You may be considering upgrading your business management technology or switching from an outdated system to a modern, cloud-based ERP. You understand that this is a significant business investment. You also know that in these uncertain economic times, you need smart technology systems that empower your employees and connect your organization.

ERP usability is the key to making your technology investments pay off. But you may not be clear on what ERP usability means and how it works. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

ERP Usability Explained

ERP usability is a term that describes how easy it is for people to use an ERP system’s features and functions. It also helps users work more effectively and avoid mistakes.

ERP usability may sound simple, but it can have a huge impact on your business. If your employees find a new business management solution hard to learn and use, they may only use it partially or reject it altogether and resort to inefficient workarounds. But it can be hard to tell if a solution really has great ERP usability.

The 5 ERP Usability Factors You Need to Know

Knowing five essential usability factors can help you make the best ERP investment for your business.

  1. Ability to Engage All Users: The ERP system you select must offer a user-friendly, highly intuitive interface that allows every team member—from the newest to the most experienced—to do their jobs well and quickly.
  2. Real-Time Data and Visualization: The ERP system you choose must collect reliable, real-time data and provide the business intelligence capabilities you need to examine that data for useful insights.
  3. Personalized Reporting and KPIs: While gathering and analyzing large amounts of data is important, it can also lead to “information overload.” The right ERP system will help you understand your data by automatically organizing it through personalized reports, role-based dashboards, and customizable KPIs.
  4. Ease of Building Connections: The right ERP system should connect easily and smoothly with third-party applications that enhance its functionality. It should be easy to adjust and expand the solution, create and change applications, and move data between systems without coding.
  5. Industry-Driven Usability: Often, industry-specific, specialized software works separately—meaning it can’t communicate and exchange information with other applications, which creates data silos. An ERP solution for today’s businesses should have distinct but integrated industry editions that give users access to and control over data and processes across the company.

New to Usability? Start Here

Here are some specific things to look for that demonstrate the five factors we just went over:

  • User-focused design: You should be able to move around the application smoothly and set up and learn ERP applications with little training.
  • Automated processes: You should be able to automate invoicing, approval workflows, document handling, and order delivery.
  • Platform independence/anywhere, anytime access: You should be able to use the ERP system from any browser through mobile apps and a secure internet connection.
  • Relational database: You should be able to access real-time, reliable information from a single source of truth.
  • Bidirectional sync engine/and data exchange services: You should be able to automate data transfers between the ERP application and external systems or data sources.
  • Artificial intelligence with machine learning: You should be able to use AI to enhance data quality and reduce data entry for a range of vital business processes.
  • Scalability: You should be able to scale your ERP to support growth with features for global businesses’ security/accounting requirements.

We’re Here to Help

If you’re looking to implement, customize, or integrate an ERP solution, we’re here to help. At ASI, we provide full consulting and implementation services for Acumatica, one of the best and most usable ERPs on the market. Contact us or schedule your free consultation today to get started.