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ERP user manuals – A Quick and (Somewhat) Painless Guide

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From Implementation to Documentation: The Importance of Creating Custom ERP user Manuals

ERP user manuals. Love them or hate them, we can all agree that they are a necessary evil. The default documentation of an ERP system that may come with the software or found online will only get you this far, especially if many processes are customized. 

While we have not yet met anybody who enjoys writing ERP user manuals during an ERP project, everyone needs to reference them at some point in order to find all the information they need and use our ERP system properly. 

In this article, we’ll take a quick and painless look at ERP user manuals — what they are, why we need them, and how you can create them as painlessly as possible, even if you need to document hundreds of processes. 

Let’s get started! 

What is an ERP User Manual? 

An ERP user manual is a document that provides instructions on how to use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or a certain procedure within the system. It covers topics such as how to achieve specific tasks, how to navigate the various menus and screens, how to enter data, and how to run reports. In short, an ERP user manual is your go-to guide for everything you need to know about using your ERP system.

Why Do We Need Them? 

ERP user manuals are important because they provide a single source of truth for users. With so many people using the same system, it’s important that everyone is on the same page (literally!). An ERP user manual ensures that everyone knows how to use the system the same way and that there is no confusion about which buttons to press or which reports to run. A manual makes sure the process is done correctly from start to finish and not how the person sees fit.

In short, an ERP user manual makes sure that everyone is using the system correctly and efficiently.

Where Can ERP manuals be stored and distributed?

ERP user manuals may be provided by the ERP vendor or by the implementation partner, depending on the contract. Sometimes, they have to be created by the company doing the implementation on top of the regular tasks. Offline manuals are usually provided in the form of a printed book that users can refer to when they need help. While there are less and less actually printed manuals, there are still some end users who prefer to see a printed version of the manual to help them with problems that occur on screen. 

A great place to store manuals is also the company’s intranet, helpdesk or wiki. 

Some companies also provide training videos or webinars that users can watch when they need assistance with their ERP system.

The Importance of Creating Custom ERP user Manuals 

It’s no secret that implementing an ERP system can be a complex and daunting task. There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why one of the most important things you can do during your ERP implementation is to create custom manuals for your team. ERP user manuals ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what needs to be done and when. Manually creating your ERP user manuals may seem like a tedious and time-consuming task, but trust us—it’s worth it. Here’s why: 

1. Custom ERP Manuals Help to Streamline Processes 

ERP systems are designed to streamline processes, but they can only do so if they’re used correctly. That’s why having custom manuals is so important—they help to ensure that everyone is using the system the same way. By having detailed, step-by-step instructions, you can be sure that your team is taking full advantage of the system and reaping all the benefits. 

2. Custom ERP Manuals Help to Prevent Errors 

ERP systems are often mission critical, which means even a small error can have major consequences. That’s why it’s so important to have detailed manuals that explain exactly how the system should be used. With clear instructions, you can help to prevent errors and keep your business running smoothly. 

3. Custom ERP Manuals Help to Save Time 

When everyone on your team knows exactly how the system works and what needs to be done, things will run more smoothly and efficiently. That means less time spent on training and more time spent on actually using the system to its full potential. In the end, custom manuals will help you save time and frustration for everyone involved.

4. Custom ERP Manuals Help to Ensure Compliance 

Following best practices is essential for any business, but it’s especially important in regulated industries such as healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. By having detailed manuals that explain how the system should be used, you can help to ensure compliance with industry regulations. 

Creating ERP manuals with little effort

As essential as ERP manuals are to the successful implementation and operation of an ERP system, crafting them can be a significant challenge. This isn’t solely because manual documentation is tedious and time-consuming. It also requires a detailed understanding of the ERP processes, knowledge of different roles within the company, and a careful consideration of each step that must be included for the instructions to be clear and actionable. If you want to learn more about creating ERP manuals, you may find resources and guides specific to this subject.

Thankfully, there are tools available today that enable you to automatically generate comprehensive and easily accessible ERP manuals without unnecessary hassle.

For example with FlowShare, a software designed for ERP documentation, you can capture every single step taken during a process—including screenshots and text descriptions—so you don’t have to manually document each action yourself. This makes creating ERP manuals more straightforward and efficient than ever before!

Now that you are familiar with the benefits of custom ERP manuals, the next question is: how do you get started? 

See if your ERP system already provides a documentation solution. While it can be complex, it is a good point to start. 

Utilize the training sessions (if you have planned any) to create your custom ERP manuals from the get go. 

Or use them in the trenches when you do test reports or training manuals while performing the actual processes. A documentation tool like FlowShare can help you, if you want to do the documentation during the actual implementation.

Conclusion: 

As you can see, there are many reasons why custom ERP manuals are essential for any ERP implementation. The next time you’re starting an ERP project, be sure to budget enough time for manual creation or use tools like FlowShare to automatically create the manuals as you do the princesses   — you’ll be glad you did!

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