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5 min read

NetSuite Buyers Guide: NetSuite Implementation Cost

NetSuite implementation cost

If you're reading this, I suspect you are considering NetSuite for your growing company.

For many NetSuite buyers, it can be difficult to find high-quality, up-to-date information on how much it costs to implement NetSuite ERP and all the factors that go into a successful NetSuite implementation.

This post aims to answer these questions and put you on a path to successfully licensing and implementing NetSuite Cloud ERP.

If you're looking for answers related to NetSuite pricing & licensing or NetSuite add-on modules use these resources:

  1. Ultimate Guide to NetSuite Pricing & Licensing
  2. NetSuite Add-On Modules

How Much Does It Cost to Implement NetSuite?

When it comes to NetSuite implementation cost, there isn't a simple answer, but there are some general guidelines that will help you understand the various components that go into the cost of implementing NetSuite ERP. We'll tackle these below.  For the sake of providing a quick answer, a good rule of thumb is that most NetSuite implementations will be between $30,000 to $60,000 for your typical SMB-sized company with limited complexity.  For more complex organizations, I would suggest a much higher range. 

Phase One: Discovery & Analysis

A large majority of NetSuite implementations will begin with a discovery and analysis phase. The extent of how these are conducted and the associated deliverables will vary quite a bit among the different NetSuite partners and/or NetSuite's Professional Services team.

The goal of this initial phase is to allow the implementation team to become increasingly familiar with the client, its business model, and current business processes and identify potential gaps.  The data collected from this exercise is organized and packaged and referred to as a Business Requirement Document (BDR). Think of the BDR as a blueprint for how NetSuite will be configured to meet the clients' goals/objectives.

The discovery and analysis phase is critical for ensuring a successful ERP outcome. Be sure to give it the necessary time/resources to maximize your NetSuite investment and avoid future surprises.    

Protip

Expect a consulting firm to spend roughly ~50-150 hours of the NetSuite ERP project dedicated to gathering and documenting requirements for your NetSuite implementation.  NetSuite consulting rates vary by a partner but generally cost between ~$150 - $250 per hour. Remember, you can pay now for a high-quality discovery and analysis phase or pay later due to missed requirements and costly change orders.

 

Phase 2: NetSuite Configuration and Deployment

After the completion and acceptance of the BRD, now the hard work begins. Depending upon the implementation methodology and your specific timeline objectives, you should expect ~3 configuration sessions per week for a duration of ~8 - 12 weeks followed by user acceptance testing (UAT) in preparation for go-live. 

The number of sessions and length are largely dependent upon the project scope, desired go-live objectives and resource availability. An experienced NetSuite Solution Provider will recommend just enough sessions to enable you to hit your goals and objectives without putting your job and the business at risk. 

A good rule of thumb: The configuration and deployment stage will generally account for two-thirds of the entire project. The other third comes from the discovery and analysis phase.  So assuming your discovery & analysis engagement took 100 hours to complete, then you can expect your configuration phase to take another 200 hours for a 300-hour NetSuite implementation.  

Protip

If you're working with a limited budget and have a fairly simple scope, ask the consulting firm if they have an implementation methodology to support a "self implementation" or "turnkey" approach to implementing NetSuite.  This could save your company a lot of money on professional services expenses.

 

Other NetSuite Implementation Expenses

Data Migration

Migrating data from your legacy accounting/ERP software to your new NetSuite instance is one area we see other firms and customers struggle with.  It’s not uncommon to get calls from new NetSuite customers asking for assistance with data migration because this was a topic that was swept under the rug during the sales cycle and the customer assumed the implementation team would take on this part of the project.  

Protip

For a typical SMB-sized company migrating from QuickBooks to NetSuite, expect a professional services firm to spend in the neighborhood of ~5 - 50 hours specifically related to assisting with data migration.  This is largely dependent upon how much data you are required to bring over and the quality of the data.  

 

NetSuite Integration

Roughly ~30% of the customers we work with require some sort of NetSuite integration.  Whether it's a 3PL, a CRM system or an eCommerce site, we have you covered.  System integration is very much supported by NetSuite, and there are several approaches to integrating NetSuite with other applications. 

For clients looking to tie multiple endpoints together, JitterbitCeligo IO, or Dell Boomi are great options for organizations that want to be able to manage multiple endpoints without having to write and maintain custom code.  

System integration projects can become quite complex, it's important to not underestimate the time and cost required to integrate systems together and the overall complexity this may add to your environment.  

Protip

System integrations can be as little as $5k-$25k/year in subscription fees depending upon the integration platform (e.g., Jitterbit,  Celigo, etc.) and may require $5k - $50k in professional services (setup fees).  This is entirely dependent upon what applications require integration, the number of endpoints (applications) and the number of data flows between endpoints.  

 

NetSuite Training

In my opinion, end-user adoption is one of those critical benchmarks for determining whether or not a system initiative was a success.

After all, why spend all the time and money on a new application only to uncover that your users are back to their old habits and using Excel for things it was never intended for? 

Furthermore, it's unreasonable to expect end users to embrace the new system after a single training session, remember training is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. 

Be sure to incorporate sufficient budget and attention to the ongoing training needs of your end users.  This can be accomplished through NetSuite's Professional Training department or delivered through a NetSuite partner. 

The great thing about working with a partner for training is that they can oftentimes deliver custom training with your unique instance in mind, and often it's more cost-effective. 

Lastly, CUMULA 3® Group always recommends having at least one member from the project team attend NetSuite Essentials before starting configuration sessions during a NetSuite implementation.  This will help ensure the NetSuite implementation team lead has the fundamental information fresh in their mind going into the project.  

Protip

I'd recommend budgeting at least $5-15k specifically for training-related expenses, whether it be training the trainer or end-user training this is money well spent.  

 

Customizations

NetSuite customizations are utilized to automate processes and/or address gaps with native NetSuite functionality.  When it comes to NetSuite customizations, you have two options, SuiteScripting and SuiteFlow. 

SuiteScripting allows developers to create flexible business logic within NetSuite tailored to a particular business need.  SuiteScripting can be used to automate business processes or write entirely new applications.  

SuiteFlow enables non-technical users to set up workflows with a point-and-click, drag-and-drop interface. No coding involved! 

Protip

I’d suggest setting aside $0-10k for customizations for the initial implementation.  NetSuite is robust enough that many times GAP’s are minimal and require little to zero coding.  However in industries that NetSuite does not focus on or businesses that have very unique process, expect to allocate more budget to customizations.

 

NetSuite Implementation Total Cost

Once you factor in the following cost (discovery, analysis, configuration, data migration, integration, customization, training and support) the majority of businesses should be between $25,000 and $75,000 for their NetSuite implementation. Want to understand your exact NetSuite price? NetSuite Price Estimator

NetSuite Service Type Price Range One Time vs On-going
NetSuite License Varies Ongoing
NetSuite Implementation $25,000 - $75,000 One-time
NetSuite Customizations $150-225 per hour As needed
NetSuite Integrations $0-$4,000+ Ongoing + Setup
NetSuite Training $2,000 - $15,000 One-time (optional ongoing)
NetSuite Premium Support 10% of license price Ongoing
NetSuite implementation cost

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