Your manufacturing business is constantly changing. Whether those changes are the result of new customer requirements, employee turnover, process/product improvements or one of a thousand other possibilities, the one question you must ask is: "Is my ERP software keeping up?" If it's not, I could suggest a new solution.
However, let's assume for a moment that it is. That means your provider is listening to you and providing regular updates to meet your ever-changing needs. So how do you keep up with that? How do you ensure you are continually making your manufacturing ERP software work for you? There are three key steps you can take to ensure your company does just that.
No. 1: Be Aware of the Changes. All too often, users get in a comfort zone when it comes to software. They know the buttons they push, the features they use and the reports they run, but everything else becomes a blur of uncharted territory. They become limited by their own procedures. By designating at least one person from each department to assess new changes, they can determine which features could most benefit their group.
No. 2: Acquire More Knowledge. Once you have a list of changes to implement, learn more about them. Start by taking advantage of any free training options. IQMS provides free "What's Changed" training videos with each update. These are a great tool for learning about the new enhancements in the version you are updating to. If you still have questions, schedule live training to go over more details, discuss best practices and train your trainers or end-users on the specifics. A common mistake we see in this area is to try to go through it alone first and get training later. This practice often results in misconceptions, confusion and end-user frustration. Starting with training provides for confident users, empowered by the knowledge necessary to do their job.
No. 3: Implement the New Features. This step is a process that needs a plan. For smaller features, this can be accomplished with procedural changes, updated documentation and training, but sometimes that's not enough. Determine the scope of the project and make sure you have the necessary team members involved. If needed, bring in help. IQMS Implementations Specialists are a great resource for this purpose. It is common to bring them in from the beginning to help manage and carry out the project. They can even help out with step No. 1 above by assisting with an on-site gap analysis to help determine other modules or features you would benefit from. They are experts in making change happen and will be there every step of the way.
Change is challenging, but with the right partner, awareness, knowledge and help from experts, change is possible. Make your manufacturing ERP software help you with change and achieve continual return on your ERP investment.