Why ERP training is important to your company

Inadequate training is one of the reasons why ERP installations fail

The need for ERP training

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is something every business needs. No matter the brand, ERP software benefits your company.

It improves productivity, helps with growth and provides a better bottom line. But it’ll only work if your employees receive proper training.

An ERP installation is a process that takes a lot of time, money and hard work. However, many times it fails. There are a lot of reasons for that, one of them is training. In fact, training comes up twice in this list of the 10 reasons why ERP implementations fail.  

Untrained employees will render your investment in ERP useless. And while user manuals can be useful for a quick look, they’re not effective. Manuals are boring and not everyone learns the same way.

Setting aside some of the budget for ERP training will help to successfully put the system in place. The company can fully enjoy all the promised benefits.

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 ERP projects with 7% of the budget spent on training were a lot more successful than projects that only 4% of the budget went to training. Source: Cushing Anderson of IDC

 55% of best-in-class companies train new employees after the initial stages of implementation.

Source: Aberdeen Group

 To get the best benefits out of ERP, best-in-class companies integrate training with everyday business processes.

Source: Aberdeen Group

Why is ERP training important?

Most companies think that users will be familiar with the software when they start using it. But, this will result in a system that is not used completely or it fails entirely.

Investment in training is never too much - there’s no such thing. The time and money spent will eventually decrease overall costs and increase your ROI in the long-term.

Here are some quick facts about trained and untrained users:


Trained users are more effective and efficient. They quickly create value.

On the other hand, untrained users use up a lot of time working or getting help from their colleagues.


Untrained users are likely to refuse the new system.

They stay with the fundamental parts of the ERP but continue with manual procedures.


Trained users get the expected expertise.

They’re more productive and take full advantage of the ERP system.

Frustration or fear of change stop employees from adopting an ERP system.

You have to make ERP training a priority. Everyone from the top to the bottom of the company must be trained. This provides consistency and reduces the risk of human error.

You need to plan for the needs of different departments and individual learning speeds. Some people aren’t comfortable with technology. They need a lot of training and practise.

Training is the most effective when employees learn processes relevant to their roles.

It’s a bad idea to skip ERP user training

The money you saved by skipping user’s training is not as much as the ROI you could be gaining from it. All the benefits from an ERP system that a provider promised you, suddenly are not viable anymore.

If users don’t know how to use the software, you won’t be seeing any ROI.

Learning as you go is not an effective training method for anyone. There might be the occasional genius. But, just assume there isn’t one in your company.

Even if there was, one person can’t make up for an entire company full of people who don’t know what they’re doing.

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If people don't understand how an ERP helps them, they'll come up with workarounds. They can't use the system, so they'll find other ways to do their job.

The company will be wondering why no one is using the software. And employees why the company would waste so much money on a useless system.

Training will give users an understanding of it. They’ll see how it works and how they can benefit from it. Training will also answer their questions and doubts - something a user manual can’t.

When should you start ERP training?

To get your employees to adopt a new ERP you have to provide training. Usually, companies wait until the last moment to start training or put the IT department in charge of it. None of the two have the best outcomes.

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When you start planning an ERP implementation, you have to think about training too.

Employees must be prepared before the implementation. And before, doesn’t mean a few days.

Assuming all your employees need are a few weeks of training before going live is wrong. They need time to adjust and get comfortable with the change.

Training has to begin before the implementation starts and continue after the implementation finishes. Starting to train users ahead of time will make them more prepared to when the system goes live.

When planning the training keep a few things in mind

Training methods

Consider multiple training methods. Classroom training, onsite, e-Learning, personal training sessions…You have many possibilities.

There’re two types of training: training on-the-job or off-the-job.

 On-the-job - takes place on the job site. Employees watch others performing tasks in a real-life working environment. As it’s on the job, reducing costs.

 Off-the-job - it’s not on the job site, but it can be inside the company or not. The training is usually classroom style and doesn’t have a real-life working environment. It’s more costly and time-consuming.

Training materials

The materials can have different formats. Video, documentation, images. Make sure they explain basic actions. Form “do x to get y” to the big picture (why some actions are more beneficial than others). 

Training process

Track the training process to get an idea of where the trainees are at. See if they need more time. What are their difficulties and strengths, or if everything is going as planned.

The feedback will help you tailor future training as well.

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