organization. These accounts are probably already listed on your current financial planning software or general ledger. However, you must chart them before migrating your financial data to the NetSuite platform.

Charting out accounts is a tedious, labor-intensive process, but it’s crucial for a successful implementation. As such, you should make every effort to ensure that your chart of accounts accurately and completely represents your current financial accounts.

2. Map and Clean Up Data

Data migration is the process of transferring data from your existing platform or technology stack to NetSuite. Before data migration can happen, you must first map out all of the information across your disparate systems and platforms.

Mapping out data is another time-consuming yet essential process; data cleanup is even more so.

Data cleanup is required because not all of the information on your network can be transferred to NetSuite in its current state. During data cleanup, duplicate records will be deleted and inaccuracies will be corrected, ensuring you can start fresh with your new NetSuite solutions.

3. Provide Targeted Training

NetSuite is a powerful and intuitive software solution, but it will likely be entirely new for your employees. In other words, there’s a definite learning curve associated with implementing NetSuite.

Fortunately, you can speed up the process by providing your team with comprehensive training before you go live.

When you’re planning NetSuite training courses, make sure you keep each session focused on a specific function or set of features rather than trying to force your employees to learn everything the platform can do all at once. It can also help to spend time educating different team members on the features that are most relevant to their positions.

4. Perform All Necessary Testing

NetSuite is a dynamic, complex platform that performs a broad range of functions, which is why you should thoroughly test all of your NetSuite applications before finalizing the transition.

During testing, you’ll have the opportunity to ensure that all applications and features function as intended. Inevitably, these tests will reveal a few bugs you’ll need to work out before your go-live date. The testing phase can take several weeks to several months, depending on how many people are taking part in the process.

5. Finish with Process Adoption

The final phase of NetSuite implementation is process adoption, which involves adopting the technology into your existing business processes.

Training and testing will help streamline the adoption process by increasing employee buy-in. Administering quality training before this phase will also help your staff feel more confident with the program and its various features.

What Factors Influence the Implementation Timetable?

Certain factors will have the most significant impact on your implementation timetable. These include the following:

  • Existing time constraints
  • Data quality and migration volume
  • The number of modules implemented

Staff Time Constraints

It will take much longer to roll out the technology if you don’t have a dedicated project team overseeing your NetSuite software implementation.

With that in mind, consider partnering with a third-party NetSuite expert to assist with or oversee implementation. An experienced implementation firm such as Finlyte can significantly condense your timetable and ensure a fluid and effective transition to the NetSuite platform.

Data Migration Volume

Data migration volume will also significantly impact your total implementation timetable.

If your business has a relatively small amount of data to move over, you can map the migration and quickly transfer the data to NetSuite. On the other hand, if you’re migrating a massive volume of data from a half-dozen different systems, this phase alone could take months.

Data migration represents one of the biggest challenges for businesses transitioning to NetSuite, or any new technology, for that matter. That’s because many companies still use antiquated technologies that don’t exchange information with one another. This lack of information sharing creates ineffective data silos and slows migration.

Data Quality

Data silos make migrating information harder and diminish data quality. Poor-quality data makes migration challenging because data must be cleaned up before bringing it over to your NetSuite platform.

Still, you don’t want to rush the data cleaning process, as doing so will result in bad data being imported into NetSuite. In turn, this will diminish your return on investment and decrease the solution’s overall performance.

The Number of Modules Implemented

NetSuite offers over a dozen modules designed to address specific business management needs. The more modules you implement, the more value you’ll derive from your NetSuite software.

However, implementing more modules will also increase your implementation timetable.

If you want to leverage numerous NetSuite modules while also abbreviating your implementation timetable, consider focusing on just a few mission-critical solutions during your initial implementation. You can then add more modules when it makes sense for your business.

How to Expedite Your NetSuite Implementation

So, how long does it take to implement NetSuite? While many variables influence the answer to that question, the one that has the biggest impact on your implementation timetable is your project team.

If you’re handling your entire implementation in-house, you may inadvertently be undermining your own deployment efforts. Fortunately, you can expedite the implementation timeline by using Finlyte’s team of expert NetSuite consultants.

As a full-service NetSuite implementation partner, we can oversee the entire process or augment the capabilities of your in-house project manager and their team. We streamline NetSuite implementation in the following ways:

  • Provide a standardized chart of accounts for your industry
  • Provide staff to assist with accounting tasks
  • Clean and organize data to facilitate a smoother data migration

If you’re looking to embrace NetSuite’s enterprise resource planning solutions but need a little support to do so, Finlyte is here to help. Schedule a consultation with one of our NetSuite implementation experts to get started.