The secrets of a quick ERP adoption
The simple installation of a software solution does not mean anything. An ERP software solution adds actual value only from the moment it becomes part of the daily life of all the employees and when it offers an actual support in transforming the internal processes within the company to better support the business objectives.
User-friendly interfaces, convenience of use or visual tools for the configuration of work processes are only a part of the methods that can help the quicker adoption of an ERP solution by the employees. The other part, often neglected, is educating the users regarding the major advantages of using a solution designed for increasing the efficiency of the organization's internal resources.
There is a series of factors you should consider in order to achieve a faster adoption of an ERP solution:
The performance of the application
Until the end of the decade, 50% of the software applications are estimated to be created by users or partners, and not by developers. This is a phenomenon already proved through the success stories such as YouTube or Wikipedia, a phenomenon that will surely transform the business solutions by the same pattern.
The flexibility of the application, the existence of visual, user-friendly tools that can help every employee or executive to build manufacturing flows or work processes specific to his/her business are key elements in an ERP application. Because no matter how easy is to use an ERP solution, it has to meet the actual needs of the company.
The application cost
The implementation of an ERP application is closely related to the development cycle and the operational amount of the company. Paying a software application that does not meet your actual needs is a decision as useless as purchasing an application with hundreds of features, modules, configuration possibilities - that are not used by the employees.
Most executives do not understand that any new software application that unnecessary burdens the activity of employees dramatically decreases the adoption chances. Any deviation from the role the people in the company are paid for means additional costs for you.
The resistance of the employees
The resistance to change is a natural trait of people. Top performance employees will ask themselves why they are forced to change their habits if these habits have granted them success. On the other hand, low performance employees will realize that the managers will understand the bad habits that lead to their lack of performance. Communication is the first barrier in the successful adoption of an ERP application. Failing to convince the employees about the benefits of using an ERP application leads to passivity and resistance in adopting the solution. It is crucial that the company management to internally "sell" these benefits, both before the implementation, as well as during the implementation of the application.
Most companies make the implementation decision at management level and afterwards notify the employees about the decision. This is the most common mistake that can lead to internal resistance in using the application. The internal resistance can delay the product adoption from 3-6 months to critical cases, where the company's management decides the application does not meet the needs of the organization, because it is not being used and does not add value to the company.
The idea that by simply adopting an ERP solution, the company will become an example of operational efficiency remains an obstacle in changing for too many companies. Actually, the implementation of an ERP strategy is a process of complex change of the manner the company is doing business, a process supported by a technology. Most companies regard the software solutions as the ultimate salvation in solving all the internal problems, downtimes, non-quality costs. The executives who think this way remain disappointed by the simple implementation of a software product, because they do not take into account also the effort to align the internal processes in order to achieve the targets. The definition of operations and responsibilities, authority restrictions, communication flows, benefit and compensation packages should be aligned and are required to support the success of an ERP strategy.
Furthermore, not all the companies have a coherent, consistent and integrated IT strategy. In many cases each department uses own software tools that do not communicate to each other. The implementation of an ERP solution is a decision at company level, through which all the departments will work integrated, based on unique databases for a correct resource management.
There are a lot of market studies regarding the successful adoption of an ERP application and the most of them estimates that the factors threatening a successful implementation have the following weight: