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Use NetSuite to gain better visibility into engineering projects

Sep 11, 2018

Can your project managers see how much it costs to develop new products? Does your CFO have instant access to profit margins and project budgets?

Not if you use Excel or other manual methods to track projects. Expenses, resource allocation and progress are constantly moving targets, so spreadsheets and handwritten notes are nearly always out of date. And they’re inefficient. Project managers spend so much time tracking down updates and revising manual files, they can’t dedicate enough time to managing resources and project plans.

To work more efficiently — and drive better engineering outcomes — project managers need modern tools. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions like Oracle NetSuite give manufacturers better visibility into the projects they manage, which leads to better decisions and significant cost savings. 

Let’s break down some of the benefits of NetSuite.

A flexible, multipurpose tool

One tool supports several functions, which maximizes the return for your technology investment. For example, the CEO and CFO can use NetSuite to generate financial reports, while project managers use it to quickly set up engineering projects and tasks.

Because NetSuite is cloud-based, it’s easy for privileged employees to access project information when and where they need it. Decision makers and “doers” work from the same playbook, which makes complex development projects simpler to track and manage.

Projects can be set up and organized flexibly, too. Users can sort projects by task, milestones or end dates, or they can view an entire project from start to finish. Templates make it simple to open projects and group tasks, so employees can focus on product development right away.

Daily tasks and priorities are clear on NetSuite’s project dashboard, so staff don’t waste time tracking down updates or searching for information.

Project Dashboard NetSuite

Robust reporting

NetSuite can generate standard or custom reports using real-time data — and many project metrics are pulled automatically. For example, the project dashboard automatically displays your team’s progress against critical milestones, and it includes a Gantt Chart to make the information glanceable.

NetSuite makes financial data actionable, too. Within a click, you can see a project’s actual versus budgeted costs, calculate costs based on employee labor rates, or estimate profitability.

Gantt chart w Critical Path Highlighted

Better business decisions

Up-to-date reports improve decision-making capabilities across the organization. NetSuite tracks resources, expenses and time so managers can optimize employee utilization and efficiency. And profitability stays front and center.

With the right data, managers can reduce costs and increase the number of projects they deliver on time and on budget. Real-time analytics also make it possible to standardize product development best practices.

Est Profitability by Project Report NetSuite

Find the right solution for your business 

An ERP is a sure-fire way to increase efficiency and effectiveness across your engineering projects — if you pick the right ERP and manage the implementation correctly. Before you choose a solution, take a hard look at challenges that are recurring in your projects. Make sure any technology solution you consider solves the root cause of your frustration, and that it will support your current strengths and processes.

How Wipfli can help

When you’re ready to improve efficiency across the organization, Wipfli can help. We have specialists in manufacturing, ERP systems and project management that can help you find the right project technology for your organization. Together, we can plan for a smooth implementation, quick ROI and powerful business change. Learn more.

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Author(s)

Reed Klinkhammer
Senior Consultant
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