“Oh, you wanted the windows?”

It’s distressing to hear how often intelligent, educated professionals fall for one of the oldest sales tricks in the world…to underspecify a project to deliberately undercut a competitive quote. This approach to sales takes advantage of clients who may be undertaking a project of this kind for the first time and may not be aware of the technical and resource requirements needed to finish a project to their satisfaction. Unfortunately this is the approach taken by the majority of ERP software vendors.


You cannot completely blame ERP software vendors for taking this approach. Some might say that competitive tenders promote this sought of behaviour but the reality is that it is disingenuous, creates unrealistic expectations and can undermine a project from the outset.

How to avoid the pitfalls of under-specified ERP solutions

Like most situations in life, knowledge is power. Although your organisation may have a policy of receiving competitive quotes on any project over a certain value, you need to find ERP software vendors with a track record in building effective and long-term relationships with their clients. The best vendors will take the time to help you identify potential cost and time overruns of a new ERP implementation project.

Do you fully understand the potential of an ERP solution?

When writing a specification document for a new ERP software solution you will have a list of very clear requirements and goals you want to achieve but the best ERP solutions can help you achieve much more. Take the time to interview potential ERP software vendors to see what other benefits they can provide to your organisation, outside of what you know you need. Taking the time to go through this process can give you a real competitive edge.

Don’t be star struck

It’s easy to be seduced by the marketing and profile of the biggest brands in the ERP world but don’t allow yourself to suffer from ‘buyers remorse’. Some of the best ERP software solutions are now provided by brands you’ve never even heard off. The nature of modern software development has lead to an explosion in highly specialised ERP software solutions that have left the biggest ERP brands in their wake. Don’t take the ‘one size fits all’ approach. Seek out solutions and vendors with experience in meeting challenges similar to your own.

Think long term

ERP software solutions are expensive, time consuming and essential to the success of any modern business. Most organisations only look at changing their ERP solutions every 10 years, so you will have to live with the choices you make today for the long term. Also, what you need from your ERP software solution will change. How you run your organisation will definitely change and you need an ERP software solution, as well as an implementation and support partner who can anticipate your needs. Your new ERP software partner also needs to have an intimate understanding of the core architecture of an ERP software solution and the ear of the developers.