At ERP World West in late February, two of the hot topics surrounding business process automation were end-user training and application service providers (ASPs). IDS Scheer president Mathias Kirchmer, an expert in business process automation, offers some quick advice for organizations unsure on how to manage these areas.

What’s your take?

How is your company going to approach these critical issues? If you have any suggestions you’d like to add to Kirchmer’s comments, please post a comment at the end of the article.

TechRepublic: Where does training fit into business process?
Kirchmer: Training has to change dramatically. I believe there are four steps to training:

  1. Make people understand the business model. Businesses change and end users need to understand those changes. For example, explain why the company chose to use a new method of purchasing and ordering products.
  2. There must be thorough training of the business process independent of the technology. Users need to grasp how the other parts of the process work.
  3. Explain the specific technology, such as Great Plains or Oracle, within the context of the business process and workflow. From my experience, if users understand the processes and how they link, then they get a better grasp of the technology and can use the general business process as a guideline to figure the technology out.
  4. Offer a kick-off training before going live. This training would drill down on the major technology and business process.

TechRepublic: How will application service providers (ASPs) alter the way companies approach enterprise resource planning (ERP)?
Kirchmer: The emergence of ASPs is a positive development for the business process of many companies. In the past, every company that purchased and installed an ERP system focused too strongly on the technology, neglecting the business process. Many of those implementations failed because people couldn’t use them in the context of the business process. Now, ASPs can take care of the technology involved. However, executives should make sure that the ASP solution fits the business process of their company.

IDS Scheer, Inc.

IDS Scheer, founded in 1985, provides solutions and software for optimal business process performance. The company is headquartered in Chadds Ford, PA, and has more than 900 employees and over 2,800 customers worldwide.

Considering an ASP?
Struggling with ASP customization? Unsure of how end users will react to your organization’s business process implementation? Drop us a note or post a comment below to let us know how you handled these mission-critical issues.