4 Common ERP User Complaints and How to Remedy Them
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are used by thousands of companies all over the world. They aid companies in various business process, helping them improve productivity, efficiency, and profits. No matter how good an ERP system is, though, or how flawless the implementation seems, nothing is perfect. There will be complaints, especially from those who spend the most time using the software.
Here are four common user complaints and how companies can remedy them.
1. Insufficient Customer Service
One of the most common user complaints is insufficient customer service. Regardless of when the assistance is needed—during initial system implementation, during user transition, or when additional services may be needed—the level of support and instruction vendors offer comes up short. One remedy for a vendor’s poor customer service is to find and use the software’s community support forums.
These forums allow users to post questions and find answers from other users who have dealt with the same issue. These forms may not offer the higher-level technical support available through the ERP software vendor, but they’re more readily accessible and doesn’t incur additional fees.
2. Not Planning for Growth
When companies implement an ERP system, they do so with the intention of improving their business process, becoming more efficient and productive, and increasing their profits. The prospect of growth, both current and future, is usually top of the agenda, as well. With company growth follows another common user complaint. ERP systems should have the ability to adapt to the changes companies make as they grow and at the same rate. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case.
Many growing businesses develop needs that the current ERP software can’t support. To remedy this situation, the growing business should ask questions before and during the implementation process to ensure that the chosen software will have the capability to grow with the company and meet its business needs for years to come.
3. Workers Spread Too Thin
When a company implements a new ERP system, it must train all its employees as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition to the new software. To ensure that the training is effective and the information well received, staff need to give this training their undivided attention. Of course, customers aren’t going to wait for the business to train all its employees. There’s no way to stop orders from coming in, the phones from ringing, or packages from coming in and out. And, here’s the big complaint: Users’ need to split their attention between their daily responsibilities and learning the new ERP software can lead to difficulty and added stress, thus reducing employees’ productivity. There are several ways businesses can remedy this situation.
One is to create a training schedule that allows for down time in “off-peak” business seasons. Another is to ensure that employees aren’t taking any unnecessary training—that is, training that isn’t required for or related to their job role. Finally, companies can create a rotating training schedule so that only a portion of the staff are in training at any one time.
4. A Reluctant Workforce
Even after spending time in training to learn the ERP software, many employees still complain that the new software is too complex and that it’s difficult to adapt to the new processes. In addition, some employees are so set in their ways that they’re reluctant to give up their current way of doing things. The best remedy for a reluctant workforce is simple: Explain it to them. Often, employees don’t know the reasons for the change, which leads to their reluctance. By explaining the decision behind the change—how the software benefits the company, how it helps each employee in his or her role—most employees are willing to learn and give the new software a second chance.
An ERP implementation can be complex, time-consuming, and require input from every level of the company. When user complaints surface, it’s best to address them head on and find the simplest solution possible. Taking the time to find the best solution often forestalls any complaints and can help eliminate any reluctance.