Liberate I.T. answer the basic questions accountants commonly face when talking to their clients about enterprise resource planning software.
Enterprise Resource Planning
What Does ERP Mean, and what does it include?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. This essentially refers to a fully integrated suite of modules on a single platform, that are used to manage your core business processes and increase the efficiency of business operations.
ERP is focused on the financial elements of a business, although the term is sometimes expanded to include elements such as; Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or Corporate Performance Management (CPM), under the wider “enterprise resource planning” banner. The financial components are comprehensive and include functional areas such as:
- Financial Management & Financial Reporting
- Projects Management
- Data Analytics & Reporting
- Operations Management, including Logistics, Supply Chain & Shipping.
- Wholesale & Distribution, and Manufacturing management
- Field Services
- Core HR & Payroll.
It’s worth knowing that Post-Modern Cloud ERP platforms, such as NetSuite have a mature Ecosystem of partner products which sit on the same platform, and cover other core areas of a business’s back office functions, such as; Professional Services Automation (PSA), Human Capital Management (HCM), and Workforce Management (WFM).
Investing in an ERP
What are the benefits and costs of taking on an ERP platform?
The main cost to taking on an ERP platform, apart from the financial investment required is time and resource. It will take time for staff to be trained, it will take time and resource to ensure the implementation of the platform is done effectively, and it will take time to work out how to get the optimal benefit of the platform once you are back to operating under Business as Usual (BAU) conditions.
Change is always a challenging time for any business, especially when you are busy, time is a commodity in short supply. This is the main reason that transformation projects or change initiatives don’t get off the ground, “do nothing” or the “too hard basket” are all too often the end outcome. Ironically, the reasons you need to change are oftentimes what’s keeping you overly busy; reliance on manual processes, and process inefficiencies are key indicators you need to move to a Cloud ERP platform, but it is easy to get overwhelmed by the change in front of you because of the “busy-ness” you’re already immersed in.
For an organisation that is outgrowing it’s current “best of breed” technical landscape and is ready to move to a consolidated Cloud ERP platform, the benefits of taking on an ERP, far outweigh the negatives. Some of the key benefits I’d like to highlight are:
- Lower running costs- due to less integrations being maintained, and less upgrades being carried out for multiple products.
- Time savings – less time is spent onboarding / training staff on multiple systems.
- Improved staff effectiveness – Increased automation and the removal of manual processes reduces human error and frees up time for staff to focus on value add activities.
- Accurate data – The single database acts as a single source of truth, which means the business has access to more accurate information and analytics, anytime from anywhere.
- Process efficiencies – WIP and Inventory levels can be monitored in real time, as can business critical processes such as Accounts Payable.
- A future proof platform – A scalable platform that can truly cater for your client’s businesses current and future needs.
- Project Collaboration – Projects and staff can be monitored in real time, meaning people or projects can be helped early before anything goes wrong.
Is it hard to onboard, and is it too big or expensive for my client?
Onboarding a Cloud ERP platform, is not a cosmetic “nice to have”, it is your core financial platform, and many refer to it as “organisational heart surgery”. Whilst that sounds scary, don’t let it put you off, in 2021 there are a multitude of enterprise resource planning Vendors and experienced partners to assist you with getting your platform set up and configured.
The software itself is now in almost all cases SaaS (Software as a Service), which is to say it is cloud / browser based. This simply means as long as you have a web browser, you will have access to the platform. This makes the solution highly accessible. The onboarding and implementation process itself is sometimes done by the Vendor, but more often than not, it’s successfully completed by the Services Partners implementation team. They will work in partnership with your team, leading you through a process from; Requirements Gathering & Planning, to Build, Test and finally Deployment.
Finding the right Services or Implementation partner is often an overlooked factor, overlooked but crucial as this is the organisation that is going to stand side by side with you as you work through your digital transformation project. See the following article for more information.
ERP is a step-up from a standard Accounting solution, so compared to a Reckon One, MYOB Online, Xero, or QBO it is going to be more expensive. In saying that, it’s not just an increased cost item, It is a valuable investment, and when you look at the cost savings and benefits it will bring you, the increased price becomes a lot more palatable.
“Is ERP too big and expensive for my client”, is a question I have been asked a few times, and in all honesty the short answer is no. There are an array of different ERP options available, all with differing areas of focus, and levels of expertise. So whilst there are some ERP’s that are only really suitable for large Enterprise level organisations. There are plenty of ERP solutions and platforms, who operate solely in the SME & Mid-Market space, with a price point that reflects this. Which ERP is right for your clients business, is a tough question. To help your client navigate through this selection process, it is essential you take the time to understand your clients needs so you can best help them go through this evaluation process with a small selection of top performing solutions in order to find the right fit.
Why Choose NetSuite?
How NetSuite enterprise resource planning is helping businesses
NetSuite customers can innovate on a modern cloud ERP. As a true cloud solution, NetSuite lets business get on with running their businesses, instead of worrying about managing their ERP or being constrained by the ERP’s limitations. Through twice-yearly automated updates, businesses benefit from the constant injection of new capability into NetSuite.
NetSuite helps customers improve their speed and agility. NetSuite firstly empowers business people to configure the functionality and real time business insight within NetSuite. The quicker you get the insight you need from a personalised dashboard, search or report, the quicker you can respond irrespective of where you might be located.
NetSuite customers grow and transform their businesses locally and internationally using NetSuite. From being able to configure and customise NetSuite to suit their growing levels of complexity, to having access to hundreds of 3rd party applications and a rich API to help with integration to other applications and modern marketplaces, NetSuite customers have the tools to underpin the journey that they want to take.
Through industry-leading practice learned from 20,000 implementations, NetSuite customers can leverage the experience of peers within their implementation of NetSuite and use it to optimise their business, instead of just using an ERP to automate processes which could be ineffective or inefficient.
Move at your speed
NetSuite customers often state that adopting a new ERP and extracting value from that ERP should be considered a journey. Businesses should be afforded the opportunity to adopt capability that will deliver them the maximum value and when their business is ready to adopt the capability. Working with NetSuite and you, Liberate I.T. can provide a phased implementation approach with change management services, leveraging NetSuite’s leading practice and education services. NetSuite also provides a knowledge base and Support directly to all customers to help support their daily operations. Your vendor is just a phone call away.
Vendor and Partner share your risk
Liberate I.T. and NetSuite provide an industry-unique relationship with every customer. You are never alone. NetSuite provides ongoing relationship management services who work with Liberate I.T. to help you maximise the long-term value from your investment.
Benefits of moving to NetSuite enterprise resource planning
Traditional ERP systems are part of a fragmented, complex I.T. infrastructure that delivers disruption rather than efficiency.
Traditional ERP systems are just one part of an organisations business system. Companies usually deploy other systems to automate support, sales, warehousing, ecommerce, professional services and other functions. With different processes running on many different systems, it is difficult or impossible to:
- Obtain a clear picture of bookings, billings and backlogs.
- Decrease spreadsheet-based accounting.
- Scale up to support growth.
- Provide visibility to everyone in the organisation.
- Reconcile different versions of data.
- Integrate front- and back-office processes.
- Have a clear audit trail and understand the business in real-time.
Although business processes are automated with the best of intentions, separate applications for each silo in the organisation create disruption. Multiple point solutions create a “legacy applications hairball” that is burdened with manual tasks and bottlenecks. Over time, this infrastructure translates into more money, more resources and more integrations.
After investing in technology, organisations should be able to run the business more efficiently and gain the insights needed to make decisions. With on-premise systems, the result is just the opposite.
Simplify Your Business Processes
NetSuite is a cloud platform simplifying business processes and IT
There are many compelling reasons why companies move from older on-premise applications to modern cloud-based solutions, such as NetSuite. Reduced IT infrastructure investment and lower total cost of ownership being the predominant one. Compared to on-premise systems, cloud-based ERP costs are much lower and allow organisations to access cloud systems via an internet connection.
With true cloud solutions, the cloud provider hosts and maintains the IT infrastructure, ensures that the system is always up and running, maintains system security, and rolls out product enhancements smoothly without breaking customer customisations. Cloud ERP systems also offer a predictable pay-as-you-go subscription model that makes cash flow planning much easier.
A modern cloud-based management system like NetSuite helps a company unify their business processes, departments, and divisions. Every application uses the same data repository, so all users have access to the same information. Additional NetSuite benefits include:
Increased business agility.
Cloud solutions take maintenance and upgrade concerns off the table. Companies can focus on their core competencies and on running the business.
Reduced spreadsheet-based accounting.
When organizations have multiple on-premise systems, separate islands of data result. To bridge the gaps, employees often use “spreadsheet-based accounting.” An integrated, cloud-based suite eliminates the need for this type of workaround.
Integration of front- and back-office processes results in reconciliation of data across the organisation.
Better real-time financial and operational visibility, including multi-subsidiary management.
Consolidating multi-subsidiary and multinational financials is time-consuming and expensive. Organisations must either conduct the exercise across a multitude of spreadsheets or invest in separate accounts for every subsidiary and international division and additional external reporting tools.
A true cloud solution.
Many software vendors run old, on-premise software in a data centre and call it cloud-based. In contrast, NetSuite enterprise resource planning was built from the ground up as a multi-tenant, true cloud solution.
Self-service and mobility.
The workforce today is much different from 10 years ago. NetSuite provides real-time access to information anywhere and anytime, including access to data and dashboards in a self-service way from mobile devices.
NetSuite enables global organisations to manage multiple subsidiaries, business units and legal entities. It seamlessly handles different currencies, taxation rules and reporting requirements from a single platform.
Easy, predictable upgrades and lower cost of ownership.
With NetSuite, organisations are no longer version locked. Since NetSuite hosts its own applications, upgrades are managed seamlessly without breaking customisations and third-party integrations. Organisations no longer have to worry about maintenance of their IT infrastructure.
About Liberate I.T.
Liberate I.T. was established in early 2011 with the focus of solely selling, implementing and supporting NetSuite throughout New Zealand. The business was founded by two owners who, having worked with ERP systems for over 20 years, identified an opportunity for cloud-based solutions in the SME market.
In New Zealand and Australia Liberate I.T. has 120+ customers who use NetSuite enterprise resource planning and with whom we have provided services work over the last five years, this makes us the largest NetSuite partner in terms of total customers.
Our team of implementation consultants are NetSuite specialists, collectively our team have many years’ experience in NetSuite, implementing NetSuite to over 100 company sites moving from old on-premise legacy systems or outgrown their current accounting software.
Why choose Liberate I.T.?
Our philosophy is based on supporting and leading our customers through the implementation, and through the shared implementation philosophy ensuring they are self-sufficient when we complete the initial project. Being a cloud service provider, we focus hard on customer retention.
We are confident that Liberate I.T. will be an ideal partner to work alongside on your NetSuite enterprise resource planning project, and highlight some information which we think supports this position:
- We are dedicated to doing one thing and that is NetSuite. Companies will be working with a team that is focused one product only and that is all things NetSuite.
- We have a proven track record in successfully implementing NetSuite in the ANZ market, with 120+ customers since our inception in 2011. This is more than any other partner.
- We bring relevant industry expertise, having implemented and/or supported NetSuite. Our highly specialised NetSuite implementation team bring global experience across all aspects of the implementation, including Project Management, Change Management and NetSuite configuration. We are supreme in that two of our specialists are formally NetSuite Certified (accredited), the result of intensive training and a formal examination.
- Our high customer retention rate (95%+) is evidence of our commitment to providing quality post implementation support.