Encouraging employees to embrace change is hard, especially when they are comfortable with their old way of doing things and see no reason to change. Investing in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for your food and beverage manufacturing company can be a big investment that provides amazing benefits and opportunity for greater productivity. However, unless your team is on board and dedicated to learning and using the new system, the project will never serve your company to its full potential. In fact, even if the employee understands that it will make their job easier, oftentimes they will seek out ways to circumvent the ERP and continue using their old spreadsheets and reports. Companies that have a plan to engage their staff in learning the new system will likely see much greater results and a much better ROI than those who simply expect full participation.
How to Engage the Staff
Making employees a real part of the transition from the old system to the new ERP is critical to having their full cooperation. For many companies, asking for feedback, providing up to date information about the implementation throughout the process, and provided proper training both before, during, and after the system is in place is an important step to encourage them to use it. And though you may think you are too busy to take the time needed to do this successfully, the truth is you probably just haven’t spent much time planning to make it work and viewing it as a real priority. Ensuring the staff has some level of comfort with the system before they are asked to use it day to day may be more investment of time and resources, but will certainly be worth the attention. Also, until the old systems have been completely removed, there will likely be a temptation to revert back to the way they know best. Both group and individual training is valuable to help overcome that temptation.
It’s also very important that executives and company officials show their full support and enthusiasm for ERP. To do this well, they must fully understand how the system works and what it will provide. They should be well trained and open to fielding questions from those beneath them on the company hierarchy. Leaders are followed, whether a good leader or a poor one. If your company expects the employees to fully take advantage of the system, you should expect the executive team to do so as well.
The Importance of User-Friendly and Well Running Systems
Choosing an ERP system and vendor specialized in the food and beverage manufacturing industry ensures that the system will be easier to use and will likely operate much more effectively than a generic system. If a system is difficult to use and regularly has issues in performance, it will be hard to sell it to the company at large.
It’s clear that using an ERP solution will provide great gains in productivity and increase performance. It will allow your organization to reach new heights and better navigate the highly competitive food and beverage industry. However without full support of those using the system, implementation can actually harm you more than help you. Taking steps to ensure employees are engaged and welcoming of the new system is crucial to benefitting from it fully.