Are Education and Training Part of Your ERP Implementation Plan?
Implementing an ERP system is a complex and daunting task for most companies. It is usually disruptive to a business, especially if something were to go wrong. Being an Epicor ERP Consultant, we have seen many installations over the years and have also been called in to help after installations have gone bad. There are many contributing factors for an unsuccessful ERP implementation, but there are 2 that we see that are the most common: lack of education and lack of training.
Education and training are expensive and time consuming, a combination that makes it easy for companies to skimp out on them. Often times when implementation schedules start to slip, companies try to make up the time by cutting the training short instead of pushing back the project end date. If you are considering doing that, you must ask yourself, is meeting a project end date more important than the education and training of using the system you just spent all this money and time to implement?
It is very important to take the time and to spend the money to educate everyone in the company about the new ERP system, and to provide sufficient suitable training for the people who will implement and operate it. Without proper training and the necessary education, your implementation will fail to achieve its objectives and your expected ROI, even if the hardware and software part of the installation was a success.
Education should begin right from the start of the project. It is important that every user in your organization has a clear understanding of what the ERP system is and what role they will play during the implementation process. Your project team will need more in depth training on the system and business processes. The project team needs to understand all the integrations with the system and become an expert in the system by the end of the installation so that they are able to help get other users within the organization up to speed. Training should be thorough and well documented.
Training should not cease once the ERP system is live. There will be a continuous improvement process happening after the system is live. Which means, your should plan and schedule on-going training at appropriate intervals so that all users can remain in the know about ERP processes and changes. This will help maximize the ROI your ERP system can bring your organization.
Depending on the type of ERP system you implement, the type of education may vary. 2W Tech is a certified Epicor partner. Epicor offers a self-paced embedded education system to their users. The other option we offer our Epicor clients is Consultant delivered training. Many organizations opt for a hybrid of both these options. Regardless of what type of ERP system you choose to implement, make sure education and training are part of your project plan and remain a vital part of the plan. Regardless of what changes and missteps may happen during the implementation, make sure you protect your investment by not short cutting the education and training.