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How to Find a “User Friendly” ERP System

Every time I speak with someone looking to change their existing ERP system they all tell me that they want the new system to be “User Friendly”.  There is no way to easily quantify this and no industry wide standard is even possible to establish. Many companies are coming off old systems they have been using for 10-20 years, and any system they see today will obviously be more user friendly based on the advances of platform and mobile technology. As we all learned as kids “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and this is based on each employee and division of the company:

Sales

Great big, colorful, pretty dashboards that show the deals quoted, in process and lost.  The system should show the calls, meetings and tasks to be performed that day and be integrated to their email account. System should have alerts and workflows that ensures they follow up timely.  Access on a mobile device that has a current look and feel.

Finance

Easy entry of large amounts of data (invoices, GL entries) and screens that can contain only the information and fields they need to enter.  Entering information without a mouse saves a lot of time.  Ability to see all relevant information on the order or customer without having to leave the screen. Reports that can be easily created with unlimited sorting and filtering capabilities.  Ability to drill down to the detail of all reports and dashboards to the source document.

Operations

For purchasing, warehouse and project managers, very limited access in the system to do the functions of their job and to have the dashboards they need in real time.  Bar code scanning and warehouse automation increases productivity and accuracy which makes the ERP system in their world user friendly.

Management

Meaningful, colorful KPI’s, Business Intelligence with advanced analytics and reporting that the organization regularly generates. Reports that can be easily created with unlimited sorting and filtering capabilities.  Ability to drill down to the detail of all reports and dashboards to the source document

HR

An easy way for staff to enter their time and expense reports on their mobile device.  Attach documents and have time and expenses approved by their supervisor.

With such diverse needs and requirements you can see why it is difficult for everyone to agree. Over my 20 years of experience I believe the above can be prioritized as follows:

  • Dashboards that can be created and customized by user
  • Reports & menus that can be customized by user. Easy to sort and filter the data
  • Individual entry screens that can be customized by user that only displays the information needed and can be arranged in a specific order for each user.
  • “Drill Down” to the source document information from all reports and inquiries
  • All information available from a single entry screen.  For a sales order you should easily be able to see all inventory, customer, purchasing, vendor, shipments, invoices and communication information to answer any questions quickly and easily.

 

Today’s user is very familiar with using current technology in their personal lives and want that same experience in their professional life. In summation users want the tools to make their work easier and faster to enter and have access to the data that allows them to make timely decisions. When that happens, each employee believes they have a user friendly system.

Learn More: Get the Whitepaper – “What Acumatica Customers Want…and Get!”

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