Understanding low ERP user adoption

////Understanding low ERP user adoption

The process of adopting new ERP software can be difficult for companies. Sometimes, even adding a new NAV module that can help improve productivity causes decline. The main stakeholders in this situation are the employees who are supposed to use it, and they have refused to utilize the new software for various reasons. Without an effective ERP implementation strategy, even the best program will be underperforming, which can result in losses over the long term. Approaching a new ERP integration has to be looked at from the side of the workers. In so doing, businesses need to understand why adoption rates tend to end up low.

How to train an employee
If there is one consistent reason that ERP adoption rates are low among end-users who have to utilize the software on a daily basis, it is training. This is the foundation that helps the programs reach their full potential. However, as Rick Carlton notes in ERP Focus, the apps are extremely complex to understand. Even if the software develops into something that can benefit employees in the long term, that's not going to help if they don't know how it works.

A weak training program is often the bane of many ERP implementations. The reasons vary, but it could be because that training was seen more as an orientation rather than a comprehensive plan that included seminars, classes and reviews with employees. Another likely scenario was that not enough time was given to that aspect of implementation, or operational constraints made it difficult to make time available. In either case, people will likely get confused and not understand key elements of the software at launch, according to CIO.com.

Not knowing what's good for them
There's more to low adoption rates than a lack of training. For example, employees may not know what's so important about a new module, or the software upgrade. Instead of actually explaining to them the benefits of using the software, management just thrusts it upon on them. That creates a situation where workers aren't able to understand why they need to use this new software. Given the general fear of change, they tend to get resistant if not outright hostile as a result.

This is partly where change management policy comes into play. Here, management should be taking the time to explain the actual advantages of the new software. That includes discussing the immediate benefits from the new software as well as why certain changes in work processes can improve the work overall in the long term. From there, employees can understand how it directly helps them.

One important thing that must also be taken into consideration during the ERP implementation process is the amount of support given to the project, particularly from upper management. If the company leadership shows apathy or disinterest in the transition, that trickles down to IT, who refuse to train anyone. That can lead to workers feeling no need to actually contribute to the success of the integration, thus contributing to the overall failure.

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.