Are You Experiencing Complexity and Usability Issues in ERP?

By Vikram Chalana on Apr 26, 2017

In the last post, we talked about the challenges that often come with an ERP system. Today we’ll expand on that topic, and discuss the complexities and usability of ERP systems.

Due to the amount of data needed and the number of screens users have to navigate, ERP systems have notoriously been difficult to use. The image to the right illustrates the number of screens and fields that need to be navigated to create a single employee in SAP ERP. Creating a vendor, material, or customer requires data in as many screens.

ERP users have to be continually trained to use the system effectively. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, end-user training too frequently falls by the wayside. The lack of proper user training can directly lead to poor data quality and ERP user adoption issues. A well-known industry statistic asserts that almost 60% of all ERP implementations exceed the expected budget and project timeline. To compensate for these overruns, enterprises frequently cut user training from the project plan. Most new ERP users don’t receive sufficient training when a company first goes live with ERP. Therefore, they experience significant difficulties and are often reluctant to use the system. This problem gets worse as time goes on. The initial set of users usually train new users over time. The mistakes they make in the beginning due to poor training amplify as those bad usage habits are passed on to the next person as a best practice.

This type of scenario can lead to serious negative consequences. If the master data are not created correctly in the system, this can cause problems in multiple business processes. For example, if an enterprise improperly inputs data at the beginning of a product’s design process, then by the time they reach the procurement step, they might be buying the wrong quantities of the material or even the wrong material. They might end up setting up the production line improperly because they input the wrong weights or sizes. These upstream mistakes can generate problems with shipping and warehousing. Thus, a small mistake by one user at the beginning of the process can snowball into a massive problem at the end of the process that ultimately costs the enterprise millions of dollars.

About the author

Vikram Chalana

As Winshuttle’s Chief Technology Officer, and Co-Founder, Vikram has been focused on empowering people to transform their ERP-based businesses since Winshuttle’s humble beginnings. He is passionate about technology that allows people to improve their lives and the way they run their businesses. Outside of work Vikram likes to spend time outdoors running, hiking, kayaking, and skiing.

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