3 tips for every end user of an ERP system

Do you encounter a problem in your ERP system? Then you can always contact your software partner of course. Their staff will know exactly what to do to in order to get back on track with the system quickly. But that will cost you time and money. Whilst there are a lot of things you can solve yourself, without intervention of your software partner. Here are some tips that help you to solve problems you experience in using the software much more effectively.

1. Read the error message carefully

Are you unable to finish up the quote you are working on or create that new work order, because an error message pops up in your screen? Do not panic, but first carefully read the error message. Many software users immediately close an error message and seek for help. For example, by picking up the phone to call the software partner. Sometimes that is indeed the necessary thing to do, as there may be a bug in the software or a complicated problem in the system settings. But what can also happen is that you have forgotten to check a box or fill in a certain field. Usually, an error message describes exactly where the problem occurs and what value(s) is/are missing.

2. Use your test environment

Changes to an ERP system (should) never take place directly in the production database (the environment you and your colleagues work in). This is done first in the test environment in order to test the impact of the change, both on the process which is directly affected by the change and on all related processes. Only when everything functions the way it should, the change will be brought to the production/live environment. That is something you can also do yourself. Do you want to change a setting, change a process or start to use new features? Test for yourself in the test environment whether it does what you expect and leads to the desired end result. You can always ask the software partner for advice or confirmation, but then you have already taken the first step(s) yourself. As a consequence you will, firstly, gain a better understanding of the software and secondly, you will have lower costs, because you turn to your software partner less frequently. A third advantage is that you can plan yourself when you want to test in the test environment.

3. First, ask the key user

It is very likely that the ERP system in your organization has one or more key users. These are users of the system who are strongly involved in the system setup and have a thorough knowledge of the processes and how these are supported by the software. They are also responsible for training the other users in the organization. If you encounter a question or problem with the software then they are your first-line support. The key users should be capable to answer many of your questions without the help of the software partner. And if the key user sits at the other end of your desk (or at least in the same office building), you will also be helped much faster.

Do not underestimate what you can do to get the most out of the ERP system. You can solve many mistakes and test many processes yourself. And if you do not know it, there is the expert in your organization where you can go to. This is often much faster, cheaper and more effective than asking the software partner for assistance. But if required, you can always count on your software partner. There is a solution to every problem and an answer to every question.

Luuk Busschers is Consultant at Dysel and helps customers to achieve their goals by using industry-specific ERP software.