It’s 6:47 AM. The hotel shower doesn’t always wake you up all the way so I started the coffee maker going before I was even fully dressed. The warm plastic smell rising from the maker as the hot coffee winds around inside of it reminds me of that one injection molding company I was at last year. That was an impressive operation. They had good coffee too.
I pour myself a cup and open up the computer. Technically, the day began about thirty minutes ago, but everything starts now with the morning deluge of emails. I’m totally awake now. There’s plenty for me to respond to, but I flag those requests for follow-up later: I’m on site today, and that is what I’ve got to focus on.
I’m at the client for a training class long before my future students arrive, and I talk with the Project Manager while I set everything up, ticking off the mental checklist as I do so: Projector hooked up and on. PC has access to the Training Database. List of who is attending and their roles is in my hand. So far so good. Time to find the restroom and get rid of the coffee.
This is the peaceful time of the morning, when rote and routine gets you up and going and into the rhythm of the day. I finish setting objectives with the Project Manager and soon, the training class begins. I was up late reviewing the details last night; this should go off without a hitch. I’m a bit less confident about the Process Workshop coming up afterwards. I slept on one of their problems last night and a solution didn’t present itself in the morning, so now it’s time to drill down. This is where my fellow team members will lend a hand: technology keeps us ever connected so I am never on my own at a client’s. I feel like I carry our entire company’s knowledge base around in my pocket. It’s good to know we can always work as a team.
In the training class, we review standard, best practices in using the EPICOR software. Since this is our main objective, we listen just as often as we instruct. This is when I identify disconnects—real or imagined—and make connections. Since it’s often I’m meeting these people for the first time, I need to learn their names and start to really understand them.
After training is lunch time. There are a few minutes of respite from the busyness of the day but when I can, I’m responding to my morning emails and filing away even more for later response. Hardly any time seems to pass before the Process Workshop starts up, but this is the part I enjoy the most. We’re working on how to make EPICOR work for them. My questions come first: What are your issues, what information are you capturing, what metrics do you control your business by? If I get a clear answer they’re surrounded by their questions: Can we do this? How do we do that? We need to do this…?
Information spreads out across the meeting, and another consultant offers a solution to that tricky issue I had to sleep on last night, and it’s accepted by the company. Yet work has only just begun: there are a few new gaps in the process that need to be filled, and the working day is already over. I review the activities of the day with the Project manager, and then, as I’m off to the dinner and hotel, there’s just one final checklist: What’s on the agenda for tomorrow, what do I need to do tonight to get ready, and in the coming months, after I’m long gone, who can I expect to be speaking to?
After all, it never ends after the training and process workshops and implementation: I’m now a point of contact for that client and their support. While our implementation and planning and procedures are cutting edge, tailored completely to the customer’s needs, there is always room for more efficiency. Who better to advise them than the person who helped them set up and build their system?
It’s not just a day in the life of an ERP Consultant. It’s the first day of a lifetime of support and teamwork.