How many times have you checked out a new app only to find it confusing, cumbersome, or generally hard to navigate? In those cases, the next thing you do is delete the app immediately or decide to dig in later when you have more time to figure it out – a time that rarely comes.
Easy-to-use software products have shaped your expectations with a short learning curve so you can figure out what to do, where to go, and how to get the information you need fast and efficiently.
It’s called usability, a simple yet powerful concept but often overlooked when downloading a new app and, believe it or not, when considering new business software solutions. Why should you care?
A lack of usability is so impactful that it can take even the most stunning service concept and smoothest designs and make a software product completely irrelevant and, you guessed it, unusable.
When you’re in the market for a new accounting and ERP system, you can’t afford to wait until after purchase and implementation to check out how usable the new system will be. By the time your time and money resources have been invested in the new ERP system, you may be stuck with a system you can’t delete.
What is ERP usability, really?
Put simply, ERP usability is the ease with which you can accomplish your tasks with your new ERP solution. Think of usability as ease-of-use and an assessment of how easy the dashboard and other user interfaces are to use.
Many accounting and ERP solutions offer features and functionality you need, but the key is to find one you can learn, understand, and adopt easily and willingly. Unfortunately, there are many ERP and accounting systems designed without the end-user in mind.
Here are the 5 components that typically define usability:
- Learnability: How easy is it for you to accomplish basic tasks the first time they test-drive a new ERP system? Is there a particular aspect you find confusing? Will your frustration in accomplishing this task prevent you from getting all the benefits from the system?
- Efficiency: How quickly will you be able to perform required tasks once you’ve learned the design? Are you fumbling around trying to find something that should be obvious?
- Memorability: How intuitive is the new ERP system so that if you spend some time away from it, will you be able to reestablish proficiency quickly?
- Errors: How many errors do you make navigating the ERP system, how big are these errors, and how easily are you able to recover from them?
- Satisfaction: How satisfying is it to use the design? Determining how pleasant the new ERP system is to use can make a difference in whether you and other users fully adopt the technology.
Well-designed accounting software and ERP solutions are more than just pretty graphics and colorful dashboards. You benefit from a solution accessible from any device that will give you one centralized source of truth to share real-time business data across all departments.
Areas You Need to Target Usability
It’s important to incorporate usability early on in your ERP selection process. Your prospective ERP should be easy to navigate, informative, and help you complete specific tasks to meet your business needs through personalized dashboards.
Identify your business requirements and focus on how you will use the system day-to-day:
- Multi-user accessibility
- Time tracking
- Projects management
- Real-time reporting
- Mobile, cloud-based access
- Basic through advanced accounting features
- Tax planning
Factor ERP Usability For:
- Timesaving automation
- Increased productivity & growth
- Increased profitability
- Reduced training time, resources & costs
- Improved user and employee satisfaction
- Better data management & sharing through company-wide collaboration
- Faster, more informed decision-making
- Enhanced forecasting
A cloud-based ERP solution that focuses on usability enhancements and integrations for your industry helps you increase efficiency as well as staff and customer satisfaction, ultimately clearing your workflow bottlenecks leading to business growth.
ERP Usability for Success
An ERP project’s success or failure can result from several criteria, of course, the system’s usability is one of them. Since your new ERP becomes the heart of any organization to drive operations forward, factoring usability early on in your cloud ERP selection process is critical.
Focusing on staff and organizational usability will help you ensure that your new ERP and your business work together as the company grows and evolves.
ERP selection is an important decision for any business, so it’s vital to implement the right ERP system. Which cloud ERP solution will replace your outdated on-premise legacy solution?