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Because training is key to a successful experience, most manufacturers offer robust solutions to ensure users understand how to get the most out of their software. This happens from before implementation throughout the full lifecycle of the product — either on-demand or in a fully immersive training experience. How distributors want to begin training and convert users to the new system before going live is ultimately up to them.

“For our pre-implementations (before the customer is live on our system) we have one of our implementation specialists travel on-site to the customer to train them over three full days,” says Chris Marciano, director of support and implementation with DDI System, Sandy Hook, Connecticut. “After a customer is ‘live’ on our system, additional trainings can be scheduled on-site or remotely and are delivered by one of our implementation and support representatives.”

Other ERP providers offer a more adaptive integration experience for those who prefer to gradually ease into the conversion. This allows users to experience new software alongside their previous work systems. 

“We run a demonstration mode so new users can work side-by-side with the new system before it goes live,” says Lane. “They use their current software all day and then from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., they use the new system. This allows them to understand the improvements the new software brings. Our goal is that they know exactly what they’re doing when the new system launches.”

Ongoing Training

Once the ERP system is up and running, it will be a matter of time before someone moves into a new position or a new employee joins the business. When this happens, a user will require training in order to learn his or her new role within the ERP system. For example, if a warehouse manager moves into a purchasing position, he or she will need to understand how to generate purchase orders within the system. 

While most software providers offer role-based training, Epicor makes its training available through Epicor University, which is a learning management system (LMS) platform that provides 15-minute videos to take users through the new material.

“We have role-based training agendas which users can work through on their own,” says Gotisha. “If the learning administrator wants to conduct a test to ensure the user comprehends the information, they can also take the test.”

Similarly, DDI System recently introduced a digital learning portal where users can access all training materials, including previously recorded webinars and learning sessions. Users are provided with a list of the materials required for each role, allowing them to learn at their own pace. 

Other users might prefer a more personalized training experience. Web conferencing capabilities allow trainers to personally walk users through the system and answer specific questions.

“People get used to doing things a certain way, so it’s good to conduct ongoing training,” says Chris Raffo, president of Universal Business Systems, Somerville, New Jersey. “Particularly with online capabilities like join.me, you can speak to someone and walk through the site and ask any questions with someone right then.”

Monthly or quarterly webinars present another option for users looking to conduct ongoing refresher training. These events are often recorded so users can watch them following the live session. 

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