We have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and many manufacturers have outgrown their ERP system or are searching for a more scalable solution. While some manufacturers have chosen to upgrade because of growth, others with ERP systems from big industry players like Microsoft are being encouraged to upgrade or make significant changes to maintain standard operations.
Situations like these have led thousands of manufacturers worldwide to select NetSuite’s fully-integrated, cloud-based ERP, and business management suite. In this two-part blog series, we cover five reasons why manufacturers select NetSuite vs Microsoft and other ERP solutions. This blog reviews three reasons, and our follow-up blog contains 2 more reasons manufacturers prefer NetSuite, but it is centered around NetSuite 2019 Release 2.
As a fully-integrated solution, NetSuite provides manufacturers with access to everything needed to run efficiently and effectively in today’s hyper-competitive environment. It includes engineering capabilities for improved product design and Bill of Materials management along with order management, production control, financial management, CRM and marketing, supply chain management, commerce, and more. All of these are native in NetSuite and do not require middleware or complex integrations to start utilizing.
In addition to offering a diverse selection of business modules, NetSuite also seamlessly integrates with other systems via connectors, integration platforms and custom integrations. This allows manufacturers to keep a preferred legacy or in-house developed system while leveraging NetSuite modules.
Another part of the integration process is training employees on how to use the new system. NetSuite ERP comes with adaptable roles and requirements that can be customized to fit the needs of specific users. It has an intuitive dashboard that can be adjusted to display a variety of real-time KPIs and a wide assortment of reports can easily be auto-generated and shared across the company.
When it comes to using an ERP, upgrades can be a significant thorn in the side of manufacturers. Especially if they are being forced to upgrade or if they are still using an on-premise system.
One example of a challenging upgrade scenario is being experienced by around 300,000 Microsoft customers (right now) who are using Dynamics GP, SL, NAV, AX, and Business Edition. They are being encouraged to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics 365, and this complicated 12-step process requires considerable IT resources and can last up to six months. This means additional expenditures of time, resources, and money to maintain existing processes. Dynamics SL, GP, AX, and NAV were separate systems obtained by Microsoft, and each received separate support, so upgrades became increasingly problematic as time passed (creating silos).
On-premise ERP solutions can also be complicated and costly to maintain as technology continues moving toward the cloud. Previous versions can lose support from the ERP solutions providers, so manufacturers are unable to upgrade, they can experience version lock, or they could be forced to migrate to a new completely different system before they are ready.
NetSuite has always been a fully-integrated solution so its customers can avoid situations like these. Because it offers a complete business solution under one platform, upgrades are streamlined, and data or communications silos are eliminated. As a cloud-based solution, NetSuite upgrades are globally available, and the software is always current. Additionally, all customizations are carried forward during upgrades, so manufacturers are not required to overhaul, develop costly middleware solutions or junk existing customizations.
A manufacturer’s scalability should not be limited by the ERP system it uses, and this concept is proven by NetSuite’s modules and integration capabilities. Customers can add, pause, or remove NetSuite modules depending on the specific needs of their business at any given time. As mentioned in the ‘enterprise-wide’ section above, the integration capabilities with other systems also provide a level of flexibility that can be critical for scaling a business. The modular design and flexibility give manufacturers more control over their business, so they aren’t forced to use systems that are unnecessary or buy something they aren’t ready for.
Global scalability is another factor that manufacturers need to consider as the world becomes more interconnected. Realizing this, NetSuite provides customers with multi-currency management that supports more than 190 currencies and exchanges, its indirect tax management and reporting capabilities covering over 90 percent of Global Domestic Product (GDP) and translations for over 20 languages. These tools are vital for expanding into new markets and remaining competitive on an international scale.
Automation continues to disrupt the manufacturing industry and leveraging it can contribute to growth at any level. NetSuite enables manufacturers to automate the entire product lifecycle management process along with quote-to-cash, plan-to-report, and others. Thousands of manufacturers utilize NetSuite to reduce manual data entry errors, improve order processing efficiency, reduce IT costs, expedite the financial close process, and much more.
There will be a follow-up blog post coming soon with several other reasons manufacturers choose NetSuite vs Microsoft and other ERP systems. Stay tuned!
Also, please contact us if you are interested in learning more about NetSuite for manufacturing or if you’d like a free consultation.