Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP software are sophisticated and intricate tools for efficiently managing businesses. Skilled ERP professionals play a vital role in ensuring project success. Much like other technology experts, they are in high demand due to their ability to align ERP implementations with business functions. They certainly enhance user experiences to improve performance, manage expectations regarding budget, schedule, and resources, and oversee change management and contingency plans.
Who Are ERP Professionals, and What Is Their Role?
Given that ERP software in UAE encompasses numerous aspects of business and often requires integration with other systems, they can be intricate to handle. Consequently, companies opt to employ ERP professionals to oversee their deployment. These professionals possess specialized ERP skills and knowledge. These skills empower ERP professionals to lead the launching of an organization’s ERP software deployment, whether it involves an initial implementation or an upgrade to a new system. Furthermore, they oversee the entirety of the project, drive essential change management efforts, and provide comprehensive education to users.
ERP professionals typically fall into several broad categories:
- Functional Consultants. These experts engage in high-level strategic planning that forms the foundation of an ERP implementation or migration. They provide insights into managing workflow processes across various departments, including human resources, accounting, sales and marketing, and materials management. All of these significantly influence the implementation strategy.
- Technical Consultants. These professionals are responsible for executing the tasks required to implement a new ERP solution. Their responsibilities encompass programming, integration, system installation, and customization to meet the company’s specific requirements. They also establish automation and reporting tools necessary for various employees to streamline their tasks.
- Techno-Functional Consultants. Occupying a hybrid role, techno-functional consultants possess a deep understanding of both business processes and the technical requirements associated with a specific aspect of ERP, such as inventory or finance. They are capable of managing the end-to-end implementation and ongoing management of ERP solutions. In this way, they bridge the gap between technical and business needs.
Top 4 Essential ERP Software Skills for an ERP Professional
Professionals working with ERP software must cultivate a diverse skill set, given the complexity of these systems. This versatility is to provide valuable support to organizations in need of ERP deployment assistance. In the same way, these professionals become indispensable assets to their respective organizations.
Roles and Responsibilities of an ERP Consultant
An ERP consultant’s primary responsibility is to understand the organization’s current software landscape thoroughly. They then meticulously document the existing ERP configurations as part of their preparations for introducing a new system. As part of their duties, they are also required to participate in change management and technical teams. They also need to create design specifications that align with the organization’s needs and provide guidance and counsel to the management team.
Key ERP Software Skills Necessary for an ERP Consultant
Proficiency in this field demands the ability to harness a blend of technical, managerial, professional, and soft skills. These multifaceted competencies enable them to make meaningful contributions to their teams and organizations. The capacity to adapt and apply this diverse skill set is a hallmark of a capable ERP professional.
Technical and techno-functional ERP experts must have the knowledge and practical experience to implement both hardware and software components. These skills are often acquired through hands-on involvement in ERP development and may encompass coding abilities. Professionals dealing with ERP software need to understand deeply the unique functionalities offered by various vendors. This knowledge is essential because ERP systems can exhibit substantial variations between different providers. Therefore, their expertise will help in effectively managing and implementing ERP solutions. ERP vendors frequently offer certifications designed for ERP consultants, which can serve as a means for professionals to demonstrate their proficiency in a specific system.
Professionals also need proficiency in big data and data management, with expertise in APIs, connectors, and emerging technologies like AI, predictive analytics, and robotic process automation. These additional skills can enhance their ability to address the evolving needs and challenges of modern ERP systems. Additional essential skills involve developing customized reports, working with any existing legacy ERP systems, and managing data migration processes.
HR and Management Abilities:
A significant aspect of any ERP implementation revolves around project management. Both functional and techno-functional consultants must possess the capability to identify suitable personnel for project staffing, delegate responsibilities, and ensure that tasks remain on schedule. Additionally, they need to effectively oversee both external third-party vendors and the internal team. This becomes especially crucial during a cloud-based implementation. It’s because, here, ERP consultants must guarantee the service level agreements and objectives fulfillment, regardless of the geographical location of the team.
Furthermore, they should actively participate in the management of alterations to business processes resulting from the new implementation. Additionally, they must be equipped to handle risk and crisis management in the event of unexpected issues. Effective planning skills are also indispensable, as consultants collaborate with various departments and vendors to establish the project timeline and requisites.
Project Management Competence:
Proficiency in project management is another pivotal requirement. Working with remote teams necessitates the coordination of schedules, the establishment of formal and informal communication channels, and the implementation of remote project management and training solutions.
ERP implementations enhance business unit efficiency, making it imperative for ERP consultants to possess professional skills in the functional domains that will get impact. These skills may encompass proficiency in areas such as accounting and finance, sales and marketing, supply chain management, materials management, and purchasing and procurement processes. These competencies are essential for assisting in the establishment of workflows that align with specific business processes. It is common to find “business requirements” listed as a skillset on ERP consultant resumes, signifying their ability to create business-requirement documents, translate these requirements into technical specifications, and aid in the design of the ERP system to meet these specified needs.
Soft Skills for ERP Software:
ERP implementations involve not only technology but also people, potentially spanning from end users to executives. Among the most critical ERP skills are soft skills, including collaboration, teamwork, and conflict resolution. Just as individual business processes and systems need to harmonize, so must the people involved. Consultants must possess excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, to effectively lead an ERP implementation or upgrade. They should also be capable of providing training to others on the system and rallying the team in case the project encounters setbacks.
Moreover, they must exhibit a degree of political acumen to establish relationships within the organization. This entails knowing how to compromise and understanding what aspects to emphasize when communicating with different stakeholders regarding the implementation’s impact on their respective departments. In many cases, vendors provide professional services teams that can handle the implementation on behalf of the organization.
Teaching and Mentoring
For recruiters, project management professionals who can impart knowledge of new applications to users are highly valued, especially during project rollouts. The ability to collaborate effectively and offer mentorship to colleagues can provide a substantial advantage when seeking approval from recruiters. This interpersonal skill set is highly valued in many professional contexts. It is widely acknowledged that genuine learning occurs most effectively when individuals engage with live data in their work environment, as opposed to traditional classroom training. ERP project managers must possess the willingness to share their expertise and exhibit patience while working alongside others. They should also demonstrate the capacity to listen as the team undergoes the learning process.
Time management stands as an indispensable ERP skill applicable across all business domains. Various aspects of the project require meticulous organization and documentation. It involves contracts, reviews, minutes of meetings (MOM), specialized documents, emails, memoranda, requirements and specifications, reports, changes, issues, and risks, among others.
ERP employers seek individuals who can adeptly resolve challenges that may arise during an ERP upgrade or implementation. If you naturally possess strong project management skills, problem-solving abilities often come naturally. This skill is not easily taught or learned in a classroom setting. Therefore, if you can effectively showcase your capability to address issues with concrete examples, your prospects of securing the job will substantially increase.
The bottom line
Businesses of all sizes use ERP systems across various industries. It includes manufacturing, retail, third-party logistics, oil and gas, consumer packaged goods, aerospace and defense, construction, and food and beverage. Smaller companies often begin by using accounting software, but with expansion, they integrate additional features like inventory or sales order add-ons to support their growing needs. This evolution in their toolset helps them manage their operations more efficiently as they continue to grow.
While these individual solutions can suffice for a period, there comes a point in a company’s growth journey where the need for an integrated suite of software becomes evident. This integration is essential for streamlining business operations, optimizing efficiency, and driving revenue growth. Consequently, businesses often recognize the necessity of adopting an ERP solution like Tally Software UAE, ERPNext, Odoo, Elate ERP. At this juncture, they must weigh the options for a cloud-based, on-premises, or hybrid ERP implementation and seek out the appropriate ERP professionals to ensure a successful transition.
Contact our ERP consultants to learn more about ERP implementations.