Are you getting the most out of your software?
Training Are you aware of all of your software’s capabilities?
The underutilization of information systems is a growing problem that seriously hits businesses hard.
One of the frequent comments heard from our Professional Service team’s visits to a client, is that the client is not using the system to its fullest capability. For example, one client has had Sage 300 CRE implemented for over a year, and he reported that his company has NEVER USED the Inventory or Purchasing modules!! This is far from uncommon; it is most prevalent with the clients which are smaller businesses.
“I don’t have the time or resources to learn more about my software.”
The challenge with a smaller business is the lack of resources or experience with a specific software and its corresponding enhancement modules. The preference of do-it-yourself methodology that prevails in smaller companies only enhances these challenges. Engaging an expert can be seen as time consuming, confusing, or costly; and as a small business owner, it is sometimes just difficult to admit to the obstacle of not knowing something.
What are the causes of software under utilization?
Why do features of a software get overlooked and underutilized? Good money was spent to pay for all of the capabilities, so why would someone not take full advantage of the system? Here are a few reasons that seem to surface in our research:
- The client is actually unaware that the feature even exists
- The benefit is not always immediately recognized by the user
- After main installation, the time to integrate additional modules was not taken
- Training time was not utilized
- Too much training all at once, and thus information overload has deterred full usage
- People are reluctant to change old habits or learn new (even if they are better) processes
You can have the best software in the world — but if you don’t fully understand its capabilities, you are not going to get the best value for the money spent.
If we look at the above reasons, we find the main cause of software underutilization is a classic case of ‘what you put in, is what you get out.’ Spending the time and effort to link between apps and modules, taking the time to train and learn about the features and capabilities over time, going back and re-training on previous knowledge, learning about updates and new regulations, and breaking old habits can all lead to better software utilization.
Attending initial training session(s) doesn’t guarantee fully taking advantage of ALL of the features! There can be a lot of information in any one training session and people can get overwhelmed. While initial training may be excellent, follow-up sessions that review advanced features are even more critical.
This why Ledgerwood Associates provides a plethora of training sessions every month. Most of the training has moved online, so you can spend less time out of your office and more time being productive. Some of the training does have a fee associated with it, and these are usually information packed sessions that greatly impact the efficiency of your business. However, many of the LAI training events are free of charge and are great, tightly focused sessions that will help you to better utilize all of the features you have in your robust software system.
There are several online training sessions coming up in the near future. Look at the events you need to attend on our Training Calendar!