A new ERP system can make a huge difference for your business and your employees. From helping to automate common tasks to ensuring that your employees have the tools they need at their fingertips, an ERP can prove an immense blessing. Unfortunately, it does little for your business if your people won’t use it. Committing to a new ERP is often only half the battle. You’ve made the initial decision, but now, you have to get everyone else on board.
How can you get everyone on board with your ERP implementation and ensure that they know how to best make use of the system, from the training and resources they need to the confidence required to make the most of it?
Think about how you would market a new platform or option to your customers. You would start by showing them how that platform could benefit them, specifically.
The same is true of your employees as you implement a new ERP: you need to explain to them the specific benefits they can experience by choosing to use that system. Your team members may not care about how your new ERP can help you deal with supply chain disruption or forecast stock needs if those things do not apply to their daily jobs directly. Instead, take a look at how the ERP will influence your employees, specifically.
Can it streamline processes? Speed up some of the manual tasks they have to take care of every day? Provide them with access to information that, previously, would have been much more difficult to access? By looking at it from your employees’ perspective, you can better break down the specific benefits of the ERP to them, which can help improve buy-in.
Of course, you will also want to share information about how the ERP will benefit the business as a whole, including why you may expect your team members to learn new processes or add a new technology to their arsenal. Before presenting it to your team, you should have a clear picture of why you have chosen this specific ERP and how it can benefit your team.
As you prepare to use your ERP, make sure your employees receive comprehensive training on how to use the system effectively. There are two things to keep in mind when establishing how you want to handle training for your employees.
You may have selected an ERP based on the features it offers and how it will integrate with your existing systems. However, if your employees do not know how to use those features effectively, they won’t do your business–or your employees–any good. Make sure you have a solid idea of exactly what employees need to know about the system and how to present them in training so that you can provide an effective, comprehensive view of those different pieces of information for your employees.
Keep in mind that employee needs may be different based on how they interact with the system, too. You may want to break your training down by department so that employees get the specific training they need in order to utilize your new ERP fully.
Your employees may have different learning styles that determine how they learn most effectively. Some employees learn best from a lecture format, when they’re able to hear the information (auditory learning) and represent it. Others prefer visual input: they may learn best when they’re able to visually interact with the system and see examples. Still others prefer kinesthetic learning, which allows them to get hands-on with the system and try things out for themselves.
Ideally, your training should incorporate all learning styles as effectively as possible to increase the odds that your employees will all learn exactly what they need to in order to use the system effectively. Consider evaluating employees after the training has taken place so you will know what your employees have learned and whether they have any learning gaps that they might need to fill before they’re ready to start using the new ERP full-time. Need help with your ERP implementation training? Let’s talk.
Even with the best training possible, there will likely be issues that are not addressed during the training process. Employees who fully grasped exactly how to use the system and perform tasks may not be able to use the system as effectively several days or even weeks later, once they actually start using the system. They may have questions that didn’t come up in training, or face challenges issued by customers that no one thought about before the system actually went online.
Support is critical to managing through those issues. When employees have a question about the new ERP, they need to know exactly who to go to–and ideally, it should be someone who is an expert in the system, not someone who has the basic understanding of the system as your employees. Make sure your employees have direct access to the support they need.
Support can also prove critical after a new ERP update or upgrade, especially one that changes how your ERP works. While an update might not change what the system can do, it may introduce new features, change the way employees need to deal with specific issues, or introduce a new variable that employees need to consider. Having support on hand during those times can decrease the odds that employees will face challenges that might prevent them from fully utilizing the new ERP system.
Choosing the right ERP for your company is a critical first step. Making sure that your employees have the training they need to use it effectively, however, can prove even more essential. At StockIQ, we’re prepared to help you integrate your new system and provide the training your employees need to make the most of it. Contact us today to learn more about our services and the assistance we can provide.