If you are not already working in the ERP industry, it’s sometimes difficult at parties to explain to people what you do. When asked: “what do you do?” I simply explain that I am a product manager.
This is a sufficiently loose term that in the current climate can be associated with either the development of a product or the ownership of someone else’s product. It keeps things nice and simple.
Being ‘in ERP’ isn’t a profession or an industry that holds certain certifications or regulations, it is what it is. There are a lot of diverse roles that you simply don’t see in other industries. The important point about ERP though, is that ERP is the business system, used in millions of businesses, that keeps processes managed. This includes orders going out of the door, materials being ordered in, cash being requested and paid, and supporting the back office functions to ensure that children are happy on Christmas morning.
Because in most cases, a child’s Christmas present probably came via at least one business that couldn’t have delivered on that order without an ERP solution. I certainly doubt that, without proper inventory management, optimization and forecasting, Santa would have an effective supply chain every year.
Surely this then makes ERP a little bit exciting?
ERP gets a pretty bad rap as being a little boring – it’s often deemed an IT and office of finance systems task, isn’t it? Implemented by accountants and geeks?
Certainly sometimes, but more often than not, no.
ERP deployment has generally become the vocation of people who got into manufacturing because they really wanted to MAKE or IMPROVE something. And in the process of learning how to make something, the questions of how and why sparked the learning of the business process, and the understanding of the business processes that need managing and voila – the interest and knowledge of ERP is born …
Working in ERP has its ups and downs. When you are part of an implementation, there are long hours, lots of travel and sometimes unavoidable stress. But there is no greater joy than seeing the crafted solution dramatically change the way the business runs and produces its goods, for the better.
And because of the specialization, in most countries the remuneration is very good and the demand for ERP experience is often constant.
So if you’re not ‘In ERP’ – give it some serious consideration. It could result in a career for life with rewards that could make your interest worthwhile!