• Baptiste Bassot

9 Lessons Learned from Global ‘Multi-site’ Deployment of NetSuite - Part3

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 part2 (lesson #4-#6), 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 #7 Incentivise the team and the businesses

Programs can be hard to maintain because certain battles are repeated time and again in different sites and locations. The implementation teams’ passions are ground down and the enthusiasm starts to wane.


On the other hand, people also relate to change differently. Generally, 10% will actively seek change for their own improvement while most need to be incentivized, motivated, encouraged, and coerced into change.

  1. Define what people get for their effort, cooperation, and assistance within the program management plan and act on it accordingly.

Lesson #8 Organize team, standards, and rituals

For a program involving sites across the world, team culture is vital and the reliance on each other becomes even more critical.

  1. Define your program standards for output, knowledge transfer and participation early.

  2. Get the team behind a common rule book and stay true to this guide.

  3. Progressively build momentum with the team, bringing them together to share, align and create trust with each other.

  4. A solid deployment team will, in time, create its own force of positive and forward-moving momentum.

Lesson #9 Follow a clear change control process

Change control is a pillar of information systems management

and it is essential within implementation and change programs.

  1. Establish a steering committee with a clear mandate and communicate expectations. Assess what is and is not permissible for change review.

  2. Ensure there is a representative who can straddle the C-Suite and the Shopfloor; always keeping true to identifying shared synergy and alignment of process.



To sum up...

We thought we knew what to do going into this program but we ended up learning these lessons along the way. If we had to sum up what we learned and want to pass on in a few words, it would be this:

Get clear. Be organized. And follow through.


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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