How a NetSuite admin uses Flashlight to manage complexity and move with confidence
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"It gave us something that we didn’t have, and that we didn’t have time to do ourselves."
— Alexandra Riffle, ERP System Administrator at Teague
Like a lot of Strongpoint’s biggest fans, Alexandra Riffle, ERP System Administrator at Washington design firm Teague, has used our products in multiple roles and organizations.
Why? It’s what she calls “Scream Theory.”
Without Strongpoint, “we would just change something and wait for somebody to scream, and then be like, ‘OK, we figured it out. Now we know who uses it and what they do with it.’ And if nobody screams, you’re good to go!”
Using Strongpoint’s Flashlight tool, however, she’s a lot more confident when making changes to NetSuite — and a lot less likely to stress out her coworkers. Here’s how she discovered Flashlight, and how it’s helped her in two different roles — each with their own unique set of challenges.
Streamlining a Complex Implementation at True Brands
Riffle started her admin career at True Brands and took the lead in getting the organization up and running with NetSuite. The system she implemented worked great for the organization at first — but over several years, which saw their staff and revenue more than triple, it quickly became unwieldy.
By 2017, Riffle was heading up an admin team of four and a NetSuite account comprising “thousands of custom fields, multiple custom records, hundreds of scripts… all sorts of crazy stuff.” They had great processes in place, but ultimately, in an account of that complexity, manually documenting every customization was too time-consuming to keep up with.
They also had no way of seeing the downstream impact of a change. “One of us would change a field, and it would break stuff.”
It made things so much easier for us!
Fortunately, Riffle and a colleague discovered Flashlight at SuiteWorld. With it set up, accurate account documentation is just a click away. And tools such as the customization impact search make it quick and simple to see what will be affected when one of her team members makes a change.
“It made things so much easier for us. It gave us something that we didn’t have, and that we didn’t have time to do ourselves.”
Planning for Growth
Flashlight is perfect for small organizations. But when a business grows, or when compliance comes into scope, more powerful automation is required.
Fortunately, Flashlight lays the groundwork for our Enterprise-level products and makes it easier for admins like Riffle to take the next steps when the time is right.
Cleaning Up and Managing Complexity at Teague
In 2019, Riffle made the move to Teague — and knew almost instantly that Flashlight would come in handy. “There’s not necessarily a lot of customizations, but the customizations that are there are really complicated, and very critical to the core functions of the business.” As a result, “I’m going to start breaking stuff if I can’t know what these fields are related to.”
One of her first tasks was to streamline the account. “I’ve been deleting more than I’ve been adding to the system,” she told us. Here, Flashlight’s impact analysis tools have been critical: “It’s being able to understand stuff that other people have done.”
As a result, she can easily identify which fields are connected to an important workflow or saved search — and which are safe to deprecate. She also gains better visibility into the account as a whole, and better insights into why the system was constructed the way it was.