E31 SuiteWorld 2023

Timestamp Subject
5:36 Sponsored by Acura MDX
15:45 Apple Never Introduced a Category Killer
20:15 NetSuite Keynote Coverage
22:43 The Hype that is AI
26:01:00 Suite Up
31:30:00 NetSuite New Releases
35:08:00 AI Becomes Real
38:00:00 Peak Outliers in ERP Marketing
42:00:00 Importance of ERP Development
Links of note
Keynote SuiteWorld 2023 Evan Goldberg, CEO
Details on New NetSuite offerings, Gary Wiessinger’s Keynote
Global Smartphone Market Share

PFE Open/PFE MFX up and Under

October 2023. NetSuite is hosting SuiteWorld, the annual gathering of users, partners, developers, consultants, and anyone else affiliated with the NetSuite universe.

It’s been a busy year in ERP in general, NetSuite in particular. There are now over 37,000 companies running on NetSuite – phenomenal growth. Around 2019? They had just broken the 18,000 companies on NetSuite mark – so the user community has doubled in 4 years, or 3 years plus a Covid timeout.

Anyway – SuiteWorld attendance is critically important for top performing NetSuite-using Companies. Even more important for companies not yet using NetSuite.

Why is that you ask? Why would you go to a users conference if you’re not a user. Here’s the story. New to ERP, clients are looking at ERP, considering which ones to select. User conferences in general are a great idea. I mean, everyone wants references – demos are really great, but not great reality. You want to see real-life examples. Well, there’s about 3,000 users at NetSuite you could talk to.

Does NetSuite really work as advertised? You’re going to see lots of companies, who, at one time were exactly where you are. How does this work? And the answer is two-fold – it doesn’t work like you think it would, and two, if you follow the process, just like these 3,000 folks did, you too will get there.

Is it worth it? The majority of the folks at SuiteWorld will tell you they wished they’d started sooner. The rest got into NetSuite as a startup – mostly because they’d used it at a former employer already.

Another critical thing we’ve learned from past clients. About a third of ERP failures can be attributed to implementation fatigue – and we’re talking the entire system up and running but features they expected and wanted, well, doesn’t really work.  Truth is, It gets hard at the very end of an implementation and it’s been a long haul to get there, and the internal team often quits at the 5 yard line – says something like ‘well, the software really doesn’t work like it did in the demos’. When the issue is, yes, it does work, but not the way YOU’RE trying to do it. So having the opportunity to actually see the intended functionality working for other companies – your internal team will realize that yes, we can do this if they did it – there is a way. And they take the ball from the 5 and push it over the goal line.

If you’re already running NetSuite, then it’s even more important to get to SuiteWorld.

You’ll find out first-hand all about the new developments being released this year. Even get a chance to see demonstrations and some hands-on labs working with new features.

Plus there’s the best-in-class Presentations. Other companies who use NetSuite, who have seen tremendous results, telling you exactly how they did it. You can ask them questions, take notes, get handouts, follow up with the product leaders from NetSuite – why they designed it that way, how it works best.

Then there’s everything else. All the affiliated software products, apps, programs, platforms, portals – everything that works with and around NetSuite. Might not be something you’re doing this year, but you learn about it and next year, when Management tells you your department needs to improve by 5%, you know about an app that has bumped productivity by 20% for other users. Tell them if they want 5% internal improvement we need to add this to the capital budget.

If you’ve been to SuiteWorld before, you know. If you’ve never been to SuiteWorld , you need to go.

Now – you may say, we’re happily using not-NetSuite for our company software. Fine – the underlying ERP best practice theory we’re defining here, is the User Group – why User Groups are important, how and why our research shows the best performing companies participate heavily in User Groups, and we can be talking about any business software user group – you really should be attending the SuperBizProMax ERP annual user conference – if of course, you’re the kind of company using SuperBizProMax for your ERP.

Research shows, it’s the easiest way to getting more from your ERP and other business software and based on what we’ve learned, it’s a no brainer every year –

Here’s my ERPodcast actual demonstration – switch over to my mobile microphone

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Walk out of the Cave Creek Arizona –  Rolling Thunder Studio into the garage

Garage Door opens SFX

Get in the car

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And we are ready to pull out…

But first we should mention today’s demo travelling episode is being brought to you by the 2011 Acura MDX  – this one has just under 150,000 miles and lots of features you won’t find anywhere else, my favorite being zero down and zero monthly payment at a zero interest rate for zero months because it was paid off years ago.

The story starts a few years back,

I was flying with my Dad in his 4 seater Piper single engine airplane and I asked him ‘Hey Dad when was this plane manufactured’ – he said 1954 – which was a question I wished I’d waited until after landing to ask– kidding – of course aircraft maintenance is very different than what the average auto owner neglects to do – but it got me thinking…Later on, when we pioneered ERP for  a couple  clients in the aviation maintenance sector, so I thought, why not take a few tips from those guys and just drive this Acura for 20 years – we’re over halfway there so far – which is working out great. A new MDX would be average $750 monthly payment for 5 years or more, and when you’re not dropping $750 every month,  when you do spend money on your vehicle, you get to do it exactly how you want – new high performance front end suspension components better than stock – going all digital/bluetooth instead of the CD stereo – yes that’s an outboard amp driving the subwoofer, even had the seats re-done in fine Corinthian leather – whatever I want – it’s kind of cool – and I realized – –  our consulting practice, ProfitFromERP is based on learning new things from every client project – we’ve had major or minor in over 400 ERP projects both big and small – and along the way, like I said, we work to learn something from all of them. I’m not just talking about applying aircraft maintenance standards to make a car last over a decade and beyond – even though that worked pretty well.

Our consulting is derived from learning from every ERP implementation – and the thing is, we’ve found, with the right approach from the internal team, the right group of users can actually make even bad software work well – and even better when improving the software selection process itself – so why not break that methodology down into repeatable actions using great software.

– the internal process, how the internal team and users approach the software project and deploy the ERP – that’s what makes the real difference – so we’ve studied the best companies approach and distilled it down to ten different steps or stages that we’ve observed

That’s how we came up with the ProfitFromERP methodologies – and one of the things we noticed was our top performing companies would ask early on ‘Is there an active user group for this new software’ – which at first I thought, that is really geeky and sounds pretty lame…software user groups? That was back when I already knew everything, before I learned I didn’t. Watching the internal teams we were consulting with come back from SuiteWorld and our list of active ERP projects would just explode based on new requests – they’d seen new things and new ways to work with existing modules, and we realized we could not continue to let our customers tell us how to consult – so we started going to software conferences. Anyway – the end result is, top performing companies get much greater value out of the software they already have by participating in user conferences – they get payback in no time.

So are you finally convinced to head off to SuiteWorld?

We’re headed that way now and we’ll be reporting back on this Episode 31 of the ERPodcast, the official podcast of ProfitFromERP – our consulting firm dedicated to helping clients select the best business software, implement using best practices and continue supporting internal teams to drive efficiencies, increase revenues and achieve, Profit From ERP.

Got the green light, lay on some highway tunes

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And We’re off to Vegas.

PFE Open #3

OK, here we are…NetSuite’s SuiteWorld conference – we’re out here in the concourse – and things are starting to heat up. Normally there are some 2 to 3 day training classes prior to the  the actual conference starting – – –  but like us, most people start arriving the afternoon before keynotes – and already lots is happening – there are several thousand attendees already checked in. There are hundreds of NetSuite Partners and software vendors from all types of Apps and related programs that work with NetSuite. Outside developers, folks who’ve written a program specifically for their organization using the NetSuite development toolkit  – often, it works so well they take it to market to sell to other NetSuite users – – if enough people buy the app to make it profitable, well, sometimes Oracle NetSuite buys the company and brings the app inside to offer what ‘used-to-be-an-App’ as a new NetSuite module or sometimes just existing functionality within the base suite.  We’re going to hear more of that at tomorrow’s keynote. But there are hundreds of booths set up in the trade show center for you to explore everything new in and around NetSuite.

Then there’s the presentation tracks held in conference rooms and classrooms throughout the facility – tracks are a series of presentations for different types of NetSuite users. Development tracks for the folks who like code and modifications. Accounting tracks. Operations tracks. Administrator Tracks. If your role is management, superuser, admin, support, – tracks for all that. And what these presentations do is give you best practices  – say for example a company using NetSuite cut their on-hand inventory by $3m and still had excellent customer service and no stockouts. How did they do that?  There’s a presentation Wednesday at 2 where their controller and purchasing manager walk you through how that was done – what was tough and what was seamless. Do you see what’s happening here? The top performers with the best practices are sharing ways your company could potentially save millions – with the software you already have – given you’re running NetSuite of course.

 There’s presentations from NetSuite trainers on the latest modules and how they work. The toughest part of signing up – and HINT you should sign up to get the presentations you want the day the schedule is released – the toughest part is when there’s two classes of interest running at the same time – you’re going to be pretty busy for three days – but it’s OK, there’s a party or networking event at the end of every day – build your network of contacts you can always call later when you need  a bit of advice.

One goal we encourage our clients to work on – plan on becoming one of the presenting companies at SuiteWorld year three with your own success stories. It raises your company profile among a top corporate audience but it also sets a goal for your internal ERP team to work on continuous improvement. What would you present? Past clients have talked about doubling the company size without adding additional support staff. Revenue enhancements. Operational Excellence. Exceeding whatever goals we outline at the beginning of your selection process with the ProfitFromERP Cost/Revenue Model.

For a really deep dive, we encourage you to visit the NetSuite website for the actual webinars and recorded livestream coverage, we have some links on ProfitFromERP website to the  YouTube keynotes –and we will include some audio from the event just for local flavor – but this is more about best practices for your ERP team regardless of what software you’re using– and we’ll definitely highlight the high points, as we see them

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In the main auditorium The Keynote addresses are coming up shortly  – up first is NetSuite CEO Evan Goldberg – and they create quite the presentation every year…lots of talk last night about AI and new announcements what’s coming….

MFX keynote opening

 A little background. Keynote addresses are a major thing in the software industry. I guess Apple events, with Steve Jobs on stage kind of set the tone originally.  Don’t know if he was the first, but some of them are pretty memorable – talking about the latest and greatest advancements in the Mac lineup…and always ended the presentation with the line “Just one more thing” and then drop a bombshell announcement about a new product.

I saw some item in the tech press the other day whining about how Apple hasn’t announced a brand new category killer product since the Steve Jobs days.

But here’s the kicker, Just one more thing as it were – Apple has never, ever launched a brand new Category Killer. Before during or after Steve Jobs. Oh they’ve announced some cool new features and new products – and some of them will eventually evolve into what you could call category killers, but by no measure were any of them ‘category killers’ day one straight out of the box.  I was there when iPhone One dropped. Had one as soon as it was available for general release. Everyone in the office actually laughed at me because iPhone One didn’t have physical keys like their Blackberries – the ridicule continued – til the CEO caught me checking my email on iPhone instead of company issued Blackberry. Thought I was toast – until he pulled out his iPhone and asked if I could help him get HIS email on HIs iPhone. But it was rudimentary at first, even when the iPhone 3 rolled out, it was obvious beyond reason, that iPhone One was tragically lacking in technology – now think forward to iPhone 15 – which is a category killer.  Recent data shows Apple and Samsung neck and neck, in total global units shipped –  only thing is,  iPhones are priced well over $1,500 and at Best Buy’s website, it’s the  Samsung discounts that are listed at one thousand, two hundred and fifty dollars. That’s killing a category.

Anyway –

iF you’re expecting category killers unveiled at a keynote, that would be over in the Rainbow Unicorn auditorium… you go way past the regular Unicorn Auditorium, take a turn at ‘not going to happen’ and it’s on your left…

No – here’s what you’re going to look for.  In business software – we want to see development from an ERP platform. We want to see development potential from both the publisher and the outside developer community. We want to see it ongoing and evaluate not really the actual new developments coming out, but evaluate, what is this ERP vendor capacity for future development? Will they keep up with changing tides and business trends?

Some of the late to the game new cloud ERP entrants? They’ve put all their development money on getting their old, 1980’s spaghetti codebase on premise software to look like it’s a new cloud product, only the 1980’s spaghetti code with a DOS underpinning is still humming along under the covers.

Some of the ERP Software Aggregators? If a company has 17 different ERP programs, how much development focus can they put behind the one program you’re using?  I once visited a software aggregator to meet the reported 100 person development team for the program I was consulting – and when they asked me to take the team working on my program to lunch, I freaked out til I found out only 10 of those 100 actually worked on the program I was working with, the other 90 worked on wholly different programs but they were all marketed by the same name  – there’s marketing developers and there’s actual developers.

Anyway, how your ERP will work in future years depends on how much development is going on – easy to miss when you’re just starting to learn what ERP is, hard to handle when the ERP program you’ve bet on for the last 7 years never changes.

So lets check it out – Let’s go to the Keynotes – starting with NetSuite’s CEO Evan Goldberg – –

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So it’s the 25th anniversary of the NetSuite platform – and to start we’re going back to the beginning – I realize half the audience of the ERPodcast has never heard a dial up tone – back in the early days of computers, mid 90’s you needed a dedicated phone line, a modem, then you dialed up to get on America Online – and it was slow – but record breaking at the time -only the cool kids had modems, and the really cool kids had a 2nddedicated land line.– anyway – 1998 was not so very long ago –  yet virtually eons past in technology – and much like the category killers Apple releases –  it’s not so much what they are at first, but what they grow into, 1998, NetSuite launched as the first made for cloud accounting/ERP product -It’s grown into the major player in it’s category. And now, they’re releasing even more functionality and technology.

And to describe the keynote, on multiple stages, it’s incredible, we’ve got a cello player live, a dude on a beat box, a broadway quality light show and interpretive dancers – as the screen  scrolls through NetSuite accomplishments of the years, we start with a dancerwoman in a business suite constrained by lazer lights of 1990’s technology, as the 2000’s roll in she’s now liberated and going every direction – now she’s running a race in place followed by a light show shower of business adulation, and now reaching higher for the stars, and  – – they’re joined by a team of dancers, dancing together but in different departmental steps, the whole ultimately greater than the parts, Followed by the dance of insights,  the contada of control, agility-stepping and the Texas two-step of productivity – looks like Oracle’s recent move to Austin is really starting to take hold…

OK – while this is mildly humorus to me, I’m admit, I’m easily amused –

We started editing this podcast a week ago to bring you snippets of Evan and the other keynote presenters, but it was just too hard to edit because whatever you leave out was important and added context and it just was too long for a single podcast – so here’s a link for you to see the full presentation in it’s entiriety on the NetSuite web page,  and what we’ll do on the ERPodcast is bring you the our reaction to what’s being released.

SO AI – the elephant in the room. Personally, I’ve totally ignored AI for the past few months because it sounds completely hypie, just like Blockchain and even fear inducing to everyone who’s seen one of the Terminator movies – I tend to derive my worldview on something other than Hollywood blockbusters, but that’s just me. At ProfitFromERP, our focus is on tested, proven technologies to help our clients. I did read in the Daily BalanceCFO Newsletter less than 10% of the CFO’s surveyed had active AI going – about 30% were planning on ‘looking at AI soon’ – So in a world of competing interests, my attitude has been, let’s not chase after what less than 10% of the market is doing. But plan to get around to it…really soon. And soon showed up at SuiteWorld.

The presentation starts off with the announcement that CEO Evan Goldberg will be replaced by Evan GPT, an AI created version of the real guy. Now this AI Evan GPT can speak…and change the font in powerpoints – but it’s not the same as a real person on stage, and besides, Evan GPT gets buggy in the opening so the actual Evan has to take over. Cute.

Later on in the presentation, we’ll see Evan GPT do some other activities, but never replace the real Evan – which is about right for where AI is today.

I remember Blockchain – the former ‘hypedriver of the year’ technology , was going to revolutionize human existence, but outside of a few uses for major retailers like Walmart and IBM – Blockchain hasn’t been the category killer It was hyped up to be – Hilarously, the Andresson Horowitz a16z newsletter – guys who write about Blockchain in their sleep, just will not  let the Blockchain hype die, article in this week’s release –  claiming all AI needs to be successful is Blockchain because – Blockchain – it’s magic when you say it.

Today’s NetSuite presentation is the first time I’ve seen AI hype trending down and AI stock going up, Evan will be unveiling some interesting uses for AI with NetSuite, up, running, now – even without the help of Blockchain – that we know of – so I suppose I can lower my skepticism at this point. Our indicator to pay attention is seeing AI even a CFO could use –  today –  without waiting to get around to it – so after this presentation,  AI has our attention – and we’ll get to that shortly. For me, that’s todays Quantum Leap with the most promise for development.

So what are the major announcements at SuiteWorld?

The theme of the show was Suite Up  – NetSuite is an incredibly strong tool for building a business. Market research shows NetSuite companies grow at like 5x rate when compared to average growth & non cloud-based ERP companies – now there’s the causation/correlation question – which you could argue that rapidly growing companies are more likely to turn to a new, ERP system like NetSuite and a certain amount of growth would have still been present in those companies regardless of the software chosen. Then, there’s research that companies who invest in even more NetSuite modules – Suite Up as it were – grow faster – again, you’re starting with high growth companies and those growing past a certain point need or can justify better tools to manage that growth. In either case, what we really see is NetSuite has some great features that fit well and support rapidly growing companies. Does it justify spending more for more modules? That’s the big question and a large part of our consulting practice is determining if that works specifically for our individual clients, specific to their organization and if so, exactly how much – but you probably know from hearing brief descriptions of new functionality in the keynote, what might be on your radar for future adoption – and here at SuiteWorld, you can go find out more – talk to the people who’ve developed and support the new features, really understand how they approach the issues you’re interested in.

Here’s the other thing – we work with all types of companies – for some of the smaller clients, rapidly growing businesses coming off QuickBooks – the Suite Up concept makes total sense. Initially, they license just a few of the modules, basic AR/AP, inventory, purchasing, financial management, that sort of thing. It’s affordable for a smaller company and easier to implement for a smaller internal team.

Later, as the business  grows, they can Suite Up by adding eCommerce, or warehouse management or manufacturing, projects, advanced analytics – by then, they’re a larger company with more resources to afford more NetSuite moduules and bigger staff to manage onboarding and rollout. And quicker payback – if you’re selling a million widgets starting out, well, as long as they’re in boxes and stacked properly, you can handle tracking a million widgets. Later on, 50 million widgets in 22 warehouse locations and at 17 regional distributors – you need more help and the SuiteWidgetTracker pays for itself quicker.

And eventually, when you’re going international with multi currency, foreign subsidiaries –The Suite Up concept has eliminated the a past practice of buying a first ERP, a second larger ERP then later, an IPO level ERP – because every one of these ERP transitions is really hard, disruptive, and a lot of work – and expensive – now and we’re developing 10 year NetSuite roadmaps for our clients right out of the box – So Suite Up works really well to both give smaller companies an affordable on-ramp and support rapidly growing companies through increased complexity and functionality.

So onto the Keynote annoucements

First, they reviewed 22 new modules and features announced over the last 24 years. Big ones like OneWorld, supporting international subsidiaries, SuitePeople an entire HR module, other functionality:  early on,  CRM, SuiteBuilder, eCommerce, Manufacturing, several years ago, Advanced Revenue Recognition,  – last year CPQ – Configure Price Quote, AP Automation – that list goes on

So what are we talking about Suite Up that’s new for this year?

First, let’s talk about  the Oracle Cloud advantage – Historically, Oracle didn’t bet big on cloud software, I mean Oracle is known for it’s database software above all, and early days of cloud, running a huge database via cloud was a recipe for poor performance – but being late to cloud meant Oracle had a 2nd generation cloud development advantage being able to learn from  issues AWS and Microsoft were locked into early with first mover version architecture. Like we detailed before, NetSuite has 37,000-Plus companies across 219 countries – running over 324,000 subsidiaries – all of this on 32 Oracle Cloud data Centers around the globe.

And where are the new developments coming from?

  • The NetSuite development team is now bigger under Oracle funding since 2016
  • 2) Repurposing existing Oracle development to run native in NetSuite, kinda selling the same code twice and
  • 3) Some merger/acquisition features helping to round out the NetSuite featureset – bringing in what were formerly SuiteApp outside development to become native NetSuite functionality. .

Overall, the focus is on more automation, getting the finance department out of the business of entering data and into the business of data driven management.  Beginning to use AI, small steps at first. Reduce keystrokes and manual data entry and generate AI driven advanced reporting and analysis across the entire business.

New or revised for 2023:

Under the umbrella of EPM – Enterprise Performance Management, there’s a new Suite of software for planning, financial close and reporting data. You can license the individual modules or the entire EMP package.

They kicked off the Feature List with NetSuite Planning and Budgeting – been around a couple of years and we’ve seen it – not ready for prime time in the early demos to our clients looking for FP&A, but well advanced and now under NetSuite Planning and Budgeting updated several years ago from the Hyperion product – but it’s all Native NetSuite letting you create dynamic economic plans for Sales, Forecasting, Manufacturing plans – all of which are tracked by NetSuite.

Next under EPM is NetSuite Account Reconciliation – now letting you match millions of transactions within minutes to reconcile AP, AR, Bank Accounts, Credit Card Statements and more. In years past we had to bring in 3rd party Blackline or Trintec to pull this off – and not having to integrate another program, advantage NetSuite.

Financial Close Management – a task-oriented framework for a more automated and less chaotic period close solution.

And Advanced Reporting uses AI based text narratives surrounding your financial statements to bring you closer to Audit-ready quicker. I mean, you could always run the numbers – still doing that, but AI is generating text related to those numbers – would you release that text in your Annual Report? Probably not a good idea until you’ve edited it – But -and here’s the big Butt – yes I said that – AI might bring up an aspect of the numbers you don’t normally look for and that could open up new discussions  – just a thought.

There’s a new NetSuite Capital feature to enable easier borrowing on receivables.

NetSuite has also partnered with Avalera, the sales tax experts to deliver an eInvoicing for PO’s, Invoices, now if you start to sell in new markets, Avalera covers 219 countries and territories with tax data that means your PO’s and Invoices go out automatically with the right tax as well as meeting the different eInvoice standards used in many countries.

NetSuite Pay now automates receivables and Customer 360 brings you info on customer profitability, even using AI to determine days sales outstanding on a per- customer basis – letting you know when to forecast invoice payments.

NetSuite Analytics Warehouse consolidating data from multiple sources and creating AI driven Predictive Analytics.

NetSuite also bought next Technik, a Field Service Management tool if you have teams that deliver, install, or service customers – so that’s a new full module, a technology that was tightly integrated in for some of our past clients, now becoming an integral part of the NetSuite available modules.

There’s also Generative AI – they told the example of creating a new Item, and you write a couple of sentences about this new Item then AI delivers the Sales description for your eCommerce website – sure, you need to tweak it a bit, but as someone who writes a lot – getting past the blank page state is a huge timesaver.

And kind of quietly mentioned among these and other new features, Benchmark 360 – which for ProfitFromERP, is kind of a big deal. A huge deal really.

What Benchmark 360 purports to do is using AI in the Oracle Cloud to compile and share data in aggregate across all the companies using NetSuite – of course security is foremost,  all data is shared anonymously and in aggregate – but this means more insight with less speculation, comparing KPI performance against peer companies, industries, regions – so you can see how you measure up against national and international donut conglomerates, check your profitablility against related manufacturers and profitability versus the ever present Big Whatever.

See, with ProfitFromERP, this is so in our wheelhouse.

One of our most powerful tools is our Cost Revenue Model – early on, in our process, we do exhaustive business analysis for our clients.

We track the costs of how they manage transactions before ERP, then prepare cost estimates of what the world looks like after ERP is implemented.

This achieves several things.

One, it lets us determine which features the new ERP needs to do well. If we’re going to try and drive cost out of Inventory  – well, which ERP system does the best job with Inventory? And if AR is an issue, which ERP can show us our customers that are likely to run the longest in the aging report. Then, if projected inventory savings are $5.5 million a year and AR is aging is getting us $5,000 10 days earlier – well Inventory functionality is super-critical while AR becomes a nice to have.

It drives better software selection decisions by creating financial weighting and is a building block in the framework of the Implementation, and affects the entire process.

It’s a basis of ProfitFromERP consulting – the concept that if our clients can understand and grasp the real value they will create with the new ERP toolset, it changes the project priority, elevates the urgency of the implementation, and even calls for creating the exact reporting that’s going to measure the benchmarks of ERP success.

Now, because of past marketing hype surrounding ROI for technology – this approach rings huge alarm bells for CFO’s worldwide.  I like to call it the Peak/Average distortion. Software marketing teams are always looking for success stories. And say they find a success story of a company cutting costs by 25%. Now, going forward every powerpoint and slick brochure screams “Cut Costs By 25% with SuperBizProMax ERP.”  Which sounds like an average, but it’s not, it’s the Peak savings one company realized one place – and maybe that 25% reduction was because they had a really rotten process prior to ERP. It’s a peak outlier and no one else seems to get near the PowerPoint promise of expense reduction.

So today, what we have to do when preparing a Cost/Revenue model, is start with a number that we know a past client achieved – then cut that in half. And later reduce the aggregate number by one-third.

So what we’re saying is, if our new client can achieve around 40% of the ROI of a past customer, then they can save x-million dollars over x-timeframe.

We also backdate the cashflow analysis to allow for users of the new software to experience a learning curve post-go live with status reviews scheduled regularly at early stages of the live ERP project.

In the end, our clients tend to exceed returns expected by the Cost/Revenue Model – they also tend to learn during the ramp up process and discover other areas of productivity, cost avoidance, and revenue enhancement we never projected.

So with a realistic expense reduction projected at an achievable return curve, CFO’s can begin to get behind the idea of the Expense/Revenue Model.

Anyway – this is where we see Benchmark 360 giving us better inputs, not from one or two past clients, but across thousands of companies using NetSuite – look, like I said, currently our clients generally exceed the Cost/Revenue Models – some by a little, some by a lot. That’s by design. But with any forecast, it’s garbage in, garbage out – not to say our current data points are garbage – we have dozens of success stories every year, but with larger sample size they’re only going to get better – and that’s where AI takes us from Hype to rock solid in our case.

It also provides justification for a realistic project budget for ERP.

And when you’re chasing $Xm dollars in returns, suddenly it makes sense to send key team members to the annual SuiteWorld conference to get the latest best practices and find out what new features can help drive that success.

So for my business, Benchmark 360 is a game changer because it will give more insight to bring to my client companies. For your company, one of the other developments spotlighted at SuiteWorld could be a game changer.

I’ve been attending these software user conferences for some time. Around 2001 at a Sage user conference I learned the Epicor ERP product I was assigned to was bought by Sage, and realized the partner company I was with would be cutting the entire team – your truly included. Fortunately, networking at that Sage conference, I landed on my feet and 4 years later, would become a National Manager for the largest Sage reseller in the country.

Anyway – that’s the story as I remember it.

As we pack up and leave SuiteWorld – what are my takeaways? Well, they changed my mind about AI – what was hype before SuiteWorld became real – and that’s big. And will get bigger.

As long as we can work Blockchain into the mix (sarcasm alert).

Speaking of big – with this level of development, new features, AI, acquisition – NetSuite has grown rapidly and seems to be at critical mass – growth drives innovation and innovation drives growth.

I do wonder about the supporting consulting infrastructure. I know good NetSuite teams are really busy now and hard to book – which is why I’m fortunate to have partnering affiliations with several top partners.

The acquisitions around CPQ configurators and Field Service  – I’ve had clients use both of these when they were outside development SuiteCloud Apps – they’ll only grow stronger and integrated tighter in the days to come.

MFX Start

Frankly, the amount of development announced at SuiteWorld 2023 surprised me – it’s more than I’ve seen in a single year from any ERP provider. There was a lot of talk about the quantum leap of AI – as we see the early applications of AI across several of the new features developed for NetSuite. Category Killers? Well, let’s hold off on that for just a bit longer.

But the amount of modules and features developed for one of the fastest growing ERP options on the market, that’s hard to beat. And technically, you have to admit NetSuite itself has already been a category killer of sorts, having killed on-premise ERP software in favor of cloud  based ERP some years ago – now everybody’s in the cloud – but not everybody’s taking full advantage of cloud technology – which is a whole other podcast – and remember, we’re not saying NetSuite is right for every one of our clients. Acumatica, Sage Intacct, the Dynamics Business Central and Finance/Operations, great fits for plenty of companies and you should probably consider those along with a couple of the hundreds of industry specific ERP’s on the market.

Hopefully, you’ll come away from today’s episode understanding a bit more about the entire ERP software development cycle and how user groups and meeting such as SuiteWorld are of vital importance in the success of ERP.  I mean, there’s lots of podcasts about ERP software that go into the scripting language and development technologies – way over my head and I’ve been in the ERP business for 25 years – I wonder how the average user gains value from that.

The things we try to focus on are the soft features, the human side of how ERP adoption takes place, and technically, we’re adding to the Management Consulting side of the software consulting equation. It’s all about the people, the processes and the approach.

Can’t tell you how many times, same software, similar companies, same outside consulting team – hugely different outcomes – and you don’t want to be on the downside of those outcomes.

So, if you’re looking for NetSuite or any ERP – let us help, either with our full selection consulting/implementation process or maybe you just need referrals to the right partners – we work with several NetSuite Partners, a handful of Dynamics shops, and dozens of other ERP vendors – – – working with the right people who’ve built a reputation for experience with companies your same size and industry is one of the most critical steps you can imagine. Just drop us a line at info@ProfitFromERP – or www.ProfitFromERP.com initial consultations are always no charge. And if we do work together? Guarantee we’ll save you money over going it yourself. It’s kind of what we do. That and eliminating risk in a software industry famous for an 80% failure historically – ask us about that. For the ERPodcast and ProfitFromERP I’m Gene Hammons…now it’s time to hit the road and head out of Vegas but we look forward to seeing you here next fall at SuiteWorld – til then, don’t be a stranger.

MFX outro