System Integrator Selection & Negotiation: Wholesaler Signs Best-in-Class Agreement

An IT Services System Implementation Case Study

Client Profile

A leading wholesaler of industrial equipment sought lower costs, improved process efficiency, and operational transparency from a new ERP system. The client had limited experience and expertise in evaluating ERP system integrators.  Thus, the client faced several critical challenges, including:

  • Limited resources to commit to the RFP, evaluation, and negotiation processes
  • Limited information and insight into the sales practices and engagement approaches of system integrators
  • Significant risk exposure in terms of future cost increases, blown timelines, and implementation governance challenges


UpperEdge provided full support to the system integrator RFP, evaluation, selection, and negotiation process, providing key guidance and information at every step. Specifically, UpperEdge:

  • Developed a comprehensive and customized strategy and plan for the evaluation and negotiation processes
  • Provided a robust RFP and prescriptive commercial term sheets to articulate the company’s expectations and ensure meaningful responses and proposal submissions
  • Provided precise business and financial recommendations and resource rate analysis based on market and supplier-specific benchmarks
  • Advised senior executives and provided talking points in preparation for key meetings with vendor executives
  • Coached executives on long-term relationship development strategies and approaches
  • Conducted detailed reviews and provided written analysis of all statements of work and
    contractual documentation


Based on the strategies, insights, market data and execution approach provided by UpperEdge, the company signed a Best-in-Class agreement with its implementation partner and established a foundation built to drive project success. Further, the company generated upfront savings of nearly $500,000 – a significant multiple of the company’s investment with UpperEdge. Other tangible benefits built into the unique agreement, included:

  • A balanced risk-reward structure for managing project costs, schedule, and quality, based on clear incentives and penalties
  • Limited downstream cost risk due to flat-lined resource rates for the full project lifecycle
  • An earned services credit structure providing additional cost savings and deeper discounts as the project progresses and the relationship expands