How I Began My Career as a Technology Consultant - Broken down in 3 parts

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Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: May 8, 2024

Technology Consultant: How Did I Get Here

Back in the late 1990s, during my MBA program, I stumbled upon a pivotal opportunity that would shape my entire career trajectory. A local company in Denver needed an intern to assist with documenting business processes for an ERP implementation. Intrigued by operational management and supply chain dynamics, I seized the chance to delve into the world of technology-driven transformations. This experience opened my eyes to the critical intersection between business operations and technology, sparking my interest in how innovative systems could revolutionize organizational processes.

Initially, I was uncertain about specializing in technology consulting. My passion lay more in operations and strategy. However, I soon realized that effective strategy hinges on a deep understanding of technology. Embracing this realization, I obtained technical certifications and immersed myself in ERP implementations, laying the groundwork for what would become a lifelong mission to advocate for technology as a catalyst for organizational change as a technology consultant.

Navigating Industry Biases: Championing Tech-Agnostic Consulting

My early consulting experiences exposed me to a troubling industry trend—bias towards specific software solutions driven by vendor affiliations. Disenchanted by this practice, I envisioned a consulting model rooted in independence and client-centricity. In 2005, I founded Panorama Consulting, committed to providing unbiased insights and solutions tailored to client needs. At Panorama, we focused on challenging the status quo, advocating for tech-agnosticism, and prioritizing our clients' long-term success over short-sighted vendor affiliations. This approach required us to go against the grain of traditional consulting practices, where firms often aligned themselves with software vendors to drive sales and commissions.

Panorama’s success hinged on innovative content strategies, particularly blogging about ERP implementations—an unconventional move at the time. By addressing industry challenges transparently and advocating for tech-agnosticism, Panorama emerged as a leader in independent consulting. Our blog became a platform for thought leadership and honest discourse, providing valuable insights into ERP software selection, implementation best practices, and change management strategies. This transparent approach not only garnered attention but also built trust among clients seeking unbiased advice. As a result, Panorama gained recognition for its integrity and commitment to delivering tailored solutions that prioritized client needs over vendor agendas. Our emphasis on tech-agnosticism resonated with organizations looking for unbiased guidance in navigating complex digital transformations.

Lessons in Culture and Reinvention: Evolving to Third Stage

Despite Panorama’s considerable achievements, I came to recognize the critical importance of organizational culture in sustaining consulting excellence. As Panorama evolved, so did my vision for a consulting firm that placed cultural fit and client interests at the forefront. This realization led to the founding of Third Stage Consulting in 2018, where we embraced innovative video content strategies to engage a broader audience while maintaining a steadfast commitment to tech-agnosticism and client-centric consulting.

Reflecting on my consulting journey, I emphasize the necessity of continual reinvention for aspiring consultants. It’s essential to cultivate a balanced skill set that combines specialization with a comprehensive understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of consulting. Navigating the intricacies of the industry demands a dedication to ethics and integrity, always advocating for client interests above industry biases and affiliations.

In conclusion, my consulting career embodies perseverance, innovation, and an unwavering dedication to fostering meaningful technology adoption within organizations. My story serves as a testament to the transformative impact of consulting guided by integrity and a steadfast commitment to driving positive change through unbiased, client-focused strategies.

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Eric Kimberling

Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.

Author:
Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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