Depending on the company, software manufacturers provide system updates anywhere from two to 200 times a year. If distributors’ ERP software operates in the cloud, it will update automatically but it’s still a good idea to make sure staff members receive training on any new features or functions.

Typically, a software provider will notify distributors when a new version or major update to the software is available. Distributed through social media, email and even snail mail, these notifications direct users to make sure they’re running the latest version of the software and offer links to relevant training if available.

“Software is fluid, so it’s always changing,” says Raffo. “We’re constantly putting out updates. Vendor training on a regular basis is a recipe for success — it really allows our customers to grow.” 

Often, software updates are accompanied by details of the release. This gives users an understanding of what’s new and helps them decide if they want further training on how to use it.

“Every new version of our software comes with release notes,” says Marciano. “If a customer wishes to schedule additional trainings on these features, it’s as easy as calling or emailing our support department.”

If the updates include substantial changes that require user training, providers will often coordinate that training directly with the distributor, providing learning content either through online videos or in specialized training sessions. Some software providers develop training videos to accompany each new update. 

Another way to learn how to use software more advantageously is by attending an annual user conference offered by the software provider. 

These conferences are standard for most software companies, as they give users an opportunity to connect, learn about the product, and engage with the supplier in a more meaningful way. While often funded by the customer, the events help the user leverage all the bells and whistles of the solution, maximizing the value they receive from the software. 

“We hold a user group meeting that is solely focused on training and breakout sessions that allow our users to connect and learn best practices from one another,” says Raffo. “They interact with other users and are able to learn different ways to use the system. That’s extremely valuable.” 

Utilizing distribution software is definitely a business game-changer. Make sure all staff members — both new and old — are properly trained to maximize ERP’s potential. 

Andi Curry is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati. 


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ERP Training Enhances Distributor's Business