When assessing ERP software, companies seek features that enhance business processes and drive profitability. However, they often overlook the crucial aspect of usability. Insufficient usability leads to employees abandoning the ERP software and resorting to manual workarounds, resulting in increased errors and reduced visibility. For small and mid-sized businesses, a trial-and-error approach to ERP adoption is not feasible. They require user-friendly business process management software to optimize global operations and facilitate growth. Highly usable ERP software improves the bottom line by enhancing customer service, streamlining processes, and providing a comprehensive view of the business. In contrast, cumbersome ERP technology depletes resources and hampers productivity.
Thankfully, companies can prevent this costly mistake by evaluating ERP solutions based on five key factors. These factors take into account user experience across the entire enterprise and prioritize intuitive features that encourage widespread adoption, such as user interface, visualization, and connectivity. Additionally, these elements assist companies in prioritizing the needs of users and selecting an ERP solution with a proven track record of usability.
Acumatica serves as an exemplary example of an intuitive and modern ERP solution that consistently impresses customers and analysts. It’s received top scores for usability from reputable organizations like Gartner, G2, Info-Tech, and Nucleus Research. Acumatica empowers companies with its cloud-based ERP system, which is easy to use, learn, and adapt to different roles.
Read on to learn more about the five essential ERP usability factors and discover a proven method for finding an ERP solution that empowers employees, partners, and customers!
1. User Interface (UI)
The user interface refers to the visual design and layout of the ERP system. A well-designed UI should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. It should enable users to perform tasks efficiently and access relevant information without confusion. A user-friendly UI reduces the learning curve for employees and promotes faster adoption of the ERP system.
ERP solutions streamline operations across the entire organization, affecting users in various departments and roles. Each user has unique expectations, prior experiences, and technical expertise in their respective positions. Unfortunately, many ERP systems are designed primarily for experienced users, leaving less experienced employees struggling to navigate the applications or requiring extensive training.
Acumatica stands apart by engaging users at all levels, providing an intuitive experience that caters to everyone, regardless of their level of involvement with ERP applications. Whether employees are full-time ERP users or occasional data entry/ retrieval users, Acumatica ensures an accessible and user-friendly experience for all.
Bear in mind that today’s workplaces are filled with users who have a variety of technical aptitudes, largely encapsulated as follows:
- Digital natives. A digital native is someone who grew up in the digital age, surrounded by technology, and is naturally comfortable with digital tools and online platforms.
- Digital immigrants. A digital immigrant is someone who adopts technology later in life and may have a learning curve in using digital tools and online platforms.
2. Functionality and Features
The functionality and features of the ERP system play a crucial role in usability. The system should offer a comprehensive set of features that align with the specific needs of the organization. These features should be easily accessible and provide clear value in terms of automating business processes, improving productivity, and supporting decision-making. A balance between robust functionality and simplicity is key to ensuring usability.
Usability begins with instant access to information. Users expect immediate access to real-time data that can inform quick decision making. However, raw data alone is insufficient for making strategic decisions and troubleshooting problems. ERP software needs to go beyond task automation and provide comprehensive information that empowers businesses to grow and better serve customers in real time.
Acumatica excels at delivering 360° views of all business operations in real time. Executives can swiftly evaluate the company’s overall health, address issues, and support ongoing deals. Role-based project information is instantly available to all users. Acumatica ensures transparency by consolidating real-time data from various hardware and software systems across the global enterprise into a single database. The centralized relational database guarantees that all users access a unified version of accurate information, while Acumatica’s robust reporting engine presents requested data to each user.
With Acumatica, users have immediate access to real-time and historical data and can drill down to the underlying sources, ensuring they always have the necessary context for decision making. A vast selection of pre-built reports covering various business criteria is available. Custom reports can be effortlessly created on-demand using Generic Inquiry without requiring coding or IT assistance. Simply drag and drop desired elements onto the form, and Acumatica takes care of the rest. Multi-dimensional reporting allows for analysis of data from different perspectives, facilitating the identification of patterns and exceptions. Pivot tables enable the visualization of criteria from different angles. For instance, profitability reports can be generated to review performance by store, product lines, and more.
3. Customization and Flexibility
Every organization has unique requirements and workflows. A highly usable ERP system should offer customization options that allow businesses to tailor the system to their specific needs. This includes the ability to configure workflows, set user permissions, create personalized dashboards, and modify data fields. Flexibility in customization ensures that the ERP system can adapt and grow alongside the organization.
4. Integration and Connectivity
Usability is enhanced when an ERP system seamlessly integrates with other applications and systems used within the organization. Integration capabilities enable data exchange, eliminating the need for manual data entry and improving data accuracy. The ERP system should support standard integration protocols and have connectors or APIs available for easy integration with other software solutions. A well-connected ERP system enhances overall usability and efficiency.
5. Training and Support
Adequate training and ongoing support are crucial for ensuring successful adoption and usability of an ERP system. The ERP vendor should provide comprehensive training materials, documentation, and user guides to assist employees in learning the system. Additionally, responsive customer support should be available to address any issues or questions that may arise during the system implementation or day-to-day usag. Training and support services contribute significantly to user satisfaction and overall usability.
Get the Full Guide: 5 ERP Usability Factors Every Business Should Know
In this Solution Brief, you’ll learn about the five ERP usability factors every business should consider before signing the dotted line, including:
- Real-time data and visualization.
- Personalized reporting and KPIs.
- Ability to engage all users.
- Ease of building connections.
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Touch Base with MIBAR to Learn More!
The importance of usability in ERP software cannot be overstated. Acumatica stands out as a solution that prioritizes instant access to real-time data, comprehensive information, and user-friendly features. With its powerful reporting engine, centralized database, and integration with leading intelligence tools, Acumatica empowers businesses to make informed decisions, troubleshoot effectively, and drive growth.
Whether you’re looking to get more mileage out of your data or need a complete overhaul of your processes, we’ve helped companies just like yours to discover, implement, and optimize Acumatica. To experience the benefits of Acumatica’s usability and transform your ERP experience, take the next step and contact our team here at MIBAR.