fbpx
Benefits of ERP: When is the right time to move to Cloud ERP?

Benefits of ERP: When is the right time to move to Cloud ERP?

Choosing which software systems your company should invest in can be challenging. For many businesses knowing when to move to an ERP system can mean the difference between growing their businesses or getting throttled by software that no longer supports your team and your company.

For many businesses, moving to a Cloud ERP system is an excellent choice, as investing in modern technology gives the benefit of automation, live information and data as well as a single simplified system to manage all departments. There are only a handful of true cloud ERP’s on the market in 2019. By ‘true cloud’ we are referring to the technology that the software system is built on. Older ERP’s such as Epicor, Pronto and Microsoft Navision were designed to be installed as a single instance to a server located in your premises. To make these into “cloud” ERP’s they have simply connected them to a cloud server, which is good because you can access the software through a browser, but it is not a true multi-tenanted cloud solution, and users of these systems can expect to have the same issues that are created by on-premises technology. These main problems that are caused are:

  1. Expensive and lengthy implementations.
  2. Need for customisations that break when trying to upgrade.
  3. Expensive report writing and customisation.
  4. Poor performance as these systems are not designed to be delivered over a browser.
  5. Dated database structures and functionality.

For a small business wanting to make the move to ERP, they should be considering the real impacts of this as they grow. What starts as small problems today can often turn into bigger problems in the future.

What is ERP?

ERP stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning” software, and traditionally this was used by manufacturing companies to plan their resources, manufacturing schedule and demand planning. However, the term ERP has now become more widely accepted to categorise any software that provides a business with a wide range of functionality across many different departments and operations.

Software products like MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks are accounting systems, and have not been designed to allow for any robust functionality around managing sales and CRM, inventory, warehousing, work orders or WIP and routing. Traditionally, when small businesses needed more functionality in these areas, they would look to invest in a “best of breed” solution, such as Salesforce for CRM, Unleashed or Fishbowl for inventory management or MRP’s like M1 for managing the manufacturing process. To attempt to simplify data entry and data consolidation they would either invest in ‘integrating’ their different software packages or rely on Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to consolidate data and attempt to get reporting and insights.

Unfortunately for many businesses, they realised that this IT software strategy is expensive, complicated and fraught with problems. Integrations are great if they work, but as many business owners will tell you, integrations are very prone to ‘breaking’ when one or more of the software’s being used is updated. And so, starts a never-ending cycle of system updates, break fixes, and reimplementation.

Why is ERP different?

A true cloud ERP, like NetSuite, gives businesses a single platform to manage their entire business. Sales and CRM, Accounting and Finance, Inventory and Warehouse Management, Manufacturing and MRP, Project Management, Workflows, Automation, Dashboards and Reporting. Everything a small business currently needs or will end up needing as they grow.

The good news is, that recently NetSuite has introduced a version of their ERP software called SuiteSuccess Starter Edition, which is designed for small businesses with less than ten users, who are wanting to upgrade from MYOB or Xero and move to a single business management platform.

ERP Software Myths

If you ask anyone who has used or implemented ERP software, you will find that there is a wide range of opinions. Over the years, many misconceptions and myths have come from people’s experiences with ERP software. What is important to understand is that not all ERP is equal. There are some excellent ERP systems in the market and some not so great ones. As a business owner, it is important that you evaluate several different options to ensure that you are choosing an ERP software that suits your businesses requirements.

Credit Cards sitting on a keyboard.

1. The Cost of ERP Determines the Quality

Most people would be familiar with the major ERP vendors being SAP Software, Microsoft Software and Oracle ERP. These three major players were early entrants to the market in the 1990s and dominated the ERP industry for many years. These systems are highly complex, can be very expensive and difficult to maintain and often provide the same functionality that modern cloud ERP’s offer for a much lower investment.

Many of the world’s largest organisations still run on these systems, largely due to the expense and difficulty that moving to a new system would cause. Many companies now realise that legacy on-premise technology is preventing them from growing and increasing the cost and complexity of managing their IT systems. We are now seeing these companies migrate to modern Cloud ERP, as the benefits that it offers through simplifying IT strategy and divesting responsibility for maintaining servers and networks is invaluable and set to save them millions of dollars per year.

As an owner of a small or medium-sized business, you can decide to invest in modern technology and not risk getting stuck on dated on-premises ERP platforms.

Business people having a meeting about the benefits of erp

2. You Need an ERP Consultant to Help with Your Evaluation

Whilst some businesses benefit from getting help from ERP consultants, most companies should be able to manage the process of evaluating ERP in-house with their department experts. An ERP consultant can help you define your requirements, structure this is a way that ensures you have a thorough RFP for ERP vendors to respond to, and enables you to evaluate ERP product demonstrations to this checklist of requirements. In some cases, they may also be able to assist with vendor negotiations on pricing and advise on best implementation working partners. However, this can all be achieved internally with preparation, planning and organisation.

In most cases, the ERP vendors or ERP development partners will be able to help you define your requirements based on their experience in delivering ERP solutions to your industry.

businessman using cloud erp on his laptop

3. ERP Selection Process Should be Run by IT Managers

The truth here is that Cloud ERP has minimal impact on what a traditional IT manager does. With True Cloud ERP, responsibility for maintaining the servers and uptime of the system is the responsibility of the vendor and is included in the annual license fees as a service. Your selection of an ERP system should be about your business’s operations and team’s requirements to help them do their jobs more efficiently.

The ERP selection process is an opportunity to take pause and look into how your business is running and how it should be running. When evaluating ERP, you should create a small steering committee of your most knowledgeable and experienced team members who will be able to clearly articulate what their department needs in terms of functionality and explain how things are managed currently, what problems are being caused and where there is opportunity to save time, money and resources.

gears

4. More Functionality Equals Better ERP

This could not be further from the truth. Companies looking to evaluate an ERP system should focus on the functionality they need, not the functionality the system offers, as more often than not, products that an over-engineered tend to be clunky, give poor user experiences and clutter the system with fields and forms that you are never going to use. The reason that this happens in legacy on-premise software is that when customers need more functionality or custom fields, the vendors often had to build this into the source code of the ERP. That means, that when a few companies using the system needed extra fields, then every user of the system had those fields rolled out to them in an update whether they needed it or not.

Modern ERP’s don’t do this, because they have a set of inbuilt tools that allow users to quickly add new fields and forms to the database, without ever impacting the source code. NetSuite does this particularly well and is by far the leader in the Cloud ERP market for providing tools that let users learn ERP, take control of their system and continually improve to meet their changing needs.

Benefits of ERP

Now that we have clarified some common misconceptions about ERP systems and explained a little more about why Cloud ERP is different, we can move on to discuss the benefits and advantages that Cloud ERP offers users.

ERP systems are one of the most important assets for any business as they provide the foundation for managing your businesses data and operations and give your team the tools, they need to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

A good ERP system will do five major things for you:

netsuite dashboard on a laptop

1. Centralised Management

Provide functionality across all departments, so you only have to manage one system.

netsuite dashboard on a mobile phone

2. Real-Time Data

Give you access to live information and data as it happens.

netsuite analytics on a laptop

3. Business Analytics

Give you insights into your business’s performance through dashboards and reports.

netsuite kpis being shown on a laptop

4. Automation

Automate tasks and processes so your team can focus on generating revenue rather than data entry.

netsuite being used on a mobile phone

5. Alerts

Alert you when something goes wrong, rather than waiting to discover there was a problem in the past.

The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to NetSuite

Interested on NetSuite, the leading Cloud ERP in Australia for SMEs? Save yourself hours of research by downloading Klugo’s Ultimate Buyers Guide to NetSuite.

gears s placed on a wooden table

Fixed Monthly Cost for Cloud ERP

Most Cloud ERP systems have a SaaS (Software as a service) pricing model, which means that you can plan and budget for the cost of your ERP with certainty. SaaS pricing also includes support and maintenance of the application, so you can be sure that as you grow, the only additional costs you need to worry about is adding more users when required.

Whilst ERP is a serious investment for a small or medium sized business, the benefits and ROI are definable. NetSuite for example, depending on the edition you subscribe to can cost as little as $1200 per month for a small to medium-sized business with under five users. The amount of resource time that a system like this saves is often the equivalent of 1-2 full-time administration resources, so when comparing the cost of additional salaries to the cost of a suitable cloud ERP solution, it makes a lot of sense.

It is also important to note, that Cloud ERP is a single investment, rather than investing in a number of different ‘best of breed’ software packages and integrating them. When you choose a good cloud ERP, the cost is fixed, there is no need for complex integrations, and you have the functionality to cover every department of your business. For anyone who is looking at investing in an ERP solution, it is a good exercise to detail how much you are spending currently on your IT strategy. Make sure you include:

1. Cost of each software package that will be replaced.
2. Cost of hosting, networking or physical infrastructure like on premises servers.
3. Cost of support.
4. Cost of upgrades.
5. Cost of IT staff.
6. Future upgrades and cost to reimplement.

A product like NetSuite provides one platform to manage everything. Sales and CRM, Accounting and Finance, Inventory and Warehouse Management, Work Orders and Assemblies, Project Management and Job Costing, Field Service Management, Dashboards, Workflows, Automation and more.

Netsuite being used by worker on multiple devices.

Total Visibility in Real Time on any Device

True cloud ERP is a website with a powerful database. As long as a user has access to the internet and a web browser, then they have access to the system. There is no need to be in the office, connected to a network or using remote desktop to see and transact in the system. It’s a simple way to access all information, data and dashboards and minimises time and effort associated making sure your IT infrastructure supports your business.

Also, modern ERP systems can be accessed on many types of devices including laptops, tablets and even smartphones, which means that users have more flexibility when it comes to using the system and is not tied to a desk. With remote workforces becoming increasingly popular this means that when you invest in Cloud ERP, you are allowing yourself to support flexible work arrangements and meet the expectation of true mobility that is now becoming a standard for the millennial workforce.

Netsuite dashboard on a apple mac

Improved Business Intelligence, Reporting and Planning

When you invest in a single system to manage your business, your ability to report, get business intelligence in real time and plan for the future is massively increased. You are also able to get better insights into business drivers as information from different departments can be linked, related and reported.

When you have multiple systems that each hold their silo of information, it is difficult if not impossible to get true 360-degree visibility of your business. Many businesses currently rely on excel to consolidate data and then spend hours if not days formatting and reformatting this information to try to understand what is going on in their business. This detachment becomes a massive drain on resources and wastes time and effort, when simply having the information stored on one system will completely negate the need for this.

netsuite portlets

Complete ERP Customisation and Personalisation

Modern cloud ERP’s, like NetSuite have a set of in-built tools that lets an administrator configure the system to suit the needs of the business, and add any additional fields and forms that can help support the data collection requirements of a business. Legacy systems cannot offer this functionality, and more often than not, simple customisations like adding a field to a form will require development to achieve the desired outcome.

In addition to this, sometimes these customisations can cause other parts of the system to behave differently, or completely break which starts a long process of trying to untangle problems and forecast potential impacts of making changes to the source code of a legacy ERP.

Products like NetSuite are never changed at the source code level. Instead, they use in-built tools and scripts to enhance the system to meet the needs of the business. Looking forward, this means that when NetSuite updates, the risk of the system breaking is minimal, because the source code is never changed.

Improved Efficiency

ERP systems are there to do one thing. Increase the efficiency of your team and help them do their jobs better. Whether your sales team need access to stock levels or customer information, or your warehouse manager needs to streamline the operations on the floor, then a good ERP system will have all the necessary functionality and fields to make this as easy as possible.

Improving Sales Visibility

ERP solutions have an integrated CRM, so all marketing, customers and sales data can be kept on the platform. For salespeople, this means that their pipelines are managed proactively and for sales management, visibility of sales forecasting and performance is standard.

Improving Accounting and Financial Control

A good ERP system will help your accounting and finance team by providing a simple way to administer all transactions. Systems like NetSuite, also allow you to manage multiple entities in one platform, so multi-entity accounting and consolidation, as well as managing intercompany transactions becomes an easy and automated process.

Inventory and Warehouse Control

Keeping a close eye on your inventory brings the opportunity to increase your cash flow by using data to make better purchasing decisions. Also, you can speed up the amount of time it takes to turn a received customer order into a delivery which means happier customers and better output from your warehouse team.

laptop being used in a factory

Logistics and Business Productivity Improvement

ERP systems improve business productivity in a number of ways that are not necessarily easy to quantify. While all the productivity and quality improvements help contribute to the ROI of the ERP investment, some companies overlook these productivity gains:

1. ERP Supports Better Customer Service

In 2019, the customer is King. Like no time before, customers have access to a massive amount of information, including product and service reviews online. If you are not giving your customers excellent service, they will easily be able to find a better provider, or worse, actively tell people about their poor experience.

Good ERP systems allow you to take control of your customer service strategy and implement ways to continually improve your product and service offering, as well as manager after sales support. Also, because all customer sales and CRM information, along with accounting and financial management information is linked, then getting reports on customer performance becomes easy.

Systems like NetSuite are also able to alert you if a customers behaviour changes or if a VIP customer lodges a support case or makes a complaint which means that sales and customer service team members are able to instantly see when there is a problem and take the opportunity to rectify this as quickly as possible.

2. ERP Data Security and Quality

One of the most common questions we are asked is whether cloud ERP is secure in terms of data and privacy. The truth here is that Cloud ERP vendors spend hundreds of millions of dollars protecting their servers and customers data and that the security of these types of systems is far greater than what a small to medium-sized business would be able to implement trying to protect their in-house services.

Other benefits of this are that the vendor also takes responsibility for data redundancy and backups which again minimises a small business’s need to manage this type of thing internally.

3. Improved Collaboration and Workflows

Another major benefit of cloud ERP is that your team get the ability to collaborate on a single system, which improves the transparency of information and streamlines communications. A single system to manage your entire business means that there is no starting and stopping, uploading and downloading or duplicating data entry.

Good ERP like NetSuite also provides workflow engines to automate processes, manage approvals and alert users as things are happening in real time.

Leading practices when it comes to good businesses processes suggest that if a task can be automated, then it should be automated because it allows your team to spend time servicing your customers and generating revenue rather than doing repetitive administrative tasks.

A lot of time and money can be saved by thinking about things in your day-to-day work life that could be managed by an ERP system. With modern Cloud technology, you can ensure that what you invest in the system gives you an easily definable ROI, and automation is just one way of achieving that.

4. Standardisation of Your Business Processes with Leading Practices

Many cloud ERP solutions have been developed to provide solutions to specific industry requirements. Whether you are a wholesale distribution company, field service business, manufacture or professional services provider, there are many cloud ERP system that has been built with your industry in mind.

NetSuite, as an example, has over ten different industry-specific editions. These editions bundle many different modules together based on the standard requirements of a business operating in that industry.

More recently, with the introduction of NetSuite’s SuiteSuccess editions, we are seeing many pre-bundled solutions coming to the market that provide a ready-made ERP solution for businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing software, food and beverage, services and specialty subcontracting markets. For an average small to medium-sized business, implementation and rollout of a new NetSuite Cloud ERP is quick and easy and provides a framework on which to grow the business through the adoption of leading practices that have been implemented by the best-performing companies the industry.

5. Regulatory and Tax Compliance in ERP

Compliance with government and ATO regulations is paramount for a growing business. The truth is that as you get larger, the need to be compliant and the complexity of what is required to be compliant increases. When you are trying to manage this manually, without the support of an ERP system, this can be near impossible and expose your business to the risk of being audited or fined.

Good ERP systems are localised to your country and will offer a range of functionality to allow you to manage your business in line with all regulations, laws and tax models in the countries where you operate. NetSuite, as an example, has localisations for over 100 countries and has been the major cloud ERP platform in the Australian market.

6. Better Supply Chain Management in ERP Model

For any business that manages inventory, managing your supply chain more efficiently means that you can save time and money by making good purchasing decisions based on historical and forward-looking data.

Good ERP systems will have Demand Planning built in, which capitalises on the wealth of inventory and sales data and help you to understand better the way that you can make your inventory planning and supply planning more efficient. Inventory sitting on the warehouse is a cost. Not just a cost for the COGS itself, but also the cost of rent, insurance, managing stock and making sure that your warehouse is organised in an efficient way.

Similarly, not having stock on hand when you need is an opportunity cost to the business in more than one way. It might be that you miss making a sale because the customer isn’t able to wait for you to order the item in, or it could be that your manufacturing processes cant take place because you are missing a key input that is required on the bill of materials. In any case, if you are experiencing any of these supply chain issues, then it is time to consider cloud ERP.

7. ERP Scalability to Support Business Growth

An important thing to consider when investing in setting up your businesses core systems is how you plan to grow over the next 5 to 10 years. Whilst implementing Cloud ERP like NetSuite Success is much easier and quicker than traditional on-premises ERP systems, doing this every couple of years is disruptive and can cause unnecessary costs.

A good cloud ERP, like NetSuite offers users a platform that provides them with a core set of functionality to manage their business in its existing state, but also allows you to grow the system by adding more users, modules and functionality as your needs change.

At Klugo, we are advocates for keeping things as simple as possible and focusing on the core functionality your business will need at go live for you to trade. After that point, you have the opportunity to continually improve the system and add all the ‘bells and whistles’, but the core ERP platform is what is important on day one. We have helped hundreds of businesses to design a NetSuite solution that not only meets the immediate requirements but also has a plan to improve and expand the system in future phases continually.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

If you are interested in finding out more about how NetSuite can modernise your IT systems, then feel free to reach out to one of our NetSuite experts, who will be happy to arrange a free trial of the system and provide you with a guided demonstration and walk through.

Disadvantages, challenges and risks of ERP

For the right sized business implementing the right ERP system means your processes will be streamlined, your information will be managed centrally, and your team will have a valuable asset to help them perform their roles more efficiently.

That being said, choosing the wrong ERP for your business can have some disadvantages. Choosing an ERP that doesn’t have enough functionality to support your immediate or future requirements means that most likely, you will be undertaking another ERP evaluation and implementation in a few short years. It is important for small and medium-sized businesses to think about what they need now and what they will need in the future and make sure they invest in a system that will offer the functionality as and when they need it.

Two main points to consider:

netsuite reports being reviewed in a meeting by executives

The Cost of ERP

The cost of ERP varies widely from industry to industry and vendor to vendor. Also, legacy ERP systems tend to have a very high entry cost, and then ongoing maintenance on top. Cloud ERP systems on the other hand, generally have a fixed monthly cost that covers all aspects of accessing the software, maintaining the database and rolling out upgrades.

Some business owners think that investing software that has a high once of costs protects them from having to invest money ongoing. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. “Perpetual Licensing” as it is known also comes along with annual maintenance fees, which means that users of this software need to keep paying for updates should they want access to the latest features and bug fixes.

With NetSuite, you have one cost that covers everything.

Netsuite implementation planning session

Customisation Can be Risky

With older ERP’s if a user wants to make the system do something that it wasn’t designed to do, then the source code of the software needed to be customised. This leads to a number of problems and presents many risks.

  1. Customisations will break other parts of the software.
  2. Customisations are expensive and take a long time to build.
  3. Customisations break when updates are rolled out, meaning a lot of time and money is spent reimplementing the system.

True cloud ERP has solved this by allowing users to enhance the system with scripts rather than making changes to the source code. This means updates happen automatically and don’t risk breaking your reports, customisations and dashboards and means that you are also getting the benefit of the latest features and functionality without having to be concerned that rolling out updates will break your software.

netsuite mobile and netsuite desktop screens

So, Should You Invest in ERP?

When your business starts to be affected by the limits of your existing cluster of software systems, it is probably time to consider a modern ERP solution. By doing this, you are allowing yourself to define your current and future technology requirements and invest in a system that will help you simplify your IT footprint, take control of your business processes in ERP services and grow without having to add additional headcounts or overheads to your business.

At Klugo we are experts in helping small and medium-sized businesses evaluate, guide them through steps of ERP implementation and continually improve their use of the NetSuite system. Since 2013 we’ve helped hundreds of Australian businesses across a wide range of industries and verticals to leverage the power of the world’s leading cloud ERP tools, NetSuite.

If you have found this article, Benefits of ERP useful, then please follow us:

Top 5 SuiteSolutions to Improve Sales Management in NetSuite

NetSuite is well-known for enabling businesses’ sales team with unique visibility into every aspect of the customer relationship, from support cases to bills, contracts and inventory. With powerful and customisable real-time dashboards, sales managers and reps using...

Top 5 Features of NetSuite Starter Edition to Automate Small Business Administration

The SuiteSuccess Starter Edition, which was released earlier in 2018 to the Australian market is turning heads in the small business world. For companies who feel they are hitting the limits of what small business accounting software can do to support their growth,...

From Xero to NetSuite in 45 Days.

Products like MYOB and Xero provide outstanding accounting functionality. However, as businesses grow and prepare for the future, they find that the complexity of managing their distribution operations increases, and the limits of these entry-level software packages...

The Secret to Superior Inventory Management

Seize Distribution OpportunitiesThe downfall of wholesale distribution has been highly exaggerated in recent years. Yes, manufacturers have more opportunities nowadays to sell directly to consumers, but there are two main reasons why distributors are...

Top Three Pain Points For SMEs Outgrowing Accounting Software

This article was written by Brendan Laufenberg, SME Consultant, Klugo. As a specialist in cloud software for SMEs, I work daily to help growing companies evaluate the proven benefits of upgrading their internal software systems to a single,...
SuiteBuilder at a Glance

SuiteBuilder at a Glance

We are going to take a brief look at a core part of NetSuite today. SuiteBuilder is a customisation tool used for creating components for any individual business process to be implemented in NetSuite. It helps set up NetSuite to control and make user interaction a smooth experience.

SuiteBuilder provides a GUI (graphical user interface) based options to create or edit different record types, transaction types, forms, form layouts, fields, custom segments and centres.

Three types of users primarily use the SuiteBuilder.

1. Administrators. Admins use the SuiteBuilder to create different transaction types or custom record types, customise forms or to create custom centres for another kind of roles based on the specific business requirement of their respective organisation.

2. IT Department. IT Department employees handle change requests like creating create custom fields, managing data in the system or scheduling batch processing jobs in the system.

3. Developers. Developers primarily work on SuiteScript or Suitetalk. Therefore, they need a good grip on SuiteBuilder components to implement their solutions inside NetSuite.

Customising NetSuite components

Access Information

This part deals with the user data access within NetSuite.

  • Role: Different set of permissions assigned to a NetSuite User. To create a custom role, navigate to Setup > Users/Roles > User Management > Manage Roles > New and set up the new Role. For example, a food processing company may need to add a new role for a processing engineer with a custom set of permissions.
  • Centre: Part of SuiteBuilder created for a specific group of roles with similar tasks. To create a custom centre, navigate to Customisation> Centres and Tabs > Centres > New and set up the new custom Centre based on your requirements. For example, in a food processing company, all the roles, i.e. Processing Staff, Floor Supervisor, Machine Mechanic which come under the food processing unit can be added to the Food Processing centre.
  • Centre tab: This component of SuiteBuilder groups related links and other information for a centre. Standard tabs include Home, Reports, Documents, Activities, and Setup. It includes categories of links to NetSuite pages, custom records, Suitelets, or external web pages. You can also create custom Centre Tabs by navigating to Customisation> Centres and Tabs > Centre Tabs > New.

Set up data

To implement NetSuite efficiently, use the following components to add your data.

  • Record: A single entry of information related to a unique business concept. Example: Customer or Vendor record.
  • Segment: A single entry of information associated with a single business concept. Example: A custom segment created for contract types.
  • Transaction: A single entry of information related to a unique business concept. Example: Invoice or Vendor Bill.
  • List: List of values that can be selected in a custom field. Example: List of cities in a state.
  • Template: A single entry of information related to a single business concept. Example: Advanced PDF Template configured for Purchase Order.

Collect and Display Data

Forms are used in NetSuite to provide an interface for the user to enter and see data. We can use the following components to create custom forms or customise existing forms.

  • Field: Place on a record or transaction where information is entered.
  • Subtab: Section of a record or transaction that groups similar fields.
  • Example: In the address subtab, the shipping and billing addresses are entered on transactions and records.
  • Sublist: The results of a saved search displayed on a custom or standard record. Sublists can also be generated through parent-child relationships.
  • Script: SuiteScript JavaScript file that runs against a specific form or record type or that creates a custom portlet. Scripts can also be scheduled to execute periodically.

If you would like help or advice for using the SuiteBuilder functionality in NetSuite, feel free to reach out to speak with one of our experts.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in NetSuite today.
Find out how cloud-based technology can support your business growth.

More tips on our LikedIn

Follow our company page on LinkedIn for more tips, how-tos, support and news from the Best-of-Class ERP software for the cloud. Keep posted with all things NetSuite.

Michael Dean

Michael Dean

Business Consultant

Read Michael’s articles in his LinkedIn profile and follow him for more tips and tricks on leveraging the power of Netsuite.

Need a NetSuite Health Check?

We are experts in helping existing NetSuite users to review their platform, identify risks and improvements, and assist with enhancements.

Are you having difficulties with your NetSuite implementation? Our team of local experts can evaluate your current development and configuration, advise you on remediations and provide solutions for ongoing improvements.

How Millennials are Changing the Field Service Industry

The Millennial generation or Generation Y includes those that are born between the 80s and 90s. They are a generation that grew up with mobile technology and the internet at their fingertips. This instant access to information has bred an inherent expectation that at...

The Benefits of Warehouse Pick, Pack and Ship Automation

Through a combination of hardware, such as RF devices, and software, such as NetSuite, smaller distributors are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in technology that is designed to streamline their warehouse operations. Australian wholesalers are fast...

Top KPIs that Every Wholesaler Should be Tracking Right Now

Wholesale distribution has emerged as one of the top performing industries in terms of cloud technology take up. This early adoption, when compared to other industries such as professional services or manufacturing has seen Australian wholesale distribution business...

Manufacturing Software in 2019. How MRP Platforms have Changed.

In the past decade the manufacturing industry in Australia has changed dramatically, and so has Manufacturing Software (also known as MRP software). Interestingly, the concept of Enterprise Resource Planning software was born in the manufacturing industry. In the late...

The Omni-Channel Retail Customer is Changing

In 2019, the average consumer has evolved into a multi-channel purchasing machine. As the traditional customer buying journey continues to grow, retailers and wholesalers need to consider opportunities to cater to a new, savvier buyer. The question is though, where...

How is Field Service Software Helping Businesses to Get Ahead 2019?

Since 2014, we have seen a steady increase in both new field service businesses coming to market, as well as strong growth in existing operations. What is even more interesting is the number of retailers, wholesale distributors and manufacturers who are looking it...
SuiteBundler: An Introduction

SuiteBundler: An Introduction

In today’s tip, we will take a look into how NetSuite SuiteBundler works and the significance of this tool in the NetSuite ecosystem. SuiteBundler allows the user to package a group of NetSuite objects for installing in other NetSuite accounts. These packages are also called bundles/SuiteApps.

A bundle can include customisation designed by an internal developer to be installed in the company’s production account, or it can also add a feature generated by an independent developer or firm that addresses a unique need for specific business processes. The bundles are available through the NetSuite Bundle repository, as well as third-party developers.

For example, if a company is planning to implement a new business process in their NetSuite account, the best step is to set up the process in the Sandbox account to minimise the risk of complications arising out of the new process implementation and address the complexities in the Sandbox account. After successful testing of the process, it can be bundled and deployed to the production environment.

The three NetSuite bundle modes.

1. Public: These types of bundles are available to all NetSuite accounts, and all of the users can access them.

2. Private: These types of bundles are shared among a specified set of target NetSuite accounts, and only the account administrators can access them.

3. Shared: These types of bundles are shared to a specific set of NetSuite Accounts listed in the ‘Shared Account IDs’ field.

Two types of bundles available in NetSuite.

1. Customisation Bundle.

  • This type of bundle is used to implement customised processes in the NetSuite application using custom objects.
  • Customisation bundles include objects like custom forms, SuiteScripts etc.
  • Preferences can be set for some objects to ensure proper setup in the target account.
  • Some of the objects in the bundles can be locked to prevent the users from making any undesired changes to the objects and mess up the process.
  • During the bundle installation or update, conflicts between the bundle objects and the target account objects are identified and changed according to the user’s choice.
  • Bundle Installation SuiteScript can be used with these types of bundles to perform particular tasks during the bundle installation, update or uninstall.

For example:
A business process involving a new custom record type, SuiteScripts and custom forms to be implemented in the production environment.

2. Configuration Bundle.

  • This type of bundle is used for setup entries and preference settings.
    Configuration bundles can include settings for company preferences, enabled features etc.
  • Using these types of bundle simplifies the process of NetSuite account configuration.
  • These types of bundles cannot have locked objects.
  • Configuration bundles cannot be uninstalled from an account or made public.

NetSuite account administrators can install bundles that have been shared with their accounts or made public. Users can install a bundle directly from another NetSuite account if they have the account ID. They can also install a bundle from the repository if it has been copied there and they have access to install it.

NetSuite users can search for a bundle across all locations, including production accounts, sandbox accounts, and the repository. They also have options to filter a bundle search to a specific location or search based on keywords or based on different bundle characteristics such as Availability, Account ID, Product, Vertical, and Language.

To create a bundle, NetSuite provides a Bundle Builder assistant. This assistant is divided into different steps, and these steps collect all the information required to build the bundle. NetSuite account administrators and other users can use the Bundle Builder to create bundles if the Bundle Builder feature and SuiteApp Marketplace permission is enabled. In the Bundle Builder, users define bundle properties and select objects to be included.

Navigate to: Customisation > SuiteBundler > Create bundle to create a bundle.

We’ll discuss more on how to create and install bundles in upcoming Tips.

Need a NetSuite Health Check?

We are experts in helping existing NetSuite users to review their platform, identify risks and improvements, and assist with enhancements.

Are you having difficulties with your NetSuite implementation? Our team of local experts can evaluate your current development and configuration, advise you on remediations and provide solutions for ongoing improvements.

More tips on our LikedIn

Follow our company page on LinkedIn for more tips, how-tos, support and news from the Best-of-Class ERP software for the cloud. Keep posted with all things NetSuite.

Michael Dean

Michael Dean

Business Consultant

Read more post from Michael in his LinkedIn profile, follow him for more tips and tricks on leveraging the power of Netsuite.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in NetSuite today.
Find out how cloud-based technology can support your business growth.

How Millennials are Changing the Field Service Industry

The Millennial generation or Generation Y includes those that are born between the 80s and 90s. They are a generation that grew up with mobile technology and the internet at their fingertips. This instant access to information has bred an inherent expectation that at...

The Benefits of Warehouse Pick, Pack and Ship Automation

Through a combination of hardware, such as RF devices, and software, such as NetSuite, smaller distributors are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in technology that is designed to streamline their warehouse operations. Australian wholesalers are fast...

Top KPIs that Every Wholesaler Should be Tracking Right Now

Wholesale distribution has emerged as one of the top performing industries in terms of cloud technology take up. This early adoption, when compared to other industries such as professional services or manufacturing has seen Australian wholesale distribution business...

Manufacturing Software in 2019. How MRP Platforms have Changed.

In the past decade the manufacturing industry in Australia has changed dramatically, and so has Manufacturing Software (also known as MRP software). Interestingly, the concept of Enterprise Resource Planning software was born in the manufacturing industry. In the late...

The Omni-Channel Retail Customer is Changing

In 2019, the average consumer has evolved into a multi-channel purchasing machine. As the traditional customer buying journey continues to grow, retailers and wholesalers need to consider opportunities to cater to a new, savvier buyer. The question is though, where...

How is Field Service Software Helping Businesses to Get Ahead 2019?

Since 2014, we have seen a steady increase in both new field service businesses coming to market, as well as strong growth in existing operations. What is even more interesting is the number of retailers, wholesale distributors and manufacturers who are looking it...
How Millennials are Changing the Field Service Industry

How Millennials are Changing the Field Service Industry

The Millennial generation or Generation Y includes those that are born between the 80s and 90s. They are a generation that grew up with mobile technology and the internet at their fingertips. This instant access to information has bred an inherent expectation that at work, as in their personal lives, they will have instant access to information, from any device, whenever they need it. And if they don’t get this, they won’t be happy.

Millennials are the new generation of the field service workforce. Forward-thinking businesses are making considerable effort to understand the drivers of this generation to ensure they attract and retain top talent. Generation Y’s are today’s 25 to 38-year-olds, and they make up 20.56% of the Australian population (5.13 million). They also make up the largest cohort in the workforce (33%). By 2025, Millennials will make up close to 70% of the total labour market, and their unique way of working is having a significant impact on all industries, including that of field service.

%

Generation Y population in Australia

%

Millienials percentage of the Australian workforce.

%

Total labour market by 2025.

How do Millennials approach their jobs?

These are the top things that Millennials are looking for when it comes to technology that supports them to do their jobs.

1. Collaboration

The constant change of field service work demands collaboration. With the masses of data that are being captured by most businesses, both in the field and in the office, the Millennial Field Tech expects to be able to share this information and collaborate with coworkers in real time. Field Service Management (FSM) software, such as NetSuite and NextService, do just that. They give mobile access to all relevant asset and customer information on a mobile device and allow the Millennial field tech a comfortable and familiar way to capture job-related information.

2. Integrated Mobile Technology

No one tends to love new technology more than the younger generation. For jobs to be done quickly and accurately, most companies use phones, tablets, and a combination of different software to capture the information they need both in the office and in the field. FSM Software gives a business a single platform of technology to manage every aspect of running a field service business. These systems simplify the technology ecosystem and expand the usefulness of captured data, as it can be reported on from a single database, rather than having to spend time aggregating data from different sources.

3. Autonomy

Millennials expect a level of independence in their roles and do not respond well to being restricted by physical work locations. It is a generation of problem solvers. They are entrepreneurial and autonomous in their actions, both at home and at work. They understand that technology can be used to complete mundane tasks, which free’s up their time to value-adding activities. These qualities can be harnessed to its fullest, by giving the Millennial the tools and technology to eliminate the mundane tasks, such as manual capturing of information or duplicating data entry.

Embracing flexibility with mobile field service software.

In the modern world, communication has become expected, and flexibility in communication is an essential factor that Millennials need in their work-life. With field service management software, flexibility is a key focus. Millennials will be able to see their entire schedule from their phones, sign in and out of a job and complete work orders. This way, workers would not have to make trips back to their office and can spend more time in the field, generating income.

These mobile applications also give Millennial technicians access to the information they need to do their jobs well, such as online manuals and guides on repairs. Because a library of information is now available from their smartphone, techs can solve problems faster and get access to the information they need to get the job done right the first time around.

Download NetSuite Guide for Field Service

Find in this guide all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your growth.

Millennials champion field technology

Millennials can play a crucial role in assisting with technology change in a field service business. By embracing new technology, they can lead by example and help other generations in the company better understand the positive impact of technology, that might otherwise have been met with lacklustre enthusiasm. How to manage Millennials effectively.

Maximising the efficiency of Millennial field services is necessary for field service organisations, and as time goes in, this is going to be amplified. Field Service businesses can help empower Millennials by:

1. Investing in technology

Give them what they want. In every aspect of their lives, Millennials are making the most of modern technology, and work should be no different. To satisfy the needs of this generation, businesses should be looking into technology that automates, increases efficiency and gives real-time access to information. Field Service Management Software, such as NextService by NextTechnik, does just this.

2. Giving them flexibility

The nature of field service is mobile, so many Millennials who choose a career in field service are not wanting to be tied to an office. If they can complete 100% of their roles outside the four walls of an office and spend more time actually generating income they will be more satisfied as workers than having limitations that they see as easily solvable.

Reasons why Millennials are suitable for field service

1. Millennials are result-oriented

In situations whereby customers are dependent on technicians to fix the necessary system to get their business up and running at full capacity as soon as possible, being practical is one of the things Millennials have in abundance.

2. Millennials are confident

Their parents have raised Millennials that can accomplish anything, and such encouragement tends to boost the confidence of generations entering the workforce.

3. Millennials are educated

Millennials are found to be the most educated generation in history. Millennials tend to improve their learning skills, which is vital for companies when trying to hire technicians based on their abilities.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Field Service Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can make your field business a real customer-centric beast.

Top 5 SuiteSolutions to Improve Sales Management in NetSuite

NetSuite is well-known for enabling businesses’ sales team with unique visibility into every aspect of the customer relationship, from support cases to bills, contracts and inventory. With powerful and customisable real-time dashboards, sales managers and reps using...

Top 5 Features of NetSuite Starter Edition to Automate Small Business Administration

The SuiteSuccess Starter Edition, which was released earlier in 2018 to the Australian market is turning heads in the small business world. For companies who feel they are hitting the limits of what small business accounting software can do to support their growth,...

From Xero to NetSuite in 45 Days.

Products like MYOB and Xero provide outstanding accounting functionality. However, as businesses grow and prepare for the future, they find that the complexity of managing their distribution operations increases, and the limits of these entry-level software packages...

The Secret to Superior Inventory Management

Seize Distribution OpportunitiesThe downfall of wholesale distribution has been highly exaggerated in recent years. Yes, manufacturers have more opportunities nowadays to sell directly to consumers, but there are two main reasons why distributors are...

Top Three Pain Points For SMEs Outgrowing Accounting Software

This article was written by Brendan Laufenberg, SME Consultant, Klugo. As a specialist in cloud software for SMEs, I work daily to help growing companies evaluate the proven benefits of upgrading their internal software systems to a single,...
NetSuite Portlets 101 – Part I

NetSuite Portlets 101 – Part I

A portlet is essentially a visual plug-in that you can add and arrange on NetSuite dashboard to highlight specific information. It gives a snapshot of the business, and there are a plethora of portlets options in NetSuite that allow tailoring and improving your day to day experience.

In this article, we will dive into the different types of Portlets used for different dashboards in NetSuite. We will primarily discuss Portlets which are used in the Home Dashboard, but many of these are also available in the customer dashboard, vendor dashboard and any other work centre in the system.

What is a NetSuite Dashboard?

A dashboard is a page which provides a visual representation of accurate real-time data that gives users better visibility about different processes inside NetSuite. The data displayed in the dashboard is based on the role of the user viewing the page. This view will help the users to make efficient decisions and edit records based on the information displayed on their personalised dashboard. There are different types of Dashboards present in NetSuite, like the Home Dashboard, the Project Dashboard etc.

Different Types of NetSuite Portlets.

Dashboard content can be displayed in various types of Portlets based on the user’s requirement. Some portlets provide access to raw data, and other portlets display data that have been transformed into different types of business metrics, i.e. Key Performance Indicators (KPI), Trend Cards, Performance Scorecards, chart-based workbooks and report snapshots.

For each Dashboard page, NetSuite provides a default set of portlets to be displayed on the page. The Administrators have the freedom to change the look and content of the dashboard as per their organisation’s requirements. This personalisation can also be applied to a group of users, e.g. Accounting role or Finance role etc. The Administrator can also give access to users to modify their own dashboard as per their daily needs.

Let’s talk about different types of commonly used portlets in detail.

Lists and Saved Searches

This type of portlet is used to show a list of records of the selected record type. When the user adds a new List type portlet, they have to configure it in the set-up option. The user can choose the record type, number of results that they need displayed and whether they want to allow in-line editing for the records in the result page.

One of the most powerful features of NetSuite is that these dashboard lists are also directly editable through in-line searching. That means you can update the record straight from your dashboard, without having to go into the record, edit and save.

When used right, this saves NetSuite users HOURS every week.

Calendar

NetSuite lets users publish their calendar to their desktop so they can manage their phone calls, events and tasks quickly, and give visibility of their activities to the rest of the business. NetSuite calendars can also be integrated into Gmail and Outlook, which will synchronise the data between the two and keep everything up to date.

With this portlet, users can display activities for a particular period, and see their activities in different views, i.e. Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Agenda. The list of activities includes events, phone calls or task. By default, seven activity records are displayed, and we can change it as per the requirements.

Custom Search

We can display the results of a saved search using this portlet. In the set-up option of this portlet, the user can configure the search whose results are to be displayed, the portlet title, no. of results, allowing in-line editing etc.

Key Performance Indicators

This type of portlet is used to display raw data as a quick view of Key Business Metrics. These metrics are summarised data from reports or saved searches within the selected date range. It also has the functionality to show the comparison between date ranges and highlight results if targets are not met.

A maximum of four KPIs is allowed to be defined as headlines. The rest of the KPIs are listed in the lower panel.

KPIs can be minimised as per their usability.

There are three types of dashboards portlets that display Key Performance Indicators:

Key Performance Indicators portlet. Displays summary line for each selected portlet.

KPI Meter portlet. Visual Representation of KPI data in a semi-circular meter showing a comparison between date ranges.

Trend Graphs portlet. Displays the differences in data for different time intervals for multiple KPIs in a single chart.

KPI Scorecard Portlet

KPI Scorecards display a performance scorecard which includes numerous types of comparisons between various KPIs over different date ranges or accounting periods.

Suscribe to Klugo Insiders.

You might have noticed that some of these portlets look different to the NetSuite user interface. That is because in NetSuite 2019.1 Release we are seeing a massive update to UI, Portlets and reporting functionality. If you are interested in finding out more about NetSuite 2019.1 release, then subscribe to Klugo Insiders to receive early updates, webinar invites and NetSuite hints and tips straight in your inbox.

If you enjoyed this tip, come back next week for part two of our NetSuite Portlets 101.

 

Need a NetSuite Health Check?

We are experts in helping existing NetSuite users to review their platform, identify risks and improvements, and assist with enhancements.

Are you having difficulties with your NetSuite implementation? Our team of local experts can evaluate your current development and configuration, advise you on remediations and provide solutions for ongoing improvements.

More tips on our LikedIn

Follow our company page on LinkedIn for more tips, how-tos, support and news from the Best-in-Class ERP software for the cloud. Keep posted with all things NetSuite.

Michael Dean

Michael Dean

Business Consultant

Read more posts and articles from Michael in his LinkedIn profile. Follow him for tips and tricks on leveraging the power of NetSuite.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in NetSuite today.
Find out how cloud-based technology can support your business growth.

How Millennials are Changing the Field Service Industry

The Millennial generation or Generation Y includes those that are born between the 80s and 90s. They are a generation that grew up with mobile technology and the internet at their fingertips. This instant access to information has bred an inherent expectation that at...

The Benefits of Warehouse Pick, Pack and Ship Automation

Through a combination of hardware, such as RF devices, and software, such as NetSuite, smaller distributors are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in technology that is designed to streamline their warehouse operations. Australian wholesalers are fast...

Top KPIs that Every Wholesaler Should be Tracking Right Now

Wholesale distribution has emerged as one of the top performing industries in terms of cloud technology take up. This early adoption, when compared to other industries such as professional services or manufacturing has seen Australian wholesale distribution business...

Manufacturing Software in 2019. How MRP Platforms have Changed.

In the past decade the manufacturing industry in Australia has changed dramatically, and so has Manufacturing Software (also known as MRP software). Interestingly, the concept of Enterprise Resource Planning software was born in the manufacturing industry. In the late...

The Omni-Channel Retail Customer is Changing

In 2019, the average consumer has evolved into a multi-channel purchasing machine. As the traditional customer buying journey continues to grow, retailers and wholesalers need to consider opportunities to cater to a new, savvier buyer. The question is though, where...

How is Field Service Software Helping Businesses to Get Ahead 2019?

Since 2014, we have seen a steady increase in both new field service businesses coming to market, as well as strong growth in existing operations. What is even more interesting is the number of retailers, wholesale distributors and manufacturers who are looking it...