Your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is up and running. You expected everyone to be enjoying the new features and working more productively and collaboratively. Yet, when you measure progress against your key performance indicators (KPIs), you notice a glaring red flag: End-user adoption is suspiciously low.

What’s going on?

This is known as a lack of system adoption. It means that users aren’t fully utilizing the new system or technology that your organization implemented. In some cases, they might not be using it at all.

When you understand why this is happening, you can determine how to get your project back on track. Today, we’re taking a look at a few of the most common contributors to low adoption rates.

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Top 3 Causes of Low System Adoption

Low system adoption rates can prevent your company from fully realizing the benefits that your ERP system is meant to provide.

If your organization wants to maximize ERP system adoption, it helps to know which pitfalls to avoid.

While there are many different reasons why someone might be hesitant to use the new platform, all of them trace back to one central issue: employee resistance. When an employee is resistant to change, they’re less likely to use the new technology at their fingertips. Instead, they may continue to rely on their old processes or use workarounds, only partially adopting the ERP solution in limited instances.

To keep resistance in check, here are the top three missteps to avoid:

1. Insufficient Training and Support

We can’t over-emphasize the importance of end-user training, especially when implementing an ERP system. In fact, if our ERP consulting company was asked what post-implementation issue we encounter most often, a lack of training would be it.

When users don’t receive the proper amount of training or don’t have access to ongoing support resources, a breakdown can occur.

However, training is often the first activity companies cut when they’re trying to conserve costs or shorten their timeline.

Some of the training issues we regularly see include:

• Significantly cutting the training budget (e.g., reducing training from ten hours per employee to just one hour)
• Working with a vendor-provided “training database” that isn’t customized to a company’s needs
• Working with a vendor that offers few support options outside of technical troubleshooting

Without thorough training, employees may struggle to understand the new system and its process workflows. Left to their own devices, they won’t effectively utilize the solution that’s meant to help them.

Before you roll out your ERP implementation plan, make sure you’ve allocated enough time and money to give this step the attention that it requires.

In addition to pre-live ERP training, your team members will also need refresher training at various points after implementation. This will help keep them sharp and reinstate your commitment to workplace adoption.

2. Poor System Usability​

The ERP system that your organization implements should be simple and intuitive to use.
Employees have a job to do and only a limited amount of time to do it. They must be able to perform their tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible.

During the ERP selection phase, look for platforms that address your employees’ needs and prioritize the ones that are user friendly.

Common usability issues include complex interfaces, confusing workflows, and slow system performance. Each of these can lead to frustration and discourage adoption.

3. Lack of Clear Communication

Clear communication should be an integral part of your organizational change management (OCM) plan. Before and during the ERP rollout, this means focusing on how you’ll prepare your workforce to embrace the new system. What will you say, how will you tailor your message to each group, and when will you deliver it?

As often as necessary, explain the benefits of system adoption. Then, once the system is live, clear communication, meetings, and follow-ups are still a must.

When you aren’t delivering clear messages on the purpose and benefits of the new system, it can undermine user buy-in. For instance, your employees may fail to understand how the system will improve their work or the ways in which it aligns with broader organizational goals.

Avoid Low System Adoption

Ultimately, low user adoption is caused by a lack of change management. If you’re already live and struggling to raise your adoption rates, there’s help available.

The software project failure experts who work with our expert witnesses can conduct a training plan review as well as competency testing. They can also review your statement of work.

With each step, we have one purpose: to get to the root of what’s holding your company back from full adoption and give you the tools to turn that trend around. To learn more and get started, feel free to reach out for a free ERP consultation today.

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