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What is NetSuite?

14 November, 2022
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NetSuite boasts over 32,000 customers across 217 countries, making it an industry leader in the enterprise software market. But why is NetSuite the go-to option for so many companies, and what problems does it solve? 

Here’s a breakdown of what NetSuite is, how it’s used, and how GSI can streamline your NetSuite implementation.

What Is NetSuite?

Strictly speaking, “NetSuite” refers to a software company run by Oracle that makes a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. But in the business world, “NetSuite” is typically a synecdoche referring to the ERP itself.

NetSuite works based on a software as a service (SaaS) business model where users pay a regular subscription fee for cloud-based access to the software. In the long run, this is not only convenient, but it saves customers money because they don’t have to purchase and maintain the hardware resources that power the ERP, such as servers, storage devices, computers, and networking components. In addition, customers don’t have to worry about shouldering the cost of periodically upgrading the software or equipment needed to run it.

What Is an ERP?

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform like NetSuite consists of applications you can use to manage core business functions. NetSuite’s ERP enables you to run and automate functions such as:

  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Order management
  • Inventory control
  • Procurement
  • HR-related tasks, such as managing personnel records
  • Employee management, including performance monitoring
  • Payroll
  • Project planning and management
  • Online and in-store sales management

For example, suppose you use QuickBooks for accounting and payroll management, Microsoft Project for project management, and Zoho for inventory management. With one instance of NetSuite, you can handle all these functions with a single solution.

What Makes NetSuite’s ERP Special?

NetSuite's ERP is unique in that:

  • It can handle an extremely wide range of business functions.
  • It enables you to grant different business applications access to the same collection of data.
  • It’s designed to enable a virtually infinite array of automations, incorporating data and workflows from multiple business functions.

For example, suppose you want to optimize employee productivity, but you’re unsure where to start. You could hire someone to come in and train all employees, hoping against hope that you don't overwhelm those that need the training and bore those that don’t. You could also just hire more people, but that could be wasteful.

Instead, with NetSuite, you can surface metrics regarding the output of individual employees and teams and compare that with:

  • How much they're getting paid
  • How long they’ve been working for you
  • The number of years they’ve been working in your industry
  • Education level
  • The training they’ve already completed
  • Who was responsible for their onboarding training
  • How performances have changed over time and in different macro- or microeconomic conditions
  • How employee output correlates with investments made in marketing, product development, and customer support systems

Obviously, if you have this data logged in different platforms, it would be painstakingly tedious to compile and compare it all. But with NetSuite, it’s easier to surface this data because it all lives in the same platform. You could then generate metrics, compare your findings, and use your insights to design training programs, hiring practices, and performance monitoring systems to boost employee productivity.

What Problems Does NetSuite Solve?

NetSuite helps enterprises use data and software to facilitate and automate core business functions.

As a simple example, suppose a commercial construction company has four projects going at the same time, expenses associated with each, and revenue coming in from both these current customers and those with outstanding bills. The company wants to figure out whether it’ll have enough cash coming in from accounts receivable and current customers over the next three months to fund its expenses. If it does, great. If not, the company must get financing, which comes with interest charges and closing fees.

With NetSuite, the company can make a relatively accurate quarterly revenue prediction and compare the cash that’ll come in with the expenses associated with each project. If management is dead set on not taking on additional debt, they can use NetSuite to identify savings on overhead by exploring the effects of using different vendors, subcontractors, and material suppliers.

While this illustrates a relatively specific use of NetSuite, there are several high-level challenges enterprises use this ERP to overcome.

High-Level Problems NetSuite Solves

NetSuite gives you the digital infrastructure you need to address all of the following challenges:

  • Automating professional services, such as project management and tracking
  • Customer and prospect relationship management
  • Human resources, including staffing, training, and performance management
  • Payroll, accounting, and budgeting
  • E-commerce, including ensuring point-of-sale orders correlate with merchandising, financial, marketing, and inventory data
  • Connecting disparate business units housed in multiple countries
  • Organizing planning efforts across multiple departments and satellite offices

Streamline Your NetSuite Integration with GSI

GSI’s NetSuite experts have a deep understanding of the most effective ways to use this robust ERP. By building solutions around your business’s goals, GSI gives you a fast, efficient NetSuite implementation so you can start experiencing its benefits as soon as possible. Learn more by reaching out to GSI today

 

 

Shawn Scanlon

Shawn Scanlon lives in the Metro Detroit area where he has lived with his wife since 2000. He's been designing and implementing ERP solutions for over 20 years and is one of the principals at GSI. When he's not working on expanding the business, you can find him playing with his kids, golfing, skiing and enjoying life.

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