The term “ERP generalist” is being used more every day. It’s a welcome sight. Generalists earn their keep by shortening lengthy processes and working as impartial advisors and trusted problem solvers.
Consider an Enterprise Resource Planning selection project. Your business may or may not have outgrown the legacy software being used. You are performing your due diligence and will possibly commit your business to implementing a new software package. Ask yourself which of two possible scenarios makes the most sense.
You could bring in a consultant (or salesperson) with extensive knowledge and experience in a particular ERP software package. They will likely be a whiz with that software. They will also be “attached”, in some financial way, to one of the ERP software manufacturers or resellers. Guess which software you would ultimately purchase.
The other scenario involves our independent ERP generalist consultant. He will be familiar with the features of many ERP packages, and will have witnessed demonstrations of quite a number of them. He’ll have access to information that will save time by allowing many of the hundreds of available packages to be immediately dismissed. If sufficiently experienced, he will have worked with businesses in a great number of industries.
Acting as your well-informed advisor, the independent ERP generalist consultant wins this showdown every time.
Today’s ERP generalist is the kind of person who can help supervise the technical side of a small business’s operations. They can be an ERP professional, CIO, and datacenter manager rolled into one. If you ask the generalist why everyone’s computers are getting slower, he’s not going to advise you to hire outsiders, or write 3,000 lines of Java code. He’ll develop a handful of possibilities, and in short order find the problem and articulate potential solutions. If the options will take a while to implement, he’ll recommend a workaround while the alternatives are being considered.
The ERP generalist consultant is the person who gathers all the pertinent knowledge from every department of the operation. With this knowledge, and his constantly refreshed knowledge of what’s available from the outside, he will have a total understanding of the operation that others don’t have time to gather.
Depending on the size and complexity of your company’s operation, the process could range from a “virtual” process, best handled remotely, to the ERP generalist consultant residing in your office every day for many months.
Best wishes for a successful software search.
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