Big organizations and businesses require a tremendous amount of planning for daily organization tasks. This is what ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning refers to. As such, ERP Consultants are paramount to the success of a business or corporation. Let’s dive in the role of an ERP consultant!
What is ERP?
ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning refers to a suite of software that institutes and businesses use to manage day-to-day activities. These activities range from accounting, procurement, project management to risk management, compliance, and supply chain operations.
ERP was created to solve the management needs of all business processes. So, complete ERP also includes software to help plan, budget, predict, and report financials of an organization.
ERP systems work together to process business data and are crucial in the management of thousands of businesses across all industries.
Main ERP implementations:
ERP systems can be categorized depending on their implementation, as follows –
- Cloud ERP – Also knowns as Software as a Service (or SaaS), in this implementation, an organization’s ERP system is run virtually via the “cloud” by an external provider. Comparatively, Cloud ERPs are much cheaper to install but may turn into an overhead cost down the line. Cloud ERPs have the upper hand when it comes to implementation speed, system upgrades, and performance.
- On-premise ERP – By definition, an on-premise ERP system is run locally on computer hardware and servers, and is managed by IT staff. Although on-premise ERP systems are not as popular due to high upfront installation costs, and difficulty upgrading, many companies still prefer on-premise since they are able to handle their own data, making it a more secure option. Also, it offers the ability to customize and gives more control over the implementation process.
- Hybrid ERP – As the name suggests, Hybrid ERP combines both cloud and on-premises ERP systems, bringing you the best of both worlds. The growing popularity of hybrid ERP is attributed to the flexibility and simplicity it offers by involving the benefits of both cloud and on-premises ERP.
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What does an ERP Consultant do?
An ERP Consultant or an ERP Specialist helps manage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for big organizations and businesses and bring ERP-related ideas to fruition. They do so by assisting in resource-planning. They strive to ensure that the company’s software runs as efficiently as possible.
Enterprise Resource Planing Consultants are also responsible for thedevelopment and overseeing of business analysis. They are vital to the ERP system of an organization. They are tasked with identifying the strength and weaknesses of an ERP product and provide suggestions to improve.
An ERP functional consultantis required to know about the business environment flow and processes of a company including the betterment of all business processes.
What are the Responsibilities of an ERP Consultant?
- Analyze and understand existing software
- Implement and support ERP systems
- Document the state of ERP configuration.
- Assist technical teams with change management and technical skills.
- Write design specifications and estimates for programs, based on requirements.
- Participate in decision-making to optimize and improve technology management.
In general, If you’re looking at a future as an ERP Consultant, you’ll need to master a few essential skills.
These range from operating technical tools of the trade such as Oracle Applications to Analysing business processes.
Apart from technical skills, sound soft skills are also a plus. ERP Consultants spend a lot of time working with teams and other employees and as such, are required to have great communication and organizational skills.
Another great skill to have are effective leadership skills since it is important for an ERP Consultant to successfully be able to teach and transmit data to subordinates.
What skills should an ERP Consultant have?
- Hand-on ERP development tools: SAP S/4HANA, Oracle ERP, Intuit, Dynamics, etc.
- Technical and coding skills: PL/SQL, Oracle Forms, ABAP, etc.
- Strong analytical skills
- Business process analysis
- Big Data and data management expertise
- Financial or Accounting knowledge (a plus)
- Organizational skills
- Interpersonal Communication Skills
- Leadership Quality
How can you become an ERP Consultant?
In order to become an ERP Consultant, you will generally require a Bachelor’s Degree with a concentration in a computer-related field such as Computer Science or IT. Many ERP Consultants may hold a degree in Business Administration.
Generally, technical ERP consultants will need to decide which ERP they want to specialize in. Each ERP has a different technology stack, so once you decide if you’d focus on Oracle or SAP (or any other), you can think of getting further certifications.
Useful ERP certifications:
- Oracle’s SaaS ERP Certification paths
- SAP ERP Business Process Integration Certifications
- SAP ERP Management Accounting Certifications
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The annual salary that a junior level ERP Consultant can expect is around $55,000 annually. Consultants with a few years of experience can see this amount to go up to almost $83,000 per year, while those at the peak of their careers earn an average of $124,000 per year.
These numbers, of course, are heavily influenced by deciding factors such as experience, the size of the company and also the region.
How much does an ERP Consultant earn?
What about freelancers?
The average freelancer hourly rate for an ERP Consultant is $147 per hour. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is around $1,176 per day. (freelancermap price index – as of July 2019)