Questions to Ask an ERP Software Consultant

Businesspeople asking ERP selection questions

Do you know what questions to ask an ERP software consultant? We have fielded hundreds of calls from people who are beginning their venture to change their software — and it is important to ask the most important questions on the introductory call.

The overwhelming majority of our clients are referrals from CFOs, private equity companies, former clients and prospects and even software vendors, so the conversation dives right into the heart of the reason why they are looking for help — so we have a good idea of what questions people are asking.

Here are the five most important questions to ask an ERP selection consultant:

  1. How long does a software selection and implementation take?
  2. How much will software and an implementation cost?
  3. How much will it cost to have you help with the selection?
  4. Do you offer help during the implementation?
  5. And most important of all: Are you objective?

This last question, “Are you objective?”, comes with an imperative warning: You must find out if the ERP consultant sells software or take commissions for any of the software or services the client purchases.

Some consultants pretend to be objective because they sell more than one brand of software, such as Microsoft, NetSuite, and Intacct. But beware: it could mean you will be buying one of those three brands of software regardless of whether it’s best for your company — because they won’t evaluate any other brands outside of what they sell. They say they are objective. But in truth, they are NOT.

In contrast, on your first call with ERP Advisors Group, our sales team will listen to what problems you are trying to solve and ensure it is the type of problem we can help you with. If it is, we will give you a high-level idea of cost for the work you need. If it isn’t, we will provide you some ideas of other providers who can help, offering introductions if you wish.

Our experienced team will then line up the correct technical person to meet with you for a second call, to better understand the depth and technical nature of your problem. From there, we can provide a statement of work. Our approach is collaborative — we want to become the resource you turn to for all of your enterprise software questions. Therefore, you should know that there are no high-pressure sales tactics or repeated phone calls from our staff after we meet.

Because company sizes and the footprint of software varies so wildly, putting estimates here would be irresponsible. You will get the answers to these questions on your first call with our sales team, and they will be tailored to the size of project you are considering.

After an introductory call, you will find our process to be highly attentive, with fast turnaround times and a professional demeanor. When you work with ERP Advisors Group, you will receive “white-glove” service, where we do everything for you, including providing logistics and calendaring for meetings.

These are the types of items we can provide to you during our sales process:

  • High-level cost information for our services, including software and implementation services
  • Timing of selection and implementation
  • Meetings with our top technical resources
  • Introductions to trusted technical resources
  • In-person presentations to your executive team in your office, on our dime
  • A detailed statement of work, including timing, pricing, tasks, and deliverables
  • Sample work products
  • Introductions to our references for your final vetting step
  • Complimentary working session

Here are some BONUS questions we urge you to consider if you are holding a competitive selection for an ERP consulting firm. Our industry has some firms who over-represent their capabilities, their size, their experience and unfortunately their results, and they do not have very good reputations in the market. The questions here will help provide you some objective basis to compare different firms.

We would be happy to answer any of these questions ourselves, as we are exactly who we say we are with respect to our size and ownership. We insist on an extremely high ethic level from management, as well as every individual in the firm.

  • Do you accept any form of compensation from software vendors?
  • Do you accept any form of compensation from implementation partners?
  • How many years has your most senior person been doing software selections?
  • Is the owner still involved in the firm?
  • Will the owner be available to advise on the project?
  • What percentage of your revenue is from expert witness/litigation work?
  • What percentage of the consulting resources are W2, versus independent contractors?
  • Are there any staff on your website who do not actively work for you?
  • How many of your independent contractors work solely for you?
  • What three clients would you likely use as a reference if we select your firm? 
  • What are the last 10 software products your clients selected and went under contract for?
  • Would you be willing to give references to software vendors who are happy with the selections they have been part of?
  • Give me an idea of paperwork I or my team would need to fill out for your process.
  • Who on your team has a formal accounting background?
  • Have your owners ever filed for bankruptcy?

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