• Baptiste Bassot

9 Lessons Learned from Global ‘Multi-site’ Deployment of NetSuite - Part1

The multi-site global deployment of ERP systems is infinitely more complex than a single site and the lessons learned on the journey are often learned the hard way. However, we take heart knowing that we do better when we know better.

For the article part2 (lesson #4-#6), click here.

For the article part3 (lesson #7-#9), click here.


Project Background

Client: Primary Use Case (2020 implemented and successful go-live)

Task: Our client wanted to bring their 45 subsidiary companies onto a single platform

to align global processes relating to sales, operations, and finance.

This entailed: Integration of 450 users, Removal of approximately 25 individual subsystems, Provide executives with real-time operational reporting, 36 months to realize a team: 5 functional analysts and 2 technical resources.




Lesson#1 Don't change the Chart of Accounts (CoA)

The CoA is the backbone of any accounting system and NetSuite

is no different.

  1. Review the local entity’s CoA against the system accounts provided by NetSuite at the commencement of each deployment and, to the fullest extent possible, avoid materially adjusting the CoA during the program.

  2. Be ruthless in maintaining a singular and streamlined CoA, and resist additional accounts until capitulation is inevitable

Lesson #2 Get the classifications (Department / Class / Location / Custom) right the first time

Classifications are the elevator in a building and if you get it wrong, it’s very tricky to move them later. Clients tend to transpose their understanding of something similar to their existing system and use an analogy to justify the decision to classify something.

  1. Think outside the box and understand what it is that you really want to achieve from the system.

  2. Once clear, challenge and retest the basic assumptions supporting the defined classifications.

  3. Use practical examples to ensure the true blending of role permissions, user behavior, and that general ledger impact align with the overall requirement.

Lesson #3 Architect local compliance at the commencement

Tax is a subset of local compliance. The more tricky pieces of the compliance puzzle to solve are reporting, electronic accounting, electronic invoicing, and formatting of the transaction ledger which are all crucial to….???

  1. Ensure you obtain clarity on the different local requirements prior to commencing.

  2. Build a clear picture of how the local compliance needs can be addressed; if not in detail, in principle as a minimum.



About Shearwater Group

  • Independent Oracle NetSuite / Workday Adaptive Planning Partner in Asia and Europe 2007 Singapore, 2012 Japan, 2016 China …

  • 100+ consultants

  • More than 200 customers and projects, from fortune 15 to start-ups

  • Several times recognized partner of the year, constantly 5 stars partner

  • Suiteapp developments and sales, localizations


Please feel free to contact us: sales@shearwatereurope.com / sales@shearwaterasia.com


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