Why we don’t recommend NetSuite to our customers (anymore)!

Full disclosure: We use to be a reseller Partner for NetSuite, for about 4 years… after several implementations and mostly unsatisfying outcomes,
we have decided to end our partnership with NetSuite.

Here are some of the reasons we are no longer a NetSuite Partner:

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1. Lack of training and support.

NetSuite, despite what its Sales team will claim, actually has a very weak ERP training and customer support program. We realized it when to our support team started receiving more and more requests for NetSuite Support. These calls are not being directed to NetSuite Support, but to the NetSuite partners. Of course, many of these were our own clients and we were assumed that they just preferred talking to us. To our surprise, however, some of these users were not our clients and they were looking for training as NetSuite was not offering ongoing training (only on-boarding).

With the rising number of NetSuite support cases we were receiving, we started to feel more and more uncomfortable recommending NetSuite to our clients. NetSuite was only interested in being a technical solution, not a complete offering from Systems/functions to Training & Support.

The selection of a new ERP system can be one of the best steps you will ever take in improving your company’s productivity and performance, but the ultimate performance of the system is reliant on the training and support provided by the vendor/partner. Any deficiencies in the product, training, or support will be reflected in the final product.

At TMC, Customer Care is our primary concern. Our customers are assigned a Client Account Manager and a Project Manager to ensure that all of their needs are met quickly and efficiently through outstanding support and structured training programs. Our Solutions Architect is available to plan and prepare for the next steps with your system, and with your business.

Our application consultants work with our existing clients by conducting research meetings, documenting system and process requirements, providing live product demonstrations and monthly webinars, and by identifying solutions to your ongoing business requirements.

From NetSuite users:

Review #1

“Their implementation is really lacking. They don’t listen to your needs and help you customize the system to do what you need it to do. They don’t know anything about integrating with other systems like Shopify. It is definitely inappropriate for small to medium-sized businesses. It is not well suited for any business that doesn’t have a developer on staff to adjust the code.”

Comments:
“Their support after your support period is over is basically nothing unless your whole system crashes, so good luck fixing anything.”

Review #2

“Customer support is slower than dirt. Getting information back in a timely manner is ridiculous. There is NO PHONE SUPPORT.

Only email and there are times when information needed back is mission-critical. It’s very slow and clunky.”

Comments:
“We would dump them if we could, but we are heavily invested in this solution too much.”

2. Too expensive

It is a consensus, whether you know the price of NetSuite or not, you will likely have heard that NetSuite “is kind of expensive”. In fact, it is “actually the most expensive solution we have ever sold”!

Over the years, when we presented NetSuite as the “best solution for our prospects, one major barrier has always been the price. Even though NetSuite is a worldwide business solution, available in many locations and offering a wide range of functionalities, the Return on Investment is just difficult to perceive for most users. NetSuite is sold on an annual contract basis, and the best terms come with a multi-year contract. To appear competitive (and to win the deal) NetSuite will then heavily discount their offering, but only for the first year. This makes year one costs seem reasonable, but the pain begins in year two.

Moreover, NetSuite support cost is growing over time as you add users… in some cases, we have seen users paying 80% more in support than 2 or 3 years before…

Finally, after NetSuite announced they are stopping to market and sell to smaller businesses, we realized it was time to terminate our partnership… our main focus is to serve Small and Medium Businesses, we couldn’t see the benefit to continue our collaboration with them.

From NetSuite users:

Review #1

“I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a fat wallet that grows every year. It cost a lot of money to customize and renew your contract. Prepare for the subscription price increase.”

Comments:
– “Extremely expensive. Big increase in price when it’s time to renew the contract. Sometimes over 100% increase in pricing!”
– “NetSuite support is expensive, ineffective, and not worth the cost. There is a fixed amount you pay (a percentage of your NetSuite Edition + other modules + user license). If you have 1 user, then you are paying a really expensive support fee.”

Review #2

“Signed up with this garbage in July, was told loads of great things. As soon as pen went to paper it went downhill fast. We don’t have this feature, or that’s outside of scope, despite me having it on phone recordings and being told it in person.”

Comments:
“They trap you in with low prices and then attempt to try and sell services that they promised originally verbally…..Lucky for me I record everything, for companies like these…..Now withdrawing every penny I paid them directly through my bank.”

3. Better Alternatives, better licensing model out there.

NetSuite is certainly a leading ERP/CRM solution (they have been the “ERP of the future” for nearly 20 years now – when does the NetSuite “future” actually arrive?), and many companies are using NetSuite to grow and strengthen their business. However, at TMC we are dedicated to serving Small and Medium companies who need a Business Solution that is flexible, robust, and more importantly, scalable. Most of our clients are growing fast and therefore have rapidly changing needs and requirements… the perfect business solution deployment today might not be as good a fit a few years down the road.

Scalable means both scaling up and scaling down. NetSuite is happy to let you add users and modules but reducing headcount, or dropping modules no longer needed is a far more difficult process. Downgrades to a NetSuite license can only be made once a year, at contract renewal time. (What’s that, you signed a multi-year contract, so your renewal is still 2 years to go……..) Dynamics 365 Business Central has proven to be a better fit for growing companies willing to scale their solutions as they evolve. With D365 BC, changes in Users are done within 30 days, typically reflected in your next monthly billing.

With an innovative licensing vision, Microsoft is revolutionizing the way you consume business Solutions. With Dynamics 365 Business Central (ERP system) to start with, you can seamlessly integrate/deploy additional features, more complex synchronization with the rest of your business department. (Read Dynamics 365 BC Pricing & Licensing)

From NetSuite users:

Review #1

“Nothing is user-friendly, despite their claims. Even simple changes require vast coding knowledge. It’s not a good choice for small or medium-sized businesses with users who aren’t also developers.”

Comments:
– “The shipping system doesn’t meet even basic shipping needs.”
– “We use QuickBooks and they tried to force us to change to their accounting software so the inventory could work.”

Review #2

“It is definitely inappropriate for small to medium-sized businesses. It is not well suited for any business that doesn’t have a developer on staff to adjust the code. It is not well suited to be an inventory system if you aren’t in need of accounting software.”

Comments:
“Most actions take way more steps than necessary and streamlining any of the redundancies requires custom coding.”

4. Not a real partner, just a bad competitor.

This last one is less related to the final user and more related to the way NetSuite interacts/works with their partner.

Overall, NetSuite was not a very supportive partner… it was challenging to work hand in hand, mainly because we were constantly competing against their (very aggressive) direct sales team. Sending mixed messages when working “together” on a new opportunity. Sometimes they were over-promising or hiding costs… it was very difficult to win deals. Once we had identified a “good lead” with the NetSuite system, we would frequently find ourselves now competing against the NetSuite Direct Sales team.

In these “competitive situations”, we encountered business practices that were against our business values and our partnership’s mutual interests… such as targeting our clients and not rewarding us for new opportunities co-created.

Finally, winning deals by over-promising has never been part of our way of doing business. By doing so, NetSuite created a lot of frustration for us (the partner) and the users (our clients).

From NetSuite users:

Review #1

“Our requirement was to have full integration (no patching or special interfaces) between CRM, ERP and Payroll. NetSuite falls short by having the payroll as an outsourced third party that we never knew or were told of, never mentioned in the NetSuite contract and then surprise! The payroll module is not fully integrated into the product, we were never told this. In fact, NetSuite outsourced the payroll to a Ceridian Payroll and Tax engine. Can you imagine being forced into this relationship with NetSuite never exposing it to us as a new customer even from day one!”

Comments:
“This made the ERP and CRM somewhat un-usable for us as the data was not flowing across the module as Ceridian refused to implement Payroll until the ERP was complete, no idea of parallel processing.”

Review #2

“NetSuite is a mistake for any small to medium-sized business that seeks a partnership relationship with their ERP provider. We have used NetSuite across our whole organization for the past 7 years. We use the ERP functionality for financial, inventory, CRM, work order processing, and item management. It may be well-suited for large corporations, but they are miserable for small to medium-sized businesses.”

Comments:
– “Their customer service is horrible.”
– “Their collection techniques are miserable, threatening, and relentless”

For many (most?) companies starting out, QuickBooks is a natural (and sold) choice for managing the books. Over time, with the growth of the company, QuickBooks will start to show its limitations and a search will begin for a replacement for QB, a new ERP system.

NetSuite has always positioned their solution as a natural “next step” after QuickBooks has reached its end of useful life.
NetSuite is Cost + cost + cost model – the “base” system + Users + Additional NetSuite modules.

NetSuite implementers are most likely to be an accounting firms, interested in making their own lives easier (and earning fees from NetSuite). These partners are most interested in “plain-vanilla” implementation, but you are paying for 20 built-in “vertical” solutions. Why pay for what you won’t ever use?

At TMC, we’ve learned that immersing ourselves in our client’s business and understanding their problems, goals, systems, and processes are key to delivering outstanding business solutions software implementation. We look at a company as a whole entity. We listen carefully. We ask pertinent questions. We collaborate with our clients at every level, and we never stop working until the solution provides optimum performance throughout the organization.

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