Abhinav Raut : ERP Consultant
Extensive "domain knowledge" is the key to becoming an "in-demand" ERP consultant. And your domain can vary from management, resource administration, finance, supply to manufacturing. We got talking with an ERP consultant from the domain of manufacturing - Abhinav Raut, who works with KPIT Technology Ltd:
I am a mechanical engineer by profession, working with KPIT Technology Ltd, Pune (an IT firm) as an ERP functional consultant. I have more than 5.5 years of experience. My career focus is to be in consulting for a different ERP application. I have been responsible for implementation of an ERP for different manufacturing organizations.
It's a common notion that mechanical guys mostly work in the core field. But this is wrong. IT is not at all possible without mech.
My first company was KEC International Ltd. where I worked as a production engineer. There I come to know about ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). Then I did a research on this area & found that it’s a booming field & a very challenging profile.
One needs domain knowledge to be a part of this profile & can work as an ERP functional consultant. It involves different modules like manufacturing, inventory, procurement, sales management etc. I was a mechanical guy & had domain knowledge in manufacturing, so I decided to move into this field.
This is the best profile for those who have a good domain knowledge & want to be a part of IT after working with core manufacturing sector, where he/she can utilize their knowledge to implement ERP for different organization.
Nowadays, IT organizations train even the freshers, so I would recommend to go ahead & make your career in ERP sector. Oracle EBS, Oracle JD Edwards, SAP, Infor are currently hot in the ERP market.
A normal day usually start by 10 AM. My first task is to check for any meetings & calls for the day & to plan the work accordingly. Usually the first meeting is a daily project meeting, to discuss the tasks completed, any risks involved & the next plans. Then I move to actual consulting work, where I am supporting the client for their day-to-day ERP issues. I am also responsible for project documentation work. As the day is about to end, I check the actual work done against the planned.
The journey was quite stressful. Getting into ERP is quite difficult. You need to work hard to learn new things. You need to be updated with all the current changes in the market. But yes, it is not impossible. This is for those who want to move to ERP from core manufacturing sector.
But, once you get into ERP, your career is stable & the salary of an ERP consultant is more as compared to any software engineer. After 5-10 years, I'm sure I will be working in the same field & will keep growing as much as I can.
There are two ways to succeed in this field. You can give training on ERP application either based on your domain knowledge or core industrial experience. The second way is to get certified from an authorized institute. Certified consultants are also in demand even if they don't have domain knowledge.
Core industrial experience in different areas like manufacturing, procurement or supply chain, sales etc. would be of great help.
An ERP functional consultant's profile gives you exposure to interact with different people from different departments as well as with the top management of an organization. This can be an amazing experience. It helps to gain knowledge in different areas. You learn to become confident while communicating with others.
Implementing ERP is itself a big challenge, as the people are used to manual work or legacy system & it’s quite difficult for a consultant to showcase to them the advantages of using an ERP.
Just select a course which would help you to gain a domain knowledge. As an example, if you are having interest in accounts & finance, get an education in that field. B.Com, M.Com, CA, ICFAI etc. and then you can work as a financial ERP functional consultant. If you would like to be a mechanical engineer then you can work as a manufacturing or sales & distribution ERP functional consultant.
In basic skills, you should know the product life cycle. Try to visit industries & try to learn how the actual manufacturing works, how money moves from supplier to customer, how the inventory are updated in stock etc. This type of domain knowledge may help to get success in the ERP field.
Just keep in mind, nothing is impossible. Always think in the direction which you would like to be in future. Work hard in that direction & always be positive. I am pretty sure, you will get what you want.
Abhinav can also reached at his LinkedIn profile - https://in.linkedin.com/pub/abhinav-raut/38/57a/441/