What do a maker of bespoke elevators, an industrial protective coatings service provider and a fast-growing e-scooter business have in common? All three had intractable challenges that were addressed by an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

In all cases, their journeys started with ERP implementations. Once up and running, these disparate companies got the results they needed, whether that be more sales without adding new team members, better visibility across business operations, or simplified month-end close with less manual data crunching.

What Is an ERP implementation?

An ERP implementation is the process of installing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and then making sure your team is making the most of the technology. The process includes three main phases:

  • Installing onsite software and/or contracting with a SaaS provider. Often, companies seek help from the vendor or an implementation partner specialising in ERP, the vertical industry or specialised use cases.
  • Migrating data from your previous system or systems into the new ERP.
  • Training the finance team to use the new software. That process may include knowledge transfer from employees who previously used the system or formal education from your implementation partner.

The success rate ERP implementations is improving thanks to a focus on user experience, specifically simpler interfaces, more configuration flexibility, mobile functionality and increased automation. In fact, IDC’s 2020 SaaSPath Survey showed that "ease of use" is the most important vendor selection criteria for those purchasing finance applications.

Best practices to ensure success include organising a strong implementation team of leaders from all areas of your company, from sales to accounting to operations. Ask them: What problems would we like this new system to resolve?

When choosing the ERP, it’s important to ensure it can easily integrate with other financial systems, and those of your key partners, and that you can be up and running in a reasonable timeframe, preferably 90 days or less. Finally, make sure your finance policies and procedures are aligned to make the most of the new system.

Key takeaway:

An ERP implementation is a process: ERP vendors and reviewers alike recommend carefully evaluating ERP vendors and/or partners before beginning, as well as taking things one step at a time, setting expectations with realistic planning timeframes and a comprehensive checklist mapped to your company’s goals for the system.

3 Successful ERP Implementation Case Studies

Let’s look at three companies that found success with their ERP implementation projects, and their key lessons learned.

ERP Case Study #1: Easy Living Home Elevators

Easy Living Home Elevators, provides bespoke elevator installation services for luxury homes, as well as homes requiring disability access.

Prior to upgrading to full-featured ERP, Easy Living Home Elevators relied on a patchwork of software tools — MYOB, Act and Microsoft Access Database — which just didn’t integrate properly. The team was stuck performing manual data entry, which led to mistakes in calculations, and slowed financial reporting.

Furthermore, month-end close took two weeks to process, meaning the team were forced into rushed and reactive decision-making. The business didn't have insight into projects that were heading over budget, which impacted the bottom line.

To streamline processes and support its rapid growth, including the acquisition of five competitors, the team implemented NetSuite ERP.

Now they are able to:

  • Easily manage six business entities with one unified view.
  • Complete month-end close in half the time it took previously.
  • Generate reports, such as labour hours and efficiency, in real time, rather than 10 days.
  • Have a platform that supports their expansion plans, ready to scale as the team needs additional functionality.

Key takeaways:

  • ERP streamlines processes and operations, allowing teams to focus on value-add activities — not manual data crunching.
  • ERP supports future growth. For example, Easy Living is set to expand internationally, with the possibility of a franchise model on the table thanks to the seamless integration and flexibility of NetSuite.

ERP Case Study #2: McElligotts

McElligotts is an industrial protective coatings company offering services in abrasive blasting, application of protective coatings and concrete remediation. The team successfully implemented NetSuite in just 14 weeks, replacing four systems previously used by the business.

McElligotts struggled to maintain visibility over transactions and reporting due to the disparate systems used across offices. Some departments were even relying on carbon pads for invoicing and purchase orders.

To modernise and consolidate its systems into one, McElligotts turned to NetSuite's cloud-based financial management platform.

With this in place, McElligotts was able to:

  • Balance and reconcile accounts faster.
  • Improve the accuracy of hours and vacation time counts.
  • See labour cost trends across its three subsidiaries.
  • Empower employees with real-time data on projects across four offices and a portfolio of large scale, highly complex industrial projects.

Key takeaways:

  • McElligotts moved from carbon to cloud in just 14 weeks. What must have seemed like an insurmountable task at first — with many teams still using paper invoicing — was seamlessly upgraded with no downtime.
  • A unified ERP can easily replace a variety of old systems.

ERP Case Study #3: Beam Mobility

Founded in 2018, Singapore-headquartered Beam Mobility provides fun, practical and safe e-scooters to busy urban cities. Beam Mobility achieved significant growth in a short space of time, expanding its footprint to Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan.

With growth came increased complexity, and the team soon realised that manual financial processes and poor data visibility was preventing them from making insight-driven decisions. Most of the business data was contained in spreadsheets that were replicated with multiple versions.

Beam Mobility chose NetSuite and with the help of its partner AFON, deployed NetSuite OneWorld to streamline its business processes by gaining real-time visibility of its financials across seven offices and adding customised reports.

Beam Mobility now::

  • Reconciles quicker — a whole two days faster!
  • Month-end close is completed in five less days, leaving the team more time to focus on growth.
  • Deploying NetSuite OneWorld means Beam Mobility can swiftly enter new markets, as it seamlessly adjusts for currency, taxation and legal compliance differences at the local level, with regional business consolidation.

Key takeaways

  • When implemented correctly, ERP streamlines processes and provides valuable tools to support business priorities.

The case study also shows that a third-party partner can be helpful in tailoring the ERP system to precisely fit your company’s needs

Many growing companies like those profiled here ask: “What is the business case for ERP?”

Many growing companies like those profiled here ask: “What is the business case for ERP?”

Besides the takeaways from our case studies, it boils down to agility. When finance teams stop peering at dozens of spreadsheets and paper records, they can get strategic. By helping executive and business colleagues visualise data, growing firms can forecast future trends and adapt quickly to beat competitors.

What Are the Challenges of ERP?

Implementing an ERP can mean overcoming obstacles. Two of the most commonly cited ERP challenges are:

  • Choosing the right vendor. Obviously, choosing an ERP system that doesn’t fit your company’s needs will likely result in a failed implementation. Many advisers recommend evaluating around five vendors before choosing which ERP to purchase.

    Companies should choose a vendor that has experience with your company’s vertical, type (product or service) and size; can provide a hands-on demo; understands the tax laws and regulations that apply to your business; and is sure to be in business in five years.

  • Getting employees to support the change. As mentioned, teams may resist the transition to ERP if you don’t show them why the new system will be helpful to them. Explain how ERP will make each team’s everyday tasks easier before the implementation begins and ensure plenty of time for training during the process.

Why Do ERP Implementations Fail?

ERP implementations can fail without proper risk management. In other words, leaders need to anticipate what might derail the project, then plan.

In one often-cited case, for example, a multinational distributor’s implementation epically failed, resulting in major shipping delays and lost sales. It turns out the company had operational issues before the implementation even began, as it had just acquired another company and was having trouble integrating the new subsidiary’s operations into its own. Company leadership should have managed that risk by identifying and fixing those operational issues before the ERP implementation began.


ERP implementation is a process. It requires lots of planning to ensure success. However, your company isn’t the first to go through it. Consider case studies of successful implementations, choose the right partner and your business will enjoy the benefits of the system, quickly.

If you’re considering an ERP implementation, schedule a consultation with NetSuite.