Netsuite 101_
NetSuite Implementation Mistakes To Avoid

NetSuite is an incredibly versatile and robust software, offering a myriad of features to streamline, integrate and automate business operations. However, as with any complex system, beginners using NetSuite often encounter certain pitfalls that can frustrate and sometimes slow down the adoption of the platform at a company. Understanding the most common mistakes made by novice users (and how to avoid them) can greatly enhance your NetSuite experience. In this article, we have gathered together five of the most common NetSuite mistakes we see being made by inexperienced users, and have provided some practical, quick-and-easy solutions to enhance your NetSuite journey.

1. A Lack of Proper Planning

Insufficient planning can be a significant pitfall when adopting any new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and NetSuite is no exception. While NetSuite’s user-friendly interface may tempt users to dive right into creating new workflows, this approach can lead to complications that are often challenging to resolve and only become more of a challenge later on if they aren’t resolved quickly.

It’s essential to align the system’s capabilities with the company’s specific processes and requirements. A failure to do so means users might find themselves reconstructing a built workflow that fails to meet business needs, which can be a huge task.

The Solution

When setting up a new workflow, take the time to thoroughly map out each step, predicting potential bottlenecks and understanding how data will flow through your various NetSuite modules. By doing so, you can be sure you’re leveraging NetSuite’s robust features to their full potential, ensuring a smoother implementation and avoiding the costly and time-consuming process of troubleshooting and modifying workflows post-implementation.

This process map should then be shared with all stakeholders to gain approval and feedback before proceeding with the actual workflow build. It may sound bureaucratic, but having the whole team involved from the start has the added bonus of familiarising them with the system before they begin to use it. Besides meeting business requirements, planning also allows you to consider necessary checks and balances for the workflow to operate as intended.

2. Over-complicating your workflows

Another common issue encountered by users navigating the intricacies of NetSuite centers on the potential for workflows to become excessively convoluted. This complexity often arises as a natural consequence of evolving business processes, demanding periodic adjustments to the existing workflow logic. And as a workflow gets more and more intricate and tangled, effective maintenance and troubleshooting can become a real headache.

Navigating through the labyrinth of an overly complicated workflow can not only be time-consuming but can also pose a significant hurdle for users, especially those new to the NetSuite platform, potentially hampering productivity and causing unnecessary delays in business processes.

The Solution

As businesses grapple with the complexities of NetSuite workflows, a key strategy lies in adopting a proactive approach to streamline and simplify processes. Whenever you need to modify workflow logic, you should always approach the task with the objective of simplification. If the inherent complexity of a workflow is unavoidable, efforts should be directed towards simplifying the overall structure, even if individual actions remain intricate.

Another great tip here is not to overlook the importance of naming the workflow’s states in a clear and comprehensive manner. Utilizing descriptive and intuitive state names can significantly enhance the understandability of the workflow for anyone tasked with reviewing or troubleshooting it. Moreover, elaborating on the “Description” fields for each workflow state provides valuable insights into the purpose and functioning of specific states, facilitating a smoother comprehension for both experienced users and NetSuite beginners.

The ability to optimize workflows and address their complexities is a fundamental NetSuite skill. Users, whether experienced or just getting started with NetSuite basics, can benefit from a structured approach that emphasizes simplicity and clarity. By placing simplicity at the forefront, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with common NetSuite errors stemming from overly intricate workflows and foster a more efficient and error-resistant operational environment.

3. Not investing in training

Using NetSuite isn’t hard, but there’s definitely a learning curve, and to a first-time user the sheer scope of the platform can be more than a little daunting. In fact, without the proper training, it can be months before all your team members reach a sufficiently proficient level on NetSuite. While it might sound like a period that you can just muddle through, a lack of proper NetSuite training can lead not only to inefficiencies, but also to costly mistakes both in financial and reputational terms. 

The Solution 

We can’t stress enough just how important it is to prioritize NetSuite training and education. NetSuite offers a wealth of resources, from online courses to certifications, and we’d recommend the SuiteFoundation Certification as a great place to start. The certification ensures that your team understands the fundamental capabilities of NetSuite, from managing records to setting up inventories and much more. It’s the ideal certification for users who have recently gone through a NetSuite implementation and are ready to start taking the reins for themselves. Of course, certification can take time, and is limited to the person or people who take it. Therefore the solution we highly recommend is to work with a NetSuite partner such as Vursor who specializes in user training and can tailor a program to your specific needs. 

4. Logging too much

Having logging enabled is a best practice during setup because it provides records that will help you investigate issues more thoroughly should they arise, indicating specific states or actions that aren’t functioning correctly. But while logging is important when building a NetSuite workflow, logging everything, especially in a complex workflow, can impact system performance and create a lag.

The Solution

Enable logging during the building and testing phase but avoid the temptation to leave it on (or don’t forget to disable it). Once a workflow has been fully tested and deployed to production, you should only need to use logging if something happens to go wrong, and NetSuite allows you to enable it temporarily when you need to investigate a specific workflow.

5. Too many workflows per record

For records that have several workflows executing against them at the same time, you may encounter unexpected system behaviour, such as workflow actions not producing the expected results due to a conflict with an action in a different workflow that is executing simultaneously.

The Solution

Where possible, consolidate workflows for a specific record type. Having multiple workflows executing on the same record type can lead to unexpected behaviour in the workflow processing. These can be challenging to root cause when they arise, so it is best to avoid. As we mentioned previously, proper planning and simplification will help avoid this kind of error.

Wrapping Up

NetSuite is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance business operations when used effectively. By understanding and avoiding common pitfalls, you can optimize your NetSuite experience. Remember to plan carefully, keep workflows simple, train up your team, manage logging wisely, and avoid conflicting workflows to get the most out of your NetSuite journey. If you’re about to begin your NetSuite journey, contact us today to find out how we can help you optimize your NetSuite experience and leverage this ground-breaking platform to the fullest.