Modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions offer a powerful platform for businesses to grow, boost productivity and profitability, and improve customer satisfaction. However, your software can’t deliver these benefits on its own. You need your people. If they aren’t on board from the beginning of your ERP implementation project and aren’t comfortable using the new ERP system when it goes live, you’ve just wasted a lot of time and money. Training will make or break your ERP implementation and here’s what you need to know about building a successful training program and accelerating your return on investment.
It’s Not Too Early to Start ERP Training
There is no such thing as ‘too early’ when it comes to training. During the implementation phase, we encourage clients to gather a group of employees to become the “Champions of Change.” These key employees represent a cross-section of your organization and play a key role in learning how the new ERP system works before the system goes live. They learn how to perform common tasks and see first-hand how this business technology will save valuable time and effort. As this group gets on board, they share their experiences with peers who are more likely to be open to change.
Make Training as Dynamic as the ERP Solution
A training program that coincides with certain milestones during your ERP implementation will greatly enhance your return on investment. People learn in many different ways and in different time frames. Learning how to use ERP properly can also be intimidating to some people, and you want to have confident, comfortable users when you are ready to go live.
Your employees have jobs to do during this training process. You don’t want to neglect important customers or clients. It’s also worth noting that all your employees do not need to learn all the ins-and-outs of the ERP solution. Customizing your training plan to certain departments or groups of employees and offering training in stages makes it easier for employees to learn the new system. Your training plan should include a wide range of learning styles to accommodate the individual needs of your staff, such as:
- Visual: Images, pictures, and spatial organizational elements facilitate the learning process. You can include screenshots, for example, or mapping diagrams of a process prior to performing steps. Video demonstrations are also helpful to many users.
- Auditory: Audio recordings and webinars are valuable ways to train employees.
- Reading/Writing: Some employees will want to read and take notes on what they are learning. Supplemental materials, such as blogs and articles about specific features or functionality provide additional value.
- Kinesthetic: Active learning is a dynamic way to discover ERP. Getting hands-on instruction, testing features, and functions, and mapping the physical steps are all great ways to learn a new ERP solution.
Get the Most out of Your ERP with Tailored Training and Support Services
Our in-house experts are uniquely qualified to develop a customized ERP training program for your employees and provide educational resources and support for as long as you need. We will provide:
- Training needs analysis
- On-site instructor-led training
- Classroom materials
- Train-the-trainer services for your Champions of Change and other key leaders
- Specialized ongoing training services, as needed
After training and your ERP solution goes live, we will continue to offer ongoing support services as needed including troubleshooting assistance, mission-critical support, resolve operational and compatibility questions, and support during system upgrades. When needed, users can turn to our online customer support web portal to get quick answers and resolution.
An example of our proven training success is highlighted in our Gibsons Case Study. Western Computer experts provided user acceptance training, hands-on training to initial users of the new system and train-the-trainer sessions to facilitate peer-to-peer training. “Western’s approach to training and transitioning definitely minimized risk with our users,” says Richard Hannah, VP of Information Services. “The people most affected by the change were included and involved in the process from day one, so any uncertainty they had was addressed.” When the initial deployment was completed, we provided Gibsons with a complete set of process and user acceptance testing scripts that can be used for future upgrades, to speed up onboarding new employees, to maintain consistency of process, and to reduce the number of basic support requests.
Boost User Adoption and ROI with Training
Inadequate or poorly planned training programs will lead to poor user adoption and support for the ERP solution you are implementing. If your employees aren’t adequately prepared, they are not likely to be comfortable using the system and may avoid it altogether. Take advantage of the training and support services offered by our in-house experts and ensure a solid ROI when your ERP system goes live. Contact Western Computer to learn about our expert, flexible ERP training, and support services.
About the Author
As Western Computer's Dynamics NAV Program Manager, Maher Malki connects with his clients' IT departments to ensure that they have the best, most well-rounded solution to their unique business needs. Maher has over 16 years of experience in the Distribution, Manufacturing, Retail, Non-Profit, and Service industries. His deep technical expertise has also earned him a wide variety of Microsoft professional certifications.More Content by Maher Malki