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What are the Roles and Responsibilities of ERP Consultants?

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ERP application is the most desired software application for many of the medium scale companies these days. Even small business owners understand the benefits of the applications day by day. There is a hectic work involved in the process of ERP evaluation and implementation. Mostly consultants take care of the entire process once the project is handed over to them by sales people. Consultants play a remarkable role in the process of ERP implementation.

Normally, sales people will take care of the opportunity identification, initial meetings to make the customer understand about the company services and products. Once the initial meeting is done by the sales people, the functional consultant will enter into the project. He goes along with the sales people and understands the customer requirement thoroughly. If the consultant feels the opportunity is good and the product offered by the company fits into the requirements, he will analyze the requirement and propose the solution. The functional consultant supposed to give a detailed presentation to the customer on the proposed solution and some times customer will ask for a demo on the software application. If required, it is responsibility of the functional consultant to take care of the demo along with the sales people.

The functional consultant has to present a detailed presentation of the requirement of the solution to his top management to bridge the gap in the solution. It is the responsibility of the functional consultant to make the customer comfortable with the enterprise resource planning application. Many customers ask for the proof of the concept (POC). POC is nothing but running the enterprise resource planning application in the customer business environment with the real time data for some time. In this process customer will analyze the working pattern of the ERP software and takes the decision.

Once the customer zeroed in on the enterprise resource planning application, the functional ERP consultant supposed to prepare a process document on how he is going about the implementation process. In this process document, he maps the customer requirement with the proposed solution. This process document will be analyzed by top management of both the parties and suggest the required changes in the document. Functional consultant takes some additional steps to bridge the gaps in the process document and this process is called GAP analysis. Once the GAP analysis is over, the functional consultants will start the implementation process with the help of the process document. This is what the process involved in the pre-implementation stage of the ERP and all these things solely taken care by the functional consultants.

Coming to the implementation process; technical consultant's role starts here. When the implementation process is starts, the application needs to be altered to fit into the requirements of the customer. As per the functional consultant's suggestion, the application is customized by the technical ERP consultants. The proper communication between the technical consultant and function consultant is very crucial for successful implementation of any enterprise resource planning software. The poor coordination between the consultants leads to delayed or unsuccessful implementation of ERP.

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