Even if your current ERP system has the innovative features your company needs, such as scalability, performance, security, and compliance, it won’t matter if your users don’t utilize them. And if they’re not utilizing them, it means these key features or capabilities aren’t user friendly. Even worse, if your current ERP system cannot meet the needs of your customers, you will find it difficult, if not impossible, to drive revenue and save costs. If your employees and customers aren’t getting the most from what your ERP has to offer, it may be time to upgrade it, or better yet, move to a cloud-based ERP system. Cloud-based or modern ERP software solutions offer modern technology that enhances user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) for both your employees and your customers.
Employee UI and UX:
Companies that invest in employee experience, including user interface, are four times more profitable than those that don’t.1 Modern ERP technology can enhance user interface and experience by providing a simple, personalized, integrated, accessible, and mobile-friendly platform for employees to work on. Employees today expect an ERP solution to make complicated processes and tasks easy to accomplish by offering the following features:
- A “glance and go” dashboard2: We are a visual society, so your ERP system should provide a dashboard with a pleasing, uncluttered, graphical overview. Modern ERP dashboards offer minimalistic design, consistent fonts, logical color coding and positioning that allow users to quickly glean information from the overview and either hyperlink to related data or “drill down” to access more complicated data buried within the graphic. They even allow users to personalize their dashboards using unique colors, styles, structures, sorting, and indicators that best fit their roles and their personalities. Also, with features such as text-to-speech, screen readers, and other assistive technologies, ERP systems can design dashboards to be accessible to users with disabilities.
- Intuitive interaction: Obviously, some training is necessary to begin using your modern ERP, but luckily most have Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Intelligence (BI) intuitive apps that allow the user to navigate them easily and autonomously without heavily relying on tedious user guides, long demos, or extensive training. The more easily users can explore the software and quickly find solutions, the more they will trust and depend on the software to complete most of their tasks.
- Enjoyable, constructive apps: Accessing information from your ERP system should be fun and productive. Does the search interface easily find critical information you need to accomplish tasks? Are the tabs, menus and windows organized and logical? We usually start the day with a huge “to-do” list, so having ERP solutions knock items off that list, quickly and efficiently, is deeply satisfying.
- “Use it anywhere” flexibility: Employees should be able to take their ERP platforms with them anywhere: to grab a Starbucks, to conduct an offsite meeting, even to sit poolside. Be it laptops, smartphones or tablets, modern ERP solutions can adapt to any screen size or resolution and give the same consumer-style user experience employees have grown accustomed to and now come to expect when they log in to their work platform.
Customer UI and UX:
According to a Forrester study cited in Forbes, “companies that invest in UX see a lower cost of customer acquisition, lower support cost, increased customer retention and increased market share. Jeff Bezos invested 100 times more into customer experience than advertising during the first year of Amazon. And Airbnb’s Mike Gebbia credits UX with taking the company to $10 billion.3” Just goes to show you that investing in employee UX and UI isn’t enough; you must also make that same investment for your customers. A modern ERP system will help give your customers many of the same benefits as those of your employees with several more tailored just to them:
- Self-Service Options: A modern ERP system can provide customers with self-service options and portals, such as online order tracking and returns, giving them greater control over their purchases and improving their overall customer experience.
- Personalized and Instantaneous Service: By providing real-time information on inventory levels, order status, and delivery times, modern ERP systems and portals help customers make informed decisions about their purchases. It can also predict customer demand to keep inventory levels in check and provide automated notifications when re-orders are needed, thus preventing customer frustration over out-of-stock items.
- Enhanced Customer & Service Management: A customer is four times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service related rather than price or product related (Bain & Company). No customer appreciates waiting a long time while you try to retrieve needed information, or worse, listening to your apology as you promise to call them back with an answer. They want their one call/text/chat or email to be a quick, effective, and productive interaction that is resolved to their satisfaction. Ideally, resolving a customer’s issue should be no more than two clicks away, and upgrading to a modern ERP system will significantly increase your ability to provide all customers with faster, more accurate, and more impactful service.
Simon Sinek said it best, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” And user experience and interface play a significant role in their overall satisfaction. According to another Forrester report, “about every dollar invested in user experience brings one hundred dollars in return, an ROI of 9,900%,” for a company.4. In a workplace and consumer world, full of digital natives, employee and customer UI and UX are no longer just a nice-to-have; they are a business imperative.