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Manufacturing SMEs report faster IT adoption with product training

A number of well-established manufacturing SMEs across the UK are experiencing faster user adoption and quicker realisation of benefits from their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution as a direct result of undertaking product training provided by K3 Syspro (K3).

According to industry expert Panorama, of 200 businesses, less than 40% are satisfied with the rate of user adoption of their ERP solution; and for many, this is down to having an inadequate training plan in place.

To overcome challenges associated with user adoption, K3 Syspro advocates user training, at every step throughout the adoption process. Comprehensive training from the purchasing stage, through implementation and go-live, and further as a continual process within a business, is crucial to releasing the benefits of an ERP solution.

As with any business specific software, an ERP system is still a system, and in order to be utilised effectively it relies on the knowledge and commitment of users. As a result, K3 Syspro (K3) designs and delivers a number of bespoke training programmes to help ensure customers realise the benefits of their SYSPRO ERP solution sooner, in turn overcoming common ERP pitfalls.
UK manufacturer, S & P Coil Products (SPC), a specialist producer of heating and cooling equipment is one manufacturing SME that has taken advantage of the bespoke training courses delivered by K3.

The company invested in SYSPRO ERP in 2011, and opted for a fully hosted and managed solution in order to provide a cost-effective, robust and flexible solution to support multiple business sites.

The company attended a comprehensive training programme from K3 which ran parallel with its implementation and go live structure, and regularly attends refresher training courses. Iain Goddard from SPC says: “We find that K3’s training courses are always delivered in an easily digestible format, offering constant reviews and of the modules covered, making it increasingly easy to retain information.

Our SYSPRO solution has grown with our company over recent years, unlocking new modules and functionality that K3 Syspro has trained us on, in order to offer ROI from our investment. ERP never remains static so training is important in order to maximise overall ROI.”

K3 offers a range of bespoke training packages which are tailored to the individual requirements of each business. Just as the ERP solutions provided by the company are often tailored to the specific needs of the business it serves, training follows the same ethos. Companies are able to select and customise training modules to specific business requirements.

Training at the implementation stage of an ERP project is vital to ensuring the success of user adoption, and comprehensive training can also effectively facilitate knowledge transfer throughout an organisation.

A recent user of SYSPRO ERP, EPC-UK, a leading force in the field of commercial explosives and blasting technologies, has already reported an increase in user adoption, since undergoing training. The company enrolled one of its apprentices on a special free course K3 Syspro recently held in celebration of National Apprenticeship Day.

“Our training delivered extensive module based learning in a number of key ERP issues such as Purchase Orders, systems management, and crystal reporting. Since completing the course I have been able to utilise the knowledge I gained and put the theory into action, contributing to, and developing our own in-house training resource.” says Daniel Ford, an IT junior at the company.
It is estimated by Panorama that up to 70% of ERP implementations fail and often, this falls down due to poor training, or a lack of ERP knowledge within the company. K3 believes that it is essential for any business selecting an ERP solution to ensure that its workforce has a vested interest in the success of the ERP project. Training key users at the implementation stage allows for secondary users to draw on the in depth knowledge of SYSPRO champions.

Information, Technology and Communications Managers at SPC, Neil Hudson explains why it is important for all employees at the company to have extensive knowledge of ERP. “For SPC to effectively utilise ERP as a business it is important that the whole team possesses a basic knowledge of ERP, how it works, and what it means for the day-to-day running of our business. Training from K3 has allowed us as a company to unlock the true potential of SYSPRO, and experience benefits very quickly after go live.”

Alongside customising specific modules, businesses are able to select the training module, which is not only tailored to the specific requirements of the business, but also tailored to the employees attending. Key users and project champions are identified from the start of the project, with everyone in the business profiled for their use of ERP, right down to apprentices who typically have little previous ERP knowledge.

Established designer and provider of multisensory equipment, ROMPA employs a number of apprentices across the company. Graham Corps, the company’s IT Director explains why investing in all staff, including apprentices is vital for the success of an ERP project: “As a business, apprentices are really important to our future growth ambitions. Training from K3 has benefitted a number of our apprentices, providing an introduction to ERP in a way that complements their on-the-job learning. By gaining insight into SYSPRO they are able to gain ERP knowledge which will last the duration of their manufacturing careers.”

In order for a business to ensure user adoption doesn’t threaten the success of an ERP project, it is also important to recognise that the realisation of benefits comes from within the organisation. Therefore, ensuring each employee has a vested interested in the success of ERP, together with comprehensive training as a continual process, places businesses on the road to ERP success.
Cathie Hall, Managing Director of K3 Syspro concludes: “An ERP project can change the entire shape of a business and when used well, can be a major enabler of business growth. Often where ERP has not delivered effective ROI, is where businesses have not undergone specific user training and are not using the system to its full potential. We always encourage businesses adopting ERP to make sure they understand how to use the system to full capacity in order to realise a quick return on their investment and ensure that a project supports future business success.”

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