25 Apr

What skills do you need to be an ERP professional?

Posted by John Brandwagt

Every business needs a set of processes to function correctly. These might pertain to inventory management, finance and accounting, human resources, customer relationship management and finance, among others. Enterprise Resource Management fits into the picture in that it allows these processes to be integrated into a single system. That is the reason ERPs are so central to the effective functioning of any enterprise business.

ERP initially came around because of the need to integrate management of core business processes. With advancements in centralized database management, it has now been equipped to log every movement along the business process in real time. With automation and machine learning entering into the foray, ERP has become a hot job sector for IT sector professionals as well.

“ERP integrates various business processes – finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement, and others – into a single system.”

Key Players in the ERP Sector

The global ERP market has witnessed an average 10% growth year on year since 2014, and is on way to become a $41bn industry by 2020. Nevertheless, a slew of global and local service providers have rushed in to meet the demand in the sector. Below are top 5 ERP players in the market: 

  1. SAP S/4HANA
  2. Oracle ERP
  3. Microsoft Dynamics GP
  4. Intuit
  5. FIS Global


5 skills you need to get a job in ERP sector

Each business is unique, and the skills they will need for ERP management will also depend upon the type of ERP solution they are making use of. Primarily, there are 3 different types of ERP implementations:

              Cloud ERP                                  On-Premise ERP                                    Hybrid ERP


While an expertise in each of the three require a slightly aligned skill set, there are three categories in ERP management that job duties are segregated into. They are:

                     Functional Consultants                         Technical Consultants                              Techno-Functional Consultants

Although your resume needs to be heavy towards the kind the of consultant position you are aiming for, there are some skills that are a must to possess if you want to be considered for a job in the ERP sector.

Below are 5 of those:

  1. Business Process Analysis

If you are into ERP consulting, rest assured that you need to be aware of the complete spectrum of business processes. You need to be a conceptually strong individual who is comfortable managing process change, leading process (re)design workshops and measuring feedback to provide feedback on process performance.

  1. Finance and Accounting Skills

And not just debits and credits. As an ERP consultant, you should have a keen eye to recognize and understand revenue stream, perform amortization and come up with solutions to maximize revenue potential too.

  1. Data Management

If you are to admin an ERP software, or on-board one for an organization, data migration is going to be your number one project. As you grow in experience in the ERP sector, make sure you are well-versed with all the enterprise solutions, and comfortable identifying the data to be converted, managing the different types of data files (master, transaction and historical), and be the process owner in converting data from a legacy system to an ERP.

  1. Strong Analytical Skills

Since a majority of your job duties will revolve around providing solutions basis the analytical reports you pull out, an ERP professional has to have a strong background in analytics. Whichever company you find yourself in will inevitably have its own customized technology stack to best serve its purpose.

  1. Conflict Resolution

As an ERP consultant, you’ll be working with a number of key stakeholders and subject matter experts specializing in various business process – some of them working in silos – conflicts are bound to rise.

Think of yourself as a project manager – you need to make sure everybody on the team is pulling along nicely, while also ensuring all the systems are working in conjunction and everything is being logged in correctly. In situations of conflict, it is important a consensus is reached that serves all the stakeholders well, and is beneficial for the business.

All in all, an ERP consultant is the pivot around which the whole company’s business process functions smoothly. You should be the go-to person for the staff for any question regarding process functioning. For that to happen, you should possess good people skills to ensure any transition to the new system is smooth, and well thought-out.

Topics: IT jobs types

John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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