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An ERP consultant or specialist helps manage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for large organizations and small-to-medium sized companies and implement ERP-related ideas. They do this by contributing to resource planning. They make sure that the company’s software works as efficiently as possible.
Big organizations and businesses require a tremendous amount of planning for daily organization tasks. At a certain point, these organizations need to implement a way to handle all their planning and daily tasks neatly and effectively to enable them to have more time to do other important tasks. Here is where ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning comes into play.ERP Consultants implement and customize ERP software to benefit your business.
What is ERP software? It is a business process management software that allows an organization to use integrated applications that automate many functions related to technology, services, and human resources, thus freeing up the company workforce. The ERP Consultant provides support related to this function, developing and integrating the client’s relevant ideas and assisting in resource-planning decisions.
The ERP Consultant’s primary goal is to ensure their ERP software runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and develop and oversee solutions for any shortcomings. As such, ERP Consultants are paramount to the success of a business or corporation.
Why do you need an ERP Consultant?
Since no one can know the specific ins and outs of your business better than you can, you are most likely the best person available to manage the business. Similarly, no one understands business management systems better than the people who develop, integrate, deploy, evaluate, and maintain them for a living. The partnership between you and the ERP Consultant is critical to the ERP implementation and its successful integration.
ERP consultants save you time and money in several different ways. Since one of their main goals is to simplify business processes, they can help you save a tremendous amount of time. Another way they save your business time is by increasing the productivity and ease of work for your team, which creates space to dedicate it to other activities. ERP Consultants also have a vast knowledge of the different software available and an overall comprehensive vision of the market. They can advise and guide you while making sure that you dominate and capitalize on sectors and fields.
Keeping that in mind, a good ERP Consultant will keep the ERP project on track by, whenever possible, following the beaten path in terms of methodology, understanding and guiding the client, and mitigating project risks.
What kind of ERP consultant do you need?
ERP Consultant is a term that encompasses all professionals that offer consultancy in ERP software and the subsequent integration. In reality, some consultancies may choose to specialize in particular phases of the process, while others are adept at delivering an end-to-end solution. Some consultancies may only focus on the financial aspect of an ERP, some only on the functional side, while others may focus on only providing technical support (troubleshooting and other forms of maintenance) to your organization.
In most cases, however, a consultant may offer a complete solution covering all aspects of your business process and analyze how it will fit your company best, installing and integrating it and providing technical support. In the end, it comes down to your requirements and business processes, and for that, you will need an ERP Consultant to guide and advise you.
What to expect from a consultant?
The ERP Consultant will be primarily responsible for implementing and providing support for Enterprise Resource Planning systems for businesses that require software to handle their daily planning and tasks. They will analyze the systems and work directly with clients and management to define system requirements, design and propose solutions, configure the software, and train employees. Here are some of the duties and responsibilities of the ERP consultant:
- System analysis: For organizations with no ERP system already in place, the consultant will analyze their business processes and gather the requirements to implement the software and make sure it works in harmony with the business. For organizations that already have an ERP system in place, the first job of an ERP Consultant will be to examine the current system to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses before they can develop ways to optimize it.
- User training and Support: After the software and the solution implementation,, the consultant needs to educate the company members on how to utilize it in its most effective way. Without this critical skill, your team members can be left unaware of how to use the software and, consequently, make your business lose time and money.
- Technical Support and Upgrades: The ERP Consultant will be responsible for performing day-to-day maintenance on the ERP system and installing new upgrades and testing for bugs. System configuration and data migration will be part of the responsibilities as well.
- Project Development and Presentation: The ERP Consultant will coordinate with other company branches to ensure that any upgrades of the system satisfy their needs. They will then prepare a demonstration to make sure the relevant company management understands what has been done.
A good consultant will recognize and avoid pitfalls, such as scope creep, inadequate testing, and poor data cleansing. The best consultant is not necessarily the one who promises to deliver all your requirements.
Honesty and advising where there are limitations are better than starting down a path of inevitable failure. As with any decision, knowledge is power, and in this case, the consultant’s experience is everything.
An ERP consultant is there as an advisor, and a good consultant should, in essence, give good advice. Value your consultant’s expertise and, at the same time, demand from them the highest standards. Trusting the consultant in their ability, knowledge, and experience is vital for anything ERP related.
Author: Najim Ghafourzadeh, Consultant at Big Bang