ERP consultants play a crucial role in ERP implementation and its working by employing their expertise and experience along with their qualification to avoid bottle necks during implementation and provide optimum utilization of the software. ERP consultants add value to the project by their technical knowledge and domain expertise.
Big manufacturing units or organizations have a team of ERP consultants working for them not only till implementation of ERP is over but also to ensure smooth and optimum utilization of the enterprise resource planning software. ERP consultants with their technical knowledge and expertise, analyze and select the best product available in the market capable of providing solutions to the problems faced by any particular organization. They also make a feasibility check to ensure that purchasing company gets the kind of solutions they are looking for, while they opt to switch on an enterprise resource planning software. Broadly, role of consultants can be divided into two, functional consultants and technical consultants, though qualification of both the work profiles may be same but their responsibilities and role differ from each other.
Functional consultants know what is going to work and what is not and this wisdom stems from their experience and their knowledge about the product and its working. Before implementation of the ERP, consultants prepare a complete working model of the company on paper which intends to buy an enterprise resource planning solution which is 'as is'. Later, after understanding the complete scenario they mark out the problem areas of the purchasing company and work out solutions for the problems through enterprise resource planning software and prepare another working model stated as 'to be'. This gives a complete picture not only to the purchasing company but also to the ERP vendor about what steps are to be taken and what sort of changes will be required to make a particular enterprise resource planning software work for the particular company. Also most importantly it helps immensely in selecting the right enterprise resource planning product for the company.
Some ERP vendors provide consultancy to their possible customers either to make them aware of the enterprise resource planning benefits or as their marketing strategy. But vendors surely have a team of technical consultants who ensure the incorporation of changes and refinements in the application to ensure that enterprise resource planning application works in strict accordance to the 'to be' model for the purchasing company.
The role of ERP consultant is not finished after the implementation of the enterprise resource planning software in fact they are required by the user to ensure smooth working of the application too. Technical ERP consultants with their technical knowledge, understanding of database used by the ERP and the technology with which application itself was made provide services to make timely minor changes in the working and keep ERP updated and in full compliance with the required changes. To become a consultant one may need a simple engineering degree in computer science and a management degree or any other equivalent degree will be an added advantage. The most important asset of any ERP consultant is his experience and ability to keep abreast with the rapidly changing technology and market trends.