How to get more than 70% utilization out of Dynamics

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Many organizations report that their ERP utilization is less than 70%. Why does this matter? Well, the return on your investment is calculated on the cost and maintenance of the software that you purchased - not on what you are actually using. The software vendor is not going to reduce the software price by 30% because you’re only using 30% of the application! Ensuring that you are utilizing as much of your investment as possible will deliver a higher ROI for your business.

Get more from your Microsoft Dynamics ERP


Reasons for low utilization will differ across organizations and industries, some of these will include lack of training and resistance to change. Staff turnover makes it harder to ensure new staff members are familiar with the system tools and functionality. This lack of system knowledge, coupled with a resistance to change, can result in employees adopting a mindset of ‘I’ll do it the way I know how’. This results in many processes being done manually outside of the system. These habits will drive inconsistent processes across the business as well as poor productivity.


The good news is that ERP Utilization can be improved by considering the following four steps:

  1. Evaluate your options
  2. Communicate the functionality workloads with your business teams
  3. Nominate an advocate for usage
  4. Engage with the right partner


Investing time in evaluating your options can have a positive impact on overall utilization in the future. ‘33% of ERP buyers did not demo a product before buying it’. (Capterra) Insisting on a detailed evaluation process will ensure the business has a clear understanding of exactly what they are investing in to start with.


New business processes enabled by ERP and new workflows and features in the system itself must be clearly communicated to all relevant functional teams across the business at all stages of the process – before implementation, during the early adoption and training phase and on an ongoing basis to reinforce their value. Without this communication, poor utilization occurs as functional leads will not have these workloads on their implementation and adoption radars. To help build this awareness, ensure that the relevant stakeholders are included in the business planning process.


Nominating an internal advocate for usage within your organization can have a significant impact on driving improved utilization results. Customers spend significant time and money at the beginning of an implementation given the upfront costs associated with a typical ERP deployment. However, it’s important for an advocate within the business to track utilization rates and drive continuous improvement. If no one is accountable for this effort, the potential risk is that, without the continued focus, the ERP system can lose value as utilization decreases and productivity remains stagnant over time. Having a dedicated usage advocate will ensure that you have continued focus on the success and improvements of the system.


In many cases, assumptions are made that end-users know how to use the system efficiently. If users are not trained properly, they may not adopt out-of-the-box workflows which could potentially help improve their productivity. Spending time with these users can help highlight more efficient ways of accomplishing the tasks they need to on a daily basis. Regular surveys from users can help identify areas where the system can be improved to meet their needs.


The final, important step to improving your utilization for your business, and your employees, is to work with a partner who offers a dedicated account or success managers to support your usage efforts, and ultimately helps drive a high ROI for your project or upgrade. Annual strategy reviews with your account manager are key to ensure that your ERP strategy is aligned to your current business needs and your plans for growth.


Contact our team of Microsoft Dynamics experts at Western Computer if you need help to drive these vital improvements.


by Western Computer

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