Have you ever considered which of your employees (non-decision makers) will have the greatest influence your ERP software selection? It may not be who you expect.
The largest generation in the American workforce is the Millennial generation. Depending on your industry, they likely comprise about 35% of your workforce. Naturally, this generation’s preferences and propensities will significantly influence your ERP software selection – if you put any weight on user experience when making IT decisions.
User experience should be a consideration during any IT project, but it is especially important during ERP software selection. End-users across departments and across generations will use the new software. You have a lot of people to please as the software will touch every part of your organization.
While people pleasing isn’t generally a fruitful pastime, the rules change when it comes to ERP software. Your evaluation criteria should consider user experience as a factor equally as important as functional requirements and total cost of ownership. The risks of not considering user experience include low employee morale, low system usage and process inefficiencies.
What a Millennial Wants
The influence of the Millennial generation isn’t relegated to its size – its unique characteristics also contribute to its power. Millennials are “digital natives,” meaning they’ve never known life without digital technology. This unique characteristic makes them critical of technology that doesn’t meet their expectations.
Millennials expect software to be intuitive, much like their favorite social media platforms. Their familiarity with social media also primes them to expect software features that promote collaboration. Additionally, they expect accessibility – your ERP software better be mobile-friendly! They also crave efficiency. If it takes more than two clicks to navigate somewhere, they may throw their laptop across the room.
Millennial-friendly ERP Software
Many ERP vendors have responded to feedback from Millennials by building user interfaces that resemble social media platforms, adding social collaboration features, improving their mobile-compatibility and reducing users’ click-fatigue.
If you want to gauge the more specific needs of your workforce, you can conduct anonymous surveys, encouraging employees to provide honest answers. Monitoring your employee attrition rate also will help you measure dissatisfaction.
Some Organizations Cling to Their Old Software
Deciding to begin an ERP software selection is the first step to meeting the needs of your Millennial employees. Many organizations avoid ERP implementations because their legacy applications are “fit-for-purpose,” and seem too expensive to migrate. Some of these organizations resort to time-consuming workarounds to please Millennials. They’ve built new front-end applications to improve the usability of their software, while overlooking inefficiencies throughout the entire ERP system.
If you’ve chosen to implement new ERP software, you have an advantage over these stubborn organizations. Most ERP vendors have modern products at reasonable costs. You surely will find a solution that meets your business needs – and the needs of the largest generation in your workforce.