Is your SAP Consultant holding you ransom?

Okay so maybe you’re not locked up in a dark and dingy basement somewhere, with only a hunk of stale bread and water for sustenance, waiting for a secret service agent and his trusty SWAT team to come and rescue you, but let me ask you this:

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Do you have a key SAP consultant that is indispensable to your business?

If you answered yes, you are not alone. Many IT directors find themselves over-relying on an existent SAP consultant relationship. But this can put you in a dangerous and desperate situation.


Because when this happens, the SAP consultant holds all the power.

How do SAP consultants get so much power in the first place?

We tend to stick with people whom we have worked with previously, someone who makes us feel comfortable. We all do it. As an IT director, you might continue your working relationship with an expensive consultant, simply because he is experienced with all of your systems and processes. Besides, things have gone well in the past.

And IT directors just keep paying those exorbitant rates

But here’s the problem with this line of logic: believing not all consultants are equal, you are reluctant to give other companies or consultants a try, even if they have lesser rates. This is a slippery power slope.

Gradually your existing SAP consultant’s costs are locked into your IT department’s already tight budget, and you begin to take it for granted that you have to pay this “insurance policy” every month. You are functioning on auto-pilot. You are handing over more and more of your power, wrapped in a shiny red bow, month after month.

But it doesn’t have to be this way…

So how can you avoid a captive SAP relationship?

The first step in reclaiming your power is to take some self-responsibility for your system. Have your consultant document important SAP configurations and programs, so that you always have access to this knowledge. This might save you a panic attack the next time your consultant comes down with a nasty flu.

The flip side of that is to train key business users in SAP functional areas so that they are more self-reliant. This can help to reduce dependence on any single person or expert. In case of an eventuality, these key business users can still continue operations with certain workarounds. Wouldn’t that be helpful?

Are you afraid of derailing the gravy train?

If everything has run relatively smooth up until now, why mess up a perfectly good and working system? Change can be difficult, but if you are in a powerless, captive relationship with your SAP consultant, something’s going to give.

Take a good hard look at yourself and your IT department: are you being held ransom? It may be time to consider looking at other consulting options…

If this is the case, you will want to identify a suitable service provider who understands your department’s philosophy and can provide you with the attention you expect and deserve. This service provider should learn your business processes inside and out and should support you professionally.

This individual or company should never give the impression of holding back information or holding you ransom at critical business periods. This is a red flag that you are being held captive by your SAP consultant. You have lost control of this relationship, and you need to make a change immediately.

Take back your power

When SAP consultants have too much power, you can feel like your IT department is being held ransom. But there is something you can do about this. Take personal responsibility for learning the ins and outs of your SAP system. Train your people, as well as key individuals in your organization, to fill in the gaps as needed. And when all else fails, don’t be afraid to break with the status quo and find an SAP consultant that is a better fit for your needs. The vitality of your business depends on it.

Next Step

If you’d like some help putting these steps into practice, give us a call (or fill the form below and send to us). We’re happy to meet and discuss your situation.