How we helped an automation expert review and cleanup more than 10 years of customizations in an FDA-regulated NetSuite instance.
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“Automate what you can, manage by exception.”
— Roy Lowe, Business Application Administrator at Cross Company
It’s not often that we hear one of our core philosophies articulated so perfectly. So it’s no surprise that Roy Lowe, Business Application Administrator at Cross Company, is a big Strongpoint fan.
Cross Company is an employee-owned industrial automation solutions provider. They’ve been using NetSuite as their ERP since 2016, but recently acquired a company with an even longer-running instance — and a team of developers along with it.
“Now we have to not only understand what changes are being made, but who’s making those changes and why we had to make those changes,” Lowe told us.
Fortunately, Cross Company has Strongpoint on their side. Our product has provided Lowe with vital support for both big projects and everyday account administration. Here’s a look at three ways we’ve helped.
Managing an Acquisition
2018, Cross Company acquired equipment calibration company JA King. JA King had been running NetSuite since 2009, and bringing that instance into line with Cross’ existing ERP systems required reviewing and migrating over 10 years of customizations.
“NetSuite does a really good job of letting you customize. It’s a flexible system, but flexibility is a double edge sword. It allows you to do something, but there’s some consequences if you’re not careful,” Lowe told us.
For many in this situation, the danger of breaking the system is enough to warrant caution. But for Cross Company, compliance was also a concern. “We want to make sure we understand what’s important to us. Especially when we have some things within the system that are FDA regulated.”
Strongpoint gives Lowe the visibility he needs to move safely at speed. “Strongpoint helped us manage those changes,” he told us. And change logs made sure everything was properly documented, and could be justified in the event of an audit.
Obsolete saved searches eliminated overnight
Eliminating Technical Debt
As Lowe learned, Strongpoint is great at big projects like migrating an account. But when it’s integrated into your ongoing practices, it’s invaluable.
“I use it every day,” he told us. And a big part of that is keeping technical debt under control. Immediately after installation, Strongpoint identified 1800 obsolete saved searches that could be safely deprecated — including 1300 from the JA King instance, which instantly made the migration prep that much easier.
Those are dramatic results for one day, but beyond that, Strongpoint is “helping us to keep a clean house.” Dashboard alerts help Lowe stay on top of his newly expanded team and, just as importantly, he’s able to make sure unneeded customizations don’t build up in the future.
When it comes to saved searches, “the automated saved search cleanup was a huge help... that’s one thing we kinda set it and forget it, we put in our criteria and it just runs!”
Change Monitoring and Management
Managing NetSuite is about more than managing technical debt. It’s about ensuring that the critical ERP systems a business relies on are able to evolve alongside that business. And that's exactly what Strongpoint does at Cross Company.
With change monitoring enabled, Lowe has a comprehensive view of the activity in his account. Critical things are surfaced for review, while developers have the tools they need to make everyday changes safely.
“Strongpoint certainly helps us to leverage NetSuite’s capabilities and honestly just put [changes] on the radar that otherwise wouldn’t have been there,” Lowe said. “NetSuite does a lot of things really well, but there are gaps when it comes to certain facets of the product. And that includes administration.”
I’m aware of what we are doing and where we are doing it
The support of the product is stellar… and the questions I tend to ask are not that easy!
More Tools in the Toolbox
Lowe told us that “a carpenter doesn’t have one tool, a carpenter has many tools in his toolbox.” And Strongpoint is one of his most valuable tools. At Cross Company, it’s essential to both everyday account management and time-consuming projects — “whatever’s taking place that day,” as Lowe put it.
And along the way, Lowe can rely on Strongpoint’s team for help with any issue that arises. “The support of the product is stellar… and the questions I tend to ask are not that easy!”
The Bottom Line
Between FDA compliance, a recent acquisition and the day-to-day automation of key administrative tasks, there’s no one single problem that Cross Company is using Strongpoint to solve. But ultimately what’s happening is that Lowe and his team are building smarter, automated processes that will help their ERP systems adapt and evolve — safely and efficiently, no matter what the future brings.