NWN Corporation was established in 2000 to help businesses implement advanced IT infrastructure solutions. They are a leading network reseller and integrator named 2008's No. 1 Fastest-Growing IT Reseller by CRN. As their NCare Managed Services business increased, NWN sought a solution for entering, managing, invoicing, and recognizing revenue for their service contracts.
NWN Corporation is a rapidly expanding technology reseller. Through a combination of organic growth and acquisition, NWN has been exposed to several enterprise operations software platforms for both front- and back-office processes. Still, with stiff competition in the enterprise IT field, NWN wanted to leverage NetSuite to bypass the need for an expansive administrative staff and avoid gaps in corporate visibility. The demands of its business quickly made it clear; a uniform and tightly integrated solution was the best way to stay competitive. "With hundreds of employees spread across eight office locations, a single system is the best way to manage our business effectively," says Robert Jones, Corporate Director of Operations at NWN.
Furthermore, given the high volume of GL segmentation and billing periods required for their subscription transactions, NWN was dealing with a high volume of manual entries and updates, leading to a higher risk of user error. Their diverse customer base also required invoices to be presented in various ways, adding to the demand for manual updates.
NWN first learned about NetSuite when it acquired a solution provider already running its operations on the platform. Based on NetSuite's capabilities, NWN decided to adopt NetSuite across the organization and deploy it to all new acquisitions. "We have seen several different accounting and ERP systems in place at every company we acquire, and in each cycle, we evaluate the best fit for the new company," Jones says. "Each time, NetSuite has won out as the preferred solution, and the other systems go away."
Working with NetSuite partner 360 Cloud Solutions, NWN quickly adapted acquired businesses to NetSuite, minimizing disruption and keeping local relationships strong. "Our goal is to keep NWN self-sufficient and ensure their local representatives keep their decision-making ability," says Rufus Lohmueller, CEO at 360 Cloud Solutions. NWN credits 360 Cloud Solutions for skillfully guiding them through the platform's initial implementation and multiple evolutions, always maintaining NWN's core business needs as the driving factor.
To mitigate the long billing periods and high volume of manual invoices, NWN began utilizing 360 Subscription Billing—our in-house recurring billing management software—which was deemed an acceptable solution assuming that some customizations could be included.
NWN transformed typical sales orders from 36 lines down to only three lines utilizing the 360 Subscription Billing data architecture. They can now pull contract billing data and deferred revenue data into their customer, operational, and financial reports. (This would be for a typical three-year contract billed quarterly assuming three practices/classifications.) They now also have a master contract database within their ERP/Accounting system, allowing them to forecast recurring billing and manage change orders easily.
Their recurring billing service utilizes the 360 Subscription Billing product to automate recurring invoicing, revenue forecasting and synchronization, contract renewals, pro-ration for partial billing periods, billing in advance, and dynamic, advanced PDF layout delivery. Through customization of NetSuite and 360 Subscription Billing, they also aligned billing and revenue to be initiated from item fulfillments. Utilizing collaborative project plans and design/testing documentation, NWN successfully went live. It gained end-user adoption within the original budget—despite some scope changes and schedule adjustments along the way.
NetSuite's support for complex organizational structures keeps NWN's reporting lines clear and visible while preserving the local autonomy the company prizes. "NetSuite's 'department and class' structures map into our' divisions and practices,' and the 'locations' feature makes it easy to support our multiple branch offices per region and understand how well our business is performing from multiple angles," Jones says. Through constant industry change and an ever-changing array of options, NetSuite's on-demand approach consistently earns its keep for NWN. "NetSuite gives us the triple-A effect we're looking for: Always Available Anywhere," says Jones.
Products & Services
- NetSuite Implementation
- NetSuite Department and Class
- Multi-location Support
- Purchasing and Inventory Management
- Case Management
- Time and Expense Management
- 360 Contract Billing for NetSuite
- NetSuite Invoicing Automation
- NetSuite Revenue Automation
- Fulfillment-driven Process Automation
- Dynamic Customer Invoice PDF Layouts
"We've definitely been able to streamline our operations because of NetSuite."
—Robert Jones, NWN
NWN Corporation has secured uninterrupted growth and an efficient administrative staff using the NetSuite solution to manage its entire operation. "NetSuite gives us what we need to run our business—from opportunities and sales orders to case management and ERP," says Jones. Almost every aspect of NWN's business uses NetSuite, from back-office operations to the entire sales cycle, purchasing and inventory, and support and case management. "Having an end-to-end system that starts with a single customer record and tracks all our transactions is a huge benefit," he says.
NWN field personnel can manage their own time and expenses through the NetSuite Employee Center, while local accounting teams can track payables and receivables in the integrated solution. NetSuite's tight, role-defined privilege access system ensures NWN's users have the appropriate access they need to be productive. "We've greatly reduced the manual labor we used to do before NetSuite came in: checking and rechecking, copying and pasting between spreadsheets and systems with disconnected customer data," he says. NWN chose NetSuite in large part due to its end-to-end architecture, "Especially after we looked at the custom bridges we would have to build between conventional CRM and back-office applications," he says. "NetSuite closes that integration gap for us."