A 10 Step Process to Select Your New System

With changing working norms shifting radically since the onset of Covid,  many companies have found that dialing into on-premise server-based systems for remote work teams be painful. Many companies are moving or have already moved to the Cloud. This can represent a major business shift that, in turn, often includes evaluating major system changes, from ERP to CRM systems, to better support distributed teams.   

Selecting an ERP system is no small decision. Where do you start?  Who should be included in evaluating solutions? Who needs to be included to help articulate requirements the system needs to support? 

These are questions system selection and implementation experts at AJC get often so we’ve developed a 10-Step Process to help guide the ERP System Selection process.  (NOTE: this process can be applied for non-ERP systems selection as well.)  

<UPDATE! See this article on What is a Reasonable ERP System Selection Timeline? for more information!>

Here are the 10 Steps AJC recommends when selecting a new ERP system 

Reqts scorecard example
An Example Requirements Scorecard from a former AJC project
  1. Define your critical Business Processes:
    1. Order to Cash
    2. Procure to Pay
    3. Record to Report
  2. Assign a Core Team that can represent all departments expected to use the system, *and* Project Manager
    1. For a CRM, this could be Sales, Marketing, and Accounting
    2. For an ERP, however, this will include all Operations departments, Customer Service, Accounting, possibly Quality, Sales, or more
  3. Determine whether a virtual vs. onsite installation is a better fit for the business: Should your system be In the Cloud, or On-Premise?
    1. Questions that inform this typically fall to IT Management to determine internal or outsourced labor bandwidth and skill sets as well as technology (servers) costs needed to support.  
  4. Document all system “Need to Have” and “Nice to Have” system requirements from the Core Team
  5. Prioritize your MUST HAVE CRITICAL Top 15-20 Requirements
    1. NOTE: It can be helpful to standardize how your team documents Requirements documentation. See above for a sample “Requirements Scorecard” from a former AJC Project. 
  6. Core Team generates a First Pass Research/Solutions List and conducts phone/email screens to hone the list and disqualify less optimal options
    1. Use online searches, ask industry colleagues, talk to trusted advisors, call the vendors, etc.
  7. Schedule Demos with system vendors, consultants, or Value Added Resellers (VARs) to reduce list further – ideally to a Top 3
  8. Obtain and document comparable decision-making information for the Top 3 using a requirements scorecard or equivalent capturing the following:
    1. % “Need to Have” Requirements in base system
    2. Implementation fees (vendor)
    3. Ongoing fees (vendor)
    4. Integration and/or Customization fees
    5. References
    6. Nuances (e.g., % “Nice to Have” Requirements in base system)
  9. Core team presents ERP system selection recommendation to Decision Makers at company 
  10. Finalize and select the system and negotiate the contract

Is your team up for doing this on your own?  If so, here are a few resources to review before you begin:

  1. Watch the Lunch and Learn version of this article on “ERP Selection with Andrea Jones Consulting and Aldrich Technology” by AJC and CSG Pro for more tips.
  2. Watch the related Lunch and Learn “My ERP Implementation Needs Rescuing!” by AJC and CSG Pro
  3. AJC’s article “Has Working Remotely Accelerated Your Team’s System Pains?
  4. AJC’s article “DIY Your Own Process Improvement” – comparisons are very similar to discern if your team can Project Manage this on your own
  5. Read our 3 Tips for Setting Systems Implementation Expectations with your vendor

Think you might like more help?

We’d love to hear from you if you have additional questions about ERP system selection or if you’d like to discuss the process further with one of our experts.