As their customer bases and sales increased in the double digits during the pandemic, many online alcohol merchants found themselves burdened by their basic technology solutions, most of which are siloed and unable to “talk” to one another.
A chain of liquor stores that had to make a quick pivot to ecommerce in 2020, for example, may have been forced to quickly set up a Shopify ecommerce storefront and then use an existing QuickBooks accounting system to manage its online sales.
Unable to produce reports, maintain operational visibility, or even close out their month-end financials without the use of spreadsheets for transferring data between these disparate systems, companies in fast-growth mode struggled to keep up.
4 Reasons All Online Liquor Merchants Need Cloud ERP
Here are four ways cloud ERP helps both online alcohol sellers and subscription companies break through these barriers and continue growing their businesses:
1. Know the contents of every box.
Subscription-based companies need to know the contents of every box that’s in their warehouse/storeroom and that’s being shipped out to customers. A customer with a wine of the month subscription, for instance, may sign up to receive six bottles of wine every month. Using NetSuite’s Work Orders and Assemblies and Advanced Inventory modules, subscription companies can put multiple different SKUs in a single box, bundle them together, and then create a new SKU that accurately represents the contents of that box. This not only saves the subscription company time spent checking and rechecking boxes, but it also ensures a more accurate shipment and happier customer.
2. Access to enhanced reporting.
Developed specifically for the beverage sales industry, Cloud Genius Advisors’ Cloud Wine ERP Solution for Alcohol Distribution + Subscription Companies helps companies get the most out of NetSuite. The reporting module allows them to view bottle quantities and cost of inventory on-hand by warehouse using a snapshot view for any given date in the past; see the quantity of bottles ordered by order date, with category of bottle (i.e., standard, gift, replacement, etc.) in order to separate revenue and non-revenue generating bottles; and view quantities of bottles shipped by ship date, with the category of bottle indicated to see separate revenue and non-revenue generating bottles.
3. More reliable inventory tracking.
Companies use custom fields to store information about individual products (e.g., sugar levels, alcohol count, type of alcohol, color of the alcohol, importer channel, country, taste, etc.), and can barcode physical locations and items to easily locate/relocate inventory. NetSuite users can also easily “transfer” wines or other products to different production areas within a warehouse or “freeze” inventory so that it cannot be allocated.
4. Better order allocation.
Online sellers can automatically route orders to certain production areas for fulfillment based on item settings; use slotting or substitutions to define the order in which inventory is allocated (e.g., RO1 should be fulfilled with Wine_1 until we run out, then use Wine_2, and when we run out use Wine_3). Users can also independently track and allocate inventory in different production areas within the same warehouse (e.g. if we have Wine_1 in only the VIP production area, do not allocate the wine to orders in other production areas).
Choose Cloud Genius Advisors as Your NetSuite Partner
These and other functionalities within CGA’S NetSuite solution help growing online alcohol sellers effectively shed their basic, disparate technology solutions in lieu of a unified enterprise solution that they can use to manage their end-to-end operations.
With decades of experience, our team of senior-level consultants can help you find the perfect way to implement NetSuite into your online alcohol business. Contact us today to learn more about our Cloud Wine ERP solution and to schedule a free demo!
The years 2020 and 2021 have been game-changers for the retail industry. Overnight, people’s buying habits changed as consumers shopped from home and stockpiled necessities. Many of the strongest retailers were able to adapt to the changes and emerge stronger. They adjusted to the demands and expectations of consumers and weathered the challenges presented by supply chain disruptions.
If you’re hoping to improve your retail operations in 2022 and in the future, there are several things you can do to optimize your business, make new connections and increase revenue.
5 Ways for Retail Leaders to Improve Business in 2022
If you have a growth mindset for 2022 and beyond, you have several options for figuring out how to improve your retail business. A few things worth trying include:
1. Get Employees Involved in Decision Making
Operation optimizations for retail businesses begin on the inside. To improve retail operations and pave the way for growth, make every single person who works for your company feel like a valued member of the team. When your company’s employees are actively engaged, they’re more likely to go above and beyond when it comes to doing their work. They’ll feel like what they do matters, both for their professional success and for the success of your company.
You can improve engagement in several ways. One option is to have regular team meetings, where employees are invited to share their ideas and thoughts. You can also take employee surveys to find out what they want from you as an employer and what next steps they think the company should take.
Another way to get employees more involved in decisions and in the direction of the company is to offer them some autonomy in the store. If you operate multiple brick-and-mortar locations, encourage the staff at each store to put their own stamp on it. Your company might require the use of certain types of decorations or colors in-store, but beyond that, give employees the freedom to arrange and decorate the location as they see fit.
2. Focus on Building Relationships With Your Core Customers
It can cost your business up to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer. Your connection with your customers should go beyond simply selling them products or having them purchase from you. In the age of social media and increasing digital connection, it’s essential to build relationships with your most valued customers.
Who is a core or valued customer? It can be someone who already buys a lot from your store or someone who purchases less frequently but who has the potential to buy more.
There are several things you can do to boost your customer relationships. A simple step to take is to reach out to people who have recently purchased from your store. You can email them and ask what they thought. You might include a discount code or coupon in the email to encourage them to place another order or visit a physical location again.
Another way to build relationships with customers is to introduce a rewards or loyalty program. Customers who opt in to the program can provide you with details about themselves, such as their birthdays, favorite color, contact information and shopping preferences. You can use the information to send them customized emails or text messages, such as happy birthday messages, emails that highlight products in their favorite color or emails showcasing items similar to what they’ve previously purchased.
An ERP also streamlines the process of merging e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail locations. For example, your company might want to begin to offer in-store or curbside pick-up orders to cut down on shipping costs and to help customers get their purchases faster. To do so successfully, you’ll need to know what’s in stock at which store and in your warehouses. Knowing your inventory numbers and locations allows you to give customers a reliable estimate for when their order will be ready to pick up.
NetSuite ERP can also improve your overall relationship with your customers. Use the software to track purchases and monitor customer’s behavior. The software can give you insight into the best time to send a customer an email or offer them a discount.
4. Invest in Social Media Marketing
The future, for many retailers, is social. If you haven’t already, now is the time to throw some energy and weight behind your company’s social media profiles. One way to focus on social is to zero in on social shopping. With social shopping or commerce, your company’s social posts become shoppable experiences for customers. They can click directly on products in an Instagram post or story to purchase them. It creates a frictionless shopping experience that can increase sales.
Livestreaming is another way to make the most of social media marketing now and in the future. A live post on Instagram or Facebook creates a sense of immediacy. You can livestream fashion shows, product launches or try-on sessions. You can get influencers involved, having them livestream reviews or product unboxing videos.
5. Focus on New Revenue Streams
Your company can only sell so much before it hits a wall and can’t grow anymore. Before that happens, it’s worthwhile to brainstorm a few ways to introduce new revenue streams. If you’ve been operating a brick-and-mortar location, one way to add a new revenue stream is by introducing an online shop. With e-commerce, your company can reach a more geographically diverse group of customers.
Another option is to introduce subscriptions, which will lead to repeat purchases. Customers can purchase an annual subscription that will provide them with a new product or curated selection of products every month.
Collaborations are another way to introduce new revenue streams and increase your growth potential. You might partner with a designer or artist who traditionally works in another field, or you might collaborate with a different company. Collaborations introduce your company to a new customer base and potentially increase sales.
Learn How Cloud Genius Advisors Optimizes Retail Operations
Your employees and customers are valuable assets if you want to improve retail operations now and in the future. Using an ERP can help you minimize inefficiencies, increase operational visibility and reduce costs, all while growing your retail business. To learn more about NetSuite ERP and how it can help you optimize your business operations, contact Cloud Genius Advisors, your NetSuite experts, today.
The professional world is making a shift towards a remote workforce, and the change does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. Since 2020, 62% of workers operate remotely at least some of the time. For some industries, like transportation or food service, it is necessary to work on location. Thanks to advancing technology, other industries require only an internet connection and some computer equipment to get the job done.
If your staff plans on working remotely, then it is necessary to adjust your operations and educate your team on remote workforce best practices. Continue reading to learn how to approach and manage remote employees so that your business can continue to thrive just as it did when your staff was in-person.
Why Many Businesses are Switching to the Remote Workforce
The Covid-19 pandemic is largely responsible for the move towards the remote workforce. With health and safety concerns, businesses were forced to figure out how their teams could operate from their homes. Even though the need for remote working has lessened, some workforces are staying put, in the comfort of their homes.
Businesses that work mainly online found that there were many benefits over working in-person, such as:
Increased productivity: Employees with the option to work from home are 47% more productive on average.
Decreased spending: Some businesses can cut down on spending for everything from rent to office supplies.
Fewer sick days: Employees working from home are less likely to take a sick day because they are already in their own homes. Plus, less office time means less germ-spreading between coworkers.
Better talent: Before the remote workforce trend, companies were forced to choose from a smaller pool of local residents. Now, employers can hire the best person for the job, even if that person lives across the country.
Higher workforce morale: Team members are likely to have a better balance between work and life when they do not have to report to their jobs.
Challenges Remote Workforces May Face
There are multiple reasons moving to a remote workforce might be challenging. From communication barriers to different work hours, there are some disadvantages to working from home. Common challenges faced by remote workforces include:
Less supervision: Remote working means less oversight of employees. Less supervision and guidance may lead to less efficiency.
More distractions: Home can be a distracting environment for a person trying to concentrate. Interruptions become more frequent from pets, children, or roommates. Meetings are more likely to be disrupted by doorbells, deliveries, etc. To better manage remote employees, screen-monitoring software can help.
Limited communication: When working in an office, it is easy to seek out coworkers when you have a question. When a team works remotely, they may be online at different times throughout the day. This can cause longer gaps in communication and slow down productivity.
Lacking company culture: Reinforcing company culture is easier with management and staff working closely together. When team members are all working from different locations, there are fewer opportunities for promoting culture.
Dealing with technical issues: When working remotely, there is not an on-site information technology professional to help you deal with computer issues. Internet or laptop issues can interfere with a worker’s ability to complete tasks.
Hiring without meeting in person: As hiring managers are working remotely themselves, the hiring process is becoming totally digital. The problem? No in-person interviews or meetings to see if someone is the right fit. Instead, portfolios, video meetings, and referrals are the only ways to learn about a new candidate.
Types of Remote Workers
There are many different kinds of remote workers. Some employees might bounce between remote working and coming to the office, while others work entirely from their homes. To approach managing a remote workforce, you should understand the variations and see which styles work best with your company. The following are types of remote workers and how they get their jobs done:
A hybrid workforce has the option of either coming into the office or working from home. Some employees may commute to work certain days of the week or month and work remotely otherwise or vice versa.
Companies with partially remote staff are considered part of the hybrid remote category. Hybrid workers do a medley of remote working and in-person working. Managing a hybrid workforce means sometimes having both in-person and off-site employees at once.
Fully Remote Workers
Fully remote workers are employees that do their work entirely remotely. These workers never go to an employer’s offices or workspaces. Instead, they operate wholly from somewhere with wifi, usually their homes or coffee shops.
Some businesses operate entirely remotely. This means that everyone from executives to entry-level hires works digitally. In 2021, fully remote businesses are more present than ever before. Some businesses that were formerly in-office have converted to fully remote operations after seeing how cost-effective the switch was for their company.
Remote Independent Contractors
Independent contractors and freelancers alike are hired by clients to fulfill some of their working needs. Oftentimes, these contractors will work from home and for multiple businesses.
Some examples of remote independent contractors include:
This category has worked remotely for years, even before the Corona virus pandemic.
After-hours workers refer to staff that commute to work in the evenings as opposed to during the typical nine-to-five hours. These workers are not working from home, but from the office after the rest of the team has left for the day.
After-hours workers largely like the quiet and get their work done more efficiently alone in the office.
Traveling workers are employees such as marketers or sales representatives that travel to clients for their employer. These positions are largely in the B2B sector and require in-person meetings or demonstrations to close deals.
These remote workers are out of the office for their employer.
How to Manage the Remote Workforce
The shift to remote working does not have to be complicated or mean less efficiency for your business. If you want your team to succeed, you need an understanding of how to manage remote employees and how to set them up to win.
We compiled a list of six of the most helpful tips for handling a remote workforce and maintaining everything from employee morale to productivity. Keep reading to learn about the best practices that will help your team members thrive no matter their location.
Make Sure Your Employees are Properly Equipped for the Remote Workforce
Part of the reason a company allows its staff to work from anywhere is because of the accessibility to technology. Anyone expected to work from home must have the right equipment to get their tasks completed up to standard and on time. Before sending your team on their way, make sure you have the proper software for a remote workforce. Potential equipment needs include:
Reliable laptops or computer monitors
Subscriptions or applications
Industry-specific software or tools
Being technologically equipped is only half of it. Your team should also feel mentally equipped to work outside the office. Make sure each employee understands how to do their job remotely. They should have confidence using the software and instruments that are necessary to do their job, even from home.
Check with your team member to make sure they are fully equipped to work remotely before they start. You would not want a lack of supplies preventing someone from doing their job.
Knowing how to communicate is part of feeling equipped. Make sure all members of your team know the best communication practices for your business, whether that is via an app like Slack or by email. Your team should also understand that professionalism is necessary whether they are meeting from their living room or the office.
Set Clear Policies and Expectations
One of the best practices for managers is setting policies and expectations that are crystal clear for their staff. There should be no questions about the following:
Deadlines: Employees should know exactly when projects and assignments need to be completed. There should be a definite day and time for deadlines and a reasonable amount of time in advance. This will help team members prioritize their workloads.
Checking in: Give employees instructions for how often and when to check in. Some businesses have their remote employees check in every day while others ask to be contacted only once a week. Whatever your business chooses, make sure employees know how often and where they should be checking in, whether that is via email, video call, or a communication app.
Tracking time: Working hours vary from business to business. Make sure your remote team knows how to track their time, whether that is through a program online or by recording their time manually.
Working hours: One of the biggest challenges of remote working is having different schedules. Some businesses have set hours, even for remote employees. No matter what the case, make sure everyone knows exactly what time they are supposed to be working and available for communicating.
Maintain a Company Culture Despite the Remote Workforce
When working remotely, it is easy to lose your grip on your company’s culture and values. To combat this, actively share your business’s values with your team. Some companies send out weekly or monthly newsletters that reinforce company culture ideals and highlight moments where the team represented these beliefs.
Company culture can also be reinforced with mental health check-ins. Have the team answer surveys about how they are feeling. Give your team breaks when necessary, and be understanding of how remote workers may feel isolated. You care for your staff on a personal level. Let them know!
Virtual team bonding activities can build morale and reinforce your company’s values. Consider digital meetings where team members can speak up and interact with one another. Any opportunity to communicate better with your staff is beneficial.
Some businesses set up routine one-on-one meetings with staff to ensure their working needs are being met and their voice is being heard, even if they are not in the office every day.
Manage Efficiency and Productivity
One of the most important aspects of changing to remote working is making sure efficiency and productivity remain high among your staff.
Companies typically track and manage their employees through several different mediums like spreadsheets and online applications. These often include:
Project management tools
Internal processes tools
The best way to handle the productivity of your team is by consolidating your company’s management tools. Forget about moving between multiple interfaces to track your team’s work. Now you can utilize NetSuite, a unified business management suite, to streamline your business’s functions and save time.
With NetSuite, your team has easier access to data and information necessary for them to do their best work. With remote staff, it is necessary to present operations as clearly and conveniently as possible.
Communicating clearly is important for leading your staff and teaching them how to interact with each other. When instructing your staff, you want to be as precise as possible. Leave little room for interpretation so your workers know exactly what they are expected to do. Have lines of communication open for questions and concerns from your workforce so no one feels lost or confused.
A workforce should also know the best ways to communicate with one another whether that be via a mobile phone application or email. Specify what mediums work best for contacting other team members. Set clear boundaries about communication to maintain professionalism.
Having good communication is the only way to succeed with remote team members. Without clear, honest conversations, people will feel unsure and less confident about their work.
Flexibility is one of the reasons why workers opt for remaining remote even with the option to go into an office building. People like getting to see their families more and working when it suits them best. For business management, this means it is important to be flexible too.
A rule of thumb when dealing with remote staff is focusing on their results instead of their processes. Understand that everyone works differently and as long as work is being completed correctly and on time, then how and when that work is done does not need to be micromanaged.
Ways you can be more flexible with remote workers:
Compromise: Find the most suitable times for meetings and calls that everyone can easily attend. Understand there are outside forces at play and be as flexible about times and dates as possible.
Be Clear: Clarify when leaders and bosses will be available for questions and concerns. Encourage communication.
Promote structure: This might seem like the antithesis of being flexible, but encouraging workers to find routines that work best with their processes can help employees find their footing as remote workers.
Use a NetSuite Integration to Support Your Remote Workforce
Now you have an understanding of how to manage remote workers effectively and what challenges your team may face while working independently. One of the best ways to further support your staff is utilizing a NetSuite Integration. At Cloud Genius Advisors, we are expert NetSuite consultant providers here to support your business and streamline operations. We handle the setup so you can focus on what matters most — your team.
With over 26,000 customers across 200 countries, NetSuite is the world’s No. 1 cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Oracle NetSuite allows you to manage your company’s financials, operations, human resources, supply chain and more all in one place.
Knowing the best way to implement NetSuite into your business can be tricky, though. While purchasing directly from NetSuite is an option, the drawback is that the salesperson will likely offer you a “packaged” solution that falls short of your business goals.
Thankfully, working with an exclusive NetSuite partner ensures your NetSuite integration is appropriate for your business. Learn more about the reasons why you need a NetSuite implementation partner below.
What Is an Exclusive NetSuite Partner?
An exclusive NetSuite partner, also known as an implementation partner, is a third-party vendor that helps you seamlessly implement NetSuite into your business. While NetSuite provides powerful ERP software, it can be challenging to know where or how to start. Exclusive NetSuite partners help to ease the transition by building custom solutions so you can focus on business.
When you begin working with an exclusive NetSuite partner, they’ll get in touch with you to discuss your business process and identify potential areas for improvement. They will suggest software solutions based on the information provided, and some partners may even provide you with a free demo to make sure the features are right for you.
Once you’re satisfied with the software plan, your partner will begin the process of implementation. Even after teaching you how to use the software properly, they will stay in touch with you for continued support.
Why Should You Use a NetSuite Implementation Partner?
Here are five reasons why you need a NetSuite implementation partner for your business:
1. They Have Business Expertise
When working directly with NetSuite, the salesperson will likely offer you standard packages based on your industry. However, each business is different, and you might find you need slightly more or less support to face the unique challenges of your business. The NetSuite salesperson might also lack business experience or understanding of your industry, making it difficult for them to advise you on which package to choose.
An exclusive NetSuite partner, on the other hand, will have experience working with companies across all industries. Your partner will closely listen to your concerns and issues, addressing problems specific to your company while also considering best practices for your enterprise. With a deep understanding of business processes, your NetSuite partner can customize a software package that fits your business’s needs.
2. You Get Complete Support Throughout the Entire Process
While NetSuite offers customer service and support, an exclusive NetSuite partner can go above and beyond. Your partner will walk you through every part of the implementation, communicating clearly with you throughout the process to ensure everything works properly. With an exclusive partner like Cloud Genius Advisors, you’ll never be passed off to a customer support number — you are assigned consultants who will support you far beyond your go-live.
The exclusive NetSuite partner will also make sure you know how the system works and provide technical support and guidance whenever needed. They will also provide necessary training to all employees and stakeholders who need access to the system. And after the implementation is complete, your partner will review the effectiveness of the implementation process with you so they can identify areas to improve upon.
3. They’re Invested in Your Business’s Success
By working with an exclusive NetSuite partner, you choose a business partner that measures success by your success and satisfaction. If you buy directly from NetSuite, you will receive satisfying technical support, although you are less likely to experience a lasting working relationship. NetSuite is a large company, which means roles shift quickly, and your consultant may change frequently.
Working with a partner gives you access to a stable team of invested consultants. Your partner team is available at any time to discuss any of your NetSuite findings or issues and can offer suggestions for ways to improve your experience. Over time, this partnership will feel like an extension of your team. Your exclusive NetSuite partner will continue working with you to ensure the success of your business.
4. You Get Better Price Options
When you buy directly from NetSuite, the packages the salesperson offers might fall short of your business needs. The software plan may contain less relevant features to your business, or a program in your price range may only provide half of the tools you need.
Exclusive NetSuite partners allow you to build a custom plan that fits your budget. Because they have a unique understanding of your business and industry, they can help you select the right package. Rest assured that you will find every piece of the software package valuable and relevant to your business. You can even add new NetSuite modules as your business grows, which means even small businesses can benefit from NetSuite.
Your NetSuite partner will also have access to the discounts available directly from NetSuite, ensuring you pay the appropriate amount for the software. Best of all, because you are getting the most out of your NetSuite subscription from day one with included training, you will save on training and maintenance over time.
5. You Can Enjoy Custom Integrations
Your NetSuite experience should be as unique as your business. While the standard packages offered directly by NetSuite might work for some companies, you might get less use out of some of the extra features available. Similarly, the features included might lack a different tool that would benefit you. For example, if your service company also occasionally sells products, additional support for inventory management would be helpful.
An exclusive NetSuite partner can configure solutions to meet the unique needs of your business. The packages exclusive NetSuite partners offer are flexible and modular, and your partner can swap features as needed. Your partner can even develop unique software to cater to a particular business niche if required. No matter your industry, your exclusive NetSuite partner will find a custom solution for you.
Choose Cloud Genius Advisors as Your NetSuite Partner
When starting your NetSuite journey, it helps to have a partner you can trust. Cloud Genius Advisors is the leading NetSuite consultant provider in Michigan, providing support for companies across all industries in our state and beyond. With the help of Cloud Genius Advisors, you can focus on your business and enjoy the benefits of NetSuite while we take care of the setup.
With decades of experience, our team of senior-level consultants can help you find the perfect way to implement NetSuite into your business. Contact us today to learn more about NetSuite integration support and to schedule a free demo!
For wholesale distributors, visibility is the name of the game. Without a strong enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, that visibility can be hard to come by. NetSuite brings visibility to the table, along with a wide range of other benefits, from efficiency and automation to intelligent, data-driven insights. To get all those benefits, you’ll need to take some steps to align your business and your ERP.
We’ve put together a few tips to keep in mind when using NetSuite as a wholesale distributor so you can take full advantage of this powerful program.
How NetSuite Can Benefit Your Wholesale Distribution Company
NetSuite provides unparalleled oversight to a wholesale distribution company and can help businesses better understand nearly every aspect of operations. It can connect your supply chain, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), finances and more into a single source of truth.
One of the biggest trends impacting wholesale distributors is increased competition and new disruptions. NetSuite can help distributors gain an edge over their competitors while providing the flexibility needed to respond to disruptions. It offers strong forecasting features so you can better predict and respond to changes in demand. Then, you can implement those changes through flexible, cloud-based tools available on any device with the help of highly visible data for easier decision-making.
Whether you’ve already implemented NetSuite or are still considering it, below are some of our top suggestions for optimizations for wholesale distribution companies. These strategies can help you take advantage of some of NetSuite’s most powerful capabilities:
1. Reevaluate Your Business Model
The first step to optimizing your wholesale distribution business is to start from the ground up. Break your company into different components and spend some time identifying what works and what doesn’t. Collect data points such as:
Key performance indicators (KPIs)
Customer lifetime value (LTV)
Customer acquisition costs (CAC)
Net promoter score (NPS)
Look at how these data points have evolved and whether your business model needs to change with them.
Consider if your organization has kept pace with digital mediums. As the world has become more digitized, consumers expect seamless digital channels and high-tech operational tools. Whether you’re able to track products throughout your facility or implement automated marketing campaigns based on customer activity, digital mediums and technologically advanced systems can make a big difference.
If your business model is still working with paper-based records or disconnected departments, it might be time to rework things.
2. Automate What You Can
Take a look at the most time-consuming processes that occur in your organization, or all processes, for that matter. Can any of these be automated? An ERP can automate a variety of processes, from eliminating busy work to starting a corrections process when defective products are identified during production.
Automation can be applied across sales, marketing, production, warehousing, shipping and other aspects of business. Wherever it’s used, automation processes can help you:
Reduce errors: Automation is less prone to human error, helping to keep your data pristine.
Reduce operating costs: By automating unnecessary paperwork or tasks, workers can spend more time on what’s important for greater efficiency.
Increase safety: If you link up your ERP with machinery on the production floor, you can create a safer workspace that completely removes workers from the environment when not necessary.
Collect more data: Automated data collection can be performed much faster and more accurately than collection performed by humans.
New technologies are being created every day, so do yourself a favor and stay up to date with tools that can help you automate.
3. Use Your Strengths
Recall in step one when we broke down the components of your business? Revisit those components and try to identify your strengths — specifically, your sales strengths. What areas do you excel in?
Now, look for gaps in the market. Is there an opportunity for you to meet demand and find yourself a niche? Identify sectors that are in high demand, and look for ways to align your business to these opportunities. If you’re wondering how to grow your wholesale company, these opportunities are an excellent place to start.
4. Create a User-Friendly Experience
Consumers today are accustomed to attractive, easy-to-use websites and customer-focused functionality — and that includes your buyers. Consider their experience. Is it simple and straightforward, or do they need to jump through hoops to contact an agent or use slow, clunky ordering software? Think about how their experience can be affected at different stages of the buying process. Do the availability of products, the dependability of information provided and the ease of finding your company make it more difficult for them to work with you?
NetSuite’s CRM module is great for collecting information about the customer experience, so you can better take steps to improve it. The user experience has a huge impact on factors like profits, conversion rates and general customer satisfaction. If you really want to beef up your user experience, take some time to read up on it.
5. Train Your Employees Well
No matter how powerful an ERP is, it doesn’t work unless employees know how to use it. To ensure employees use NetSuite to its fullest potential, back them up with the proper training. With NetSuite training for employees, a company can experience:
Better utilization: Your software is an investment, and you want to get the most value possible from your investments. When employees know the ins and outs of their software, they’re better able to use all the valuable features and get the most out of the program.
Faster results: Simply put, more program knowledge means speedier interactions. When employees know their software like the back of their hand, they can zip through their work for more efficient processes.
Employee satisfaction: No one wants to be frustrated by not knowing how to use their work software. Training allows employees to gain more confidence and enjoy ease of use while working with the ERP.
Partnering With Cloud Genius Advisors NetSuite Experts
If you want to grow and improve your wholesale distribution business, NetSuite’s wide-reaching tools are an excellent resource. This investment can have huge dividends for your distribution company, and Cloud Genius Advisors’ NetSuite Experts are there to help with every step of the process.
With decades of experience, our team can implement and support this powerful system to make day-to-day business management easier, more efficient and more profitable. We also offer training, consulting and tech support services and are proud to be an ongoing partner in your success.
If you’ve decided to make the jump to Oracle’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, you might be wondering how to implement NetSuite and what the transition process will look like. There’s a few things you’ll need to do to make it a smooth experience. You’ll need to spend some time looking at your strategy and making preparations, but once you do that, you’ll smooth sailing with your move to a more efficient, unified, profitable and visible ERP system.
Determine Your Implementation Approach: Guided, Shared or Comprehensive
The first step to ensuring a smooth NetSuite implementation is to choose the right strategy according to your company’s needs. The factors at play here include your IT resources and budget. The skill and free time of your IT team, along with which NetSuite solution provider you choose to partner with, will dictate which approach makes the most sense for your business.
There are three strategies to consider:
Guided: The company implementing the software will do most of the work with the guidance of a consultant. This option offers the lowest price but requires the most work from your IT team, and comes with the risk of a failed implementation (costing you more money down the line). If you question whether they have the resources and skillset required for implementation, it may be worth considering another option.
Shared: With a shared approach, both company and consultant split the workload to implement the program using all of the resources available to the organization but filling in any gaps with consultant resources. Most businesses need a little extra help, and this format offers that while retaining value from the resources the business has available. It can be a good choice for those who need something in the middle.
Comprehensive: Though it involves more of an investment, having a consultant complete the entire implementation is the least time-consuming approach for your team, and comes with a high success rate if you choose the right partner. For businesses without strong IT teams or who just don’t have the time, comprehensive strategies can be a good choice.
When deciding what resources to spend on your implementation, remember that consultants have seen it all and have a unique, experienced skillset to offer your business. You always want to have one on your side in some capacity to help with the unexpected and provide seamless software access.
Prepare Your Transition Team: Get the Right People Together
Your team will be critical in making the process go smoothly, so make sure they’re right for the job. You’ll need:
Someone with executive buy-in: Find someone at the senior level who will stay on your side and support you from an executive standpoint.
Your ringleader: The project manager should be all-in with the new system and drive implementation forward through strong leadership.
The end-users: Incorporate the users of the business processes in the implementation so you have a good idea of how well it’s working and what needs to be addressed.
Your helpers: Of course, you’ll need employees to help out and advocate for the program.
Spend some time choosing your A-team. They can make the process much less stress-inducing and more effective. Building this team is also an important part of creating employee and administrator buy-in, which is necessary for any software implementation. If you don’t have employees on board, you’re likely to meet more resistance and hiccups during the process, not to mention the effects it can have on employee morale and system usage.
Get a Full Rundown of Your Internal Business Process
Paint a picture of your operational landscape. Run through all of your business processes and identify what is actually taking place. Don’t make the mistake of assuming what you think should be happening is what’s actually happening in the workplace. Take note of what challenges your workers and your business face, along with current strengths and what changes you want to see.
Make note of any gaps in functionality that you need to fix. NetSuite can be customized, and knowing what functionality you’d like to ensure from the start makes it easier to incorporate it within the system without unnecessary investments.
Define Your Project Requirements
Understanding the scope of your project is crucial for smooth implementation. What features are you prioritizing with your NetSuite whole-business transition? Your consultant can use that information to create a realistic project plan that meets your business needs, including concerns about the company’s current workflow.
Create a Long-Term Plan for Data Migration
Prior to implementation, you’ll need to consider how you’re getting data moved from the old system over to NetSuite. Identify the types and locations of different pieces of data, such as customer information and financials, and make a plan for the future. Having this data in place from the start means you can begin using analytics right away, using historical data, rather than waiting for it to collect. Your consultant can also assist and help you identify the best way to migrate data to the new system.
Prioritize Multiple Testing Cycles
You probably already know that testing is critical before your NetSuite implementation goes live, but remember the importance of multiple testing cycles to catch anything the first one missed. These subsequent cycles can offer peace of mind and help you address any issues that appear before they have the chance to impact real, day-to-day operations.
Budget Time for Internal Training
Any new system requires some employee training, but a new or overhauled ERP calls for some special attention. Make sure employees are given the time necessary to learn all about NetSuite, with trainings both before and after deployment. They’ll need to learn the basics at first and more advanced skills after they have access to the entire system.
Remember to establish an open line of communication throughout the company, as well. Keep everyone updated on the status of the deployment and what they may need to do, such as complete a training by a deadline.
Ensure a Painless ERP Transition With Cloud Genius Advisors
ERP implementation can be an exciting thing, but it doesn’t need to be time-consuming or complicated. Follow the steps outlined above for a smooth experience, and be sure to work with your consultant to make it as easy as possible.
The team is only as strong as it’s NetSuite Administrator.
The NetSuite Administrator role is practically a prerequisite for making the most of your NetSuite software. If you’re going to utilize the #1 Cloud software in the world you need a strong, experienced individual to be the heart and soul of the operation. But before you write the job description and post it to LinkedIn, there’s a few things you should consider before hiring a NetSuite Administrator.
If you’re concerned about the cost of hiring a full-time NetSuite Administrator, we understand. At Cloud Genius, we know how vital a NetSuite Administrator is to a thriving organization, and how expensive it can be to hire a full-time employee. For that reason, we offer NetSuite Administrators On-Demand. It is the same service you would receive from hiring a full-time NetSuite Admin at a fraction of the cost. One of our senior-level NetSuite experts will be dedicated to your account and available to troubleshoot your issues. They will offer ongoing support for your day-to-day operations.
We’ve compiled a list of 5 things to consider when deciding between hiring a full-time NetSuite administrator or using a NetSuite partner like Cloud Genius as an extension of your team.
1. The Roles and Responsibilities
Somebody told you when you implemented your new software that you’re going to need a NetSuite Administrator. But what does that person do, exactly? A LOT. Here is a rundown of the roles and responsibilities for a NetSuite administrator:
Staying up-to-date on the newest NetSuite functionality (especially during NetSuite’s bi-annual releases), making sure your NetSuite customizations carry over flawlessly, and helping you take advantage of new features
Creating and modifying custom user roles, to control access to sensitive information and enforce data security
Creating and publishing dashboards for groups or specific users, like CEO or CFO, as well as giving them real time access to business-critical key performance indicators
Assisting in the creation of reports and answering day-to-day NetSuite questions
Using NetSuite’s advanced customization tools
Importing data and ensuring the integrity of your NetSuite account
(Feel free to copy and paste this information into your job description. We won’t tell.)
2. The Hard and Soft Skills Needed for the Role
The NetSuite Administrator role is an important one (if you haven’t already gathered that) and requires a very specific set of hard AND soft skills to execute the role effectively. Here are some hard skills that our consultants at Cloud Genius possess that make them great NetSuite Administrators:
The ability to effectively oversee NetSuite implementation, integration, and testing
Experience with the data import and migration process
The ability to keep up with NetSuite updates
Experience customizing configurations of NetSuite to meet very specific needs
The ability to provide on-going services and technical support for all users in the NetSuite system
Experience with the NetSuite dashboard and providing users with relevant reports and KPIs
Experience working with NetSuite ERP, CRM, and eCommerce
Strong knowledge in SuiteAnalytics, SuiteBuilder, and SuiteCloud Platform
Experience with billing, payments, A/R, general ledger, revenue recognition, planning, audit, and reporting
As you may have learned the hard way throughout your professional career, all the hard skills in the world don’t make up for a bad attitude or work ethic. When considering a candidate or NetSuite partner for the NetSuite Administrator role, it is vital to get a clear understanding of how this person interacts with colleagues, how they solve problems, and how they manage their work. During the interview process, you’ll definitely want to ask the age-old question, “so what are your strengths?” Here are some answers you should be looking for, as these are the soft skills necessary for a NetSuite Administrator that won’t be hated by everyone in your company:
Strong problem-solving skills
Lifelong learner (this person needs to be constantly expanding their knowledge of existing NetSuite features and new features that can be added)
Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
The ability to work with different departments in multiple business disciplines
Strong leadership skills
Willingness to provide support and user training across departments
How many years of experience should you expect from your NetSuite Administrator? Of course this depends on a variety of factors-namely, how much you are willing to pay this person (more on that later) and how much time you will dedicate to training them.
According to a survey done by NetSuite Recruitment Experts Anderson Frank, 53% of NetSuite Administrators have 3-to-6 years of experience in NetSuite software, and 6% of successful NetSuite administrators have less than two years of experience within the tech industry. So what is necessary to succeed in the role? 50% of survey participants said that experience working on large projects, experience in vertical markets and having years of business experience makes them more valuable in the NetSuite market.
At Cloud Genius, all of our consultants are senior-level and have 10+ years of experience working in and around NetSuite, so we can give you the expert advice your business needs to succeed. Additionally, all of our consultants are also accountants. We look at our clients business processes, starting with the General Ledger, and see how NetSuite can best fit. Our On-Demand NetSuite Administrators challenge our clients with real world understanding of how business process changes within the software will impact their overall business.
4. The Cost of Hiring a Full-Time NetSuite Administrator
Recruiting and hiring a full-time NetSuite administrator can be a time-consuming and costly investment. According to Anderson Frank, the average expected salary of a NetSuite Administrator is on the rise. Since 2017, a mid-level NetSuite Administrator salary has increased by 6.2% from $95,443 to $101,423. Before you post that job application, you’re going to want to ask yourself: does your company have the capacity or size to hire a full-time NetSuite Administrator? If not, do not worry-there are other lower cost options.
5. Hiring an On-Demand NetSuite Administrator with Cloud Genius ERP
If you decide to go with one of our On-Demand NetSuite Administrators at Cloud Genius, we will make sure your NetSuite ERP system works seamlessly for your company after the go-live.
What’s Included in our NetSuite Administrator On-Demand Services:
New Release Support
Custom Scripting & Coding
Project Management Support
Business Process Management
Day-to-day Admin Support
Custom Searches & Reports
Change Control Management
Bottom line is, we are “yes” people at Cloud Genius. NetSuite is a platform and we believe it’s our job to customize that platform to help your business run more effectively and seamlessly.
As we close out the first month of the new year, you most likely have new business goals and objectives to establish yourself as an industry leader in 2021. Maybe you’re looking to grow your subscriber list, streamline your operations, or optimize your workflow and inventory management.
Whatever your goals may be, here at Cloud Genius, we want to provide you with the tools to make it happen. That’s where NetSuite comes in. This month, there are eight new product offerings for industry leaders.The best part is, it’s already available to you as a NetSuite user! As the #1 Cloud ERP software, NetSuite provides users easy and automatic updates. While other systems may struggle to get everyone the same version, with NetSuite, the process is seamless.
We want you to take advantage of this! Therefore, we will be publishing monthly blog posts outlining NetSuite’s new offerings and product updates that you should be aware of. If you subscribe to our email list, you can get this information sent straight to your inbox.
Updates to SuiteSuccess Vertical Editions
All SuiteSuccess editions have been enhanced and refreshed to include the 2020.2 product features as well as adjustments have been made to industry leading practices. Enhancements include the following 8 new NetSuite product offerings for your industry:
Apparel, Footware and Accessories: Auto-Create Account Transactions from Bank Import, New Customer, Vendor and Item 360 Tabs
Health & Beauty: Auto-Create Account Transactions from Bank Import, New Segmentation Leading Practices
Retail: Auto-Create Account Transactions from Bank Import
Restaurants & Hospitality: Auto-Create Account Transactions from Bank Import, Invoice Grouping (Franchisor)
Manufacturing and Wholesale Distribution: Updated Forms
Wholesale Distribution Prm: Supply Planning
Manufacturing Prm & Std: Supply Planning & Advanced Bill of Materials
Food & Beverage Prm: Supply Planning & Advanced Bill of Materials
All of these updates will be available in North America, effective January 15th, 2021. There are no pricing changes. Let us know if you have any questions about these updates!
NetSuite SRP SKUs have been repackaged into a consolidated Professional Services Automation (PSA) offering called SuiteProjects. This consolidates Project Management, Resource Management and Job Costing into as a single packaged SKU and will provide a complete NetSuite PSA solution to help promote user adoption and reduce churn with our project-based customers.
SuiteProjects is available worldwide, effective January 15th 2021.
As always, if you have any questions about how you can leverage these new offerings and products, do not hesitate to send us a message.
Cloud Genius ERP was founded by 2 guys who came from the Microsoft world. As one of the 2 guys, I, personally, have implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP for over 20 years and have completed countless implementations. Roughly 6 years ago, I helped start an Oracle-NetSuite practice for a Microsoft Dynamics GP VAR (Value Added Reseller) and fell in love with the product. Nearly 3 years later, we 2 guys decided to leave the Dynamics products behind to start our own Oracle-NetSuite practice as an Exclusive Solution Provider. Since Oracle-NetSuite focuses on the middle market and is the #1 cloud-based ERP with over 40,000+ customers to date, it only made sense that we only focus on it as well; we even use it to run our business, which isn’t true of many VARs selling accounting solutions.
Over the past year+ we have seen a major shift with customers moving away from Microsoft Dynamics GP to purchasing and implementing Oracle-NetSuite. The last 5 companies Cloud Genius ERP partnered with to sell and implement Oracle-NetSuite have been using Microsoft Dynamics GP for years to run their business. Outlined are some of the reasons we’ve seen, first hand, as to why this switch is happening.
Deployment: Cloud vs On-Premise – While Microsoft-Dynamics GP can be installed in a “Fake Cloud” environment, it’s just not a true SAAS cloud-based product. It’s still an on-premise solution which needs to be installed at a customer site or hosted at a data-center and the user must run an application in order to access it. Microsoft Dynamics GP still needs to be upgraded and maintained. Whereas, Oracle-NetSuite is a true cloud solution which means Oracle-NetSuite can be accessed with any browser with no option to install it anywhere as an on-premise solution.
Upgrading Dynamics GP – Customers are receiving outrageously priced proposals to upgrade Microsoft Dynamics GP. One of our new customers was on Dynamics GP 2010 and in order to upgrade to the latest version, it would have cost them over $32,000. Once they received this proposal for the upgrade, they decided to see what other options were available to them including purchasing a new system. In this instance, the monthly cost of the Oracle-NetSuite software was the same as the monthly cost of the hosting fees for Microsoft Dynamics GP. As well as the cost of the implementation for Oracle-NetSuite was the same cost as the upgrade of Microsoft Dynamics GP. Upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics GP does not provide any additional benefits or functionality to this customer except being on a supported release by Microsoft. Implementing Oracle-NetSuite provides a host of new functionalities and efficiencies a customer just cannot get from Microsoft Dynamics GP.
Dynamics D365 Business Central – The writing is on the wall with this new Microsoft product. One of our customers met with their Microsoft Dynamics VAR and they recommended they implement D365 to replace Microsoft Dynamics GP. D365 has only been out a few short months and does not compare to the full functionality Oracle-NetSuite offers. As much as Microsoft keeps talking about the future of Dynamics GP, we are seeing Microsoft Partners tell their clients the future is D365 and they need to move off Dynamics GP.
Hairball of software applications – Customers are frustrated with Microsoft Dynamics GP because of the disparate systems. If you want to run financial reports you must log into a separate application, Management Reporter, to do so. Some customers are being pushed to a new reporting tool that will replace Management Reporter called Jet Reports. Jet Reports is an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) product that works with several accounting systems. If you need basic CRM functionality with Microsoft Dynamics GP, customers are sold Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an additional application. While Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a great product, most customers just don’t need such a robust system like Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The differentiator for Oracle-NetSuite is many operational functions have been built in, such as; Financial Reporting, CRM, Project Accounting, e-commerce, Customer/Vendor Portals, Employee Portal with Purchase Requisitions, Time Entry, and Expense reporting, just to name a few. Oracle-NetSuite helps you manage your business end-to-end with one integrated business suite for all your core businesses processes.
Ease of Use/Flexibility of your ERP – Microsoft Dynamics GP is very inflexible, what you see is what you get. In most growing organizations they need the flexibility to change on the fly, Oracle-NetSuite allows you to do this. As a user, with proper security rights, you can add as many fields as you want in Oracle-NetSuite. These fields are all reportable and are accessible for importing into them as well. Custom fields are added during NetSuite demos with prospects to show the ease of use, whereas in Microsoft Dynamics GP fields are not able to be added on the fly, a third-party product or a development background is needed to do so.
These are just a few of the many reasons why customers are moving to Oracle-NetSuite from Microsoft Dynamics GP. Most of our Consultants, including myself, are former Microsoft Dynamics GP Experts who have moved over to the Oracle-NetSuite world. Switching an ERP system is a difficult task for most organizations, but when you work with Cloud Genius ERP we make this transition easy and seamless.
If any of these above reasons resonates with you and your company, you need to contact us today to make the switch over to the #1 Cloud-based ERP Software. Our team will be able to make your Oracle-NetSuite system work specifically for your company’s needs and standards. Click here to set up your free demo and start having your software ERP work for you not the other way around.
As a busy owner of a high-growth business, or the fortunate executive in charge of managing the data for one, you didn’t notice the subtle signs your company is outgrowing your accounting software. Money’s in the bank, employees are getting paid, and customers aren’t complaining any more than other companies you’ve worked for. You’ve been “getting by” with a mishmash of standalone, “good enough” business applications for functions like:
Payroll and HR
Product warehousing, inventory and supply chain
The difference between getting by in a growing business and operating efficiently is a wider chasm than you might think. If the financial cost of acquiring and deploying an integrated ERP application has been holding you back from hiring a cloud consulting firm, have you considered the costs you’re incurring with the status quo? The time your employees spend looking for information, entering it into multiple systems and the frustration of poor visibility of interdepartmental company performance?
Here are five clear signs it’s time to upgrade from your underperforming, stand-alone business applications to NetSuite – the leading cloud ERP system for mid-sized companies and high-growth startups.
1. My accounting software doesn’t support my business processes or workflows
As businesses grow, their approval hierarchy gets more complex, as do their business processes for functions like advanced manufacturing, supply chain and warehouse management. They often have industry-specific accounting standards which need to be adhered to, such as for healthcare, medical devices, energy and transportation. Further, they will need applications for functions like CRM and online sales and project management which would require the purchase, deployment and integration of additional SaaS applications.
By upgrading to a comprehensive ERP packaged suite, companies can achieve all these functions without subscribing to multiple services. NetSuite was designed to meet industry compliance requirements for verticals like healthcare, financial services and energy. As your application interaction and transaction volumes increase, NetSuite’s data centers in Massachusetts and California are purpose-built for high availability, security and stability.
2. I need configurable reports with real-time data to demonstrate interdepartmental performance
Have you been struggling with fragmented QuickBooks reporting, and need better insights about how your business is performing across functions like customer satisfaction, inventory turns and Cost of Goods Sold? An ERP SaaS consultant can help you implement a SaaS ERP solution with on-the-fly analytics which you can access on your device of choice, so you can drill down into the details behind the dashboards. QuickBooks is extensible with 3rd party addons and reporting tools, yet cloud ERP offers powerful business intelligence “out of the box”. If there are still industry-specific functional gaps in your ERP, apps like NetSuite can be customized, or there are many add-ons available too.
3. My user base is over 500 employees, and my data is growing at a rapid pace!
Small business accounting apps like QuickBooks Online Plus can only be licensed for up to 499 users. Data can be stored locally or in the cloud, which could lead to problems if customer data is stored locally and isn’t updated with what’s on the cloud. QuickBooks Online doesn’t have file size or data storage limits, but import volume does degrade performance somewhat. There are journal line limits, custom field character limits and backup parameters that small businesses should study to ensure they will work for their business. QuickBooks Enterprise/Desktop Editions are available hosted, but they shouldn’t be confused as true cloud/SaaS ERP solutions.
Cloud ERP means there’s no need to upgrade your financial software, reinstall new versions or migrate data from one edition to another. NetSuite offers three service pricing tiers – Limited Edition, Mid-Market Edition and Enterprise Edition. These editions include CRM and ERP, including functions like Order Management, Purchasing and Employee Center. These Editions are available on Shared or dedicated service tiers, with designated user and data ranges Working with a NetSuite business analyst consultant can help you select the ideal Software Subscription Agreement which meets your unique business needs. User license volume tiers are available up to 3,500 seats, which is far above the capacity and functionality of most accounting packages. As your business grows, your company can add functional modules or upgrade from one edition to another.
4. I want to sell and do business overseas, but my accounting application only supports US Dollars!
NetSuite empowers growing businesses and enterprises to do business in multiple currencies, and to manage multiple international subsidiaries or business units as you grow. No need to run siloed applications in each country. NetSuite OneWorld helps global businesses to manage assets, resources, and customer transactions. Reporting can process business performance data across multiple geographies, and ensure your business is compliant with tax rules and regulatory reporting standards where ever you do business.
5. My CPA needs access to my financial data, do I have to send them export files?
With many on premise accounting applications, company executives must export their data or provide secure remote access via a VPN application to their on-premise financial application. In some cases, companies need to buy a license for their accountant to access their financial information or to pay full price for training. The NetSuite Accountant Program provides external accounting professionals like CPAs with:
The inside track on new product enhancements
No-charge, single-seat access to your cloud ERP instance
Incentive programs to refer business to NetSuite
There are many benefits to upgrading from accounting software applications like QuickBooks, Sage or SAP to NetSuite Cloud ERP. After completing several implementation and custom development projects, the Cloud Genius ERP team knows how to deploy NetSuite to your enterprise with minimal interruption and maximum business value. If your Detroit-area business has already purchased NetSuite, and you need training, support or integration assistance, our consultants are ready to help you get more for your ERP investment.