GSI: Shaping the Future of ERP Technology

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Shawn Scanlon, EVP of ERP Services Fast-growing startups often struggle with decisions around selecting the right enterprise software to manage their expanding operations. While piecing together an integrated business management software system might seem like a viable option, the initiative often takes a back seat due to the startup’s budget constraints. Moreover, nearly every ERP system in the market comes with robust modules for accounting, payroll, and financial management that are well-suited for large, multi-million dollar enterprises, but cannot be tailored to suit the needs of startups and micro businesses. As a consequence, various disparate applications are installed at different points in time to cater to different functional areas, resulting in business process inefficiencies and software integration challenges. The net outcome: it takes longer to reconcile financials, sales forecasts are based on guesswork rather than facts and data, the business has trouble keeping up with its order volume, and customer satisfaction starts faltering. “These are exactly the setbacks that we aim to solve,” says Shawn Scanlon, EVP of ERP Services at GSI and a veteran in designing and implementing enterprise ERP solutions. As a premium NetSuite partner, GSI specializes in providing a broad range of business and technical consulting services to startups and helps them in building and optimizing a comprehensive ERP system that is engineered to scale with their business.

Although GSI works with companies of varied sizes, “Our ability to implement a simplified yet powerful NetSuite ERP system for startups at an affordable cost makes us stand out,” says Scanlon. He further highlights, “Most of our professional NetSuite ERP consultants have more than 20 years of experience working with ERP solutions,” which allows GSI to become a true ERP specialist for small to mid-size companies. GSI’s uniqueness does not just lie in helping those smaller firms quickly deploy and integrate the unique capabilities of NetSuite, but also in future-proofing their ERP system to tackle challenges that would turn up 5-10 years from now, as the organization grows.

While implementing sophisticated NetSuite solutions for advanced financials, supply chain management, and billing systems makes GSI a stellar Oracle NetSuite partner, there is more to the prowess of the Georgia-based IT services company than meets the eye. Explaining their capabilities, Scanlon notes, “Today, there are numerous NetSuite partners in the industry, and many of them might even offer their services at an affordable cost for low-budget companies. However, a majority of those companies adhere to a ‘deploy and forget’ approach.” In GSI’s conversations with SMBs, one thing that they have to come to realize is that, most often, a small-sized firm is not always prepared to handle the responsibilities of the day-to-day operations of their modernized NetSuite ERP system soon after the implementation. There is too much information for the company to process, “and we are completely aware of these shortcomings,” he adds. This is where GSI’s large-scale managed services—backed by the company’s extensive subject matter expertise in supply chain management, manufacturing, and regulatory compliance—comes in handy. “It brings a world of difference to the way we provide our NetSuite offerings,” Scanlon adds.

At its core, GSI specializes in providing a broad spectrum of consulting services for consumer packaged goods and manufacturing verticals, with a unique focus in the luxury health and beauty segment. GSI employs lean manufacturing to optimize business processes, easily and quickly adapt to changing needs of business, and improve visibility and inventory control across the business.
“Our inventory valuation reports allow manufacturing companies to keep a constant track of all the transactions and swiftly monitor any discrepancies,” highlights Scanlon. Even the accounting issues can be easily drilled-down and traced to each transaction. In the case of companies with multiple subsidiaries, GSI also understands that getting an overview of inter-company sales and purchasing processes can be a daunting task. GSI, therefore, aims to resolve this issue by using their cross-subsidiary fulfillment. At the same time, to aid third-party manufacturers and 3PLs, GSI incorporates work order transfer processes and in-transit order monitoring capabilities as an integral part of their NetSuite ERP implementation.

NetSuite for Private Equity Firms

Although GSI’s traditional areas of focus— small and mid-market organizations in the manufacturing, supply chain, and 3PL space—continue to be strong business drivers, the growth of private equity (PE) and venture capital firms is where the company is seeing the momentous traction now. With each passing day, the world of PE is coming to realize the true potential of the NetSuite platform to support their investments and portfolio companies. While industry insider opinions may vary, even the most conservative estimation suggests that NetSuite ERP platform has become a favorite among many PE players. Having worked with a number of PE firms, GSI is steadily carving out a niche for itself in the domain. “We are aiding private equity and other investor organizations to utilize NetSuite as a critical piece in their technology puzzle when establishing business processes, or looking to standardize acquisitions on a single ERP for ease of financial reporting,” points out Scanlon.

Along with a robust ERP implementation model, GSI is also at the top of its game when it comes to optimizing NetSuite ERP’s performance

In some cases, where a largescale PE firm utilizes an enterprise-level ERP in their corporate office, implementing the same system at their smaller-scale subsidiaries might not be the most feasible option, considering the rigidity and complexity of the enterprise-level ERP. For such scenarios, GSI implements a NetSuite solution through a two-tier ERP design and architecture. This infrastructure facilitates better visibility and standardization of processes like a single-instance ERP but, at the same time, is also less complex and cost-effective. “The idea is to reap maximum benefits of the single-instance ERP (standard processes, consistent definitions, streamlined financial consolidation, and better business visibility across the organization) but without the outsize cost and risk, while still ensuring the small subsidiary can adapt to change going forward,” explains Scanlon.

A Next-Gen ERP Calls for a Gen-Next Implementation Strategy

GSI believes that evaluating how a company conducts their business and customizing the ERP solution to match the workflow has become a strategy of the past. “In this approach, instead of focusing on best practices, the solution is adapted to meet the ongoing business processes, keeping little or no room for improving or optimizing the business process,” says Scanlon. Taking a diversion from this long-standing norm, GSI makes the best use of NetSuite’s SuiteSuccess methodology to ensure that the ERP system integrates appropriately with a company’s future goals. As opposed to the traditional implementation models, the SuiteSuccess methodology allows clients to go live in stages; implementation starts from a pre-configured solution and takes significantly less time to align with the company’s specific requirements.
"Our ability to implement a simplified yet powerful NetSuite ERP system for startups at an affordable cost makes us stand out"

However, according to Scanlon, the SuiteSuccess methodology may not be the right fit for every organization— especially for a company that already has a full-blown ERP system in place. In such circumstances, GSI resorts to their proprietary gSuccess methodology: an elaborate approach where GSI’s NetSuite experts evaluate the company’s existing ERP system and tactfully strategize how to map those processes on to NetSuite solutions. And in doing so, GSI also takes into account the best practices to facilitate the transition.

Maximize Your ERP System’s Performance

Along with a robust ERP implementation model, GSI is also at the top of its game when it comes to optimizing NetSuite ERP’s performance. “We are all familiar that NetSuite comes out with two dot releases every year; it is an automatic upgrade,” says Scanlon. But there is a point in time when companies receive a sandbox—an isolated testing environment that enables users to run programs or execute files without affecting the application, system, or platform on which they run. GSI, with the help of their GENISYS Performance Optimizer, can help their clients run the new scripts, automate the testing, and validate if the updated ERP system is still functioning accurately. This mechanism helps a company save an ample amount of time, especially for an organization with large-scale NetSuite implementation, consisting of numerous customizations and third-party applications.

Delivering the Highest Level of Service

GSI’s business, functional, and technical consulting services for NetSuite have proved immensely valuable to many of its clients. Recalling a success story, Scanlon mentions how GSI was able to help a company—with multiple acquisitions and running a variety of different ERP solutions—bring their ERP system under one NetSuite umbrella. While making the transition, the company also wanted greater visibility into their data and performance, help employees manage their workflow better, and bring more mobility into their existing ERP system. When the company came onboard with GSI, “We moved their existing system to the cloud and provided them with a consolidated view of their financials, with inter-company capabilities. One could drill down into their subsidiary and get all the financial information,” states Scanlon. Simultaneously, the company also gained greater transparency into their in-transit inventory from 3PL partners, which was previously a severe challenge for the organization.

A Culture That Breeds Success

GSI always tries to stay ahead of both client needs as well as leading-edge ERP technology. “One of the aspects that truly distinguish us from other NetSuite solution providers is that we use NetSuite solutions internally as well and constantly self-asses to understand the different setbacks and fulfill end-user expectations,” reveals Scanlon. Alongside, GSI implements a slew of other solutions in the business landscape—Salesforce CRM, ServiceNow, and Oracle JD Edwards, to name a few. This collective knowledge further helps GSI in cementing their position in the ERP landscape. “We also have a cybersecurity division that helps us investigate and get an analytical view of a company’s vulnerabilities in their existing ERP setup,” informs Scanlon.

Advancing into the future, GSI intends to further solidify its NetSuite ERP framework by expanding its portfolio in NetSuite SuitePeople and SuiteCommerce Advanced, both built on NetSuite’s unified cloud suite. “At the same time, as an ongoing pursuit, we would continue focusing on our managed services for NetSuite, broadening the scope of our practice even further,” says Scanlon. With more of such developments underway, GSI is willful to carefully nurture a NetSuite service ecosystem that resonates innovation and maintains excellence in execution.


Alpharetta, GA

Shawn Scanlon, EVP of ERP Services

Specializes in providing a broad spectrum of business, functional, and technical consulting services for Oracle JD Edwards, Oracle NetSuite, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and other enterprise applications