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ERP Systems Selection Process: The Ultimate Guide

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is an integrated business management system that provides one platform designed to provide visibility and functionality for all operations from HR to manufacturing. Because this system will hold sensitive information and perform essential functions within the business, it is important to ensure that the ERP software selection process is navigated with careful consideration for the individual company's needs.  

How Does The ERP Systems Selection Process Work?

There are four steps in the ERP systems selection process: plan, identify, test, and commit.


A good ERP systems selection plan includes establishing a need, collaborating at every level, and defining system requirements.

To establish a need for new ERP software ask why you need a new system, what is wrong with the current system, and what processes will a new system improve and/or automate. Answering these questions will not only help to establish a measurable need but also provide a foundation for requirements that will be identified later in the process. 

ERP systems selection is a decision that will impact business processes at every level, and as such, there should be input from every level of the company regarding new system requirements. Collect input from every team and use the feedback to define the new system requirements. 


Filter through potential vendors and identify a small list of top vendors that meet the basic requirements that were previously agreed upon within the company. With the new list in mind, review the requirements and cross-reference the two lists. This will help remove unnecessary requirements and/or eliminate unsuitable vendors. 


Contact potential vendors and test each system through demos, proof of concepts, or use cases. Using the information collected through these sources, rank each vendor from most to least plausible for the company according to criteria identified in the planning process along with the key considerations outlined below. 


Finally, it's time to make a commitment. Keep in contact with a lawyer during the ERP systems selection process and have them review the terms of the contract and negotiate if necessary before signing. If negotiations don't work out or a lawyer finds a concern with the top vendor, move on to the next vendor on the list. 

What Are The Top ERP Systems Selection Criteria?

  • Functionality
  • Cost
  • Features
  • Training and support
  • Security
  • Vendor Experience
  • Scalability
  • Technology
  • Integration
  • Customization

Final Thoughts

The ERP systems selection process is a long but rewarding journey that takes careful analysis and research. With the proper planning, dedication, and time invested in the project, any company is sure to find the ideal solution to grow a successful business and build a lasting partnership.