ERP is hard to use, IFS North America study reveals

Only 10 percent of manufacturing executives participating in a study conducted for IFS North America said their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software was “very easy and intuitive to use.”


Only 10 percent of manufacturing executives participating in a study conducted for IFS North America said their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software was “very easy and intuitive to use.”

The results of the survey, conducted by an independent research firm among more than 200 executives with mid- to large-sized manufacturing companies throughout North America, should come as no surprise to those that use ERP and other enterprise software like enterprise asset management (EAM) on a daily basis. Almost 40 percent of respondents said that their enterprise software was “somewhat difficult to use,” 13 percent characterized it as “very difficult to use” and 1 percent said it was “almost impossible to use.”

Specific troublesome elements cited by respondents include the challenge of navigating between different enterprise software products that are not fully integrated and time wasted searching for information with an ERP system’s complex navigation structure.

“While this view of enterprise software is sobering for the market, we have been passionate about incorporating intuitive usability into our software for quite a few years and have been carefully studying the science of computer-human interaction,” IFS North America President and CEO Cindy Jaudon said. “It is interesting that one of the usability features study respondents said they would find most valuable is embedded search tools. IFS introduced embedded search as a standard function of IFS Applications in 2007.”

IFS Enterprise Application Search offers advantages over external enterprise search tools in that it requires no additional licensing or implementation and automatically understands the metadata and structure of IFS Applications. It respects existing security and privacy schema and prevents those who are not authorized to see data from locating it through a search function.

The study, which examines not only usability but the degree to which ERP and other enterprise software delivers enterprise agility, will become publically available at the end of April and can be found in the Industry Reports and Studies category. IFS

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