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JOVACO Solutions

Training: An Essential Key To The Success Of Any New ERP Software Implementation

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Experience teaches us that formal training sessions, during and after the implementation of a new management solution, ensure that users quickly become familiar with their new environment while allowing them to take better advantage of the many features included in the system.  These sessions should be attended by both the staff who operate the new system daily and by managers who wish to understand and monitor this operation.

Too often training is poorly planned or sloppy due to time or budget constraints.  Neglecting this step is a mistake that can prove very costly for the company in the long run.

Training during implementation
The more the implemented management system monitors company operations, the more training should be planned, since it will affect the members of your staff that much more.  For example, if you implement a project accounting solution, your project managers should be as well trained on the new system as your accounting staff.  You should also take into account the ability of employees to use computerized tools.  For example, if you install an integrated solution for manufacturing and factory workers must enter production data into the system,  it is possible that some of them may have difficulty using a computer.   Since the data that these workers are supposed to enter is crucial for the proper performance of your system, you must ensure that employees are properly trained during implementation.

At this stage, training should also include methods that ensure maximum system performance.  System managers should be trained not only to use the system correctly but also to take advantage of all its capabilities according to your company’s special needs.  Your choice of management system will also have an impact on training.  If you opt for a management system such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, your staff will more quickly become familiar with the application because it offers an interface similar to Outlook and Microsoft Office.

If your company has an IT department, employees who work there should receive training when the ERP applications are installed.  Your provider should be sure to provide all the technical and practical information.  For example, knowledge can be conveyed by demonstration, by explaining the interaction of the components and by testing the installation of each product at the time of implementation.   Following this training, your IT managers should be able to install, support and understand the installations on both the server and client side.

The post-implementation training
Specific training should be offered by your staff to update their knowledge and deepen their use of the applications.  In this sense, your provider should be able to offer short training courses – at the company’s offices or even on the Web – presenting new products, advanced features or updates.  Make sure you include in your annual budget amounts to cover this training because technology evolves rapidly and your staff will need to update their knowledge to stay effective with the management system.

In conclusion, underestimating your staff’s training needs could be costly to your company.  Conversely, a well-trained staff will reach the goals you established when you chose the new business management solution.  Make sure your provider offers excellent training service and that their staff is competent.  By planning your training needs, it’s a safe bet that you will achieve the expected results when you purchase your new management system.

by Jean-Claude Coutu, JOVACO  Montreal Microsoft GP Partner 

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