Some Microsoft Dynamics ERP users are reporting that they use less than 70% of the features in their Dynamics ERP solutions. Since ROI (Return on Investment) is calculated on the total cost and maintenance of the software that you purchased, not on what you are actually using, it is important that you get as much value out of the application as you can. How can you do that?
Reasons for lower utilization of Dynamics ERP features varies from business to business. Here are a few to think about:
- Lack of sufficient research. Perhaps you chose an ERP solution that doesn’t meet the needs of your business processes.
- Lack of adoption by staff. Some employees are resistant to change and would like to do things the way they have always done them.
- Lack of training. If users don’t understand how the system works, again, they will fall back on doing things the way they always have.
The wrong solution, combined with a lack of system knowledge and a resistance to change will result in users adopting a mindset of ‘Let’s just do it the way we always have’. This results in some of the work being handled manually outside of the ERP system, resulting in inconsistencies, possible errors and reduced productivity.
Here are 5 steps to improving ERP utilization:
- Do your research. Choose the ERP that will best automate your business processes. Always ask for a Demo so your team will know exactly what you are getting.
- Involve key personnel. Engage those who will actually be using the system so they can see why the functionality makes sense and how it will impact their work. Some of their roles and processes may be different; by including stakeholders in the business planning, they will start to see the benefits of adapting to new methods and technology.
- Provide sufficient training. Don’t assume that end users know how to operate the system. Left to figure it out for themselves, they may not come up with the most efficient ways to use the features. Showing them more efficient ways to complete their tasks will result in their increased productivity.
- Nominate an advocate for usage. Assigning a usage advocate within your company can drive improved utilization. it’s important for someone to track utilization rates and work toward continuous improvement. If no one is accountable for this effort, there is a potential for underuse of the system. Having a dedicated usage advocate will ensure that you have continued focus on the success and improvements of the system and will make the most of your investment.
- Engage with the right partner. This final step is important. Work with a partner who will provide you with a dedicated support team focused on supporting your usage efforts. Annual strategy reviews with your account manager are key to ensure that your ERP strategy is aligned to your current business needs and your plans for growth.