NetSuite Administrator Burnout is Real
I recently read an article, that stated, “75% of NetSuite administrators have moved on in the last year.” I can’t personally vouch for the numbers. But I can tell from my experience in the industry, that many NetSuite administrators are under pressure.
From its inception, NetSuite was focused on small and medium-sized businesses as its main customer base. As NetSuite has matured as a product, it has made an ever-increasing push into the enterprise. With large consulting firms like Deloitte joining the community of NetSuite solution providers, the message of a cloud-based ERP system is being preached to an increasing number of large businesses.
As the demands for functionality has grown so has the number of licensed users per installed instance. All of this adds up to more working hours for NetSuite Administrators. If NetSuite Administrators are experiencing burn out, then there are multiple solutions companies can attempt to implement. Flexible work hours and the ability to work from home are just a couple of suggestions.
But one solution that I have found to work well, but must be managed, is outsourcing to a NetSuite Provider. Not the outsourcing all your administrative tasks, but using outsourcing as a way to augment your existing staff. From my experience, here are a few suggestions that can help your staff augmentation be successful.
1. Have clear objectives on what tasks will be outsourced
Guidelines should be created that state what kinds of tasks have the option to be outsourced. An organization could, for example, determine that they will outsource only the tasks for which they don’t have the skills in house. Or perhaps only tasks that are routine but time-consuming will be outsourced. In either case, in-house staff should have know, up front, what types of tasks can be outsourced.
2. Give the provider only enough permissions in your account to accomplish their tasks
Resist the temptation of giving the provider the administrator role in your production account, unless you actually expect the provider to perform every possible task allowed in NetSuite. Here is one area where having clear objectives on what kind of tasks will be outsourced pays off. As a provider, I’ll admit that having the admin role makes my job easier as I don’t have any restrictions when performing my assigned tasks, but this isn’t a “best practice.”
3. Document, document, document
All changes to your account should be documented. I would recommend a formal procedure of creating “Change Request” documents, which document the business requirement. The change request should be attached to the case that is assigned. All scripts, workflows, custom fields, etc. should be documented. You may find a need to change providers in the future and proper documentation procedures can help you be prepared.
4. Create and monitor Service Level Agreements (SLA)
All tasks should be given a priority and an associated SLA. The SLA should spell out not only completion times but also expected levels of communication/update notifications. For example, for critical issues which keep the business from functioning, the SLA could state that the provider should send email updates each hour until the issues are resolved. Metrics should be created and monitored so that it can be clearly visible if the provider is meeting the SLAs. As well as point out areas of possible improvement either in the provider’s performance or the expectation of the SLA.
5. The provider should be given access to your case management system
This may incur some license expense to accomplish this, but this enables the provider to operate as an actually a member of the administration team, which, of course, they are. Case/tasks can be assigned and SLA easily monitored creating a seamless environment.
6. Assign a liaison that must approve outsourced tasks
Especially in the beginning of the relationship, the provider will have many questions about the tasks that are being assigned and your business in general. A point of contact at your company can serve as a guide to the provider as they navigate your organization’s landscape. Also, if you decide to give business users direct access to the provider, a liaison can decide which tasks have priority and which tasks shouldn’t even be approved.
7. Find a provider that fits your company’s needs and culture
It goes without saying that all NetSuite providers don’t operate in the same way. Some are really focused on business processes; others are focused on a particular business vertical, others on customization and development. As you interview providers, keep your outsourcing objectives as well as your corporate culture in mind. You want to select a provider that is focused on your particular objectives.
Jeremy McCourt is an content producer in the enterprise software industry that focuses on NetSuite and related cloud-based software solutions.
Contact us! As long as valuable information is stored in the cloud, people will try to steal it. NetSuite does a fantastic job of keeping their customer’s data safe, but a secure NetSuite login process…
- Aug 17
- 6 mins read
Contact us! It’s been said that a NetSuite implementation is only as good as the team that implements it. I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate, but there definitely is some truth to it. ERP…
- Aug 06
- 6 mins read