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A Pocket Guide to Choosing the Right ERP Software

A Pocket Guide to Choosing the Right ERP Software

The ERP software industry is more competitive today than ever before. Not only have the products and technology evolved, but most customers are purchasing second—or third-generation ERP solutions, so they are better informed about the evaluation, selection, and implementation process. If you’re in the midst of buying or choosing ERP software, this guide can help simplify the process into a concept we call the 3 P’s of software selection: Publisher, Product, and Partner.


When selecting a publisher (or software vendor), buyers should consider the company's financial stability and growth. This represents the ERP product’s longevity and ability to reinvest in R&D. 

Where to look:

  • Annual Reports
    Review financial information, headcount, and employee retention initiatives. The publisher's stability of the executive team, product managers, and innovation staff allows for strategies and initiatives managed to completion
  • Product Roadmaps
    Future product roadmaps should include the adoption of new technologies and product releases that are focused on features and capabilities versus fixes and patches.
  • Published Content 
    Look for thought leadership content and topical outreach from team members and company leaders across professional channels. This can give some insight into a publisher's ability to nurture and develop future leaders by promoting thought leadership and ideas from within 


The first step in any software evaluation should be to review internal workflows for inefficiencies and gaps and to inventory existing software solutions that will integrate with or be replaced by the new platform. Once the existing ecosystem has been mapped and documented, buyers can begin researching specific products. Some aspects to consider when evaluating individual software solutions are:

  • Industry Specialization
    Reporting and compliance requirements can vary significantly from industry to industry, so choosing a solution that meets those complex requirements will help save your business time and money in the long run. For example, an ERP solution might include process manufacturing capabilities and then take it one step further into recipe and allergen management for food and beverage. Specializing ensures that software solutions fit into business processes and not the other way around.
  • Cross-Product Compatibility
    Market leaders are emerging in areas of specialization that make it impossible for all-in-one software publishers to compete. When selecting a core product, it is critical to ensure that these “best-in-class" solutions can be seamlessly integrated.
  • Ease-of-Use
    The user experience should reduce complexity and accelerate product adoption through easy-to-use workflows and intuitive navigation. An easy-to-use interface allows employees to maximize their use of the product faster, realizing earlier ROI for your company. 
  • Advanced Technology
    Many software platforms are leveraging AI technology to streamline accounting processes. Use cases include performance analytics, anomaly detection, continuous security monitoring, recommender scenarios, process automation, and conversational bots.


Regardless of the publisher and product, the variable that has the greatest impact on a successful project is the selection of an implementation partner. It also represents the greatest area of risk for many buyers. When comparing partners, the customer should consider similar customer use cases, success stories, and the profile of the implementation team from the project manager through functional and technical consultants. During the buying process, the partner should have exhibited a complete understanding of your business requirements and expertise through a proof-of-concept presentation along with a thorough project scoping document.

Some indications of a good partner include:

  • Detailed implementation methodologies customized for your needs, including a project management plan, go-live readiness milestones and frequent assessment reviews
  • Customer references focusing on industry expertise
  • Certification by the publisher and indications of a tight relationship
  • Partner involvement in industry associations, groups, and memberships
  • Gut check: Do you like the people you're working with? Do you feel heard or does it feel like you're being pushed into a decision? A good partner will foster a long-term relationship with their clients. You should feel comfortable with the level of attention and support you receive during the process. 

The Bottom Line of Choosing ERP Software

Buying new ERP software can be complicated. But simplifying the process into the 3 P’s helps buyers structure the selection criteria, identify areas of risk, and create a framework to compare and contrast solutions objectively. Contact us for more information or help selecting ERP software for your company.

Walt Goodfield

Written by Walt Goodfield

Walt is based in Cleveland, OH and has been selling, implementing, and supporting ERP software for over 25 years. Currently, he is the Chief Business Officer at RKL eSolutions, driving revenue growth through customer acquisition and strategic business partner alliances.