NetSuite: Bringing Everyone Up to Speed


If you peruse the internet it doesn’t take long to find job postings for NetSuite administrators. What will take considerably longer is reading the job description and requirements. Yup, it’s a tough job with a lot of responsibilities that impact the entire operation of a business.

If your company is looking for a NetSuite administrator, the first concern you have besides finding the new hire should be, “How will we bring this new person up to speed quickly so that there is as little disruption as possible?”

BMI Cloud Solutions has worked with a lot of companies during this transition period. We’ve seen what companies have tried to do; what worked and what didn’t. You have some options, but not all are beneficial in the long term. This post will cover them, but first let’s keep in mind the importance and complexity of this position and the impact a good NetSuite administrator can have on your business.

For example, look at this piece of work – typical of most NetSuite postings:

“…responsible for managing the NetSuite platform including strategic direction, training and reporting…develop, improve business processes and information flow…implement NetSuite upgrades…carry out various tasks related to finance projects and coordinate with the CFO, HR, IT and others to make sure they are getting the information needed…”

…and that was for starters. This particular job posting ended up being a very long scrolling page consisting of the:

9 principle duties expected of the administrator, each of which could have been a full- time job (if you didn’t have NetSuite),
8 previous requirements or experiences NetSuite candidates needed to possess to be considered for the position,
7 interests, skills or knowledge sub-sets related to the various NetSuite applications and how a candidate’s background would enhance your role as a NetSuite administrator.

For those of you that are NetSuite pro’s you’d undoubtedly yawn and say, “That’s about right.”

So, for those companies who have just hired or are looking to hire a new administrator, the importance and responsibilities of this position could leave your head spinning. You can look for the most learned and experienced candidate, you can think you’ve considered all the requirements in a job posting, but until that new administrator walks into your building and has had the time to familiarize themselves with your operations, this is going to be a bumpy road.

At Its Core NetSuite is a Powerful, Beautiful Thing…But We Didn’t Say “Easy”

The beauty of NetSuite is that it houses a lot of information; financial, sales data, production data – everything your company needs to keep information current and centralized. Everything is under one roof, so to speak, and everyone has access to the information they need when they need it.

But the daunting task for the administrator is keeping everything managed and ready so NetSuite can give the right people the right access to data when they need it. That’s not easy. Besides the challenges of learning how to implement the right commands and facilitate steps that make NetSuite the resource it has the potential to be, the administrator must think down the road to who will be loading, using and reporting on the information it holds. That’s a thinking person’s game that, over time, can be learned and anticipated for, but it is not something you can quickly pick up from a manual.

The NetSuite Administrator’s Daunting Job

And, of course, as NetSuite pros know, this is just the beginning. Besides the basics, a good administrator will be concerned with creating useful Dashboards for groups of users, assisting with reports and searches, implementation and training for new NetSuite releases, ensuring data integrity and considering techniques for data and system security.

All these things take time to learn and are company specific. As we alluded to, even a NetSuite admin with years of experience cannot simply walk into a new company and take over without expecting a long string of hiccups. Each company is different. Each requires familiarity with the organization, company preferences, company specific nomenclature and various roles.

Your Choices, Your Outcomes

Because this person may be the only person in the entire organization who has access to everything and is supposed to facilitate the collection, storage and reporting of everything, the person you hire needs to be brought up to speed as quickly as possible. You basically have three choices:

Trudge through the learning curve on your own: It can be done, but even for the most experienced it will take a long time to catch up and become familiar with the organization. It is guaranteed that, in the meantime, mistakes will be made, data will be temporarily “lost” because the right formats or roles were not used, searches will not work and people will become frustrated – putting your company’s entire NetSuite experience in jeopardy. While this may seem like a prudent option, in the long run it could be extremely costly.

Hire Outside NetSuite Talent: Hiring an Independent Contractor is an option many companies consider. You have an expert, usually at a comparable rate to a fully loaded FTE, and you may only need them a few hours a week. The challenge we’ve seen is that those people are migrant. They like to move on to new things and once they understand your business, they will be ready to sign on to a new project. You’ll constantly be retraining new people who have to learn your business AND what the last person did to your system

The NetSuite administrator’s role is critical to the flow and security of information in your company. So, when considering that job posting, bringing a new person on board (or for increasing the knowledge and power of an existing administrator), you need to ask, “What do I want out of NetSuite and the administrator? What’s best for my company?”

Do I want what is ideal – someone permanent who knows my business and can facilitate NetSuite usage for my employees? If so, give that person the best chance at success by hiring a trained firm to support them while they come up to speed.

BMI Cloud Solutions can be your transition partner. We know NetSuite – obviously – and we’ll lend you a team of people to help with administrator transitions, bring current people up to speed on the best NetSuite roll-outs and shortcuts, and leave you with fully-functioning, knowledgeable NetSuite administration. It’s your best bet to information storage, access and reporting in the quickest way possible. Talk to us…see what we can do for your company.