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Our company switched to NetSuite — here’s what happened

4 reasons we made the transition to this cloud-based management software and why it was worth it.

This page is sponsored by NetSuite, a cloud-based management software that helps businesses unlock their full potential and level up.

The transition to NetSuite took months and required the strategic support of third-party consulting firms — but the payoff has been tremendous.

Why we switched to Netsuite

When Finder was in its early days, our initial ERP system served us well — but as we grew, so did our financial reporting needs. In time, we ran into the following roadblocks:

  • Delayed reporting. Our previous system had us consolidating data via Google Sheets, which wasn’t efficient. It extended the closing process and slowed the issuance of financial statements.
  • Limited capacity. For Finder to grow, we needed to expand our connections. The system we had couldn’t handle the demand, and we found ourselves bogged down in a patchwork of ineffective short-term solutions.
  • No direct communication with clients. Instead, everything was going through company email. We needed something more centralized.
  • Setting controls for different users. As our company grew, we needed the ability to set permissions and controls for different users, and our old system wasn’t equipped to do that.

Finder has grown to over 300 worldwide staff and another 300 or so freelancers and private contractors across the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Poland. We also have support crew in the Philippines. Having the right software and systems in place is integral to the scale of our operations.

Charlene Donga — Finder’s Program Manager with Strategic Finance and Tech Transformation Lead — explains, “Our previous tool was great for us in the early days, but it wasn’t built for consolidations. We were only able to tag two categories on each transaction. We were pulling data and uploading it to Excel to get better insights. We were double-handling.”

In short, we needed something bigger and more comprehensive. We considered a number of ERP systems, but it wasn’t long before NetSuite became the obvious choice.

How long did the transition take?

We’ve been live with NetSuite since April 2021. And we’re still working to get up to speed. It’s been a months-long process, but that’s to be expected when transitioning to a system of NetSuite’s size. Converting customers, vendors, items — it’s time consuming.

To help facilitate the process, we hired two third-party consulting firms. These firms have established expertise in NetSuite conversions, so they are able to help guide the transition.

As of July 2021, our finance division is still in the first stages of the company-wide NetSuite rollout. We anticipate having the entire international organization working with NetSuite by the end of 2022.

How much did it cost to implement NetSuite?

NetSuite is more expensive than our previous software. Previously, we paid less than $100 per month. Now we pay over $6,000 monthly. While this is a sizable jump in price, our previous software was an out-of-the-box solution that simply couldn’t compete with NetSuite’s functionality.

To get our company up and running with NetSuite, we signed a three-year contract and paid a $100,000 implementation fee. We also had to hire a third-party consulting firm to assist with the transition.

Of course, every business is different — and NetSuite’s prices vary by solution. To learn more about NetSuite’s pricing structure, contact a NetSuite sales representative for a personalized quote.

Was NetSuite difficult to learn?

Yes — NetSuite has a steep learning curve. Compared to our old system, NetSuite has taken significantly longer to learn, but in my eyes, there’s good reason for it: NetSuite is simply that robust.

It’s not as intuitive as the old system, but it’s exponentially better equipped. And really, it was a matter of time before we outgrew our previous ERP system. Spending time to learn a new system is a better investment than the amount of time we lost to the limited capacity of the old setup.

My recommendation? Hire consulting support to assist during the transition process. And rely on your dedicated NetSuite account manager as well as its 24-hour tech support team for any ongoing concerns.

Was it worth it?

Yes, 100%. It solved all of the issues we had with our previous ERP — and then some:

  • Tighter reporting. NetSuite consolidates cloud-based reporting to help us tightly track revenue across different categories of our site in real time.
  • Centralized communications. We now have a centralized communication process that allows us to directly communicate with clients from within the system.
  • Automation and analytics. There’s so much going on behind the scenes, including automated partnerships, onboarding and real-time data analytics. The speed and precision has enabled us to fast track projects.

Charlene Donga says, “NetSuite is a great UI platform, which is hard to achieve given the depth and complexity. I haven’t seen anything that compares with regards to finance modules.”

The bottom line: NetSuite does everything we need it to do, and more. It takes time to get up and running, but the payout is well worth the effort.

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