How to make a career as a SAP logistics consultant
Digitization and globalization have given logistics a new boost. Rapidly increasing transport volumes, supplied components that are promptly shipped to the production sites – all these processes must be organized efficiently.
SAP offers a good dozen modules for the organization of logistical processes. Adapting these and implementing them in operational reality is the job of SAP experts. Their career opportunities have improved accordingly due to the increase in logistical challenges.
Logistics is a professional field for organizational talent
In order to successfully fulfill their job in the supply chain, talented and organizational professionals nowadays need suitable software tools. The requirements and the resulting tasks that logistics face in today’s short-cycle production world have become complex.
In times of “just in time” every bad planning means a delay with painful consequences. Unplanned postponements, incorrect deliveries, missed expense calculations and the resulting delivery bottlenecks cause considerable costs. These cannot be priced in by the companies.
Given the tight margins in many industries, this is not an option. This would not reduce profits, but pulverize them.
The responsibility that logicians have today is enormous
That is why they need good tools. You need reliable software that is perfectly tailored to the organizational tasks in order to map logistics processes and guarantee smooth execution. A broad field for SAP experts. Because this enterprise software has a good dozen modules with which logistical challenges can be converted into smart, digital processes.
The following SAP modules are used in logistics:
- SAP LO – General Logistics
- MM – Materials Management
- PP – Production planning and control
- PM – Production Maintenance
- SD – Sales and Distribution
- PLM – Product Lifecycle Management
- LES – warehouse management, shipping and transport (Logistic Execution System)
- WM – warehouse management (warehouse Management)
- MRP – Material Resources Planing
- MFS – material flow control (Materia l Flow System)
- TRM – material flow control (Task and Resource Management)
- HUM – Packaging-controlled logistics (Handling Unit Management)
- EHS – Environmental management, health protection and safety at work (Environment, Health and Safety)
- XSI – Express Ship Interface
- CS – customer service and Customer Service (Customer Service)
- QM – Quality Management
Through the SAP logistics Modules improve IT decision-makers’ capacity utilization, efficiency and cost control of the company. The optimized design and adaptation of the modules make processes leaner. Thanks to improved processes, profitability and use of resources increase.
SAP consultants give logistics companies a competitive edge
In this way, SAP experts help companies to achieve competitive advantages and map process management efficiently. Today, SAP apps are also used.
They enable the mobile recording of data and put an end to the annoying and error-prone mess of paper. All modules can be supplemented and expanded with the programming language ABAP.
As a career starter you should be clear about the diverse tasks a SAP consultant can master in this area. In addition to the classic logistics topics such as warehouse management, transport processes or materials management, topics such as environmental management, quality management or maintenance are also emerging.
The first step: Trainee in SAP software development
Due to the complexity of the tasks and their relevance for operational processes, SAP experts must be well trained. This also applies if they have a well-founded professional training.
In the field of logistics, graduates of a technical or business degree are often sought.
Such a degree can be replaced by a comparable professional training in Combination with professional experience.
This requires a high level of interest in technology and IT. Initial experience in software development and the will to familiarize yourself more deeply with IT topics, especially with SAP programming, are helpful.
The time as a trainee lasts between 6 and 12 months and has special skills – and training modules well filled.
The second step: Junior SAP consultant
SAP development has two aspects: On the one hand, operational processes and requirements must be recorded and analyzed. On the other hand, based on this knowledge, the SAP modules are used and, if necessary, modifications are developed.
This double strategy requires differently trained specialists who are organized in teams.
As a junior consultant, you become part of such a team, gain your first project experience and take on your first analytical and planning tasks.
In addition to the indispensable SAP knowledge, a lot of empathy is required. Processes are shaped and carried out by people.
It doesn’t work without understanding the human factor.
As a junior SAP consultant, you will be involved in these in your team Challenges introduced. You learn to involve different specialists.
You are allowed to coordinate experts according to their competencies. The next step in your career can only be taken when you have been involved in completely rolling out customer projects.
The third step: SAP Consultant
The first customer projects with logistical processes are successfully completed. You have developed professionally and personally.
A lot of knowledge has been acquired. For example, the organization of material flows and transport capacities, as well as the processing of complex transport processes in the country and abroad.
A SAP consultant is perfectly familiar with the possibilities of the SAP modules. He assesses whether the software is adapted to the processes or the processes to the SAP modules. A consultant can assess which path to take and has experience. He knows the long-term results that have grown out of the work of his consulting and software teams. He knows where to grind and how to improve it. A consultant for SAP logistics modules knows this industry inside out. He knows about the latest challenges.
The fourth step: Senior Consultant
A company has announced a need to restructure its logistics processes and has commissioned a SAP service provider to take a closer look.
This is where the senior consultant comes into play.
Together with the client, he analyzes existing processes, determines future requirements and develops recommendations for an efficient implementation strategy. He calculates efforts, costs and schedules. The optimal team for this task is then put together.
Successful senior consultants for SAP logistics modules are absolute luminaries in the field of logistics. They know how to use adapted SAP software to create efficiency for the client.
They know the latest industry technologies and can evaluate them professionally. You are in contact with the executive suite at the client. You prepare your own team with the conditions it needs for successful work.
You lead teams, you form teams, you motivate teams.
As a senior SAP consultant, you are the calm pole when the responsible parties at the client and members of your team come into conflict. You will find a way out.
Conclusion: Good to very good career prospects as a consultant for SAP logistics modules
The development of recent years has shown that logistics processes are an important one are a factor in the success of companies. Digitization has created new opportunities to relieve companies of capital-intensive warehousing.
The globalization of the markets has led to a rapid increase in transport volumes. These developments offer opportunities for companies, but also risks. Because logistics is complex and not 100% controllable. The closed motorway or the storm on the high seas cannot be planned.
All of this requires well-thought-out processes with professional software.
As a SAP consultant in the logistics department, you are therefore very well positioned for the future of the world of work.
You have a lot of responsibility and can expect appropriate remuneration. SAP logistics experts can organize themselves and others efficiently and in a goal-oriented manner. With the right performance, nothing stands in the way of a career.