Could there be a more generic term than “consultant?” It seems everyone who knows something about anything calls themselves a consultant. Most of the time, salesperson is a better term to describe what they do. However, there are true consulting professionals out there, and in our industry, we call them ERP consultants. So, what is an ERP consultant? What makes a good one? Why do you even need one?
What does an ERP Consultant do?
In short, ERP Consultants deploy, optimize, and maintain ERP software for their customers. They determine clients’ business needs, map those needs and workflows into ERP solutions and integrate ERP applications with existing infrastructure. Using their product and industry knowledge, an ERP Consultant makes recommendations for ways customers can optimize their use of the ERP application. They also coordinate training, write custom reports, and provide application integration protocols.
Many organizations assign an ERP Consultant to a project after the business development associate secures a new client or project. At Silverware Inc., ERP Consultants interact with prospects right from the start so there’s no room for a disconnect between what our customers thought they were purchasing and what we deliver.
6 traits of a good ERP Consultant
We’ve found that the best ERP Consultants possess the following combination of attributes:
- A collaborative mindset: Displays a willingness to learn from other team members or industry experts.
- A big picture visionary: Understands how their actions can affect the overall success of a project or the company’s goals, rather than focusing on the “small stuff.”
- A stickler for details: Being detailed orientated is an important trait, especially during project discovery.
- A get-it-done attitude: The best ERP consultants are proactive by nature.
- Product expertise: Being fluent in the ERP system and understanding its strengths to identify the weaknesses in the customers’ business.
- Industry experience: Possessing knowledge of helping the customer to understand what to expect in the implementation phase comes with years of industry experience.
When we hire ERP Consultants to join our team, we’re looking for individuals with a natural curiosity and a genuine love for solving problems. We know we can train them about the product if needed, and since most of them come from business backgrounds, they bring industry experience with them.
Do you need an ERP Consultant?
As an ERP Consulting firm, it may come as a surprise to hear us say that no, you don’t necessarily need an ERP Consultant. Over the years, we’ve worked with companies that have the internal experience, expertise and time to implement an ERP application like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central largely without outside consulting support. But these situations are exceedingly rare. And you must consider if those internal resources might be better focused elsewhere.
We have seen that the most successful implementations are a partnership between the ERP Consulting firm and the customer, where clear objectives and roles are defined, and communication and collaboration abound.
Sometimes change is good
It’s normal for business relationships to transition over time and sometimes those changes warrant a rethinking of your relationship with your current ERP Consultant. Perhaps personnel at your ERP consulting firm has changed and you’re no longer finding value from the relationship. Maybe your company has grown beyond the capabilities of the consulting firm. Or, it may be that you no longer feel like a priority. Whatever the case, it’s perfectly reasonable to engage a new ERP Consultant.
Silverware is proud that many of its customers have sought our services after first working with another ERP Consulting firm. We’re equally proud that our first client is still with us today.
Whether you’re considering a new ERP system or seeking to optimize or reconfigure the one you already own, we’d be thrilled to talk to you about how our team of ERP consultants can help your organization realize its future, together.