Case Study: Energy Industry
How a small team used Strongpoint to compare NetSuite accounts 100 times faster
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“Like a parachute, when you need it, it’s a lifesaver.”
Our client, an industrial machinery distributor working in the energy sector, came to Strongpoint with both a very specific problem and a big-picture concern.
“Our company was struggling with the details of what is actually happening within NetSuite,” their business systems manager told us.
This customer's NetSuite instance had been heavily customized — in sandbox — by a consultant partner. As a result, “we just didn’t have the documentation that was necessary to backtrack and troubleshoot things.”
This would be a concern to any NetSuite admin, but it became a serious issue when the team had to troubleshoot a third-party API. “That was being held up by the big question: ‘Do we have anything outstanding in sandbox?’”
The Solution? Strongpoint's Environment Comparison Tool
Using Environment Comparison, our customer was able to get a full diff between accounts — and discovered several changes in sandbox that hadn't been brought over to prod.
Manually comparing heavily customized NetSuite environments can take hundreds of hours of review — and will still involve an element of human error. By automating the process with Strongpoint, they saved weeks of work and managed to avoid a problem that could potentially result in his environments falling out of sync.
“Having that tool was priceless to us. The amount of time and resources that we would have used to do that comparison manually… I don’t even want to think about it... I would say it is 1/100th of the time we would have spent doing this manually.”
And when it comes to avoiding problems that can lead to even more manual work, “Like a parachute, when you need it, it’s a lifesaver.”
I would say it is 1/100th of the time we would have spent doing this manually
Finding Added Value
Strongpoint’s Environment Comparison tool leverages the comprehensive account documentation created by our product. But, this customer discovered, with great documentation you can do a lot more than just compare environments.
Once they had solved the specific problem in their sandbox, the team started to explore some of the other ways Strongpoint could make their jobs easier.
Impact Search and Entity Relationship Diagrams
Our customer was quick to realize the benefit of Strongpoint’s Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD) and customization impact searches.
The ERD gives NetSuite teams a simple, visual representation of all the dependencies on a customization, while impact searches put this information in an easy-to-parse list. With either output, you can see at-a-glance what will be affected if you make a change to a customization.
Change Monitoring and Management
Strongpoint’s suite of tools are great for solving problems, whether they’re everyday things like deprecating a field, or more unique cases like our customer's sandbox issue. But Strongpoint can also transform the way you work on a day-to-day basis.
With a small team and a locked-down NetSuite account where only admins can make changes, this customer's ERP didn’t yet require a formal change management system. Instead, we set them up with a series of alerts to let management know when someone makes a higher-risk change to a script, a workflow, or something touching a script or workflow.
For now, it’s easy to review these alerts when they come in, giving them excellent visibility into the state of his account. Best of all, they've put in place processes that can be formalized with an appropriate change management system when the organization grows ready for it.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, with Strongpoint, “I’m aware of what we are doing and where we are doing it,” they told us. That’s great news for their ERP team — and an essential step in building smart, effective processes from the ground up.
I’m aware of what we are doing and where we are doing it
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Register to see our recent presentation on "Automating Change Management in NetSuite" for a demo of some of the reports and tools used by this customer.