What is a Reasonable ERP System Selection Timeline?

Once you know that you need a new ERP system, how do you know the duration that is reasonable for selection? What do you need to do, and who is owning that process?

Companies select and implement new ERP systems hopefully no more than every decade. For the clients AJC works with, sometimes it has been decades since they put in a system. Maybe they are in a DOS based F3/F4 green-screen system, or maybe they are still using QuickBooks and spreadsheets.

It is common to not have a lot of experience within the organization to drive this type of project. Even if the company has some team members with Project Management experience, an ERP System Selection is a special type of project, and it is often helpful to have a PM or at least a Coach who does them often to drive or guide the process.

Below is a sample ERP System Selection Timeline that AJC uses with our clients. This shows a 5-month duration, which is typical for a business in the ~$40-$150MM Top Line revenue range with a few office locations and 2-3 basic revenue streams.

If revenue streams are more complex and/or there are many more locations, operational processes, or people who have heavy influence on the decision, there may be another month required between additional Requirements Gathering and/or additional or more thorough Demos with various functional groups at the company with the top Vendor candidates.

Either way, this is a good starting point; and paired with our article “A 10 Step Process to Select Your New System,” your team can decide if you want to run it yourselves or if you need outside support.

The Timeline below includes a Project Manager and a Project Coordinator. The PM is strategically responsible and drives all client-facing work. The PC will schedule meetings, follow up on actions, conduct first pass conversations based on coaching and guidance. We do not require a PC, but find that this work is lower level but time consuming, and we can save clients money when either WE or THEY provide someone in this role. Many options, and we love discussing them with clients!


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.