ERP Procurement Options

Read more articles by: Gemma Townley, Read more articles by: Julia Rudin,

Any public sector body seeking to migrate to a new ERP system will need to determine the best procurement option for the project.

ERP projects have certain nuances that set them apart from other complex ICT projects, and that means some procurement procedures are more suitable.  The appropriate procurement route for your project will depend on various factors such as timescales, budget, preference on the waterfall or agile implementation model, and preferred ERP solution.

  • Open procedure: This is a 1-stage process. There is a minimum response time of 35 days, meaning the process can be run quickly. Requirements must be specified at the outset, and there is no ability to negotiate on these throughout the procurement. ERP systems however often have complex integration/configuration issues that cannot be fully explored in an open procedure. The open procedure is unlikely to be suitable in most circumstances.
  • Restricted procedure: This is a 2-stage process. You can down select the number of bidders, which is useful if there is considerable supplier interest and limited time or resource. There is no ability to negotiate or dialogue with bidders, therefore you must be able to adequately specify the requirements. This is a procedure worth considering.
  • Competitive Procedure with Negotiation or Competitive Dialogue: These are both multi-stage processes which can involve down-selecting bidders at different stages. These procedures allow negotiation or dialogue with bidders and allow technical specifications/solutions to be developed with more precision. They can be time-consuming and costly unless carefully structured. Both of these procedures would be suitable for an ERP procurement.
  • Call off from an existing framework: A number of current frameworks can be used for ERP such as the CCS Data and Application Solutions (RM3821) framework. You should consider whether the ERP systems/solutions available under the relevant framework will meet your requirements and whether the framework terms are appropriate, such as limits on the maximum duration of the call off-contract.

Our specialist team of solicitors have extensive experience of advising public sector organisations on complex ERP procurements. If your current ERP System is coming up to contract expiry or renewal and you would like to speak to one of our experts about which procurement procedure is right for you, please get in touch with Gemma Townley or Julia Rudin to find out how we can help you.

This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published. If you would like further advice and assistance in relation to any of the issues raised in this [article][blog], please contact us today by telephone or email

Posted in Enterprise Resource Planning, Gemma Townley, Julia Rudin.