Functional ERP consultants and technical ERP consultants work in tandem to ensure smooth implementation of ERP so that it provides optimum benefits to the organization. Role of both the consultants or team of consultants is very crucial and they depend on each other for successful implementation. Functional ERP consultants may or may not be from technical background but technical ERP consultants are necessarily from technical background. Functional consultants start before technical consultants do in the implementation process, they gather the information to clearly explain the present system of working of the organization and prepare ‘As Is’ document. This document contains details about all the present processes and work flow of the organization where ERP has to be implemented.
Once ‘As Is’ document is ready Functional consultants Map the requirements of the organization, basically this step is to find out the problem areas which need to be corrected and suggesting solutions to the problems which organization is facing through ERP. Functional consultants also Map redundant, duplicate and all the processes which can be automated and also extra benefits which organization can get after using ERP. This analysis is produced to the management of the organization which allows them to compare the investment and effort with the benefits of implementing the ERP.
Once ERP providing company gets a go from buying organization functional consultants and technical consultants work together and do GAP analysis, this step involves identifying the gaps which need to be filled in order to matchup the working of organization with requirements of ERP. Role of functional consultants is to ensure that changes suggested to matchup the functioning of organization and ERP are not too big to become unacceptable and also necessary, productive and efficient present processes are maintained and only redundant processes are replaced. Whereas technical ERP consultants deal with the technical aspect, they suggest technical changes in the ERP to customize it according to the present working of the organization so that ERP application can fit in without making drastic changes in the working but also, and more importantly, without compromising the benefits of the ERP.
After GAP analysis and Mapping the suggested ‘To Be’ document is produced for approval to the management of the organization and also to the Team leaders and Project managers of the ERP providing company. After approval the technical ERP consultants take up the task of making the changes which customize the ERP according to organization’s needs side by side improving its functioning and efficiency.
Before technical consultants deploy the application Functional consultants prepare test scripts to check the entire system and flow of information. Functional consultants also document all the changes technical consultants have made to customize the ERP and organize training sessions for present staff of the organization. Functional ERP consultants also make training manuals which describe entries on every form and their effect, ways to secure the data and other steps necessary for smooth functioning.