ERP consulting: How to handle nuances of an ERP consultant

While ERP consultants can be expensive, if used properly, they can save time and money while employing a more trouble-free system for your business. Implementation consultants are neither super heroes nor villains; however, if they are good, they bring valuable knowledge to your ERP project and transfer it effectively. That’s worth paying for.  How can you use them properly, and get your bang for your buck? Read on for more tips and guidance.


The foremost purpose of an ERP consultant is to steer your company through the transition to an ERP system.“ERP” stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, which is a methodology for streamlining business applications into a single system to maximize efficiency. Such applications can include finance, human resources and order processing. The ERP consultant is meant to help your business change with the system so you get most value for your efforts.

Miscalculating the complexity of an ERP implementation is a grave mistake. Be sure to seek out people who have been down a road like ERP implementation before, and whose opinions you trust – IT professionals, consulting partners, software vendors, other project managers. Reference checks will help confirm if you found a good consultant. They should be experts in the field of computer software, particularly enterprise resource planning software, and they should understand how to best implement, configure, test and train your staff on your new ERP system.

ERP consultants exist in various types in order to support the various stages of the ERP implementation process. The most common ERP consultant is an implementation consultant.  These consultants are the people who will help design, configure and launch your ERP system. Implementation consultants can either be independent contractors, or they can be full time employees of an ERP consulting firm. Many companies keep these consultants on staff even after the system is set up. They do this as a sort of safety net in case changes are needed or for regulatory reasons. However, implementation consultants can be expensive and might not be the most appropriate for application and/or system support. Companies should instead consider hiring a system support service, which tend to be cheaper and better at maintenance and troubleshooting problems.

Consultants can assist with the full life cycle of an ERP project, or just certain phases of the transition to ERP software. One of the key benefits is “knowledge transfer” from the consultants to your employees, which, if done correctly, will empower you to become self-supporting and get rid of consultants sooner. Be aware that the difference between a very good and a very bad ERP consultant is not always obvious from the selection and interviewing process.


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About the Author

avatar About Ashley Peterson

Ashley Peterson is currently a full time MBA student at the University of Denver, Daniels School of Business, studying marketing and sustainability. A Colorado native, in Ashley graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine in 2010 with a double BA degree in Environmental Studies and Spanish. She returned to Colorado and worked for the Colorado Governor's Energy Office. Vail Resorts lured her away to work in their corporate Environmental Public Affairs department at their Broomfield, Colorado headquarters. This position is where Ashley found her true passion working in the marketing and public affairs side of sustainability and business in general. Ashley is extremely experienced with technology and a vast array of social media platforms and has brought these proficiencies and passions to Prescott Solutions. A former NCAA college athlete, Ashley applies the same characteristics to her professional career that made her a two-time NCAA National Champion (2007 & 2008 Field Hockey): energy, focus, enthusiasm, drive, and team oriented. Ashley's passions extend outside the business world where you can find her cooking, scuba diving, outdoors on a bike, coaching lacrosse or traveling.


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