Corporate ERP training – is it worth it?

The right ERP vendor has been found and the new system has been successfully installed. It almost seems as if you can now check the “ERP project” box and move on to other tasks. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. The most important thing is still to come: training the staff. What might seem like a trivial formality often turns out to be the biggest and most important challenge. To get the most out of the software, the goal should be to get employees on board and prepared for the changes ahead. After all, much of the working environment is changing. The following article explains why ERP training makes sense, how best to implement it, and the benefits it brings.

Why ERP training matters

Many companies still believe that implementing an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is just an IT project that, once completed, will automatically lead to improved processes. However, implementation is routine for the ERP vendor and rarely leads to problems. If they do, they can usually be resolved quickly. What is often overlooked is that even the best system is of no use to the business if it is operated by an unsuspecting employee. Especially if you are using ERP software in your company for the first time, everyone will have different levels of knowledge. It is at this point that you should pick up the staff and bring them up to the same level. This is the only way to integrate the system into day-to-day operations and reap the benefits.


This may sound like a lot of work at first. Try to think of the training as a valuable investment rather than a necessary evil. Experience has shown that it always pays to invest in your own people. Every employee has their own potential, and if you nurture it, both parties will benefit in the long run. But how do you successfully implement ERP training?

Successful ERP Training Implementation

In general, ERP training can be divided into two phases. One is basic training and the other is employee training. Both take place at different stages of the implementation and serve different purposes. Basic training is about training the key users and giving them the capability to train their colleagues. They are responsible for the project from the beginning and are selected by you in advance. Whether you choose one or more people for this position depends on the size of the project.

Basic training provided by the ERP vendor

Basic training for key users is usually provided by the ERP vendor. In return, you receive regular training and support. This means that the training does not take place on a fixed day, but throughout the implementation period, long before the technical implementation begins. The goal is to give key users an overview of the system so that they can pass on their knowledge to their colleagues once the system is implemented. The key users are the interface between the software and the business processes. Of course, this assumes that they are experts in both areas. Ideally, you should choose someone who is both a good communicator and has a good technical understanding of the system’s functionality. Once the key users have been trained and the system has been implemented, the next step is to train the actual users.

Employee training preparation

Typically, employees are trained by the key users after implementation; the ERP vendor rarely does this itself. The advantage to you, of course, is that the cost is much lower because you only have to pay the ERP vendor to train the key users. In addition, the distance between key users and employees is often smaller because of the collegial relationship. A trusted colleague knows which features are important to the business and is better able to allay employee fears than an external coach. This allows you to better tailor the ERP training to the team and reduce potential resistance. Many employees are often skeptical of new ERP software because they fear it will replace them. The downside is that the workload for key users may increase during the implementation phase. At this point, you may want to consider whether it would be helpful for that employee to delegate key tasks to other colleagues during this time.

The following organizational considerations should be made prior to ERP training:

  • What content is being trained? Is it a basic workshop on how to navigate the system and maintain master data, or is it advanced courses on specific topics such as financial accounting, bookkeeping, or financial statements?
  • When and where will the training take place? How long will it take?
  • For which employees is the insight relevant? Can anyone attend?
  • Who will conduct the training?
  • What documents or other materials will be needed? Also, create training materials that can be used later as a resource to help train further employees.

Benefits of ERP Training

From a business perspective

ERP training for your own employees always pays off. Use your potential and train your employees to become specialists. Due to a shortage of skilled workers, more and more mid-sized companies are dependent on the performance of their employees. The more qualified an employee is, the more he or she can contribute to the company’s success. A trained employee not only uses his knowledge in his daily work, but also automatically passes it on to his colleagues. In short, more knowledge flows into the company. This makes you more competitive and your company’s goals more likely to be achieved. It also makes you a much more attractive employer. A potential employee is more likely to choose you if there are opportunities for professional development. This also intuitively motivates them to perform better.

Employee motivation

There are different types of motivation. The most common types are extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is always triggered by external stimuli. Classic examples are financial incentives or the desire for rewards. In contrast to intrinsic motivation, tasks are not performed for their own sake or initiative, but with the prospect of money or recognition. Extrinsic sources of motivation are quick to motivate, but also quick to dissipate. ERP training provides the opportunity to think outside the box. Learning, understanding and being able to apply new things is more likely to encourage people to perform a task because they find it interesting. The result is a high level of learning, which in turn has a positive impact on the engagement, quality and success of your organization.

Transparency and streamlined processes

In addition to personal development, transparency and process optimization have a positive impact on employee motivation. Transparent processes make people aware of their role in the team. They show each employee how his or her work affects the success of the company as a whole and give meaning to his or her own contribution. Streamlined processes reduce workload by automating repetitive tasks. However, if you use the benefits of process optimization to reduce headcount and costs, you will create resistance to the new ERP system. Why should your employees support something that threatens their place in the company? The implementation of ERP software can increase motivation if it is successful, but it can also have the opposite effect if it fails. The focus should always be on the human factor. It is the key to a successful ERP project.

Benefits for the employees

An ERP training program benefits not only the company, but also the individual employee. On the one hand, additional qualifications increase your chances on the job market, but on the other hand, they also secure your job in the company. Getting an additional qualification not only boosts your self-confidence, it also automatically sets you apart from the competition. Internally, you will also receive recognition from colleagues and management, especially if you can apply what you have learned in your day-to-day work. Well-paid positions are also highly coveted by internal competitors. In addition, an increase in skills and education usually leads to an increase in income. One of the most important factors, however, is that the sense of togetherness in the team improves significantly when, for example, several employees attend and complete an ERP training course. This automatically leads to a more relaxed working atmosphere and a more productive day. Many employees also see training opportunities as a form of recognition, as it signals a long-term commitment to the company.


No matter what industry you operate in or what applications you plan to use it for: An ERP system can either make your job a lot better or a lot worse. If you do not take ERP training seriously, the success of the ERP project is at risk. Failure to adequately prepare employees for the changes ahead can lead to team dissatisfaction and high support costs. However, for both the implementation and the ERP training to be successful, both sides need to be prepared. When this is achieved, both you as the business owner and the entire workforce benefit – a classic win-win situation.

If you would like to learn more about ERP training in your company or the full range of TimeLine ERP functionality, please send us a message using the contact form, write to [email protected] or contact our sales team at +49 212 230 35 200. We look forward to hearing from you and will be happy to advise you!