ERP Software Selection: criteria, checklist and process steps

Giuliano Bonollo
Latest posts by Giuliano Bonollo (see all)

In this content you will find a guide on the ERP selection process, we will see the checklist to achieve the best software selection, the selection criteria and the different process steps. The software selection of the ERP is a process of selecting a delicate business software because it impacts on different business areas and, above all, the correct choice of the ERP is fundamental for the business of the company.

Here is the checklist for your software selection

Business objectives

It will seem obvious but the first element to take into consideration is the business goal in relation to the ERP change. Starting a selection is a complex process, so it’s best to write down clear and defined goals. There are several reasons for starting a selection, for example the improvement of business processes: the ERP adopted at the time (in Italy an ERP has an average life of about 10-15 years) no longer corresponds to the evolution of the company and / or the market, so in order not to lose competitiveness it is necessary to evaluate a new ERP.

Business requirements

Do a company audit, create functional interviews with the managers of the business areas involved in the adoption of a new ERP, listen to their needs, deepen their processes.
Once you have an overview of your specific needs, you need to trace the requirements.
Having shared the table / document, are they all in agreement? Are there any changes in progress? Update the list. As you can see, this phase alone presents complexities to manage.

Internal support

In choosing an ERP, internal support is an essential element. This should at best span two areas::

  • Management: having a strong corporate endorsement allows you to “speed up” some choices and avoid company “stalemates” as much as possible
  • Users: they are the users who will experience the strongest change operationally, so it is essential to know the operational limits in the use of ERP and to enhance their wishes, in terms of improving functionality. It is very useful for users to see the information material of the list of ERPs chosen in the selection.

Functional requirements

The functional requirements of your company are one of the most important elements in including or not an ERP in the software selection. Beyond the specificities of the company, it is better to start from the sector. Does the potential supplier offer me an ERP designed and built for my sector? Is the ERP designed for the size of your company?
Does the company work in Italy or does it need internationalization? Does the proposed ERP cover the legislative requirements relating to the administrative area?
In terms of customization, does the supplier have experience in my sector?
These and other questions are key to understanding if my company’s functional requirements will be covered.

Reliability of the software

The reliability of the ERP, the market share and other elements that determine its reliability are essential in the selection process. In fact, thinking of an “extreme” scenario, the adoption of an ERP created by a software house more exposed to the market, could lead, in the worst case scenario, to its closure and this would mean the end of assistance and implementations

Integration with existing systems

What is the degree of integration with existing systems of the future ERP?
For example, the company works with calculation tools such as Excel so it would like this type of file to be integrated with the ERP. Is it natively or will a customization be required?

ROI and budget

For an ERP project you clearly need to have a budget available.
The most expensive ERP may not necessarily be the most useful solution for your company (the opposite is also true).
However, reflections arise from the budget theme that define a context:

  • average life of the ERP, which in Italy is around 10-15 years
  • How much is the old ERP causing the company to lose in terms of competitiveness?
  • ROI, or the return on investment: can we estimate it?


Future technology and scalability

Technology is another factor to be taken into consideration, for the simple fact that an obsolete technology could affect the life cycle of the ERP. And this is useful for ensuring security at the platform level, minimizing intervention times and assistance / maintenance costs by offering greater autonomy on the user and IT side which translates into lower operational management costs, for example on opening tickets.

Evaluate and select your options

In the different ERP and supplier options, the analysis is very often managed through a file where you have the list of features / requirements. Of each ERP you should be able to evaluate their respective strengths and weaknesses, against multiple objectives, as mentioned above. A score is assigned to each item. Does the best for a specific need turn out to be the best for the others?

Reliability of the supplier

As mentioned above for the software, the evaluation of the reliability of the supplier side is important for the success of the project. So how to evaluate the reliability of a supplier? There are several elements including:

  • Company experience: how long have you been on the market in the implementation and management of ERP projects?
  • Company size: how many employees does the company have? A company that is too small, for example of 10 people, could suffer in the event of a peak in turnover.
  • Dedicated team: do you have defined interlocutors?
  • Is there a training and assistance plan in the project?
  • Customer Reviews: Which Customers Are Talking About Them?
  • In the analysis, does the supplier provide personalized advice on your company’s processes?


Each ERP implementation project needs levels of customization to adapt to the real and specific needs of the company. The question to ask is what is the degree of customization of the supplier’s ERP? What is the design flexibility?

We are a latest generation System Integrator: we provide software, consultancy and services to accelerate the digital evolution of companies. Do you want to know how we can create value for yours?

Giuliano Bonollo
Latest posts by Giuliano Bonollo (see all)