Just got back from an SAP conference, and what a great event it was this year. We saw many of our long-standing customers and were excited to meet some new ones. We use events like this one as a barometer of the market and, based on our experience, there are some sunny days ahead for the SAP community.
One conversation that surprisingly kept popping up was about how to better use an SAP Services firm like Titan to meet cyclical or short-term work demands. The time of many big projects has transitioned to one of smaller projects or basic care and feeding of the systems. Some of the challenges cited were the traditional ones: budget constraints, talent pool, and on-site versus remote work.
For these conversations, we often ask our customers if they had considered a “Fractional” consulting model to solve these problems. Very few had heard of this model, so I wanted to share where this is a fit for your SAP needs.
Many staffing firms don’t want to put forth the effort for a short-term project. There is no money in it for them. While we would all prefer long projects, that is not how to best serve the market.
I can best tell you what “Fractional Consulting” is by sharing how we helped one of our customers. A high-end consumer electronics company with an off-shore parent was struggling to keep pace with all of the changes in business processes from statutory and reporting requirements. Some of these requests had a downstream process impact.
The Finance Department was lean and could not handle another manual workaround with spreadsheets and reconciliations; it was too risky. They needed help and approached us for a consultant to perform the work.
We looked at the scope of work, profit center accounting, fixed assets, receivables, and MM and SD changes that were affected. The budget didn’t allow us to onboard two to three consultants, so we recommended using a fractional model.
Leveraging our network of senior consultants, we knew that many of them would consider additional project work of 10-20 hours per week if they didn’t have to travel frequently to the customer’s location. We set up a remote team that resolved each issue in a shorter time due to their cross-functional knowledge. The client was happy because their reporting and process issues were solved in line with their budget and timeline.
Here are a few other situations where we used this model:
- During intensive portions or phases of a project such as testing and rollout.
- For helping improve customer satisfaction by reducing the number of open change requests.
- For short-term or long-term leave such as maternity leave.
- During spot consulting assignments to handle business or statutory changes.
Examples of how this model has been used:
- To provide an on-call resource for a specified number of hours per month.
- To focus an intensive part-time resource on related work packages (e.g. ABAP/Reports).
- To address part-time tasks for skill sets not needed or evolving skill sets (e.g. security and governance, training, CRM or BW roll-outs, etc.).
I am not suggesting that this approach works in all situations. If you need a full-time consultant for your project, we still deliver those quality services. This is certainly a creative way to get the work done according to your requirements.
For more information on how Titan’s Fractional Consulting services can meet your business needs, contact Kent Lamb at 972-377-3525 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Or, contact your Titan Consulting Director.