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The ways in which an enterprise software solution looks, feels and works for a user is increasingly crucial. Now that users have been influenced by their consumer experiences with innovative and digital technology, expectations have increased for their business software to provide a similar user experience (UX). Smartphone apps, online banking, flight purchase, shopping websites and so many other experiences are designed with intuitive and easy-to-learn user interface to improve user experiences. If users find a software experience inefficient, they’ll find ways around it, adoption will lag, and organizations may not obtain the ROI they expected from these investments. The UX drives adoption, which is an important first step toward realizing business value from manufacturing enterprise software systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) and customer-relationship management (CRM).

User-centric interfaces within enterprise applications can reduce training costs, enhance productivity and help employees come up to speed quickly. Consistently, a modern UX can boost user engagement and have a real impact on business results. For example, Comvita, a health food manufacturer, has improved user satisfaction, increased productivity and improved operations through a simple, intuitive interface and built-in collaborative activity feeds from QAD. With regard to their UX project, Comvita’s GM of ICT stated, “We are a global company and it’s really important for us to share information efficiently and effectively. Our users can now access more information and collaborate more effectively.”

Focus Over Function

Historically, ERP and other enterprise systems have been designed and built with a strong focus on function. The emphasis on the importance of the user experience has been lacking, and navigating through these systems often requires memorization of function keys, moving through multiple screens or bypassing the system altogether with options like Excel. For organizations seeking to introduce an enterprise system or replace a legacy ERP, UX considerations such as QAD Adaptive UX are imperative for your selection criteria. Consider the following factors:

Adoption and Satisfaction Increases Project Success

User adoption and satisfaction are key elements for any successful deployment of enterprise software. How often have you run across cases where employees develop desktop spreadsheets to address a burdensome software process? Or, experienced the frustration of having to access multiple screens for what seems to be a straightforward task? A poor UX can lead to employee dissatisfaction and inefficiency.

Manufacturing organizations should confirm any enterprise system under consideration provides interfaces that are attractive, usable, and help improve business insights from the user perspective while also delivering efficient, simplified operations.

UX Usability Can Affect Profitability

An effective and well-designed UX can speed time-to-benefit and cut project costs by minimizing training requirements. The UX has become a foundational component for simplifying complexity from the user’s point of view. For example, UX can reduce complexity by introducing role-based screens and dashboards or taking into account that a shop floor user requires a tailored interface based on their work environment. By implementing effective UX strategies, a company can cut initial and ongoing training requirements and more effectively engage employees. 

Device Independence is a Must-have

Where businesses might have only supported a desktop computer previously, companies must confirm their enterprise systems support laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices. A mere 10 years ago, voice-controlled systems were considered science fiction, but today they’re readily available. Enterprise systems must take into account the importance of device compatibility and user-friendly capabilities across devices available today and in the future. As a result, confirming a robust UX allows users greater access to information when and where they desire along with increased collaboration and efficiency – all items to be fully considered during an ERP selection process.

How effective and inefficient is your current UX? If you’re thinking about updating your UX or engaging in an ERP selection process, please visit QAD.com.

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