An ERP consultant helps with the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems for organisations of all sizes. Their biggest contribution is resource planning, and their input can ensure the company’s new software is tailored to their needs and works with maximum efficiency.
The daily operations of businesses require a lot of planning, and this only increases when companies grow. The time inevitably comes when specialist systems need to be implemented to handle all of this work effectively, so that business leaders can focus on what’s important for their growth and profitability. This is where ERP planning becomes important, and ERP consultants help customise and implement ERP software in the best possible way for businesses.
What is an ERP system?
ERP systems are business management platforms that provide organisations with a fully integrated suite of applications. These enable things like the automation of tasks relating to finance, human resources, customer relations and more, freeing up the workforce that would otherwise be bogged down in lengthy manual processes.
You can learn more about ERP systems in our informative article What is ERP software?
ERP consultants provide expert insights in identifying areas where the ERP could improve efficiency and productivity, working with the client’s thoughts and ideas and assisting in planning-related decisions.
What does an ERP consultant do?
Companies employ the services of an ERP consultant for the creation and implementation of ERP software. The consultant meets with company decision-makers to identify their objectives and needs, which they then use to design a system that will truly help the organisation improve its efficiency and productivity.
Once the plan is in place, the consultants manage the implementation to ensure the new systems integrate seamlessly with the business’ daily operations so that everything performs as intended. They also help with the coaching of staff to ensure everyone understands the new systems and how they will change their daily work.
Why is an ERP consultant necessary?
No one understands your business better than you, so you are the perfect person to manage it. Similarly, no one understands ERP systems better than the people who make a living designing, integrating and maintaining them. By partnering with an ERP consultant, you are setting yourself up for success with the integration and implementation of a new ERP system. With ERP consultants, you get the following advantages:
- Save time and money.
- Increase the productivity of your team in the best way possible.
- Get expert knowledge of the software that is available.
- Keep the ERP project on track with experienced management.
- Access proven methodologies for maximum efficiency.
- Mitigate project risks.
What are the stages of ERP consultation?
ERP consultants generally follow a series of common steps towards successful implementation. The following stages make up the usual course towards ERP deployment:
Assessing the Current Business
This gives ERP consultants a strong understanding of the business processes and identifies areas for improvement.
Planning for the Future
ERP consultants go on to learn about the company’s goals, further zeroing in on opportunities for improvements. They will offer their own insights based on expertise and experience as well as take suggestions from members of the workforce with the most expertise in their department’s day-to-day operations.
Design and Implementation
After learning everything from the first two stages, the ERP consultant will use their expertise to help design an ERP system that is optimised to meet company goals. They will also design an employee training program and consult with team members to help them understand everything they need to know. They also manage the installation and implementation of the new system.
What sort of ERP consultant do you need?
‘ERP consultant’ is actually quite a broad term for professionals offering consultancy in ERP software implementation. Many consulting firms actually choose to specialise in particular areas of the process, while others are more focused on an end-to-end solution.
When looking at different firms, check whether they are focused on a single aspect of ERP. Perhaps they specialise in finance, or it could be that they only provide technical support. If you are after a consultant that offers a complete solution that covers everything, look for firms that outline this in a very obvious way.
How can I tell if an ERP consultant is any good?
Generally speaking, there are a few signs that indicate an ERP consultant is good. Consider the following things:
- A good consultant will recognise key pitfalls like poor data cleansing and inadequate testing.
- Honesty about limitations is much better than making promises they can’t deliver.
- Just because a consultant makes promises to deliver on all your requirements, it doesn’t mean they are the best available.
- Knowledge is power – the consultant’s experience means everything.
What skills are needed to be an ERP consultant?
ERP consultants require a diverse range of skills to be able to design and implement sophisticated software systems that will impact every department in a company. Among those skills, some of the most important are:
- Information technology and computer literacy.
- Analytical skills, including data analysis.
- Strong communication.
- Excellent organisation.
- A positive attitude.
- Interpersonal relations and effective teamwork.
- Robust knowledge of business practices and standards
- Excellent time management
How can you become an ERP consultant?
There is no single path towards becoming an ERP consultant – people find their way there through many routes. With the right set of skills and personal qualities, a person can become an ERP consultant with the right training. There are a few common steps that are likely to be helpful in getting there:
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in a Related Subject
Things like information technology, business or finance are helpful areas of study.
Get an ERP Certification
This may not be absolutely necessary, but it does look good on a CV for an ERP consultant. These certifications are available across many areas of ERP, including modules that relate to implementation.
Develop Additional Skills
If you already have a strong knowledge or degree in information technology or something similar, you can supplement this with real-world experience in business. An internship may be useful for this, or you could look at online courses that focus on things like business management or administration.
Get Some Relevant Work Experience
Companies often prefer ERP consultants with at least 1-2 years of experience in the field. Small, local companies may offer this kind of experience before you graduate to a larger business.
There is no doubt that the role of an ERP consultant is vital in ensuring a successful ERP implementation. Their knowledge, experience and project management skills ensure ERP solutions are designed to meet the needs of a business, and are delivered on time and without unexpected issues along the way. In short, they’re your best friend when it comes to ERP implementation.
Here are some other ERP article you might find useful;
- What is ERP software?
- Top Benefits of an ERP System
- ERP Implementation Steps
- Building an ERP Implementation Team
- The ERP Selection Process Explained
- Top 10 Tips for a Successful ERP Project
- Cloud ERP vs On-Premise ERP
- 10 Reasons to Embrace Cloud ERP
Why choose Eventura as your ERP implementation partner?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organizations for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts, you can request a free call back here.