What Does an ERP Consultant Do?

An ERP consultant or specialist helps manage and implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for large organizations and small-to-medium-sized companies. 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.

ERP software 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.

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Consultant is either a contract employee or an employee who is part of a company that is hired to do any of the following: implement, upgrade, or support an ERP system. The main function of the ERP consultant is to help organizations move to ERP software.

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What does an ERP consultant do?

Companies hire ERP consultants to create and implement ERP systems for their business. ERP consultants meet with company executives to determine their specific company needs and design a system that meets the businesss needs and industry standards. The consultants then manage the implementation of these systems to make sure they integrate seamlessly into the businesss day-to-day activities and perform their functionality as intended. They also help coach executives and staff in organizational change management so that the entire team understands the purpose of the new systems, how they work and what the changes mean for the business overall.

What is ERP?

Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, is a system of collected software and other digital tools that manage day-to-day business functions and activities. ERP systems can be in the cloud, on the company premises or a combination of the two. ERP systems control a wide range of processes, such as:

The primary goal of ERP is to streamline processes. The software manages key components of major business functions. This allows employees to spend their time working toward and achieving company goals on time and with few distractions.

The stages of ERP consultation

ERP consultants often perform their job over the course of a few common steps. The most common path toward ERP implementation comprises the following basic steps:

1. Assessing the current business

ERP consultants meet with executives to understand the current state of their business affairs. In addition, some ERP consultants may conduct surveys or interviews with staff to understand the current processes in place, how effective they are and their overall financial and labor costs.

2. Planning for the future

ERP consultants then learn the companys hopes for the future of their business. During this process, they look for any areas in need of improvement or streamlining. Though they offer their own insights and suggestions on potential solutions, they also take suggestions from those with a good understanding of the companys current workforce and processes to better understand the solutions that would most benefit the company.

3. Design and implementation

After learning the companys goals and what needs improvement, ERP consultants use their expert knowledge of ERP systems to create a system designed to meet company goals. They help design an employee training program on the new system and might consult directly with employees to educate them on how to master its functions. They manage the systems installation and implementation and sometimes oversee functionality testing.

Skills for an ERP consultant

ERP consultants require a combination of skills in order to design and implement intricate systems of software on a company-wide scale. Some of the most important skills for an ERP consultant include:

How to become an ERP consultant

There is no one specific career path to becoming an ERP consultant. Individuals with the right skills and enough knowledge of both computer systems and business practices may become an ERP consultant when given the right training. However, if youre hoping to become an ERP consultant, there are a few common steps you can take to achieve your career goals. When choosing to become an ERP consultant, consider the following steps:

1. Earn a relevant bachelors degree

While there are no specific educational requirements for ERP consultants, many employers prefer to hire those with a bachelors degree. This displays a strong background in the skills and knowledge required to complete the job effectively. When becoming an ERP consultant, consider a degree in relevant fields such as information technology, business or finance.

2. Earn an ERP certification

ERP certifications may not be necessary for finding a job as a consultant, but they can help improve your resume when applying for the position. ERP certifications are available in many areas of ERP, including specific modules for their implementation. Certification usually requires completing several weeks of coursework before passing an exam, and you can complete many of these certifications online. Accredited universities and institutes offer certifications, as well as independent companies unaffiliated with any accreditation.

3. Learn additional skills

With a degree in information technology or similar, it may be helpful to supplement your knowledge of computers with experience or capabilities in the business world. Consider an internship in a business setting to learn how businesses work and grow your skill set to include those useful for understanding the details of a business day-to-day operations.

Alternatively, consider taking some online courses that focus on business, business management or business administration. Some online courses offer certification in these areas. If your degree focuses on business, consider taking courses related to information technology or other computer science based studies. This may help your resume demonstrate your knowledge in both fields, which is important since ERP consultants work involves both simultaneously.

4. Gain relevant work experience

Many bigger companies prefer their ERP consultants to have one to two years of experience in the field. Consider applying to small, local companies that offer experience on a smaller scale before moving up to a larger business. If you have a particular company in mind with whom youd like to work, consider researching their ERP consultant requirements to better understand the experience they expect you to have when they hire you.

FAQ

What skills should an ERP consultant have?

Some of the most important skills for an ERP consultant include:
  • Information technology skills.
  • Effective computer literacy.
  • Management skills.
  • Leadership.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Data analysis.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Effective communication skills.

What makes a good ERP consultant?

Consultants need excellent communication skills to lead an ERP implementation or upgrade, including the ability to communicate well in writing. They also need to be able to train others on the system and rally the team if the project gets off track.

What does ERP stand for in consulting?

ERP stands for “enterprise resource planning.” Enterprise resource planning is an integrated series of core business processes. These processes include everything from product purchasing and manufacturing, to marketing and sales.

What is a job in ERP?

An ERP technical/functional analyst may act as a liaison between technical support staff and end users, including through providing expertise and guidance relating to ERP systems. Typical job duties may include: Upgrading and/or implementing ERP software solutions.

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