Oscar Lozada, a SAP Consultant from Mexico

07.01.2019

Oscar Lozada is a Civil Engineer from Mexico with 23 years of experience as a SAP Consultant. We were inspired by Oscar’s interesting story. Read it to gain valuable insights from the lessons he learned during two decades of working as a freelancer.

 

Hello Oscar, thanks for being here to share your freelancing story with us. Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and when did you decide that you wanted to become a SAP consultant?

I am Oscar Lozada N. I was born in Mexico City and I studied Civil Engineering. I’ve been working as SAP Consultant for more than 23 years. During those 23 years I have worked as a freelancer around 20 years. The remaining 3 years I worked in a company as a consultant.

I have consulting experience implementing related modules to Engineering like Project System (SAP-PS), Plant Maintenance (SAP-PM), Materials Management (SAP MM) and Planning Production (PP) modules. Additionally, I have experience as a project leader in SAP projects.

I have implemented SAP solutions  in several kinds of industries like Automotive, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Mining, Pharmaceutical, Construction, Utilities, Education, Public sector, and Telecommunications and worked as a freelancer with some major consultancy firms like Deloitte, Bearing point, Neoris, HP, Accenture, Kelltontech, Bokanyi consulting, and ABeam Consulting. Before I became a SAP Consultant I worked as a Maintenance Manager in a great company (P&G) in which I spent 6 years. Before that, I had worked around 8 years in heavy construction and building department of a construction company.

 

What was your inspiration and when did you actually decide to become a freelancer?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a dream of having my own company or being my own boss. So freelancing was the way to go. I’ve always thought that the corporate life was not for me.

When I started working as a SAP Consultant, I saw the chance to do it as a freelancer and went for it. At that point, I already had several years of experience directly working in projects, as well as experience in SAP maintenance and production. I was also constantly improving my SAP knowledge.

 

Was it difficult for you to start freelancing? Could you share with our readers the most important lessons that you have learned on the way?

When I started as a freelancer the most challenging part for me was to build trust and confidence with the clients. In the beginning, nobody knew me and only a few people have heard about me so when I had meetings with clients or they interviewed me to hire me as a freelancer, it was always challenging to sell myself.

However, I worked hard on this and also kept training myself to acquire new skills to become a great freelance consultant. Now, it’s much easier as many companies have already heard about me or have worked with me earlier.

My best piece of advice would be to never give up and to continuously improve your skills and knowledge with courses, workshops, and networking with others in your field of work. For example, I take a SAP course at least once a year and sometimes even more frequently, in order to improve the processes I’m working on.

Another great tip that has worked well for me, is to teach other people or other freelancers. When you need to train others, you are obliged to revise what you already know and in doing so you will often discover new ways to complete the same process.

Lastly, be active in online forums and industry conventions.

My best piece of advice would be to never give up and to continuously improve your skills and knowledge.

 

What kind of services have your clients asked you to provide? Is there any particular project that you are especially proud of?

As SAP Consultant I mainly install the following SAP Modules: SAP PS or SAP PM or SAP PP or SAP MM. I integrate these SAP modules with other SAP modules. I am proud of several projects that I have done during my life as a consultant. I wouldn’t like to exclude any particular project so I’d rather say I am proud of most of them.

 

Do you use other freelancers or companies to provide skills that you don’t possess or to delegate tasks that you don’t enjoy that much (accounting, taxes, etc.)?

Yes, when I don’t  have the proper skills or knowledge about a specific customer requirement I usually contact other subject matter experts to work with. Generally, I get in touch with fellow freelancers but sometimes I work with companies as well. Although I have strong knowledge in financial processes I don’t consider myself an expert in this field. So I usually collaborate with others for those projects.

I already have a network of freelancers and I first get in touch with them to see if they could take on new projects. I also use LinkedIn to connect with new freelancers.

 

Now tell us, how do you find new clients that are interested in your services? Do you mainly work with local clients or are you more active internationally?

I usually get my projects because the customer or companies make me a call or send me an email asking for my services and availability. Another way is when headhunters contact me offering a project with a company in which they have contracts. I also review new opportunities on freelancermap.com.  In the beginning, most of my projects and clients were based in my city or my own country but this has changed lately and now most of my clients are based in other countries.

 

How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special?

I think that my best asset is my experience. I have over 20 years of experience with the processes and my strong knowledge of SAP. In the projects in which I work, I integrated this experience with SAP best practices and this makes me stand out as an excellent, well-known consultant. Also, I have excellent knowledge in mutually integrating different SAP modules and interfacing with other systems.

 

What is a typical day like for you? How do you manage to balance work and life? Do you use any apps or software to help you organizing yourself?

My work day usually starts at 7:00 AM and finishes at 5:00 PM. I spend most of the time working on my customer's projects defining new processes, making configurations or testing those configurations or developments made.

Then from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM I usually organize my work and tackle administrative tasks such as accounting or taxation issues. Also, I spend some time searching for new courses and reading blogs and other sources to stay up-to-date.

The rest of my day is for my family and my personal project is to raise my sons so that they are great professionals in the future. So far, I manage to spend time with my family and work as a freelancer and I hope I can keep it this way.

 

What are you most excited about for your business in the future? Do you ever think about going back to full-time employment?

The future looks very good and exciting. More projects are already knocking on my door and they look promising. 

Being a freelancer is much better than I expected it to be. It has allowed me to meet a lot of interesting and passionate people and to work in different countries and people from different cultures. You connect with new people and you become friends with people from all over the world.

Sometimes you have to work longer hours than what you would do in a 9 to 5 job but to be honest I don't think about that a lot. Completing projects is very satisfactory for me and I'm glad I made the decision to become a freelance consultant years ago.

 

Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?

The main trick is to enjoy your job.

A few other good tips I suggest:

  • continually improve your knowledge,
  • teach courses to others, and
  • make your network bigger day by day.

 

Where to find Oscar?

Oscar Lozada Freelance SAP Consultant

 

 

Would you like to be introduced in our "freelancer insides"? Send us an email to info@freelancermap.com with the subject "freelancer insides" and shortly describe your services, experiences, and status!

 

 

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