• Baptiste Bassot

9 Lessons Learned from Global ‘Multi-site’ Deployment of NetSuite - Part2

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 part1 (lesson #1-#3), 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 #4 Understand local tax early on

NetSuite supports tax in a particular way but in many geographies the tax treatment is incomplete. It is essential that we resist the desire to plug a local tax problem with a local tax bundle. These bundles are often too specific in purpose, have a huge overlap, and add bulk to the system.

  1. Demarcate the tax scope—what is required and what is not—and set this as a project deliverable with a clear strategy.

  2. SuiteTax will help, but it’s only a tool that enables what you need, it’s not the holy grail.

Lesson #5 Stay firm and consistent

When bringing multiple businesses together using a common set of processes, there will be conflict and resistance inevitably.

  1. Bring the functionality back to MVP.

  2. Once the core processes are validated across a number of different sized entities, resist the temptation to tweak, change and improve the configuration.

  3. Stay firm and consistent in the application and adoption of validated processes. This will help in assessing what works in the long run.

Lesson #6 Identify suitable process owner and process analyst

Each process needs an owner (business) and an analyst (system) and these two people must have a symbiotic relationship of mutual empathy. The owner must understand the system's base functionality, while the analyst must understand the business needs in detail.


Choosing the right owner is tricky because they must be empowered, interested, motivated, open to change, and most importantly—they must be supportive. Experience has proven that the wrong choice of a process owner can be costly—a year of time.

  1. Start small and as the number of sites on the system grows, broaden the base of process owners to improve business participation within the program.


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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