4 things that affect NetSuite implementation costs

Alejandro Alvarez
4 things that affect NetSuite implementation costs

Searching for the perfect cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution takes a lot of time and effort.

But after sifting through the noise, it’s no surprise that NetSuite comes out on top for many businesses. Its ability to automate data entry, allow collaboration across departments, and offer visibility into accurate data are features with clear strategic benefits. However, one aspect is not always as clear – implementation costs of NetSuite.

Pricing inquiries are part of the process of determining costs, but it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where a business will fall along the range of possibilities. Licensing, fees, upgrades, and implementation assistance are all factors to consider.

The question remains, “How much will implementing NetSuite cost my business?” And while no blanket response exists, a few factors affect the cost of NetSuite implementation.

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NetSuite is flexible enough to fit almost every need

Before investing in a new ERP system, a case should be made for why it’s important. Businesses survive and thrive with NetSuite. Leadership, management, and operational teams can focus on what they do best rather than worrying about whether the system is up to date or if it can handle new lines of business. NetSuite is designed to support growth, so there’s no fear of outgrowing the system.

But implementation predates these benefits. And before the system can prove its worth, businesses should be aware of how the cost of a NetSuite implementation can ebb and flow with their needs.

4 things that affect NetSuite implementation costs for businesses

Crowe has worked with hundreds of clients to help implement and deploy the right configuration of NetSuite, and four common issues that can affect the cost of implementing NetSuite should be top of mind.

1. Breadth of involvement

NetSuite implementation isn’t an exact science, and every project is different. But it’s important for the team to consider each area of the business that should play a part.

Consider starting a project, mapping out its timeline, identifying key roles, and tying a budget to what’s there, only to get into the weeds and realize some important people still need to be factored in. Incorporating these additional perspectives will affect not only the timeline and the scope but also the budget. Crowe has found a disconnect often exists between who is hands-on, using the system day to day, and who is making the purchasing decisions.

NetSuite implementation takes more effort upfront than many businesses assume. Having a clear picture of who is involved throughout the organization can help save time and money.

2. Level of customization

Every organization has requirements specific to its business. An accurate picture of what is needed can help companies choose the correct integrations and add-ons and avoid missteps.

A NetSuite ERP solution has seemingly endless possibilities. Many business leaders wonder if the implementation process is being done the right way for them. While NetSuite isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, some common steps allow for an efficient, cost-effective NetSuite implementation. Beyond this, integrations, add-ons, or configurations can be used to address specific business needs and optimize performance.

Customization is key to getting the most out of the investment, but customization also leads to additional NetSuite implementation costs. It’s crucial to weigh possible integrations with budget requirements and choose accordingly.

3. Extent of training and support

NetSuite isn’t simply a system that should be turned on to run in the background. IT teams should be fully equipped to manage the system beyond implementation.

When trying to determine the cost of NetSuite, businesses often stop at the implementation process. But NetSuite requires training, both initially and continually. Sometimes businesses jump from a manual spreadsheet to a cloud-based solution and are unsure of where to even begin. Other times, the new system is familiar, but help is needed to work through the customized add-ons.

Every training session takes time, resources, and personnel, and the outcomes of those sessions add to the cost of implementing NetSuite. Additionally, these training and support sessions could open doors to new customizations that weren’t considered in the implementation process. Having a team dedicated to tailoring the experience and the solution to the business can be a game changer.

4. Ongoing nature of fees

An ERP system isn’t a plug-in with a single user fee that might change minimally year over year. Implementing a NetSuite ERP solution is a process that requires continuing education – and potentially continuing costs.

When it comes to the upfront costs of a NetSuite ERP implementation, Crowe has found over the years that many businesses require additional system training sessions, more or different add-ons, and change management consulting. In addition, many businesses forget to include the cost of the old system overlapping the implementation.

The cost of a NetSuite implementation can include many moving parts, but getting the most out of the investment requires full buy-in and an understanding that it can be considered a constantly evolving process.

NetSuite ERP implementation is an investment in the future

Despite there being no definitive answer for what the NetSuite implementation process will cost, concrete answers about fees, licensing, and editions are available. Additionally, NetSuite is a scalable solution that can be tailored to exactly what each business needs, so stopping at the initial fees can limit its potential.

The purpose of a NetSuite ERP solution is to allow a business to automate, optimize, and grow without fear. It’s about doing something different when the old ways aren’t working. Cloud-based ERP solutions are about investing in the future – but choosing to be too restrictive at the onset can cause additional costs, time, and headaches as the business realizes its capabilities and moves forward.

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We’ve got an implementation model for every need. And when you need continued NetSuite support, you'll still be talking to the same Crowe team you started with.

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Crowe has helped hundreds of companies implement a NetSuite ERP system tailored to their industry-specific needs. With years of experience, Crowe knows which departments to include in planning, which people are important to the entire process, and how to avoid common missteps.

Additionally, Crowe NetSuite consultants can help businesses get the most out of a NetSuite investment with custom-built integrations and add-ons, training, and support.

If your business has been considering a NetSuite implementation, connect with our team of NetSuite professionals to get your most pressing questions answered to help make better business and technology decisions.

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Simon Riley
Simon Riley
Principal, Finance
Alejandro Alvarez
Alejandro Alvarez
Principal, Consulting