Once you have your consulting firm set up, the next big task is to find an innovative system that you can use to streamline your operations and enhance your workflows. Today, the popular choice for most consulting firms is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. With a specialized ERP solution, you can integrate all your business processes and related data so that departments can operate from a centralized and synchronized location.
To enjoy these benefits, you have to implement the right ERP system for your consulting firm. While ERP solutions offer many of the same services, consulting systems can vary when comparing an ERP for research organizations and an ERP for management consulting companies. So, ensure that the program you implement is properly aligned with your business operations.
What Is an ERP System?
An ERP system is a software solution used by private and public enterprises to integrate their business operations, including procurement, accounting, supply chain operations, project management, risk management, etc. The latest ERP systems also integrate enterprise performance management, allowing you to plan, forecast, budget, and report your company’s financial results.
With a reliable ERP solution such as SAP HANA Public Cloud, you can streamline multiple business operations and enhance the flow of information between functions. It’ll enable you to quickly gather mission-critical data from multiple sources for review and analysis. Furthermore, this system does away with duplicated data and improves data integrity by creating a single source of information and truth.
All authorized departments and individuals within your organization will have access to the same data. This not only eliminates duplication and misinformation but also increases productivity by speeding the flow of real-time information across departments and allowing members of your team to make informed decisions because they have access to the right data.
What Is the Best ERP System for Consulting Firms?
Previously, many consulting firms grappled with the problem of inconsistent and disorganized knowledge-sharing processes because they lacked a centralized, transparent system through which information from multiple business operations and sources could be shared. With the emergence of ERP solutions, these firms have discovered better ways of sharing business ad project information in real time.
This system allows employees of consulting firms to more easily work remotely because they can share and access critical project information from anywhere and at any time. ERP solutions have also dealt with common problems experienced by consulting firms such as poor management of resources and data silos. However, this is only possible if you have the right ERP system for your company.
For consulting firms, the best ERP solutions automate professional services. They consolidate different components of the quote-to-cash cycle into a single data-rich system to reinforce resourcing, financial management, project management, and overall organizational efficiency. Your ERP system should eliminate project, client, and cross-departmental data silos to empower your consultants to work more responsively and have the agility to build strong relationships with clients.
A professional services automation ERP system ensures there’s more efficiency and full visibility necessary to win more contracts and boost your billable time. It also allows your team to handle complex tasks easily and successfully. A good ERP solution should feature advanced planning tools and functions to help you visualize and understand key project deliverables including schedules, budgets, and margins.
It should also allow you to forecast your resources and identify the skills needed and how to apply them to each project. Because you want to deliver high-quality services to clients located anywhere in the world, you need an ERP system that will allow you to host sharable knowledge and promote cooperation anywhere, anytime.
Choose an ERP system that’ll help you understand your billable time and how to use it efficiently. A cloud-based ERP system that offers automatic software updates will help you acquire new features released from the cloud that it runs on.
Your system should offer rapid billability and deployment reporting. Because you expect your consulting business to grow, choose a flexible ERP solution that can be scaled along with your business operations.