The Critical Need for Training During and After a NetSuite ERP Implementation

“Companies that had very successful ERP implementations noted internal organizational elements like support from management, good change management programs and due diligence as primary reasons for success.” That’s NetSuite’s take on the value of ERP training.

Training before and after the deployment is one of the most critical change management initiatives enterprises can undertake when implementing an ERP system.

“Businesses are often so happy about the completed implementation that they can’t wait for employees to start working with NetSuite, and they may be reluctant to invest in training,” says Colleen McCaughey, NetSuite Practice Leader. “But it’s extremely important to deliver a comprehensive training and answer everybody’s questions, or many users will never fully adopt the solution.”

Learn more about why training matters for greater ROI.

Top Reasons ERP Training Matters to Your Team

Training is essential for an ERP implementation, utilization, and long-term success. Training engages and empowers employees to harness the full potential of the system.

Tanya Weatherholt, Sikich Managing Consultant, says, “When we design and implement your NetSuite system, we will want to involve executive stakeholders, but we also need the support and participation from the individuals who perform everyday processes in your businesses. Training is a positive way to engage these end-users in the success of the deployment.”

Some of the best reasons for implementing NetSuite ERP training include:

  • Efficient resource utilization: ERP systems streamline and optimize various business processes, from accounting to inventory management. Employees may underutilize these systems without proper training, leading to inefficiencies and wasted resources. Training is critical if you want to recoup your ERP’s true value.
  • Maximizing ROI: ERP implementations are costly and time-consuming. Proper training ensures the organization realizes the full return on investment (ROI) by using the system effectively to improve processes, reduce costs and increase productivity.
  • Data accuracy and consistency: ERP systems rely on accurate and consistent data. Training ensures employees understand data entry and management procedures, reducing errors and ensuring data integrity throughout the organization.
  • Compliance and security: ERP systems handle sensitive business data, so compliance with industry regulations and data security are essential. Training helps employees understand and adhere to security protocols, reducing the risk of data breaches and regulatory violations.
  • Improved decision-making: ERP systems provide real-time data and reporting capabilities. Proper training equips employees with the skills to generate meaningful reports and analyze data, empowering informed decision-making at all levels of the organization.
  • Enhanced collaboration: ERP systems often include features that facilitate collaboration and communication across departments. Training ensures that employees can effectively use these tools to work together, share information and improve teamwork.
  • Reduced resistance to change: Employees may resist changes introduced by a new ERP system if they aren’t adequately trained. Training lowers adoption reluctance by making employees feel confident they’re using the system effectively.
  • Customization and optimization: ERP systems are highly customizable. Training equips employees with the skills to customize the system to meet the organization’s specific requirements and optimize it for maximum efficiency.
  • Support and troubleshooting: Even with the best ERP systems like NetSuite, issues may arise. Training helps employees troubleshoot common problems and seek assistance when needed, reducing downtime and disruptions to business operations.
  • Competitive advantage: Organizations that invest in ERP training can even gain a competitive advantage. Well-trained employees work more efficiently, adapt to changing market conditions faster and provide better customer service, putting the organization ahead of competitors.

Training shouldn’t happen just at deployment, but should be an ongoing initiative.  “Businesses using NetSuite should expect that major solution updates happen twice a year. In the cloud, the software changes take place without any need for our clients to do anything. Sikich is one of the NetSuite partners testing these upgrades before they are propagated. We also deliver any training and support that our clients may require to gain the full benefit of these enhancements.”

Training helps employees stay current with system updates and new features, ensuring that the ERP continues to align with the organization’s evolving needs.

Sikich customizes training before and after the ERP implementation, applying each client’s internal systems and use cases to learn and practice on the new ERP. We recognize training and business-process alignment is not a one-time task for a system as all-encompassing as an ERP.

It’s an ongoing effort to continuously improve and optimize processes as the organization evolves. As updates to the platform arise, a review and adaptation of the ERP system ensures it continues to support an organization’s changing needs.

William Simendinger, Sikich Senior NetSuite Consultant and Industry Lead for Distribution and Manufacturing, says, “When we train users on NetSuite, we adjust the content to the individual company and its processes. We refer to the client’s own system with its items and vendors, whereas NetSuite generally uses a sample database that may not well represent how a company operates. For example, a distributor’s employees might want to learn how to pick, pack and ship using NetSuite. But another company’s workers may print a sales order and then ship immediately. If you train these workers on the same, standard steps, you’re not helping them.”

Training should occur both before and after the deployment. For example:

Training During NetSuite ERP Implementation

  1. Understanding the ERP system
    Before the actual implementation, the team must understand NetSuite in the context of their role. The training should include the basics of how the system works, its features and how it aligns with the company’s specific needs. Training sessions should provide an overview of the software’s capabilities.
  2. Identifying roles and responsibilities
    During the initial implementation phases, identify the roles and responsibilities of the team members involved. Effective training ensures that everyone knows their part in the process. Clear role delineation prevents confusion and overlap for a smoother implementation.
  3. Customization and configuration training
    NetSuite is highly customizable and businesses often tailor it to meet their unique requirements. Training should focus on configuring the system to align with the company’s specific processes. Cover topics like creating custom fields, workflows, and reports. Employees should learn how to make these changes without disrupting the system.
  4. Data migration training
    Data is critical in ERP implementation. Training should cover the methods and best practices for transferring existing data into NetSuite. Include data cleansing, mapping, and validation to ensure data integrity.
  5. Integration with existing platforms
    Most businesses have IT systems to integrate with NetSuite. Training should cover integration procedures, APIs, and middleware tools. The goal is to create a seamless flow of information between NetSuite and other systems, reducing manual data entry and errors.
  6. Testing and quality assurance
    Training should also encompass testing and QA. Train team members on conducting thorough testing to identify and resolve issues before they impact the entire system. Include user acceptance testing (UAT), system and regression testing.

Training After NetSuite ERP Implementation

  1. End-user training
    Training isn’t over once NetSuite is up and running. Employees at all levels need proficiency in using the system to perform daily tasks. Training should cover basic navigation, data entry, reporting and advanced functionalities relevant to their roles.
  2. Ongoing support
    Post-implementation, employees will inevitably encounter questions and challenges. Ongoing training and support resources, such as helpdesk services, FAQs and user communities, should be available. Some users will need elbow-to-elbow support while others will immediately morph into super users. Have a plan to engage super users to train peers who need additional support. Also, regular training updates are crucial as NetSuite evolves with software updates and new features.
  3. Advanced training
    Advanced training opportunities could escalate your ROI as employees become more proficient with NetSuite. Advanced support could include courses on more complex features, optimization techniques and specialized modules. These advanced skills can drive further efficiency and innovation.
  4. Compliance and security training
    NetSuite contains sensitive business data, so end-user cybersecurity training is a best practice. Training on data security protocols, user access management and compliance with data privacy regulations is crucial. Employees should know common phishing scams and other security best practices to prevent data breaches and unauthorized access.
  5. Monitoring and performance optimization
    Ongoing training should include monitoring the system’s performance and optimizing it for better efficiency. This effort may involve training on performance analytics, identifying bottlenecks and making necessary adjustments to maintain system responsiveness.
  6. Change management training
    Businesses evolve, and so do their processes. Train employers to adapt to changes in workflows, reports, or configurations as they happen. Change management training ensures that updates do not disrupt daily operations.

Implementing an ERP system like NetSuite can be a game-changer for businesses, streamlining operations and enhancing productivity. However, success largely depends on rigorous training during and after the process.

Effective training empowers employees to harness the full potential of the ERP faster by engaging them in learning this powerful tool. Investing in comprehensive training is an investment in the future success of your business with NetSuite ERP.

Contact the experts at Sikich to find out more about our training offerings.

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