Life after NetSuite
In this article, Fusionworks Director, Jorge Mejía reviews the benefits and advantages of implementing NetSuite at his own business. Mejía lists the positive outcome that NetSuite has had on the daily operations of its midsized company. After having tried several systems in the last few years, Mejía concludes that NetSuite is the ideal cloud-based ERP for a company like Fusionworks that has a growth strategy in place and is looking to expand its services.
Small, Medium or Large, we know ERP’s
In Fusionworks, we are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) experts. I’ve been implementing ERP’s since 1998 when I joined Oracle’s consulting practice. It all started with E-Business Suite 10.7, a client-server architecture software (pre-web). I left Oracle in 2002 to start Fusionworks with my partners. We continued with the newer versions of the now called EBS and later added Microsoft Dynamics GP to our portfolio because we wanted a solution better fitted to Puerto Rico’s private mid-market sector. Nowadays, we have over 40 ERP customers. All the while, we were using QuickBooks to run our own business, which later became QuickBooks Online, our first exposure to cloud computing ERP.
It’s time to reap the benefits of the Cloud, true Cloud!
Because we like to eat our own dog food, in our move to cloud processes we decided to replace QuickBooks with Oracle’s ERP cloud. This was more of a strategic decision because we knew that our expertise in EBS was not going to be relevant in the future. Oracle’s newest and greatest true SaaS cloud ERP, what we thought back then (2016) and know now is the future of ERP. As we tend to do, before offering it to our clients we thought we should start gaining in-house expertise, and we did. What an experiment that proved to be! The Oracle Fusion Cloud solution is great, but for large customers. This has been proved by our team over and over by implementing it in large banks, food service companies, and government agencies, among others. Nevertheless, it is not adequate for a company of our size, with an Accounting department of 1.5 FTE.
Our journey to NetSuite
After seeing all the benefits our Oracle Cloud customers were deriving, we realized we had to bring the same level of innovation to our midsized customers. We went on and researched the market. The solution we decided was, without question, NetSuite. Known as the first cloud-based ERP ever invented, NetSuite brings a lot to the table: integrated CRM, ERP, Supply Chain, Project Accounting and Management; POS, e-commerce, etc. That are just one of the few benefits and advantages of implementing NetSuite. The reporting capabilities are outstanding and the flexibility to customize screens, add fields and develop workflows and integrations are simply out of this world!
So, we signed a partnership agreement with NetSuite. As we are used to, we eat our own dog food before offering it to customers. However, this time we did it differently. We didn’t do it only to learn, we did it because as a midsize business with a growth strategy, we needed the systems and processes in place to support it. Those who don’t know their numbers, don’t know their business and under that mantra, in two months, we moved our Oracle Fusion Cloud, T-Sheets (for time tracking), QuickBooks Online, Microsoft Projects, Excel mess to NetSuite ERP-SRP (Service Resource Planning) platform.
The suite life after Netsuite!
The best decision we’ve made in our 17 years of doing business and by far our best ERP implementation ever. We reaped the benefits immediately. Here is a list of the benefits and advantages of implementing NetSuite:
1. We were closing in 20 days and now we are down to 5.
2. Timesheets are captured in the same system with an approval workflow in place. The time is immediately posted to the related projects which results in online project utilization visibility, online resource utilization visibility, and online revenue visibility (yes, I have a KPI in my dashboard where I see the current month revenue online).
3. The accounting is online and as such, I see my cash flow online. Yes, I have a trend graph that shows me my accounts receivable, revenues and my net cash flow, real time.
4. Our variable compensation was strictly tied to revenue. Now, because we can track profitability at the customer and project level, we are moving towards a net profit driven compensation plan.
5. Transactions are linked to the customer. For example, in addition to the invoice, I can process a vendor bill and an expense report and if those expenses are related to a customer, I can charge those expenses to them for profitability purposes. Furthermore, I can post journal entries directly to customers. Let say I have an account manager that works with four customers, I can allocate that resource salary among the four of them.
6. Because NetSuite allows for segment accounting, we can better track our profitability by department, product and geographic region. With that information, we can track how we are doing against our strategic plan, which is based on two pillars, cloud products growth (which in turn should increase our revenue per-head KPI) and geographic growth with our Florida and Dominican Republic expansion. With just one click, we can generate an export P&L for law 20 and law 73 compliance.
7. Who can run an international business with expense reports running around in spreadsheets and emails? No more emails nor spreadsheets to process expense reports. From my mobile device, I capture the receipts and immediately create an expense report that is accounted for in real-time. All employees can track the status of their expense reports online.
8. We also have great visibility of our rates. I can see a graph showing the rate composition of our revenue. This is giving us visibility of which skills and markets are more inelastic, which in turn helps us align our sales and marketing efforts.
9. The once used to be the utopic dream of having a 360-degree view of the customer is now a reality. For each customer, we have a dashboard with all their information and KPI’s. Opportunities and forecast, service cases, accounts receivable (it even includes the Days Sales Outstanding-DSO KPI), sales, contacts, activities (phone calls, meetings, and tasks), projects, etc. are all provided out of the box.
10. Customer dashboards, reports, alerts, and workflows are the cherry on top. With no technical expertise needed, our project managers and I can create visualizations that help them see their practices online. Which projects are close to going over budget? What milestones are due? Which employee hasn’t completed its timesheet? Which resources are on the bench? What’s our skills inventory and how are we progressing in our transformation towards more Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Robotics expertise? These are the questions we are answering with great ease.
In my opinion, NetSuite is addictive. The more information you have, the more you want, and the best part of it is that with NetSuite is easy to get. Our mission is “to help companies become more competitive by optimizing their business processes and the information they use to make decisions through our focus on people development and the use of state-of-the-art technology”. In other words, with NetSuite, we will help your business grow.
If you want to transform your business just like Fusionworks did or have more questions on the benefits and advantages of implementing NetSuite, contact us for a free demo!
This piece was written by Jorge Mejía, Director of Fusionworks