The Importance of ERP User Adoption for Business Transformation

Jalene Ippolito September 06, 2023

Companies invest significant time and money when they embark on an ERP implementation project.

They not only expect a positive return on investment after an ERP implementation, but they also want to see higher levels of employee satisfaction and better collaboration between teams.

This works only when end-users—the rank and file of the organization—are willing and motivated to adopt the new practices and processes that will make the ERP implementation a success!

In this article, we discuss how ERP user adoption plays a crucial role in the success of your ERP implementation and outline strategies to drive user adoption and make the most out of your ERP investment.

Understanding the Significance of ERP User Adoption

Your business runs on several processes that span functional areas such as finance and accounting, production planning and inventory management, sales and customer service. Many small and medium businesses have stand-alone systems or point solutions that drive these functional areas. An ERP brings a transformative change to the organization by integrating all these functions under one umbrella—the ERP system.

Once you’ve implemented ERP, it’s vital to ensure that your employees use the new system to its maximum potential—from the accounts departments to sales teams, from production managers to service reps.

ERP user adoption refers to employees using the ERP functionality to execute functional tasks and fulfill their responsibilities. When your team understands the importance of adopting the ERP and using it in their daily work routines, you’re far more likely to achieve your implementation goals and maximize the ROI from your ERP investment.

Here are some of the benefits you’ll see when your users fully embrace your new ERP:

  • ERP user adoption helps you standardize processes and create uniform workflows across the organization, improving collaboration between teams.
  • When users adopt the new processes within your ERP system, data is consistently and accurately entered into the system, maintaining data integrity. This ensures that decision-making processes become more reliable, leading to better business outcomes.
  • When your team is using your ERP software to its fullest capability, you’ll see cost savings in various ways. You’ll see reduced operational inefficiencies, lower inventory carrying costs and fewer expedited shipments, to name a few.
  • With increased efficiency and reduced operating costs, your organization can scale more easily, expand operations to new territories and increase production or transaction volumes.

Overall, successful ERP user adoption drives operational efficiency, improves business performance and supports the organization's strategic growth objectives.

On the other hand, organizations with lower user adoption have a higher likelihood of inaccurate data entry, duplicate effort, lack of company-wide visibility and siloed information, which can lead to miscommunication or lack of collaboration between departments.

Ultimately, these organizations will fail to realize the expected return on investment and the intended benefits of the ERP system.

ERP user adoption

Key Factors for Successful ERP User Adoption

Given the importance of ERP user adoption, what can you do to motivate your employees to use your new ERP system effectively?

Any big change in your processes requires a thoughtful change management plan. And change must always start at the top!

Combine this with a well-planned user training program and comprehensive support resources, and you’ll be able to actively engage your team in the ERP adoption process.

Handling user perceptions and motivating users is a critical step in your ERP project. Download our free guide on a simple 5-step change management strategy that speeds up user adoption of a new ERP system

Download Now! How to Manage Change in an ERP Project

Executive buy-in

Ensure your organization's top executives see the value of the new ERP system and regularly communicate the importance of the project. This signals to your team that adopting the new system is a priority and creates a conducive atmosphere for user adoption. Executive buy-in also ensures that you have the necessary resources for the implementation and adoption—including funding, staffing, training and support.

User training

Provide adequate ERP training for your users so they can develop the skills needed to use the system effectively. Ongoing training, such as refresher courses or advanced modules, also ensures that users stay updated on new features or functionality upgrades.

Ensure that the ERP vendor provides comprehensive, on-demand documentation that your users can reference.

When you work with ProjectLine as your ERP implementation partner, we build user training into your ERP implementation plan and give your employees access to our own online training content, in addition to what you’ll get from the software vendor.

Apart from the above, clearly and regularly communicate the value the new system will bring not just to the business, but to your employees. If they see an opportunity to make their work more efficient and more effective, they’re more likely to get on board.

In summary, you’ll see greater value from your ERP system if you foster a company culture that values learning and continuous improvement, and effectively communicate the importance of optimizing business processes.

Strategies for Driving ERP User Adoption

If you're looking to drive high levels of ERP user adoption, you'll need a set of practical tips based on industry best practices.

Here are some tips to help you drive higher adoption:

#1. Involve users from the word go

Actively involving users during the ERP implementation phase ensures employee buy-in. User involvement at early stages makes employees feel that their perspective is both heard and valued. This motivates them to fully embrace the system.

#2. Ask for user feedback

Getting feedback from end-users of your new system is critical. You’ll identify potential challenges and usability issues early on, and also ensure you have the correct system requirements. Ultimately, asking users for feedback and addressing their concerns helps drive higher user adoption.

#3. Tailor the ERP for users' needs

Consider tailoring your ERP system to fit the specific needs of your employees. The goal is to align the system with user workflows and make it more intuitive for them. Configurable reports, pre-set dashboards, role-based views and personalized settings will streamline the experience, leading to higher adoption rates.

#4. Provide adequate post-go-live support

Your employees may need additional support after you go-live, even if they’ve been trained on the new system. Ensure that they have access to help desk services and online resources to help them resolve issues and learn how the system works.

ProjectLine takes a proactive approach to supporting and monitoring your ERP system, with access to our Help Desk for system troubleshooting and other inquiries. You'll also have a dedicated account manager available for strategic discussions on business processes, system challenges, opportunities and solutions.

ERP user adoption

ProjectLine: Improving ERP user adoption rates to drive transformative change

At ProjectLine, we believe that user adoption is crucial for a truly successful ERP implementation project. That’s why we focus on creating buy-in and training users to embrace change.

If you're investing in an ERP implementation, remember to pay special attention to factors that will drive high ERP user adoption rates for a successful ERP initiative with a positive ROI.

Connect with us to book a free consultation call today!

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