How do I find the right NetSuite consultant?

Like any complex software platform, NetSuite requires expertise to implement properly. Hiring an experienced NetSuite consultant is crucial for a successful implementation and ongoing optimisation of the system.


2/20/20246 min read

NetSuite is one of the world’s leading cloud-based business management software suites. It combines key business applications like ERP, CRM, ecommerce, accounting and more on a single unified platform. NetSuite allows businesses to streamline processes, cut costs and accelerate growth.

However, like any complex software platform, NetSuite requires expertise to implement properly. Hiring an experienced NetSuite consultant is crucial for a successful implementation and ongoing optimisation of the system.

Bringing on a knowledgeable NetSuite consultant provides many benefits. They have the technical know-how to configure NetSuite to your specific business needs and integrate it with other systems. A competent consultant will also provide training and change management support to drive adoption across your organisation. Their experience implementing for other clients gives them the ability to recommend best practices to avoid pitfalls and achieve a rapid return-on-investment. A good consultant becomes an invaluable extension of your team.

Finding the right NetSuite consultant is not always straightforward but vitally important.

This guide will walk you through the key steps involved in selecting the ideal NetSuite expert for your project or ongoing managed services contract.

Follow our tips to find a consultant who understands your industry and requirements, and will deliver a solution that exceeds your expectations.


Assessing your business needs

Before beginning your search, take time to clearly identify your goals for implementing or upgrading NetSuite. Some of the questions to ask at this stage include:


·       What business processes do you want to optimise with NetSuite? For example, will you use it to streamline accounting, order management or inventory?

·       Do you plan to use NetSuite to facilitate omnichannel sales across your brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce or wholesale channels, or all three?

·       Which KPIs do you hope NetSuite will help improve? Is it for revenue growth, operational efficiency, customer retention or something else?

·       Will you integrate NetSuite with your other systems like ecommerce platforms, POS systems or HR tools?

·       Do you need support with change management and training staff to adopt NetSuite?


By outlining your objectives and requirements, you can better assess the skills and experience you need from a NetSuite consultant. This will allow you to narrow your search to consultants who specialise in these areas.


Researching potential consultants

With your business needs in mind, start researching consultants that can fulfil those needs.

A good place to start is the NetSuite Partner Directory. You can filter by location, expertise, partner level and more to find qualified consultants.

However, the directory doesn’t list all NetSuite consultants, as some are unaffiliated. So, you’ll have to cast your net a bit wider.

A simple online search can yield great results. Check sites like TrustRadius and to view rated NetSuite consultants.

Speak to business contacts who’ve implemented NetSuite before, to get referrals.

And local or online NetSuite user groups are great for finding consultants other customers have worked with.

As you research options, vet consultants thoroughly. Look for proven experience with clients similar to your size and industry. Also, assess their knowledge across the specific NetSuite capabilities you intend to implement. Shortlist up to five consultants to evaluate further.


Evaluating consultant experience & expertise

Once you’ve shortlisted a few potential NetSuite consultants, take time to thoroughly evaluate their experience and capabilities. Key factors to examine include: 

·       Industry experience - Look for consultants with proven success supporting clients in your specific industry like manufacturing, retail, professional services etc. They’ll understand common processes and requirements.

·       Company size - Seek consultants experienced working with SMEs similar to your organisation’s size. Larger enterprises have different needs to smaller businesses.

·       Certifications - Leading consultants invest in NetSuite training certifications like SuiteCloud Developer accreditation. These validate their expertise.

·       Specialisations - Ensure consultants have expertise in the specific NetSuite capabilities you intend to use like accounting, omnichannel sales, inventory management or CRM.

·       Technical skills - For complex integrations and customisations, review technical skills like SuiteScript, SuiteTalk or REST API.


Checking client references

Speaking to past clients is invaluable for evaluating consultants. Make sure to request and check references before making a final decision. Key questions to ask include:


·       Did the consultant deliver on time and on budget?

·       How knowledgeable and responsive was the consultant team?

·       Did they proactively offer advice and solutions?

·       How well did they understand your requirements and industry nuances?

·       Would you recommend them for NetSuite implementations?


Strong endorsements from previous clients provide reassurance that a consultant can deliver successful outcomes.


Conducting interviews

Once you’ve finalised your shortlist, it’s time to interview them directly via phone or video call. Prepare a list of questions that reflect your specific business needs identified earlier. For example, ask about their experience with clients in your industry and with implementing the specific NetSuite capabilities you want to leverage.

Probe their technical knowledge by asking how they would approach a particular integration or customisation you require.

Listen closely to assess their communication skills and overall understanding of your requirements. A competent consultant will ask thoughtful questions and provide solutions tailored to your needs. Take note if they recommend best practices based on experience versus just telling you what you want to hear.

The interview is your opportunity to evaluate knowledge and personality fit before making a final selection.

Avoid consultants that seem rigid or lacking in expertise. You want someone who communicates well and can become a trusted adviser.


Analysing cost and value

Cost will play a role in your decision, but focus primarily on value over price alone.

Ask shortlisted consultants to provide a detailed breakdown of their pricing structure. Compare not just hourly rates, but how they charge for the overall implementation. Ask what is included such as training, testing and post go-live support.

However, assess value holistically beyond cost. A consultant who charges more but can deliver faster ROI with their expertise may be preferable.

Confirm what services are included in the proposal and what could incur additional fees later. Opting just for the cheapest option often leads to subpar results or costs escalating down the line.

Choose a consultant who balances reasonable costs with providing maximum value tailored to your business.


Agreement and contract negotiations

Once you’ve selected your preferred consultant, it’s vital to ensure all expectations, deliverables, costs and terms are clearly captured in a written agreement. This document provides protection to both parties.

Work with the consultant to mutually create an agreement that outlines project stages, payment schedules, scope of services and more based on earlier discussions. Clarify ownership of any custom work products.

Take legal advice to review the contract before signing, especially for large-scale implementations. Negotiate any concerning terms or language that seems vague. Both sides should fully understand responsibilities and commitments.

And don’t gloss over the fine print - it can prevent misunderstandings down the road. A detailed agreement sets the project up for success from the start.


Project management and communication

Communication and project management will make or break your NetSuite implementation. Before kicking things off, work with your chosen consultant to establish a defined project plan and a consistent communication schedule. Aim for weekly or bi-weekly status update calls to discuss progress, issues and next steps.

Use project management tools to track timelines, deliverables, bugs/tasks and more. The consultant should provide transparency into work logs so you can monitor progress.

Voice concerns promptly to avoid getting off track. Constant collaboration and open communication prevent misalignments.

With disciplined project management in place from the start, your partnership with the consultant will deliver a smooth and successful NetSuite implementation.


Ongoing support and maintenance

Your work with the NetSuite consultant won’t end once your implementation goes live. Discuss ongoing support and maintenance services the consultant provides after launch. You’ll likely need assistance optimising workflows, enhancing integrations, troubleshooting issues and configuring new features as your NetSuite usage matures.

Some consultants offer monthly managed services contracts to provide continuous optimisation and an extension of your team. Others may simply charge hourly or bundled rates for additional hours as needed after launch.

Be clear on how the consultant packages and prices ongoing work. Factor the potential for future support needs into your decision and budget.

Make sure to clarify upfront what post go-live support is included versus what would incur extra costs. Establish an hourly or monthly budget range you’re comfortable with for enhancements and changes after the implementation wraps up.

With proper expectations set on both sides, the consultant can become a long-term partner in fully leveraging NetSuite’s capabilities as your business evolves.


How can SuiteSparkle help?

Transitioning to a new system like NetSuite can be daunting.

Whether you’re looking to customise NetSuite to your business needs, integrate it seamlessly into your existing processes, or require ongoing support, SuiteSparkle is here to ensure your journey with NetSuite is as sparkling as your business deserves.

Our expertise in crafting bespoke NetSuite configurations and providing personalised support ensures that your company’s unique goals are at the forefront of our efforts.

By offering tailored solutions, we ensure our services aren’t just a one-size-fits-all approach but are intricately designed to meet your specific business needs.

Our seamless integration capabilities set us apart. Our approach connects your existing business processes with NetSuite, enhancing efficiency and streamlining operations without disrupting your current workflow.

And our commitment to your success extends beyond the initial implementation. Continuous support means we’re always at your side, ready to provide timely updates, address any concerns and ensure that your NetSuite experience remains on point.

Choosing SuiteSparkle as your NetSuite consultant means opting for a partner who understands your business, cares about your success and is dedicated to delivering solutions that exceed your expectations. To find out more, give us a call today.