Imagine this situation: your family needs a second car because one vehicle just can’t get everyone where they need to go. So, you undertake extensive research and finally decide upon a fuel efficient yet powerful model. You decide the best way to inform your other family members of this purchase is by surprising them with the keys.
However, the one thing you don’t do is give them the owner’s manual. Maybe they don’t know how to drive, or they’re not familiar with how this model works. In any event, the fantastic new car sits in the driveway. You’re bewildered – why isn’t anyone using it?
Now, replace “car” with “ERP system.” When no one knows how to use your new ERP system, it will remain under or unutilized, no matter how user-friendly it’s supposed to be. Read on to learn why providing end user training for ERP systems is a crucial part of your implementation.
We’ll go back to the example of the new car purchase. Maybe your family members understand that the purchase of the car is important because it will help them get to where they need to go faster, but if they don’t understand how to operate the vehicle, they can’t use it. Perhaps some of them don’t believe they need a car in the first place – maybe they’ve got a bike or they rely on the bus. Why do they need a new car?
End user training for an ERP system solves that problem. It teaches users how to use the system and explains why it’s important. Your employees might be using workarounds now that they believe make their jobs more efficient or easier, though that’s because they’ve never had a solution that works as well as an ERP system. When your employees understand how to use an ERP system, they’ll gain insight into how it helps them carry out their jobs.
The example of the car purchase works in this case because of the principle of ROI. If your employees aren’t utilizing an ERP system because they don’t understand it or they don’t see the need for it, you’re not going to see very much (or any) ROI on this technology.
How upset would you be if you saw a beautiful new car sitting in your driveway, its internal workings becoming gummed up due to lack of use? While your ERP system won’t experience the same problems because no one is using it, it will be the same waste of money.
There are some business leaders who believe that their employees are capable enough to figure out how to use an ERP system on their own without needing any kind of training. That mindset is costly. Even the most user-friendly ERP system requires some user training to ensure that they understand how it works.
Don’t look at end user training as an unnecessary cost. It’s the last step in your ERP implementation, and arguably one of the most important.