Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the business model for integrating the flow of information across the various functions of an enterprise, including sales and marketing, human resources, finance and accounting, supply chain management, and project management. The purpose is to streamline information and intelligence and reduce the costs of scheduling, managing, reporting, billing and tracking activities. ERP also refers to the technology platform used for this process.
Training professionals should understand ERP for two main reasons: because some areas of ERP are directly relevant to L&D and because ERP implementation requires training to be effective.
ERP and Corporate Training
ERPs often include human resource modules that integrate tasks such as recruiting, payroll and benefits, workflow management, and training. Integrating these systems automates processes, saving time and money, and enables better collaboration and data management. For example, ERPs can track regulatory requirements so that HR managers can track compliance with those requirements and training managers can develop training modules in the LMS to meet those requirements.
Many ERPs also include sales modules that support sales and marketing processes such as customer interactions, data analysis and record-keeping. In this way, ERP can be viewed as a sales enablement tool that works in collaboration with sales managers, coaches and trainers to support the sales force. Organizations sometimes integrate their ERP with their customer relationship management (CRM) system, thereby improving sales processes by ensuring that all parties have all of the relevant information.
ERP implementation requires training to ensure that leaders, managers and individual contributors understand the new process and can use the technology as needed. Here are some best practices:
- Provide regular updates to executives on the implementation process.
- Use marketing techniques to ensure employees at all levels understand the purpose and benefits of the ERP.
- Use real-world scenarios during ERP training, and integrate it into daily activities as much as possible.
- Align ERP training with the business’ strategic goals.
- Provide continuous training throughout all stages of the implementation, allowing for opportunities for practice and reinforcement.
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