In the rapidly evolving world of business technology, enterprise resource planning (ERP) consultants play a pivotal role. Bridging the gap between business needs and technological solutions, these experts help organizations enhance efficiency and enable strategic decision-making. 

Today, we’re delving into the multifaceted role of ERP consultants, illustrating how they create value for businesses across industries.

Core Responsibilities​

So, what does an ERP consultant do? ERP software consultants specialize in the analysis, implementation, and management of ERP systems. While not all ERP consulting firms have the same level of expertise in these areas, an ERP consultant’s responsibilities often include the following:

Evaluating and Recommending ERP Solutions​

ERP consultants play a critical role in guiding organizations through the complex process of software selection. 

If the consultant is vendor-agnostic, they will evaluate a wide array of solutions to determine which aligns most with the organization’s requirements, operational needs, and strategic goals.

For example, an independent ERP consultant might work with a retail company to evaluate various technology options for enhancing inventory management and improving customer service. The selection process would involve requirements gathering sessions, vendor demonstrations, and an assessment of technical and functional fit. Throughout each of these phases, the consultant would prioritize the retailer’s need for efficient inventory turnover and improved customer engagement.

(Read our post about how to choose an ERP consultant.)

Assessing Business Processes​

Among an ERP consultant’s roles and responsibilities, business process management is one of the most important. This involves assessing organizations’ business processes to identify inefficiencies and determine how ERP software could be used to streamline operations.

Sometimes this means reengineering processes to eliminate redundancies. Other times, it means leveraging data insights to optimize workflow efficiency.

Our ERP software consultants help clients identify operational pain points and design their future state based on the best practices within their ERP system. We often do process mapping after selection so we understand what these best practices are before defining future state processes. This saves the client time and money as it accelerates implementation and reduces the need for extensive software customization. 

The 2024 Top 10 ERP Systems Report

What vendors are considering for your ERP implementation? This list is a helpful starting point.

Implementation Project Management​

Typically, the role of an ERP consultant during the implementation phase is to oversee the implementation process, managing project timelines, resources, and budgets.

Depending on the organization’s needs, the level of project management provided might differ. A consultant might simply provide project oversight of the client and implementer, or they might fully take on the role of project manager. 

For example, while overseeing the implementer of a new manufacturing ERP system, a consultant might monitor certain deliverables on a weekly basis, such as ERP configuration and system integration. This would ensure that the client was getting what they paid for in terms of functionality and resources.

Preparing Employees for Change​

ERP consultants use organizational change management (OCM) strategies to prepare employees for the transition to new software and new processes. This involves conducting a readiness assessment, developing a communication plan, organizing end-user training, and more.

If the consultant has a strong OCM methodology, they will take the time to understand the needs of various stakeholders and outline a plan for communicating the impacts of organizational changes.

Our change management consultants provide value to clients by filling in the gaps in the implementer’s OCM plan. Vendors and value-added resellers (VARs) typically provide minimal OCM support. They might provide generic training and a simple communication plan.

In contrast, we develop a detailed training plan for all business areas impacted by the new software. We also develop a formal communication plan and take time to assess the “people issues” that must be managed to support a successful implementation.

Measuring Long-Term Benefits

ERP consultants provide post go-live support to ensure the ERP system continues to meet the needs of the business. This might involve monitoring system adoption to determine ongoing training needs or measuring benefits realization to identify software functionality gaps. 

For example, an ERP implementation consultant might work with a field service company to regularly refine their ERP system as business practices change, services expand, and technology advances. The consultant could use pre-defined key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the ongoing impact of the system on average response time, first-time fix rate, and customer service ratings. If there are areas where the system is not delivering expected benefits, the consultant could recommend adjustments, such as enhancing mobile access for field technicians.

Ensure Successful ERP Implementation by Working With Panorama’s ERP Consultants​

Finding good ERP consultants can be a challenge. Too many consulting firms prioritize the technical aspects of ERP projects over the business aspects.

Our ERP consultants view technology as an enabler of business goals; not simply a way to consolidate IT resources. We guide businesses through software selection, implementation, and all the people, process, and data considerations in between.

Contact our team below for a free ERP consultation

About the author

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Panorama Consulting Group is an independent, niche consulting firm specializing in business transformation and ERP system implementations for mid- to large-sized private- and public-sector organizations worldwide. One-hundred percent technology agnostic and independent of vendor affiliation, Panorama offers a phased, top-down strategic alignment approach and a bottom-up tactical approach, enabling each client to achieve its unique business transformation objectives by transforming its people, processes, technology, and data.

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