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NetSuite Project Management Review 2023: Worth the Price?

Ana Marković Ana Marković Project Manager @WebsitePlanet

Oracle NetSuite is an all-in-one platform designed to streamline every aspect of your business, from finance to customer management. NetSuite also provides a comprehensive set of project management tools, making it an excellent choice for medium-to-large businesses looking for a one-stop, flexible solution. However, small businesses on a budget that only require project management features will need to look elsewhere.


Impressive Project Management Tools – If You Have the Budget (and Experience)

You’ve likely encountered Oracle NetSuite in your research if your goal is to consolidate your company’s operations under one robust platform. NetSuite comes with modules that handle finance, HR, customer service, inventory management, and more, all accessible from a single dashboard.

Oracle NetSuite Homepage
NetSuite offers tailored services for various industries and business needs

NetSuite also includes a project management module that allows you to plan and track every aspect of your projects, down to individual tasks. You can assign resources, track progress against milestones, manage project budgets, and make real-time adjustments as your project evolves.

However, access to more advanced project management features requires you to pay more, and even the basic suite of tools doesn’t come cheap. NetSuite doesn’t display prices on its website, so you’ll have to contact them directly to get a personalized quote for your business.

Another issue that adds up to the hefty price tag is the lack of a free trial. However, you can take advantage of NetSuite’s free product tour, which provides critical insights into the software’s offerings.

NetSuite’s extensive functionality also means complexity – the interface is cluttered with features and is not always easy to navigate. It may take time to fully grasp how NetSuite works, especially if you’re new to productivity software.



Basic and Advanced Project Management Features to Streamline All Your Processes

The NetSuite Projects feature provides essential project management tools that mainly involve customer management. For instance, you can track your project’s time, contacts, and transactions. Though helpful, these tools are most useful for creating customer records, so they likely won’t be enough to meet all your project management needs.

You’ll get access to more advanced project management if you enable the NetSuite Project Management feature, but you’ll have to pay extra. These tools allow you to organize every step of your workflow, from the early planning stages to the final work on customer billing.

Easy Task Management With Project Schedule

The Project Schedule tab is the heart of your project workspace, where you can create, edit,  assign, and track tasks for each project. For each task, you can see start and end dates, status, assignees, and estimated work hours and costs. Your team members can then update their progress, log their hours, and add notes or upload files directly to the tasks.

NetSuite Project Schedule Tab
NetSuite lets you add milestones to highlight important events, such as billing dates

You can also set up task dependencies to organize phases of your project. These include finish-to-start (FS), start-to-start (SS), finish-to-finish (FF), and start-to-finish (SF) relationships. Additionally, you can add a Finish-No-Later-Than (FNLT) dependency or create tasks with a lag time between them to easily customize your workflow.

Multiple Task Views to Suit Different Project Phases

NetSuite provides three main ways to visualize your tasks: Planning, Tracking, and Variance. Planning lets you see relationships between tasks and the estimated level of work and cost, which works great for creating a project schedule. Tracking allows you to see current task progress and compare estimated dates with baseline dates, which is useful when working on an active project.

The Variance view highlights the changes you’ve made to your tasks over time, whether it’s the targeted dates or estimated work hours. This makes it easy to compare the original plan of your project with the current one and monitor your efficiency.

NetSuite Project Management Gantt Charts
You can access Gantt charts for your tasks by clicking the Project Schedule tab

Additionally, you can see your tasks in the Gantt chart view, which displays your project on a timeline, with clearly visible task progress and milestones. NetSuite’s Gantt charts are well-designed and highly visual – they allow you to zoom in and scroll through your project schedule. You can also highlight important metrics, such as the critical path, which shows the tasks that must stay on schedule for the project’s completion.

Effective Resource Management

With NetSuite, you can identify employees and subcontractors as project resources and assign them to projects or individual tasks. Each resource can also have a defined role (e.g., Assistant Manager) and have individual work calendars that specify work and non-work days, such as holidays and time off.

NetSuite Project Management Resource Allocations
NetSuite allows you to allocate resources either for a specific number of hours or by a percentage of time

I find the Resource Allocation feature particularly useful, which lets you “reserve” the right resources and assign them to specific projects based on their availability and skill sets. Thanks to this tool, you can get an insight into employee utilization and their contributions to projects, boosting productivity as a result.

Flexible Project Billing

NetSuite offers many billing tools to help you optimize the invoicing process and gain insight into your expected profit margins.

There are three billing options: a fixed fee determined before the project begins, incremental billing based on preset milestones, or billing based on materials, resources, and time spent on the project, which allows for flexibility in the final amount. Depending on your project type, you can create and apply a specific billing schedule.


Ease of use

NetSuite Isn’t Too Hard to Use, but There Is a Learning Curve

NetSuite does a pretty good job providing a streamlined user experience, but compared to similar software, there’s a steeper-than-average learning curve. NetSuite’s interface is modern and visual, but the countless features can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to project management.

You’ll need time and effort to familiarize yourself with the software and harness its full power. Luckily, NetSuite offers expert help with software implementation and additional training to help you learn the ropes.

Getting Started With NetSuite Project Management

NetSuite doesn’t have a simple sign-up process you can complete online, and it doesn’t offer a free trial.

To get started, you’ll have to contact the sales team via phone or live chat, or click the Free Product Tour button at the top right corner of NetSuite’s website homepage. Then, you’ll be asked to complete an online form with basic information about your company, such as your industry and company role. After that, an Oracle representative will contact you to discuss your business needs.

The representative will likely ask you about your business size and processes, annual revenue, and the problems you’re trying to solve. Based on your answers, they will provide a tailored solution that suits your business. This might include specific modules of the NetSuite software, such as ERP, CRM, or Project Management.

Customizable Project Dashboard

NetSuite’s Project Dashboard gives you access to all the metrics, status updates, and crucial information on individual projects. It contains quick links for creating project tasks, managing resources, accessing the Gantt chart, and entering time and expenses.

NetSuite Project Dashboard
NetSuite’s Project Indicators portlet always gathers data from the previous week

You can customize your Project Dashboard by dragging and dropping widgets (aka portlets) to display the most crucial information, such as project timelines, resource utilization, or financial performance. You can access portlets by clicking the Personalize tab at the top right corner of your dashboard.

Project Center and Project P&L Tab

With project resources, you can assign a standard consultant role to grant access to the Project Center. This feature provides a convenient way for consultants and project managers to view summary information about their projects. NetSuite’s Project Center includes tabs such as Activities, Projects, Time & Expenses, Reports, and Documents, so you get quick access to all the essentials.

Another nifty feature to make your life easier is the Project P&L tab, which lets you track the progress and monitor costs associated with each project. It displays your project’s revenue, cost, profit, and margin. Best of all, it displays information in real time, so you can quickly gauge the current profitability status of your project.

Built-In Reporting Tools

NetSuite has extensive reporting capabilities, allowing you to pull reports on almost anything you want, from project tasks and resource utilization to project charges forecasts and project profitability. You can generate reports with just a few clicks.

NetSuite Project Profitability Report
To use NetSuite’s project profitability report, you have to enable the Job Costing and Budgeting feature

The project profitability report compares actual project revenue and costs, giving you clarity into the profitability of all active projects throughout their entire lifespan.


Collaboration Tools

Simple but Efficient Communication Tools and Easy File Sharing

Though it doesn’t have the most innovative team collaboration tools, NetSuite offers simple features that facilitate communication among team members.

For instance, NetSuite lets you add notes and comments to projects and tasks. Also, NetSuite has a native messaging app. Bluchat allows you to create channels for one-on-one and group discussions. You can even share files and create tasks directly from the chat screen.

Additionally, you can integrate NetSuite with third-party communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Team Dashboard and Communication

You can share your Project Dashboard with team members to keep everyone on the same page. As your team updates their progress, logs their hours, or changes a task’s status, these updates are instantly reflected on your dashboard.

File Sharing

NetSuite File Cabinet
NetSuite’s File Cabinet allows you to edit HTML, CSS, Plain Text, and other file formats

NetSuite’s File Cabinet allows users to upload, store, and organize documents within the system. You can attach files to specific records, making it easier to associate documents with relevant entries, such as transactions, customers, or projects. The system supports various files, including text documents, spreadsheets, images, and more.

Also, you can set up roles and permissions for accessing the File Cabinet, which allows you to control who can view and edit specific documents.

Mobile App

Though it doesn’t give you access to every feature available on the desktop version, NetSuite’s mobile app is still a great way to manage your business on the go. For instance, you can manage tasks, enter time-tracking and expense information, access reports, and update customer data. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.



Extensive Support Options, but the Sales Team Isn’t Always Responsive

NetSuite offers three support packages: Basic, Premium, and Advanced Customer Support. Basic Support includes access to the community forum, knowledge base, and 24/7 direct support for critical issues. Premium Support provides toll-free help for both critical and non-critical issues, priority case queuing, and weekend support.

Advanced Customer Support provides continuous guidance to ensure your NetSuite system is in top shape as your business grows.

Unfortunately, Oracle’s sales team isn’t always on top of their game. Though the website claims that the sales team is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm PST, I had difficulty contacting the team.

Oracle NetSuite Sales Team Live Chat
NetSuite’s customer support agent replied quickly but provided little information

Once I reached an associate, I got a quick reply, but the sales rep wasn’t willing to provide much information.

NetSuite Email Support
I was never redirected to the NetSuite expert who could help me out

Even after we continued our conversation through email, I only got vague answers on pricing and features. The sales rep couldn’t tell me the exact pricing of the project management module and didn’t connect me with someone who could provide more information.

Overall, my interaction with the sales team wasn’t the most satisfying. It was disappointing because sales reps are the first point of contact for potential users and should be able to provide essential information when needed.

Still, when it comes to product features, I was able to find everything I needed by exploring NetSuite’s incredibly detailed knowledge center. You’ll find tons of articles and videos on every aspect of using the platform.



A Comprehensive Service With Untransparent Pricing

If you opt for NetSuite’s cheapest plan, you’ll pay an annual subscription fee (minimum of $11,988 and another $1,188 per user). In addition to the annual fee, NetSuite will charge you a one-time implementation fee to configure and customize the software for your needs. This is usually handled by third-party licensed experts who tend to charge high hourly rates (over $100), so that’s another thing to remember when calculating the overall cost.

NetSuite doesn’t disclose its pricing upfront, so you must schedule a consultation for a custom quote based on your unique business requirements. Still, the annual fee for core modules typically amounts to several thousand dollars, which may not be the ideal solution for small businesses on a budget.

For instance, NetSuite’s Starter Edition package starts at $999.00 per month (billed annually), plus an additional monthly fee per user (also billed annually). You can add up to 10 users to get ERP, CRM, email marketing, and basic project management tools, such as time tracking and project reporting. More advanced project management features cost extra.

Although you’ll receive a highly comprehensive service, NetSuite’s prices are steep if you don’t plan to use all its offerings. If you only need project management features, you’ll definitely be better off with a straightforward project management platform like monday.com – it’s easier to use, and you’ll get a wide array of tools for less money.


How does NetSuite Project Management match up to the competition

NetSuite Project ManagementCompare4.1Compare

NetSuite Project Management REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

NetSuite’s modules boast robust tools for customer relationship management, sales, finance and accounting, e-commerce, and many other departments. It also includes a robust set of project management features as a separate module to manage projects, tasks, employees, and expenses.

That said, NetSuite’s annual fees aren’t cheap, so it’s best suited for well-established businesses that intend to use all its services. On the other hand, if you don’t need all the features of a business management suite and are looking for an affordable solution, opting for dedicated project management software like monday.com makes more sense. You’ll get advanced project management tools at a much lower price.


Is NetSuite a good ERP system?

NetSuite combines a comprehensive suite of business applications, such as financial management, project planning, and inventory control. Its cloud-based nature ensures real-time data access, which can help boost efficiency.

Does NetSuite have project tracking?

NetSuite Project Management provides a powerful project tracking feature, allowing you to monitor project progress, task statuses, and resource allocation in real time. So, whether overseeing one or multiple projects, NetSuite allows you to easily access the information you need.

What are the disadvantages of NetSuite?

Despite its powerful features, Oracle NetSuite has a steep learning curve, which may discourage beginners. It’s also very expensive compared to similar solutions, which will not suit smaller businesses or those on a tight budget.

How much does NetSuite project management cost?

The cost of NetSuite’s project management module can vary based on your business size and needs, but the annual fee isn’t cheap. You’ll have to reach out directly to Oracle for the most accurate and current pricing details.

If you’re looking for more affordable but feature-rich solutions, check out our list of the best project management software in 2023.
Ana Marković Ana Marković
Ana specializes in writing about web building platforms, project management software, and other digital tools. She has been a freelance writer for 7 years, and has published countless product reviews and comparisons in that time. Ana has a passion for language and all things tech, and she combines the two to provide accessible and insightful resources for anyone interested in building websites or managing projects.
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