What employers actually want in an SAP Consultant (hint: it’s not config…)

“Look, it’s clear they know the system. But they just can’t CONSULT.”

The most common rejection feedback for people missing SAP business roles or promotions, is that they don’t have consulting skills.

Not config skills. Consulting skills.

If it were as easy as just needing config: there’s courses, standard best practice, offshoring, heck even AI bots for that. You could throw config requirements into a hackathon room full of coffee and graduates and still come out with something swish.

But it’s not standalone SAP config skills employers are after: it’s those elusive consulting skills.

 “Consulting” is that magical combination of business acumen and human initiative. 

Throw business process savvy into a huge blender with communication skills, analytical tendencies, empathy, stakeholder management and determination, and you will pour out virtually a perfect consultant with journey-enabling super powers that (almost) can’t be taught.

Because when you really think about the problems SAP businesses are trying to address, they are generally:

  • Inefficiencies in their workflows and process, literally costing them real time and money
  • Silo’d departments disconnected from upstream/downstream functions
  • Redundant cost/spend through multiple, legacy or redundant systems
  • Under utility of SAP investment through knowledge and process gaps

Fundamentally, these are business problems. Technology is just the enabler.

So it’s not just config that employers need. It’s the smarter bit: that analytical, solutioning, change-champion, process-polishing bit.

It’s why there’s such an increasing emphasis on skills like business analysis, process integration, business intelligence, Agile methodology, communication and writing skills. ERP is more than just configuring a module of software, it’s the wholistic approach to planning, running and improving the operations of enterprise overall.

As the way businesses do business changes, and more businesses move to digital solutions, these skills are only going to rise further in demand. In fact:

The National Skills Commission has formally identified Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as both an emergent and trending skill, recognising the significant growth in importance over the last five years.

With this rise in end-user demand for services, will naturally come a rise in consulting demand to deliver them.

SAP Employers will be looking for more than just config, because there’s no point being great on the tools if you’re building a house when the client really needed a boat.

So pick up those config skills, but remember employers are looking beyond them to see what else you’ve got in the blender.

__________________________

Insights from this article:

  • Lack of consulting skills has hindered many SAP careers
  • “Consulting” is that magical combination of business acumen and human initiative
  • As more businesses move to ERP systems, ERP as a skill will become even more valuable
  • Employers are after more than just config/system knowledge

References:

Australia’s Emerging Skills

National Skills Commission

https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-12/Australia%E2%80%99s%20emerging%20skills.pdf

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