Is it worth it being an independent consultant?

SAP in hindsight

Henry Ford failed twice and went bankrupt before he got up and successfully build his empire. Steven Spielberg was rejected from a film school before he became one of the most popular directors in the filming industry. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company because the board thought that his vision was just too crazy but today, look at where Apple is.

In 1972, five IBM employees pitched to their company on a software they thought would be revolutionary in business processing. The idea was ingenious; having a standard software that enables real-time monitoring of everything that is happening in a business. But then, like any underdog hero stories, they were rejected. So, they decided to resign and build their own company, with a strong belief that the software will be the next big thing.

Thus, how System Applications and Products (SAP) software was born.

I know what SAP stands for, but WHAT IS SAP?

“Steve Jobs was fired from his own company because the board thought that his vision was just too crazy but today, look at where Apple is”.

Simple words cannot define what SAP is. Wait, they can. SAP is a group of integrated modules that includes every aspect of the business management. But of course, most of us cannot understand SAP merely by a sentence. Don’t worry, I didn’t too. And yet they hired me.

So, let me explain it to you guys by giving you a practical situation like the teacher I am. Imagine a successful company selling motorcycle helmets through their online store.

That is the typical process of how a business runs. The efficacy of the business depends on the quality of the communication between the departments.

But, what happens when the communication is ineffective?

All hell breaks loose. You might think it is an exaggeration, believe me, it’s not.

This situation is more common than you think it is. The decentralised system makes it harder for a business to run seamlessly. There is no real-time monitoring of the whole process and there is no entity to keep them in order.

That is where SAP comes in. SAP is a centralised system which integrates all modules; sales, inventory, manufacturing, purchasing and finance all in one place. It enables every department to know what is going on in all departments. Every department will constantly update their situations and the system will display them in real-time.

So what?

Well, again, let us look at what would happen if the helmet company has SAP installed.

I actually wowed myself when I wrote that. Not at the fact that I managed to write all of that, but at how SAP helps a business to run flawlessly. It is impeccable to have such a system in order to keep everything, well, in order. That is just one of the industries that SAP is used in. Oil and gas, retail, finance, accounting, logistics, manufacturing, plantations, transportation, realty, you name it and I bet SAP will be the focal point in their businesses.

Having a real-time monitoring ability also makes it hard, if not impossible, for people to steal from the company. SAP ensures the integrity of the business and keeps the money where they are supposed to be. Isn’t it a handsome system to say the least?

But, why be an independent SAP consultant?

Why be a writer? The answer is the same. It all comes down to your passion and what you want to do in life. There are, of course, other reasons as well. For example, it pays well. That goes without saying. Being an essential part of a business, SAP consultants are often paid more than their IT counterparts (sorry people, it’s true).

But once the system has been erected, the use for SAP consultants might not be as important. That is why companies are thinking twice before hiring in-house consultants because they still have to pay them regardless of whether or not there is any use for them at the moment. And sometimes, the project that they want to implement calls for a skillset non-existent in their own consultants. So, they have to hire external ones. This will increase the cost significantly.

Being an essential part of a business, SAP consultants are often paid more than their IT counterparts

Hence, companies are shifting to having external and independent consultants only. Whenever they have the next big project, they just call these consultants to advise them without having to bear the auxiliary costs of having in-house consultants, albeit having to pay more for the independent ones. It is just a logical strategy to minimise the cost and maximising the outcome.

(finding the right consultants is not easy, though. That is where we come in)

Being an independent consultant also means that you can work with multiple companies across various industries. It goes without saying that you will get so much professional and personal experiences from it. It will expand your knowledge, adds to your skillsets and of course, strengthens your profile. Success breeds success, as a clinical psychologist once said.

 “20 years and counting, but there are still new things that I encounter every day in this line of work”.

So says Zubair, one of our most prized talents, and friend. He had worked with all kinds of people, in a diverse amount of companies and industries. The work is not melancholic, you are not doing something that is mundane for years. The system itself evolves over a short period of time and there are always things that you can look forward to in this job. For him, and I believe for other consultants as well.

There is also this chance to work abroad. My job here includes going through hundreds of consultants’ profiles and make them more presentable? I think? (sorry boss). But one thing I get from going through all of those is every one of them has gone abroad, working with MNCs and reputable establishments; all paid for. What more can you possibly ask?

I got a little jealous, to be honest. I mean, constant challenges and exciting work, room to grow, going across industries, flying here and there and on top of that, you get paid a load! What’s not to be envious about?

So, if you are someone who is looking for things like that, being an independent SAP consultant is a good option, no doubt. Now that you know what SAP is and the perks of being an independent consultant, would you delve in and have this as your choice of career? Let us know what you think.

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