This is a question that is asked of us often, to the point that I feel compelled to answer it in a blog post. To start with, it is not really a “vs.” thing because you can (and many of our customers do) run VISCO and NetSuite together in an integrated environment. In this way, companies are able to take advantage of the best parts of both systems and never have to “double enter” any data because the systems are communicating with each other. I will save the details of how that integration works for a future blog post and instead assume that you are reading this because you are deciding which system to invest in and are not interested in running them integrated.
NetSuite offers a very comprehensive “One Size Fits All” ERP. With hundreds of millions of dollars in development budget, it is reasonable to assume that the offering would be a premium ERP system with all of the latest bells and whistles.
In contrast, VISCO’s development budget is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. We understand that we cannot be everything to everybody and instead focus our efforts on being the best possible software for the specific market that we serve: Global Trading and Import/Export businesses. Many companies that are comparing the two solutions are surprised that although the VISCO feature set is more streamlined, it is also comparable in depth when you are only considering the needs for a global trade business.
This is the big one, and service ripples into everything when you are comparing the total decade long (or more) experience that your business will have with the ERP. The common complaints that we hear from companies using NetSuite are about the layers of bureaucracy and the inability to work with anyone that actually understands the custom elements of your install.
By contrast, with VISCO you are dealing directly with industry experts that are able to offer advice on best practice or solutions to problems that we have seen other companies encounter. In addition, unlimited phone and email access to support and rapid response times are what set VISCO apart.
Part of implementing any ERP is customizing the functionality of the software including custom reports, customized workflow, custom alerts, documents, etc. One goal of many companies is to find a solution that is close as possible to what they are ultimately looking for out of box to minimize the cost and hassle of customizing the software during the implementation process.
We are often told by our customers that because VISCO is designed around the requirements of global trading business, it can be used without any customization, particularly for a new business. That being said, we do offer nearly unlimited customization opportunities and will also work with you to find the best custom solutions to fulfill any unique requirements that your business may have.
In comparison, given the “One Size Fits All” nature of NetSuite, significantly more customization is going to be required during the implementation. We are also told that NetSuite is more limited in what elements of the software can be customized.
VISCO does not have a built-in accounting module. Instead, we chose to integrate with various accounting solutions to allow a company to stay with their existing accounting software and only change out the elements of the software that are falling short. They often include:
- Sales and Purchasing
Our thinking is that a company’s accounting software is usually not the problem. It’s normally everything else that is the problem. Instead of reinventing the wheel, our philosophy is keep the accounting solution and integrate with it instead of replacing it.
NetsSuite does offer an accounting module, so a total system replacement is required if a company chooses to implement with them. In some ways this appears advantageous because you do not have to deal with potential complications of working with “Two Systems”. However, in all the years of being in this business, I have yet to see a company that works on NetSuite alone. Technically you could do this, but you are running a “One Size Fits All” ERP, so inevitably you will also want or need additional industry specific solutions to supplement as well.