When implementing an ERP system it is important to educate users adequately to get the best out of the chosen system. Without sufficient training, these beneficial tools can be mistaken for poor solutions to a business’s problem, when in fact; the way in which it is being used is the factor to blame.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are designed to improve the efficiency of business processes and operations by integrating operations into a single real-time system which spans across all sites and departments. This can work through CRM to finance, to logistics. The system ensures businesses that all information is up to date and accurate, with all programs and departments linking up effectively. However, without appropriate training, the software may lose its value. Users of the software need to ensure they develop the correct skills and knowledge to use it to its full potential. The software will ultimately be deemed unusable and too complex, when in fact, with the right amount of training; these systems can be an absolute god-send to businesses.

Here are four things to consider when implementing an ERP system:

Always ask why, why, why?

Sometime it’s not always advisable to simply know how to complete a task or instruction but to know why it is necessary. It is important to inform staff and users of why this system benefits the role of the company and to be aware of cause and effect. For example, a member of staff in the sales team needs to understand why it is essential to input data correctly and if not done properly, what that will mean to the purchasing, manufacturing and accounts team.

Everybody’s unique

When educating anybody, it is always worth remembering that everybody learns and adapts in different ways and speeds. Instead of focusing on the training in the medium of reading, mix it up a little. Ensure that instructions and information is read thoroughly, then offer a visual representation of the information (such as a visual tutorial), then ask learners to apply what they have learnt and attempting the task themselves. Offering web-based tutorials, user guides and access to frequently asked questions is also worth accessing.

Everything changes

It is worth noting that once an educational process is completed and staff are ready to engage long-term with the system, the learning does not stop there.

New staff, system changes, organizational changes and technology advancements are all factors that can affect the training of staff. Systems need upgrading, staff need promoting, the changes are endless. The educational lifecycle is a continuous process of accessing, planning, training and supporting.

Investment opportunity

Instead of viewing the process of education and training as a huge financial factor, treat it as an investment. Enterprise software is evolving quickly and it is always worth keeping on top of software advancements and solutions as it can, potentially, assist any business in it’s day-to-day running.

With sufficient training, users of ERPs will see clear improvements in both communication and productivity.