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End-User Training: The Deciding Factor for Successful ERP Implementation

Training employees or end-users can determine the success of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation in your organization. According to the Canadian Center for Science and Education research1, ‘training activities’ played a crucial role in successful ERP implementation and had a significant effect on organizations’ performance. Employees will be able to utilize the benefits of the implemented ERP system to the maximum extent with proper training.

So let’s see why training employees is significant for successful ERP implementation.

1. Insufficient User Training can Result in Losses

No training or improper end-user training can cause serious damages to organizations who implement an ERP system.

Poor training on the ERP software affected the profits of Lumber Liquidators2, a leading hardwood flooring retailer in the US. Company CEO, Griffiths told productivity issues prevented the company from completing customer orders in a timely manner.The company admitted they didn’t train employees well on the ERP software and that led to a 45% drop in their profits.

Your employees can’t utilize the benefits of the implemented ERP to the maximum extent with insufficient training. This will minimize the overall performance of the organization, even though a powerful ERP system is in place. Providing comprehensive training to your employees on the new ERP software can save your investment and increase efficiencies.

2. User Training Dispels Wrong Notions

All employees may not react in a positive manner to ERP implementation. It’s an unwelcome decision for some employees, they may resist change. ‘The 2014 ERP Report: Organizational Change Management3 revealed that 50% of companies say organizational change management is the primary cause of operational disruptions.

Employees resist change as they are uncertain about their future and their jobs due to the ERP implementation. So it’s the responsibility of the management to keep informing employees about the changes gradually and prepare them. You can do this effectively with the help of blended learning.In this approach; you combine classroom and online training methods, use each as per the requirement.

For example, department heads can educate employees on the new ERP in a classroom set up or even by conducting a meeting in a conference hall. Let’s take another example; if you want to convey the changes at once to the entire workforce, even if they work in different regions across the globe and various time zones, a video message of the organization’s CEO does that effectively. This is part of online learning.

As a training manager, you can also communicate the change in business processes through e-mails; bring awareness by displaying posters in the cafeteria or common areas. Not only that, you can conduct a video conference with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), where all employees can login. Your employees will get to know about the changes happening in the organization directly from the CEO’s speech and feel reassured.

When you consistently communicate the change at all levels gradually, employees can understand the requirement and the benefits ERP can bring to the organization. And they will welcome the change and put their efforts to get trained and work on the newly implemented ERP software. So, you need train your employees consistently for the changes that are going to take place.

3. All Employees will not use ERP in theSame Manner

Employees of different departments such as Accounts, Procurement, Supply Chain, will have different tasks in the ERP. Some use the ERP to perform tasks, some approve and others analyze and higher level executives use it for decision making. Usage of the software varies according to the roles. So training employees is necessary to shed clarity on how to use and how not to use. The level of training on the ERP software also changes depending on their responsibilities.

For example, frontline employees need to be trained on doing certain tasks and are confined to that. But, when you train senior level employees, they need to know how to do certain tasks and also verify frontline employees’ work; they may also need to approve and if necessary, do changes. So they will have certain privileges. For this, managers need a higher level of training in using the ERP software.

You can use role-based online training to equip your employees use ERP software. This can avoid unnecessary elements in training, and employees will be more than willing to be trained as it’s applicable to their roles and helps them perform their regular duties with increased efficiency.

You need to prepare your employees for the ERP implementation and create awareness of the benefits it can bring to your organization as a whole. Employee training on the possible change will make your ERP implementation a great success. Providing role-based user training brings clarity on using the ERP.

It takes time to figure out whom to train on what. So don’t push end-user training to the end and make haste in the last minute. Training should start even as the system is being implemented.When your employees are trained well, they can utilize the ERP system to the maximum extent, and as a result the efficiencies of your organization go to the next level.

Hope you like the post. Do you need further assistance in developing end-user training to make your ERP implementation a big success? Do not hesitate to reach us.

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