Five steps to building an ERP training plan

Training your ERP users to use the ERP and get the most from it is one of the most critical components of implementing and managing ERP at any business.

1. Get management backing

You already have backing from executive management. For training, you also need local managers in your corner. ERP training is going to take users from their usual jobs for some periods of time. Be sure to have permission from every manager. Also, be sure of full commitment. There will be some users who are “unavailable” or “too busy”. You have to expect the manager to require those users to show up for training on schedule to make an alternate schedule.

Recommended reading: work out how your ERP training costs will benefit your company in the long term with our step-by-step guide to calculating your ERP’s ROI.

Make sure everyone gets trained

The E in ERP stands for ‘enterprise’. Even the few who might never use ERP are affected. Have an introductory session that explains why the ERP was chosen and what the company expects to gain. Include a quick look at the screen layouts and how to navigate. That will be the same for all. Users will then move on to specific training based on their needs.

Use the right instructors

If the best person to deliver ERP training to your engineers is located in another facility, use an internet session. That training engineer can instruct from a meeting room and train engineers at multiple sites at the same time.

Put your superusers to work. They have learned and helped set up the ERP over recent months. They are local and well-known by the trainees. Some will think they are not competent yet or might be just shy. But these people will provide excellent training.

Be prepared for retraining

When go-live rolls around on the calendar, some will need more training. It might only be brain freeze, they knew how last week but now real work needs to be done. Step them through the task one more time. You trained on all the every-day tasks and some less common ones but somehow, that one-in-a-million exception will appear – Murphy’s Law will ensure that happens. Get the players together for a quick session right away and continue with some very specific training. Learning how to handle exceptions is part of training and they will be better prepared to handle the next exception.

Never stop training

New users will be hired. Old users will move to new jobs. Business processes will evolve. Life goes on and so must training. Provide simple refresher classes as some users will find a way to do their work with only the most basic method and could be helped by learning an alternate. Make advanced ERP training available – maybe you did not show everyone how to use the query builder at first, will it help? Train people in the steps before and after their role too. This can help users understand why the next person wants something done.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at

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Tom Miller

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