Manufacturing has gotten more advanced and more complex in recent years. Instead of having a simple computer system to manage inventory and the state of products in each manufacturing stage by scanning barcodes or counting widgets, companies now need an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for manufacturing that integrates with all other business systems throughout the organization.
The sales team needs to know in seconds how many units they have to get off the shelves, and finance departments rely on manufacturing ERP systems to predict revenue and expenses in the upcoming months. Business processes are more interconnected than ever, and the systems and technology used internally need to support that interconnectedness. The right manufacturing ERP software will propel your organization to the next level by streamlining the O2C process, enabling predictive insights, using AI to make production decisions, and collaborating with other business systems for optimal outcomes.
We’ve compiled a list of the best manufacturing ERP systems on the market. Depending on the size of your organization, your production needs, and your existing business platforms, you might find that one is better for you than the others.
What is Manufacturing ERP Software?
At a basic level, manufacturing ERP software closely monitors all the components of the manufacturing process; it knows how many raw materials an organization has on hand, the number of WIP products, finished inventory levels, and customer demand. Then, with revolutionary technology that is available today, manufacturing ERP systems share that information with the rest of the business, conduct financial analysis, supply chain and logistics management, and more.
If your ERP for manufacturing can communicate with customer relationship management tools, human resources software, project management solutions, and automation enablers, you’ll open up a new world of business. Getting rid of siloed business functions and systems that don’t work well together will allow every single person in your organization to be more efficient and effective in their roles.
Historically, ERP manufacturing software utilized on-premise computer systems, limiting the ability to integrate with other tools and technologies. Now that everything is cloud-based, ERP software for manufacturing can be accessed from anywhere, has a broader range of data capabilities, and is more secure than it used to be.
Benefits of Manufacturing ERP Software
Choosing the right ERP for manufacturing can have major downstream impacts; manufacturing is a function that builds the foundation for the rest of your business, after all. If you make goods of any kind, your manufacturing ERP systems are vital to achieving favorable business outcomes. Their benefits go beyond making it easier to manage inventory, in fact, there are too many benefits to name. Here are the top 5 benefits your organization will feel with the right ERP for manufacturing in place.
- ERP systems for manufacturing revolutionize warehouse management and operations.
- The right manufacturing ERP will enhance customer experiences by ensuring delivery timelines, keeping product quality in check, and more.
- Automation is a major productivity boost in every industry. With reliable ERPs, you’re enabling automation and saving time. Every second counts in manufacturing!
- Managing inventory and supplies properly is critical to managing cash flow. If you can buy in bulk to get discounts, prevent waste, and meet demand, your cash flow will be set up for success.
- Your sales team won’t know what to sell if they don’t know what you have. With inventory management and production monitoring, you can strike a balance between production and sales.
Top 10 Manufacturing ERP Software of 2024
The right ERP manufacturing systems can make it simplify invoice management, improve supply chains, monitor purchase orders, highlight bulk orders or upcoming blanket POs, streamline vendor management, and even alert your leadership team when things are going wrong. Investing in the right manufacturing ERP is just as important as investing in the right accounting ERP. Here are some of our favorites this year:
With different product solutions for organizations of all sizes, Acumatica’s ERP for manufacturing can grow with your business. Because Acumatica designs and offers ERPs for multiple business functions, its manufacturing ERP software will allow manufacturing to seamlessly collaborate with other business functions. You’ll love the industry-specific editions and features the company builds into its solutions; healthcare devices and vehicle production have different manufacturing needs that Acumatica addresses.
Key Features: Built-in AI and ML capabilities, analytical dashboards, customization features, and automated reporting
Pros: Acumatica’s manufacturing ERP software was designed with all types of businesses in mind. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; it’s personalized, customized, and tailored to the needs of your industry.
Cons: Customers feel that the mobile app associated with Acumatica’s ERP systems for manufacturing is lacking, limiting their ability to manage production on the go.
With a focus on smart manufacturing, SYSPRO manufacturing ERP software is great for production companies looking to take their capabilities up a notch. This manufacturing ERP makes order management simple, closely tracks production stages, features capacity planning tools, and can be used with a multitude of manufacturing methods. Assemble-to-order, batch manufacturing, discrete manufacturing, make-to-stock, and process manufacturing can all rely on this ERP for manufacturing.
Key Features: Traceability tools for missing parts or finished goods, different functionality for manufacturers and distributors, additional ERP solutions for all business functions, and smart manufacturing features
Pros: Notorious for being easy to use, SYSPRO manufacturing ERP software can be implemented sooner rather than later. Its ability to scale and comprehensive approach ensure its longevity as your business evolves.
Cons: The SYSPRO ERP suite doesn’t offer any HR functionality, making it hard to integrate with a vital function of any business.
The unmatched brand power of Oracle NetSuite is a result of this manufacturing ERP software being on the market for decades. An industry leader, Oracle NetSuite ERP for manufacturing is best for large companies. It uses the Internet of Things, offers real-time business intelligence updates, and brings machine learning into the production ecosystem.
Key Features: AP automation integration, risk management features to protect your business, and next-generation technology that is simple to use and secure
Pros: Oracle NetSuite has a lot of financial power behind it; its manufacturing ERP systems are constantly adapting to be newer, better, and more efficient.
Cons: Built for large enterprise organizations, this ERP for manufacturing is not accessible for small or mid-market companies. It is also very costly, which can be prohibitive.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP
Geared toward small businesses, Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP is an ERP manufacturing software that harnesses the power of Azure for its cloud support and uses the IoT to enhance manufacturing operations. Helping organizations trim the fat in their production process and making the lives of manufacturing professionals easier, this ERP software for manufacturing is highly rated in the SMB space.
Key Features: Integrated sensors to detect production delays, embedded AI capabilities, and integration with Microsoft 365 products like Excel, and modules for other functional insights like finance, sales, marketing, and more
Pros: The one-stop shop makes it easy to run your business, assess business insights, and build your own apps based on your needs.
Cons: The interface has a sharp learning curve, with some users suggesting that it isn’t as intuitive as they expected, even after working with other Microsoft 365 products throughout their careers.
Epicor Manufacturing ERP
Epicor isn’t new to the manufacturing ERP systems scene; it’s been around since before cloud-based ERPs existed. Don’t worry, it has made many updates since then, including offering a cloud-based ERP manufacturing software, including the Industrial Internet of Things in its ecosystem, and setting up a push-notification system for leadership teams to alert them if things go off track at any point in the warehouse process.
Key Features: Industrial Internet of Things, real-time alerts for potential issues, and eCommerce integration capabilities
Pros: Epicor serves medium-sized businesses around the world, giving it a vast knowledge base of global supply chains, best practice manufacturing methods, and the vantage point to adapt its solution to propel the industry forward.
Cons: You’ll need a tech-savvy team to keep this ERP manufacturing software in check. If your organization doesn’t have internal IT resources, it may be hard to support this solution.
Used by many of the largest companies around the world, SAP is one of the ERP systems for manufacturing that can handle the most complex and intricate business structures. With respective finance and accounting functionality, SAP isn’t just an ERP software for manufacturing – it goes much further than that.
Key Features: Available as a cloud-based, on-prem solution, or a hybrid of the two; the ERP is available in many different languages; IoT, AI, ML, and Blockchain are all integrated into the solution.
Pros: Because of its reach across industries, many of your employees may be familiar in some capacity with SAP, making it easier to adopt in the long run.
Cons: The platform comes with a high price tag because of its functionality and upkeep requirements. Its size can also be a limiting factor in adapting to customer needs or creating tailored solutions for its users.
For the food and beverage industry, or other niche industries that require very specific settings for safe manufacturing, Aptean is revolutionary. It’s one of the best ERP systems for manufacturing that tracks products from their inception all the way to delivery, ensuring compliance with food safety regulations and FDA requirements.
Key Features: IP research support and protections, delivery route optimization, and compliance with product safety standards in niche industries
Pros: With AI, Aptean suggests relevant adjustments to your manufacturing processes in order to support continuous improvement. It’s also one of the only solutions that is narrowed in and focused on the industries it serves.
Cons: Because of its business model, Aptean cannot be used in every industry. Be sure to check if your business is compatible with this specific ERP manufacturing software before bringing this into your organization.
MRPeasy started out as a material requirements planning (MRP) system to be used in the early stages of the manufacturing process. It has since evolved into the class of manufacturing ERP systems by leaning on the features of classic ERPs like Xero or QuickBooks. It’s one of the best solutions for manufacturing management, floor control, inventory monitoring, and related activities, but its broadened capabilities make it applicable in more settings than ever before.
Key Features: Material planning, inventory management, sales order management, work order monitoring, and shop floor control
Pros: It’s one of the lowest-cost systems in the space and its manufacturing capabilities are some of the best available.
Cons: You’ll need to rely on multiple software integrations if you want MRPeasy to support business functions outside of manufacturing.
Acquired by Infor sometimes seen as Infor CloudSuite Industrial, SyteLine ERP software for manufacturing supports multiple manufacturing processes at once. If your production line requires a mix of methods, this is a fantastic solution. It’s used most often for medium and large businesses, as smaller businesses rarely have an overly complex production process.
Key Features: Advanced planning and scheduling features such as demand planning, production planning, and procurement planning; supply chain and inventory support; automation-enabled shop floor manufacturing processes
Pros: SyteLine gets manufacturing right. It can adapt to changing manufacturing needs very easily and doesn’t limit your organization because of software that cannot understand your needs.
Cons: It’s more manufacturing-focused and offers less support to the functions of finance, sales, and marketing.
Genius ERP is an ERP software for manufacturing that was designed for custom manufacturers. It includes accounting and business process functionality, as well as specialized integrations with CAD and SOLIDWORKS. It’s clear that this solution was designed for manufacturing-centric organizations.
Key Features: CAD and SOLIDWORKS integrations,
Pros: It’s one of the best ERP systems for manufacturing for manufacturers that have high mix, low volume output. Its module configuration makes it easy to find a pricing package that works for your business.
Cons: Because of its specialized use case, Genius can be tough to master. Some customers also note that the support when implementing Genius is limited.
How to Choose the Best ERP for Manufacturing
When looking at ERP systems for manufacturing, there are a lot of factors to consider. You have to do what’s best for your business, so it’s important that you take time to comb through your options carefully. Be sure to consider the following variables:
If the pricing model for any of the above manufacturing ERP systems doesn’t fit your budget, it’s a no-go! You have to work within your means, manage your costs, and find a solution that you can afford. There are a lot of options out there with a range of prices, dig around until you find one that fits.
When things go wrong, are you going to be able to reach out to the support team for help? Manufacturing downtime due to a system error can cripple your business; if other customers haven’t been able to get help in their times of need, that’s a red flag.
What do you actually need the ERP systems for manufacturing to do? Is it just inventory management and supply chain optimization? Or do you need a more holistic solution that encompasses finance, sales, and other functions? If the solution doesn’t have the features you need, it’s not a solution!
Finally, is the manufacturing ERP the right size to accommodate your organization? If a large enterprise tries to use a solution meant for small businesses, there will be a never-ending list of challenges. Get one that fits!
Implement Manufacturing ERP Systems Today
If you’re a manufacturing business that doesn’t have ERP manufacturing software, you’re leaving money and opportunity on the table. Today, these solutions that enable finance automation, accounting best practices, and inventory management are so advanced that you’re crippling your business without their capabilities. At Nanonets, we’ve focused on addressing finance and accounting needs first, but like many of these manufacturing ERP systems, we use advanced integrations to support businesses end-to-end. Today is the day to implement new software solutions throughout your business.