Four things that improve ERP user experience

From a purely developmental perspective, considerations associated with the phrase ‘user experience’ (UX) typically refer to varying degrees of code production, utility integration, automated maintenance performance, and levels of useful activity regarding internal/external reporting processes. However, from an operational perspective UX applies differently.

At the user level, operators tend to cleave to subjective judgments largely driven by characteristics associated with look, feel and ease of use when defining an ERP platform’s perceived value. Consequently, these ‘softer’ characteristics are difficult to measure empirically, and in the end, typically resolve themselves by either appearing to offer a successful UX experience, or in some cases, missing the mark entirely.

Given that we’re typically focused on what will actually help, rather than the inverse here at ERP Focus, we thought we’d run through five things that can improve your ERP UX experience without the need for too much extra effort.

Encourage a ‘constant-education culture’

The impact of an effective ERP UX selection process largely exists on the basis of management’s understanding of processes, functions and best practices, that consequently render maximum performance on a recurrent basis. However there is no sugar-coating to be had since ERP platforms are complex, require constant re-training and attention to operational detail. Develop and drive a constant education culture that ensures long-lasting results.

The constant-education culture in real-time:

  • Senior management can encourage recurrent enterprise-wide education programs

  • Line managers can execute regular refresher training programs

  • Line managers and central module operators, such as financial, inventory, or CRM workers, can convene regular informal, “community-driven”, events oriented to better ways to operate.

Encourage individual empowerment

In the same way that constant education delivers positive impacts on an ERP UX selection process, an ability to encourage and delegate individual work throughout an implementation program produces equally valuable performance over time. Today’s ERP platforms are built to take advantage of opportunities for all workers to take ownership by bringing individual thoughts to an enterprise’s overall idea-churn. Take advantage of this value and leverage it accordingly.

Recommended reading: find companies with a focus on ERP UX with our completely up-to-date ERP vendor guide.

Foster constant improvement from the ERP platform out

A successful enterprise UX experience is driven by the execution of a system that fosters effective usability day-after-day. However, real life tends to get in the way, and periodically mistakes emerge. Consequently, whether you are resolving an after-the-fact incident, or optimizing an active usability process, a sense of constant improvement must apply throughout your operation.

Examples of this approach includes:

  • Measure everything all the time

  • If an error occurs fix it now, not later

  • Compile, track, and share any lessons learned whilst using the enterprise ERP

  • Engage supply-chain partners to develop better collaboration

While it may appear that details of interface design primarily reside on the enterprise’s localized platform, there is an opportunity to extend value by engaging one’s entire supply-chain early on. The potential of this kind of integration capability will streamline and speed end-to-end processing, thereby creating more efficiency throughout.

Engage consumers to help ‘train’ ERP CRM workers

This somewhat esoteric value will allow CRM operations access to real-world experience, leading to overcoming systems constraints earlier rather than later. For example, in order to attract customers to this CRM “lessons-learned” program, the company could offer one or more product discounts, or free premiums in return for completing operational surveys. While this suggestion is only a simple approach to the problem, other values could be delivered to encourage a customer base to provide feedback on CRM processes.

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Rick Carlton

About the author…

Rick Carlton dba PRRACEwire, has worked as a tech journalist, writer, researcher, editor and publisher for many years. In addition to his editorial work, Rick has also served as a C-Level executive/consultant for a wide-range of private and public sector U.S. and International companies.

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Rick Carlton

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