Our previous posts on what is ERP, how ERP software can help your company and how to choose what’s the best service for your business out there should give a nice introduction to our ‘software for businesses’ world. There’s another important aspect however, before a company can benefit from ERP – its employees need to fully embrace and use it!
In 2011 a study was undertaken by IFS North America among middle to large manufacturer professionals in order to understand which type of software employees want to use so that they can actually do their everyday work without headaches.
The reason of the study was that very often companies spend considerable sums of money to set a management system that ends up being underused and the employees resorting to other solutions (primarily the all too familiar Excel spreadsheet). This results in lost value for the company which paid to buy the management system, less security when working outside the specified standards and less ways to attribute credit (and blame!) where it’s due.
The highlights of this study are better understood by the feedback the participants gave – here are a few of their comments:
- “The interface needs to be seamless and intuitive. We don’t have learning curve time anymore”
- “Make the transition between new and legacy systems less painful”
- “Make it very easy to access -including from smartphones- and user friendly”
- “The tools must be reliable & flexible, safe and secure over network access”
- “Make it easy for me to use remotely but with fast data transfer speeds”
- “Just show me the information I need and don’t waste my time with ‘pretty’ graphics”
In essence, according to this study, for a new management system to be successfully adopted by the employees it should be quick to set up and ready to use as soon as possible (including importing existing information from whatever previous system is being used). It should ensure security in the transactions (whether on a desktop or a mobile device) and it should focus on the important information without too many bells and whistles (while at the same time of course being easy on the eye). Obviously all this should also come at an appropriately fair price, which is also flexible structured (who needs to commit to long contracts these days?).
Do you think the users ask much? We think they have the right to do so!
Dimitris Athanasiadis oversees Operations and Customer Relations in Megaventory.