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Compare Small Business Manufacturing Software

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Victoria Adesoba, Market Research Associate
Last updated: October 18, 2014

Top 10 Most Reviewed Small Business Manufacturing Software Systems

 
E2 Shop System E2 Shop System is a manufacturing software platform tailor-made for smaller businesses and can assist with many aspects of inventory and project management.
        128 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

104

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
Fishbowl Inventory Fishbowl Inventory is a popular choice for small businesses using Quickbooks for accounting, as its user-friendly platform helps to automate many of the inventory management challenges small manufacturers face.
        48 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

96

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
Exact JobBOSS Exact is a valuable ERP solution for small-to-mid-size manufacturers and includes MES and MRP functionality, along with business intelligence capabilities.
        35 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

78

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
Sage ERP X3 The Sage ERP X3 is a popular choice for small business manufacturers. Sage's X3 offers comprehensive management of inventory, shop operations, accounting and more. This ERP solution can be either Web-based or deployed on-premise.
        10 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

13

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
Global Shop Solutions One-System ERP While many ERP systems may have more functionality than is needed for smaller manufacturing operations, One-System ERP is a good option for small manufacturers that want that functionality of an ERP system.
        9 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

71

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
 

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WorkWise Role-Based ERP WorkWise’s Role-Based ERP is an on-premise solution that gives employees the screens and tools necessary for their individual job function(s). The RB-ERP can fit many ERP needs, including those of small business manufacturers.
        7 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

3

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
Abas ERP - Manufacturing Abas ERP provides small business manufacturers a robust toolset to manage resources such as purchasing, sales planning, and service processing support. The ERP supports 2,700+ manufacturers/distributors with a 93% retention rate.
         7 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

1

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
ICIM ERP and Accelerated ERP Designed for discrete small-business manufacturers, ICIM ERP is a scalable ERP solution that offers a suite of fully integrated functions. ICIM ERP can be fully customized, and features resource planning and capacity analysis.
        5 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

1

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
ProcessPro Premier ProcessPro Premier is an ERP system designed to handle small to mid-sized manufacturing processes. The Premier Manufacturing ERP supports formula bills of material/bills of lading, batch sheet/ticket processing and custom orders.
        5 Reviews
 Price
 Demo

2

Recommendations
in the last 30 days
EIC Software Food and beverage manufacturers should take a look at EIC Software. It's been designed to provide end-to-end functionality that supports every business process, from the initial purchase order to processing to final sale.
        5 Reviews
 
 


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Buyer's Guide

There are hundreds of manufacturing software solutions on the market, many of which address every step of operations from product inception to customer delivery. For smaller businesses, however, many solutions are more complex than their needs require. To better help these buyers, we've narrowed down the manufacturing software market to focus on those solutions ideal for small businesses only (manufacturers with $10 million or less in annual revenue).

Common Reasons Small Manufacturers Shop for New Software

Many small manufacturing firms contact us for advice as they search for new software solutions. Some are replacing manual methods and have never implemented a software solution before, while others are looking to upgrade to a new system with greater functionality. The most common reasons prospective buyers cite when looking for manufacturing software for small businesses is that they’re:

  • Transitioning away from manual methods (e.g. pen and paper);
  • Outgrowing an older system;
  • Seeking additional functionality; or
  • Needing a system that’s more user-friendly.

While the reasons abound, the systems and features that address these issues are also plentiful. We do find however, that most small businesses require one or more of these basic manufacturing software capabilities:

Feature Function Benefit
Material requirements planning (MRP) MRP systems are used for tracking and organizing production materials and monitoring the flow of labor and equipment. These systems can also be used to help reduce shipping and receiving errors by processing advanced shipping notifications from suppliers and reporting changes in cycle counts for inventory management. Automates the initial phases of the production process.
Manufacturing execution system (MES) An MES is used to provide manufacturing managers with real-time reporting from the shop floor in order to assist with decision-making about the production process. Additional MES functions include production and labor tracking, equipment utilization and scrap reporting. Provides a real-time window into shop floor operations.
Manufacturing accounting Manufacturing accounting systems include standard accounting features such as inventory, payroll and accounts receivable, but also come with more manufacturing-focused capabilities such as sales and purchase orders, work-in-progress reports and job costing modules. Manages manufacturing-specific financial transactions and operations.
Supply chain management (SCM) While the functionality of an SCM system within a manufacturing software system will likely be less robust than a standalone SCM system, this feature assists with basic supply chain management, particularly inventory control. Automates basic supply chain control and alerts users to delays and backlogs.
Customer relationship management (CRM) Within a manufacturing software solution for smaller businesses, this function will assist with basic customer service and support, such as troubleshooting and the storage of customer contact information. Manages all of a company’s customer data and interactions.

Key Considerations for Small Businesses

What level of functionality do you require?
The first consideration for a small business evaluating manufacturing software is how much functionality they require in a system. This will differ considerably from business to business, but starting with a clear assessment of your needs will go a long way in determining which software is the best fit.

Some small manufacturing companies may be automating only some operations for the first time, and thus may not require a full software suite that includes material requirements planning. For example, a smaller firm may only need bill of materials (BOM) automation, which can be done with certain manufacturing accounting software products, such as Peachtree and Quickbooks.

Does your business require an ERP system?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can be used by small manufacturing companies, but are often a better fit for mid-to-large-sized manufacturing operations due to their complexity and advanced functionality (and often times, cost).

However, there are a number of ERP systems on the market tailor-made for small businesses. These systems offer more functionality than basic manufacturing software, but are easier to implement and operate than the enterprise-level ERP systems on the market.

Which manufacturing mode is specific to your business?
Different manufacturing software products are made to support different modes of manufacturing, e.g. repetitive, made to order, mixed mode or another specific process. When evaluating manufacturing software for smaller firms, it’s important to select a software product that supports your specific manufacturing type.

Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling to adapt your business processes to software that isn’t adequately designed to handle them.



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