Implementing a software solution across a company is an exceedingly large undertaking. You have to consider numerous factors, including the necessary capital, your employees, the timeline, and of course, the program itself. With so many things to take into account, the likelihood of delays and failure to implement the system correctly is always on the horizon.
Considering the stakes, it is a wise choice to get an expert on board from the very beginning, who can help guide the team and the company toward success. And one of the most commonly sought after experts that can come up with efficient software solutions for businesses are SAP consultants.
What is an SAP Consultant?
SAP is short for systems, applications, and products. As its name implies, an SAP consultant is a professional who is well-versed and experienced in designing, deploying, and managing software solutions. Some software solution vendors have in-house consultants while other SAP consultants work independently. For further research, you can type “SAP Philippines” on a search engine online, which will lead you to vendor websites, independent practices, and software forums that feature different SAP consultants.
For greater clarity on why SAP consultants are important, they are responsible for three crucial tasks in a software solutions project:
- Plan and Design. As experts in software solutions, SAP consultants will help you choose the proper product and formulate a plan that best suits your company’s situation and needs.
- Improve and Consult. System implementations rarely go off without a hitch. The consultant is there to provide you with ways you can address these concerns and continue configuring and improving the program as the business requires.
- Manage SAP staff. A dedicated team is needed to implement the system correctly. While some SAP consultants work independently, others become actively part of the group and delegate tasks across personnel.
It is also important to note that there are different kinds of consultants in the industry. There are two general types, namely:
- Consultants who focus on finance solutions and software operations
- Consultants who help develop and plan the software.
You can opt for either or both, depending on the scale and the goals that the company has for the system implementation.
Tips for Finding the Right Consultant for Your Company
Now that you have a better idea of what SAP consultants are and their responsibilities, here are some tips you can use to find the most suitable one for the project.
Seek the Right Skill Sets
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of consultants in the industry. Hence, you need to be specific about what kind of consultant you are looking for. Remember, there are countless software products in the market, and consultants tend to become specialists in specific types of modules (e.g. customer retail management, manufacturing, etc.) Make sure to consider this while asking for recommendations and interviewing SAP consultants.
Expand Your Research Methods
When it comes to looking for an expert, do not rely on only one method. This means that you should expand your searches beyond the top results in search engines or recommendations from your chosen vendor. Tap your network and ask peers and other companies how they implemented their respective systems. Attend conferences and summits about software solutions, and connect with possible hires. In this manner, your options are not limited only by what is only immediately available to you, and you increase the chances of finding a more suitable consultant for your company.
Prepare for the Interview
Software solutions are a tech-intensive topic, so you might not be knowledgeable about the field to question your interviewees extensively. As such, make sure to get a couple of IT members on board who know more about the program. During the interview, relay a scenario to the interviewee and ask how they will handle the issue to test their knowledge and learn more about their problem-solving skills.
Additionally, conduct a pre-interview meeting beforehand with the interviewee board so that everyone is on the same page on what should be asked and what the company is looking for.
Look for Good Communication Skills and Other Soft Skills
Changing your company’s current system and deploying a new company-wide program is a highly collaborative effort. As such, your SAP consultant must possess all the necessary soft skills to interact with other team members effectively. This includes good communication skills, the ability to break down complex ideas, patience, and persuasion. Without these skills, you risk miscommunication and unwillingness to work together, which gets in the way of the successful implementation of the project.
Conduct a Reference Check
Implementing a system overhaul is not the place for inexperienced SAP consultants. Hence, do not rely on recommendations alone and make sure to ask for references from the consultant’s previous clients. In this manner, you have a more concrete understanding of their working style and if they have what it takes to do the job.
Overall, finding the right SAP consultant takes a lot of research and connecting with the right people. However, putting in the work now will help guarantee that you find the best person for the job. As such, you increase the likelihood of a successful SAP implementation and chart a fruitful course for the company.
HR Future Staff Writer