End users are the lifeblood of ERP implementation at manufacturing organizations. Without the input from those who actually use the software regularly, there could be some serious speed bumps in the road. Staff is the best resource for measuring the success of software implementation, so companies should tell their employees to give any feedback on positives, negatives and trouble areas of ERP. This could mean the difference between return on investment and hitting snags in the software.

Speaking with users early in the process and forming a best practices strategy throughout the life of ERP could bring major benefits for businesses. A white paper from Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions and The Aberdeen Group said the best performers in ERP have a structured strategy to guide the business as a whole. A multitier strategy will also look to meet the needs of multiple users across the enterprise instead of working as a “one-size-fits-all” program.

Measurement must be done in addition to getting feedback from employees, as the 20 percent of manufacturers who see the best performance in ERP are 75 percent more likely to measure performance and analytics of the software. Sometimes user comments can be used to help aim measurements and figure out which aspects of the program can be improved.

Industry professional Kevin Herrig wrote on TechRepublic that assuming all will be well with an ERP system and not testing users is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made with an implementation. This is essentially equivalent to knowing there could be mistakes with the program but refusing to test for them. In addition, communication must be a two-way street. Employees will likely be more willing and able to give a business feedback if the manufacturing organization is giving them news about what is happening with the ERP implementation and rollout.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled “ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy” from the DMS website today.