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2013/06/27

NetSuite for Newbies: An Individuals Reflection on the First Month Using NetSuite

I’ve been working with NetSuite at ERP Guru as an intern for about a month and a half now. In this post will try to outline what it’s like working with NetSuite as a “Newbie”.

The first time I opened NetSuite, I was really overwhelmed. There is a huge amount of information and possibilities--I didn’t even know where to start. That’s where the different NetSuite resources available (I used NetSuite: For Dummies) came in handy. Many resources provide a structured learning framework with exercises to get a good feel for NetSuite.

One thing that was really difficult at first was knowing where to find a specific thing (record, work orders, contacts...the list goes on!) as a new user. There are so many menus and different options to look through that it may take a while to find exactly what you need. One tip that I found useful was to think on a general level of what you are looking for. Anything to do with money transferring would be a transaction for example. The other option is to use the global search function in the upper right corner. If you have some specific information on what you are looking for (ie, whole or part of the name), there’s a good chance it will be found through the search function.

NetSuite also comes complete with an extensive help section; it has a huge amount of information on basically every topic you could ever need to search for. Whenever I get stuck, that is my go-to place to find the answer. If the task is fairly complex and needs more information about a specific business scenario that the help section cannot provide, there is always the NetSuite User Group. Registered NetSuite users can go to the forum and ask their question (and hopefully get a response from another NetSuite user!).

NetSuite is an awesome software to use from a user perspective. It is very powerful in the sense that you have so much data that you can analyze and use to make positive changes to your company. There are many reports that you can view on practically any topic. There are also dashboards that can provide very useful information...maybe you need to know what orders you need to ship today - NetSuite can have a dashboard that will tell you that information.

From a technical perspective, there are many simple customization options that can be set such as custom fields and custom forms, however there is a limit to these. That’s when scripting comes in. Scripting provides much more flexibility and can turn some complex tasks within NetSuite to very simple ones. The scripts are written in JavaScript using NetSuite’s own API. Another area to consider is data entry. Can you imagine manually inputting over 100,000 records? Yeah, me neither.  Cue CSV Imports: all that data can be automatically input and mapped to the proper fields directly from a CSV file.

Another really cool technical feature of NetSuite is that it can be integrated with other software. A good example would be Google Drive. It can be integrated into NetSuite to have all kinds of documents attached. These documents can also be shared within a company to keep everything available to whoever may need it (and has the permissions to see it) at all times. There are other possibilities such as Google Maps and Outlook, along with many others.

After spending a month and a half working with NetSuite, I can see the benefits that it can provide to a business. The amount of available information and possible customizations provide a huge business benefit. It is overwhelming at first, but don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty because the benefits are definitely there!

David Gauthier is a summer intern with ERP Guru working in our Professional Services and Software department. 

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