Don't Overlook Your ERP Super User
One of the most crucial elements of your ERP implementation is also one of the most overlooked. Businesses can do everything they can to train employees and put a solid change management strategy in place, but they can still hit a brick wall after go-live. As the help requests and questions pile up on the desks of the IT department, they become too swamped to perform their usual tasks and make any fixes to the software. Frustrated end users abandon the solution for their old ways—one of the quickest routes to total ERP failure. So, how can you avoid this kind of breakdown?
Enter the ERP super user. This person (or team) should be a software end user who has been trained extensively on the ERP system, has a particular aptitude for the technology and can refine software processes and terms into information that is understandable by everyone in your organization. Acting as a mediator between the software and its everyday end users, your ERP super user could mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to your ERP project.
The ideal ERP super user will be able to handle many of the common issues that arise with day-to-day users of the software, lifting the burden off of IT and encouraging employees to remain positive about the new ERP and use it in line with best practices. But the super user has to be prepared to take on these responsibilities. Keep on reading for the key tips you’ll need to develop your all-important ERP super user.
Provide In-Depth Training
Whether a business plans on gathering a team of experts or investing in a single ERP super user, companies need to have a well-defined plan of attack when it comes to their training. They should be getting individual sessions and one-on-one time with the software, while also sitting in on group training meetings so they can not only get a feel for early reactions to the software but also determine the best way to resolve issues with end users. If you are working with a team of ERP experts, encourage each one to take on a specific aspect of the system, such as a production process or module. This will allow them to hone their focus into one area and gain more in-depth training.
Give Them the Time They Need
Becoming a super user or expert in any field is no easy task. Comprehensive learning of software functions and business processes takes time—and this should be given to your chosen ERP super user (or users) as needed. Understand that their day-to-day tasks will be affected. Either take some of their duties off their plate during the training process or allow them to divert their efforts entirely into the project in the lead up to go-live. The role should not necessarily take up as much time after go-live as they will respond to requests only as needed. However, it will take a considerable amount of work on the front-end to become an ERP expert, so this needs to be taken into account.
Document Their Knowledge
You can’t guarantee your super users will always be around to help with post-implementation support, so thorough documentation of their knowledge, helpful tips and experiences with the software is crucial. Get them to record their thoughts and experiences along the way, instead of dumping the project on their desk at go-live when they may already be swamped with user queries. The information will be clearer in their mind if they jot it down as they go, meaning less work for the ERP super user when it’s game time.
The catalog will also be extremely helpful when it comes to training new employees or upcoming super users. By translating complex jargon into understandable terms, this documentation will do wonders for software adoption and provide users with a place to go for ERP help.
Make Sure Employees Know Where to Go
Your ERP super users won't be very useful to anyone if employees don’t know they exist. Ensure your entire organization knows where to find super users should they run into any issue that doesn't require complex technical help from your IT department. A company-wide announcement should go out regarding the role, including who is handling what aspects of the ERP system if you have a team and how to determine whether a help request needs to go to IT or to an ERP super user.
Reward Them Well
Recognize that you are asking a lot of these employees: extra time, a determined attitude and long-term dedication to the project and the software. They should be duly rewarded for their efforts and recognized for the hard work they put in to become a well of ERP knowledge for the entire business.
Be it extra vacation time, a dinner or company-wide recognition, the reward needs to match the effort the ERP super user has put into becoming a master of the system. Not only will this be a deserved reward for your software experts, but it will also provide further incentive to other employees to get involved with the system and become super users on future enterprise projects.
An ERP super user will be the touch point between your IT department, the software itself and all of its users within your company. As they work to disseminate information and develop ERP best practices throughout the organization, they should be suitably recognized and rewarded for their efforts. After all, their work will help your business on many levels—taking a large burden off of your IT team while also fostering enthusiasm and greater software adoption among the ERP’s end-users.
If you’re starting out on an ERP implementation, or simply need help during an ongoing project, get in touch with an expert at Datix! We have 20 years of experience in the enterprise software world and have earned the status of Epicor Platinum Partner. With our expertise, we can train the next ERP super user in your business and guide your project to success.