Posts tagged Software implementation
New Software: When and How to Implement into Your Business

As a leader in a small or medium-sized company, you are already working with a set of software solutions that take care of most of the organization’s transactions, such as sales, purchasing, and accounting. These systems were usually implemented when the company was in its beginning phases. When the company didn’t have any systems yet, you probably invested in the best software available within your budget and solved as many of the transactions in your company as possible.

As is often the case in small to medium-sized companies, budgets are usually constrained, which means that the set of systems you have implemented for the company will not be flawless. You may have already invested in separate software for sales, accounting, project management, and document storage. Alternatively, you may have invested in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, which is a single solution that integrates a variety of areas in your company. No matter what combination you are working with, there will almost always be gaps.

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One Last and Powerful Benefit of Our ERP: Enhancements

We recently implemented an Enterprise Resource Management System (ERP) at our firm. The program we selected is NetSuite, which is one of the top cloud-based ERPs available. It has been a 180-degree improvement.

As a real estate development firm, our accounting process and workflow is fully integrated, from inventory purchase to the sale/lease of residential or office units. NetSuite also has tools that organize and catalog our various databases. For more on NetSuite, please refer to my posts: NetSuite: How to Select the Best ERP, and What Happened During Our Year Implementing NetSuite.

Some systems, like NetSuite, come with tools and platforms that allow businesses to modify the system itself to adapt it to a company's needs more closely. The ability to customize is an additional benefit of transitioning to more advanced systems. NetSuite, for example, has a platform called SuiteScript that allows companies and developers to add to and modify it. Once we implemented NetSuite and were able to manage all of our principal transactions through it, we decided to develop enhancements to automate further and eliminate errors in our operations.

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What Happened During Our Year Implementing NetSuite

In 2017 our firm embarked on the biggest system implementation yet: NetSuite, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. It took six very intense months to become operational, but the full implementation lasted a year because we had bugs and problems that needed to be resolved. Because NetSuite interacted with all the departments of the company, bringing the system online was going to affect everybody.

Prior to implementing NetSuite, we had a very basic accounting system; it only took care of fundamental transactions, such as bills and invoices, and it produced fixed customer statements, accounting reports, and financial statements. While it was a good system for a startup, we realized we had outgrown it.

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NetSuite: How to Select the Best ERP

Three years ago, we found we had outgrown our accounting system. When we first started, we managed all our accounting activity on an Excel spreadsheet. We then implemented Zoho Books, an entry-level accounting system, and had been working with it for four years. At the time of its implementation, it had been a major upgrade, and I consider it a great starter accounting software system. A few years later, however, we found we were ready yet again for more advanced functions.

Selecting a new system was not straightforward or easy. We are real estate developers, and our industry has quirks that don’t fit into standard business models. For instance, we do not only sell, but we also lease properties. Also, our manufacturing process varies from building to building, and sometimes from apartment type to apartment type.

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