Key to Securing SAP Consultants in Retail
Even with a network of 300,000 SAP consultants globally, it can be hard to find the right consultant when the demand is high. I asked our Industry Division Heads here at Global Enterprise Partners, how they manage these situations in order to ensure successful outcomes for candidates and clients alike. In the first interview of three, I spoke to Lisa Danne, Head of our Retail Division, about her market and best strategy for securing the right consultant for the right project.
Lisa Danne, Head of the Retail Division
Lisa has been working in the enterprise technology space within the retail industry for several years now and brings a solid understanding of her market to her client relationships.
The demand: Working with multinational retailers in Europe, Lisa sees a high demand for German-speaking SAP IS-Retail Consultants as smaller retailers implement industry solutions and for SAP Retail consultants with SAP AFS or SAP FMS experience as large retailers move to from SAP AFS to SAP FMS and S/4HANA for Fashion.
The supply: SAP IS-Retail consultants are hard to come by as many are already on projects across Europe. Candidates with experience in SAP AFS or FMS even fewer and far between. These consultants are often considered experts in their field, having worked with retailers or retail implementations for over ten years. The frequent German language requirement adds an additional challenge to overcome when searching for these consultants.
Lisa’s strategy: “All experts need to get a start somewhere.”
For Lisa managing her client’s expectations from the get-go is very important, and she encourages them, “to think a little more broadly and consider consultants with strong backgrounds in SAP SD or MM with the appropriate retail background and experience with the solution”. She suggests that often, while these consultants may not have the direct experience they will often be able to pick up the functionality on the job.
“These consultants are flexible and able to adapt to new processes because of their experience with similar processes and clients. Being a consultant, means that you’re always adapting to different client’s needs and systems.”
Lisa does stress that while she and her team always initially search for a 100% match to the requirement, sometimes hiring someone who’s willing to learn rather than a certified expert can be beneficial for the business: “Experts are often headhunted out of their contracts because of the high demand. Taking a good consultant who is willing to learn— and become an expert— can be a better move in the long-term.”