What is Netsuite and How Is It Used? An Introduction From SaaS Experts

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What is NetSuite, and why should it matter to your business? Simply put, it is a powerful tool that can help you manage and execute critical operations across multiple departments and functions. But, if you aren’t familiar with NetSuite, its relevance and business value may not be immediately apparent.

what is netsuite
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Vendr Team
Published on
March 7, 2024
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What is NetSuite, and why should it matter to your business? Simply put, it is a powerful tool that can help you manage and execute critical operations across multiple departments and functions. But, if you aren’t familiar with NetSuite, its relevance and business value may not be immediately apparent.

That’s why we brought our SaaS experts together to dive into the nitty-gritty of what NetSuite is, how it works, and who stands to benefit most from this software.

What is NetSuite?

Oracle NetSuite is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software platform. It helps manage critical business operations, including:

  • Financials. 
  • Inventory management. 
  • Human resources (HR). 
  • E-commerce. 
  • Customer interactions. 

NetSuite is widely used across organizations of various sizes and industries due to its scalability, flexibility, and ability to streamline and support key business processes. In fact, Netsuite is currently the top-purchased ERP tool on the Vendr Buying Platform, with 10x more purchases than competitors such as Workday and Certinia. Vendr data also shows that Netsuite was the 8th most renewed SaaS product in 2023.

ERP vs. CRM: how they're different

ERP and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are both software systems that help businesses manage different aspects of their operations.

ERP systems typically cover finance-related business functions like HR, supply chain management, and manufacturing, to name a few. ERP systems are therefore used across a wide range of industries, including healthcare and manufacturing, and are often managed by teams involved in finance, production, and procurement.  

In contrast, CRM systems specialize in managing customer information and augmenting sales and marketing efforts to boost satisfaction and profitability. CRMs often include lead and contact management features, marketing automation, and other features critical for marketing and sales teams. CRMs will also integrate with your tech stack to support omnichannel customer communication and campaign management.

NeSuite vs. other popular business solutions

Below we break down how Netsuite compares to other top business solutions like Salesforce, Quickbooks, and Oracle ERP Cloud. We've also put together a complete guide to the top Netsuite competitors, check it our for more info.

NetSuite vs. Salesforce

Salesforce is a CRM platform that provides a management system for customer interactions, sales processes, and marketing campaigns.

NetSuite, on the other hand, is a cloud ERP software that offers a comprehensive suite of business applications beyond CRM. It provides a single place to support and manage core functions of a company's operations, including financial management, inventory management, procurement, e-commerce, and project management.

NetSuite vs. Oracle ERP Cloud

NetSuite and Oracle ERP Cloud are both software solution providers aimed at streamlining business processes, but they cater to different market segments and offer distinct approaches. Oracle, a multinational technology company, acquired NetSuite in 2015, which means they are the parent company for both of these tools. 

Oracle ERP Cloud typically caters to larger enterprises with highly complex requirements and significant IT resources and capabilities. Meanwhile, NetSuite focuses on simpler, more manageable ERP implementation for small- to mid-sized companies.

NetSuite vs. QuickBooks

NetSuite and QuickBooks are both widely used as accounting software solutions, but they cater to different business needs and sizes. QuickBooks, developed by Intuit, is primarily designed for small businesses or startups with very little complexity, accounting knowledge, and often minimal resources to dedicate toward accounting.

NetSuite is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP platform designed to support the needs of growing businesses, mid-sized companies, and subsidiaries of larger enterprises. It provides scalability, customization options, and advanced functionalities that cater to businesses with more complex operations and scalability requirements.

We put together a comprehensive guide comparing Netsuite and Quickbooks, check it out for a more detailed breakdown.

NetSuite plans (and how Vendr can help you save)

NetSuite offers various plans tailored to different business needs and sizes, including:  

  • SuiteSuccess. 
  • Standard Edition. 
  • Mid-Market Edition. 
  • Enterprise Edition. 
  • OneWorld. 

Not sure what plan is right for your organization? Use Vendr to find out — our customers see a median savings of $17,200 on their Netsuite subscriptions. 

Vendr optimizes SaaS purchases by leveraging our top-tier expertise and a data-driven approach. We have a team of experts who work closely to pull out community insights that create better transparency throughout the procurement process — illuminating which plan works best for your unique business needs and capabilities.

For detailed information and insights on pricing, take a look at our Netsuite Buyer’s Guide.

What is NetSuite used for?

NetSuite is typically used to support business activities including:

  • Financial management: NetSuite helps manage financial processes such as accounting, budgeting, billing, invoicing, and financial reporting.
  • CRM: This tool enables businesses to track leads, manage customer interactions, automate sales processes, measure against KPIs, and analyze customer data to improve engagement and retention.
NetSuite CRM Dashboard
  • E-commerce: NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce offering provides e-commerce capabilities for managing online sales channels, including website management, order management, inventory management, and customer support.
  • Inventory management: Businesses can get real-time visibility into inventory levels, manage stock across multiple locations, automate replenishment processes, and optimize inventory turnover.
  • Warehouse management: NetSuite also offers a Warehouse Management System that enables companies to streamline day-to-day warehouse operations.
NetSuite Inventory Management features
  • HR management: The platform provides HR capabilities such as employee management, payroll processing, time tracking, benefits administration, and compliance management.
  • Project management: NetSuite helps manage projects from planning to execution via dashboards that track tasks, resources, timelines, and expenses, facilitating better collaboration among team members.
  • Global business management: Another NetSuite product is NetSuite OneWorld, which allows international companies with multiple subsidiaries to consolidate and manage their finances.

Who can benefit from NetSuite ERP?

NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP can benefit a wide range of businesses across industries, including:

  • Manufacturing: NetSuite benefits manufacturing companies by streamlining production planning, inventory management, and supply chain processes. It offers features such as bill of materials (BOM) management, work order processing, and demand planning to optimize production efficiency and meet customer demand.
  • Retail: NetSuite provides retailers with tools for managing multiple sales channels, including brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce platforms with features like point-of-sale (POS) integration, inventory replenishment, and customer relationship management.
  • IT: IT teams can benefit from NetSuite's project management, time tracking, and billing functionalities — as well as its generative AI capabilities. By automating project workflows and resource allocation, they can improve project profitability and customer satisfaction.
  • Financial services: NetSuite offers financial services firms tools for managing accounting, billing, and compliance requirements. With features like revenue recognition and financial reporting, companies can ensure regulatory compliance and maintain accurate financial records.
  • Healthcare: NetSuite can support healthcare and life sciences organizations with inventory management, order processing, and regulatory compliance. Features like lot tracking and serialization help ensure product safety and traceability throughout the supply chain.

NetSuite’s best features

NetSuite boasts several standout features as an ERP solution:

  • A unified platform: NetSuite offers a unified platform that integrates various business functions into a single system. Netsuite's suite of integrations eliminates the need for separate software, streamlining operations and providing a centralized source of truth.
  • Customization: NetSuite offers extensive customization options through configuration, scripting, and SuiteApps, enabling businesses to adapt workflows, reports, and user interfaces to match their unique processes and requirements.
  • Real-time analytics: NetSuite provides robust reporting and analytics tools that enable businesses to gain insights into their operations and make data-driven decisions.

New NetSuite AI features

NetSuite’s AI features enhance operationalization and decision-making across your entire business. This includes predictive analytics, recommendation engines, and automation features.

NetSuite also uses AI to enable:

  • Automated report generation: Analyze historical data and automatically generate insightful reports, helping businesses gain actionable insights without manual effort.
  • Forecasting and demand planning: Use past sales data and market trends to assist with accurate forecasting and demand planning, optimizing inventory management and resource allocation.
  • Process automation: Automate repetitive tasks, thereby increasing operational efficiency and reducing manual errors.

NetSuite Oracle FAQs 

Can NetSuite be customized for specific industry needs?

Yes, NetSuite can be customized to meet specific industry needs through configuration, development, and integration with industry-specific applications and processes.

Are there options for NetSuite training and certification?

NetSuite offers several training programs and certifications (including SuiteFoundation Certification, ERP Consultant Certification, and others) to help users and professionals become proficient in using the platform and its various modules. Learn more on NetSuite’s services portal.

How much does NetSuite cost?

Cost varies depending on factors such as the number of users, the modules selected, and any customization or implementation services required, with pricing typically based on a subscription model. Vendr data indicates that the median average contract value for Netsuite is $109k with a median buying cycle of 48 days. You can read more about pricing ranges for specific plans here.

Who owns Netsuite? 

Netsuite was purchased in 2016 by Oracle Corporation.

Vendr Team
Vendr Team
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Vendr's team of SaaS and negotiation experts provide their curated insights into the latest trends in software, tool capabilities, and modern procurement strategies.

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