NetSuite Account Clean-Up: Why and How
When you buy NetSuite, it’s beautiful and pristine – like a mountain lake or your kids’ rooms when they are away at camp. But after a short time, sometimes even during implementation, customizations start to accumulate that are not useful or not used anymore. Whether these are fields, records, forms, searches or more complex tools such as scripts and workflows. These extra customizations can:
- Slow account operations
- Increase page load times
- Confuse staff
- Increase training costs
- Lead to multiple versions of the ‘truth’
FLODocs has a number of features and best practices builtin to help clean up NetSuite accounts, which I will review in this article. Before getting started, we need to think about what a clean NetSuite account would look like. In a well-managed account, most customizations should be:
- Actively used based on Date Last Used calculated by FLODocs
- Properly setup with a descriptive scriptID, object description and help message if applicable
- Not be dependent on any objects that are not actively used
- Associated with the process(es) it serves
Actively Used Objects
Of these, “actively used” is the most important on fields, records and searches whereas the dependencies are most important for scripts and workflows. In both cases, we need to use the “Date Last Used” field on each FLODocs customization record. This field stores FLODocs’ calculated best estimate of the most recent date on which the object was used.
The objective isn’t to get it perfect since the decision we are making is about whether the field, for example, was used in the last six months, year or longer. Please see the FLODocs User Guide for a full discussion of Date Last Used, click here.
Two Approaches to Clean-Up
There are two key approaches to organizing a clean-up project: date-focused or process-focused. The date-focused approach is useful when cleaning up an account that has been in use for some time. The process-focused approach is most useful at the end of implementations when all objects may have been recently touched, or as part of preparation for change management.
Each approach is a way of generating a list of candidates for clean-up. FLODocs retains documentation of the customizations after they have been deleted in case you wish to restore them.
1. The Date-Based Approach to Clean-Up: This is the most common approach and is baked right into the Clean-Up tools in FLODocs. There are separate lists for each main type of customization. You simply review the searches and flag customizations for Clean-Up using the Clean-Up Status Field. The searches will show any dependencies that you should review and will show color-coded warnings of risk level for each object.
A particularly useful view for fields is the Unused Fields By Form, which allows you to filter by forms, such as sales order forms. While FLODocs is very good at predicting which customizations are good candidates for clean-up, common sense dictates that you should consult with the operational teams before removing customizations that might apply to them. After all, there may be useful tools that the business has lost sight of or which are rarely used but are still important (e.g. rarely used item fields in some businesses).
2. The Process Approach to Clean-Up: The process approach is ideal if you are currently completing a new NetSuite implementation or implementing FLODocs Advanced Change Management. This approach kills two birds with one stone: documenting the account and planning for clean-up.
The advantage of this approach is that it can help identify customizations that are no longer useful. In this approach, items are first mapped to processes in descending order of complexity: bundles, scripts, workflows, searches, and records. At each stage, other related objects are automatically mapped (e.g. fields used by a script). Any known non-useful objects can be flagged for clean-up. At the end of the process, any objects not mapped to any process are targets for clean-up.
You can, of course, combine the approaches since the Clean-Up tools automatically flag objects tied to processes as being risky for clean-up. As always, FLODocs’ support team and our growing network of partners can assist you with any of these techniques for account clean -up.