In the ninth instalment of a ten part blog series, SAP ERP Consultant and Author Isard Haasakker guides us through his tips on how to have a successful career as a freelance IT consultant.
Do you want to learn a very effective strategy to expand your SAP knowledge that is proven and fun and immediately rewarding? At the same time, are you seeking cheap and fast and pragmatic advice to increase your market value. Look no further. Take control of your career and increase your job security.
Many years ago I had a chance encounter with Richard, one of the top project managers available. He pointed out that any big conglomerate started small, so you should do the same when you configure your own fictitious company in a SAP training environment. At the same time, he highlighted that standard SAP supports core functionality required to run your business.
The intercom now tells us that we started our decent into Zurich. The cabin personnel started their procedure to prepare for the landing.
Richard tells me that a lot of packages are below us. Typically, we tend to forget this, as it is out of sight. But the costs for transporting goods are important to control.
Imagine you set up a business selling wicker baskets through the internet. When your transporter defines their prices based on weight, then sending large packages could be relatively cheap. What if the transporter could change their mind to charge by volume? Transport costs could be as expansive as the wicker basket. This change in pricing policy can threaten the future of your business by seeing your profit margin erode.
Ideally you anticipate the value of the invoice from your service provider for moving your goods between various locations. This requires attention when configuring both logistics and accounting. Of course, accounting consultants could argue that this knowledge is not essential. However, as soon as accounting and logistics show complex integration, many consultants consider this a grey area. And these grey areas are easily ignored and neglected. So that offers you the ideal opportunity to shine and stand out. Topics like this offers you the chance to become a highly valuable team member, having the power to de-risk the project by suggesting standard SAP solutions.
This is the moment Richard is reminding me to think big but act small. Huge system integration challenges are waiting for you to be discovered when you focus on activities occurring in a simple tiny corner shop. Imagine the quantum leap of widening your knowledge comfort zone that can be achieved.
Still, transcending your SAP knowledge can still fall flat when your “soft skills” fail you. Richard told me that you should hold back on doing something particular when it comes to interaction with your colleagues, suppliers and customers. Still I had no idea what it could be.
Don’t try to be funny. You will be surprised how quickly someone can be offended by a relatively harmless joke. And as soon as this happens, you will be labelled as rude, insensitive or juvenile. Even pranks are a dangerous. It is a better strategy to laugh at someone else’s joke than to make one.
As the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign is being illuminated, Richard reminds me that you need to focus on the most basic procurement and sales processes to discover whether all your configuration works. Remember, your goal is to become an “integration consultant”, so traditional SAP modules become irrelevant. Whatever is triggered within logistics, you need to know how it impacts accounting. Having this power of insight makes you highly desirable. Still, one activity within accounting is very important, which many do not associate with logistics. And again, Richard makes me guess what this could be.
Author of the book “Make F.I.T. Your Purpose”.
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Watch out for the next instalment from Isard’s blog series, and make sure you don’t miss out on all our latest blogs by subscribing to our mailing list below!
If you’re a freelance IT consultant looking for your next project get in touch.
Previous blogs in this series:
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 1: Boost Your Value
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 2: Manage Your Time
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 3: Learn to Juggle
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 4: Expand Your Skillset
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 5: Make an Impression
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 6: Invest in Tools
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 7: Learn to Listen
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 8: Remember to Smile