The ERP Minefield, Part 1: 13 Tips to Lower Selection Risk

The ERP landscape is littered with horror stories of bad implementations costing companies many millions of dollars for absolutely no benefit (in some cases). Many of these failed implementations have ended up in court, or at least have involved an acrimonious split between customer and software vendor/partner. Studies have shown that selecting the wrong product in the first place is a main driver of the ERP implementation failure rate.

With the seriousness of the impact of a poor selection in mind, I have devised 13 key tips to a successful ERP selection.

Before I cover the keys to success in detail, let me quickly examine the historical landscape as it relates to off-the-shelf software selection:


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About David Ogilvie

David Ogilvie is a Brisbane, Australia-based consultant whose mission is "Helping Executives Build Profitable Companies & Maximise ERP Investments. He aims to work with people motivated by the possibility of transforming their business operations," achieved through the use of Lean Manufacturing and other modern Supply Chain Management techniques; and through the productive use of technology such as ERP software systems and real time data collection systems. He may be reached at

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Absolutely beautifull

Beautifully written! :)

I love the part about analyzing the incentives for the partner to delivery a successful implementation. Make sure that a succes for the vendor is a succes for you. Unfortunately, some vendors are happy as long as the contract is not violated and it will stand up in court.

Also, the RFX process is so devastating. The process is incentivising the vendors to oversell and under price. Not good at all for the project ahead.
Instead, you should rely more heavily on client references. Now a days everybody knows someone - so call them! It's much stronger evidence than the sales pitch, and it favors the vendors who actually truly care about getting happy clients.

Great article!

/Jesper Refning, Managing Partner