4 Simple Steps to Improve ERP Adoption

Author: Paul Henriques in: Implementations

January 18, 2022

4 Simple Steps to Improve Staff ERP Adoption

Adopting an ERP system is a long and arduous process. From shopping for the right one to implementing the system across all your business units. And after all that work, it is crucial that you start seeing the benefits of an ERP implementation as soon as possible.

Regardless of where the idea of getting a new ERP came from, you need to make sure that staff at all levels want and use the new ERP system. While some pushback from major process change is expected, you have to ensure that this doesn’t become hatred.

As mentioned before, in 3 Ways to get ERP Benefits Faster, one of the key points to getting benefits from your ERP is user adoption. The following is a list of the steps you can take to ensure your employees adopt your ERP system quickly.

4 Steps to Improve ERP Adoption

1.    Sell the System

The first this you might be hearing for the naysayers will sound something like this:

“Do we really need this?”

Sure, a new ERP is a lot to take in. Before bringing up the idea with anyone, you should be sure to have your homework done so you have answers to their questions. Things like:

  • What are the costs?
  • What are the benefits?
  • Can we complete this in a decent time-frame?
  • How difficult is it to implement?
  • What will change for “me” with this new system?

When you need to get your staff to readily adopt an all-encompassing system like an ERP, it helps to know what to say to who. This will ensure you get them willing to engage more. Be sure that you are ready to quickly and effectively communicate the overall benefits and their costs to any who ask including how it will impact them directly. For example:

  • Executives may like to hear about improved productivity and increased profits.
  • Managers will be happy with added control and reporting.
  • Floor workers may prefer how they get clearer direction and more personal input that improve their workday, or easier access to improving their skilling.
  • Office workers can be won over by discussing the decreased bureaucracy for financial transactions and order management.

2.    Listen to Your Audience

Beyond telling staff what they want to hear, you should also ask for, and listen, to their input. You never know who will discover a cost you hadn’t considered.

Of course, at this stage, you should be on the lookout for the old schoolers; That is, those that on instinct hate new technology. Staff that like to throw around things like “I don’t want to learn a new system” or “The old way’s good enough.” While it’s easy to place these staff into a negatively labelled group, it can be even more important to engage with them more one-on-one to see and understand their fears and help show them why the new way is better.

A good way to help them to your way of thinking is to see their side and agree to the positive points while also guiding them to reach the same conclusion as to why the change is necessary

3.    Gather Your Team

If you think you will have a hard-sell on your meeting list, call in your key players for their support. Getting more voices on your side or information that can be handy in the meeting can help. And if they can talk to the ‘blockers’, maybe they can encourage a beneficial decision before the meeting even takes place.

Remember that between your prep work and talks with staff, you are ready for any questions.

4.    Train Early, Train Often

The only way most people start to enjoy using a piece of technology is with a little training. However, with the complexities of an ERP, a little training is never enough. Ensure your ERP vendor can provide worthwhile training that covers most of the daily operations that your staff will perform while teaching your few subject matter experts the more detailed operations.

There are many ways to make sure you train everyone in your shop. Most vendors have several training options available. The important thing to figure out is what works for you.

Conclusion

Keeping an open line of communication with your staff, talking to them of the benefits, and listening to their issues are key points of ensuring that your new ERP technology is netting your shop the best benefits sooner.

Remember that an ERP vendor is an ongoing partnership that nets both of your added value. Be sure that you have a way to regularly receive communications from your vendor so you can keep up-to-date on new features.

You should also be sure that you have a way to contact them for added training, customization, and support.

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