We've helped thousands of manufacturers choose the right MRP software so they can determine material costs, inventory levels and production forecasts. How does it work?

MRP Systems


Sort by:
 
Sort by:
 
Fishbowl Manufacturing logo
 
Manufacturers can use Fishbowl to monitor raw material quantities, plan future procurement and determine what to make versus what to buy. The MRP application is part of an integrated suite including accounting, CRM and more.
Rating:            (293)
Rating:
        (293)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
88
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Manufacturers can use Fishbowl to monitor raw material quantities, plan future procurement and determine what to make versus what to buy. The MRP application is part of an integrated suite including accounting, CRM and more.
 
NetSuite logo
 
Launched in 2010, NetSuite Manufacturing Edition allows small to mid-sized firms to run their material requirements planning calculations in the Cloud. We often recommend this system to discrete manufacturers involved in assembly.
Rating:            (4)
Rating:
        (4)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
87
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Launched in 2010, NetSuite Manufacturing Edition allows small to mid-sized firms to run their material requirements planning calculations in the Cloud. We often recommend this system to discrete manufacturers involved in assembly.
 
Infor VISUAL ERP logo
 
Infor VISUAL ERP is a cost-effective manufacturing resource planning (MRP) solution for many verticals, such as manufacturers of Consumer Products and Plastics. This system streamlines operational & financial planning, and more.
Rating:            (14)
Rating:
        (14)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
78
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Infor VISUAL ERP is a cost-effective manufacturing resource planning (MRP) solution for many verticals, such as manufacturers of Consumer Products and Plastics. This system streamlines operational & financial planning, and more.
 
Global Shop Solutions logo
 
One-System ERP Solutions allows manufacturers in multiple industries to plan production, control inventory and manage any part of the process. The feature set is robust, but also customizable to meet your specifications.
Rating:            (45)
Rating:
        (45)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
55
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
One-System ERP Solutions allows manufacturers in multiple industries to plan production, control inventory and manage any part of the process. The feature set is robust, but also customizable to meet your specifications.
 
JobBOSS logo
 
Exact JobBOSS integrates directly with QuickBooks accounting, making it a good solution for small to mid-sized contract manufacturers. The software helps automate job quoting, machine scheduling and workflow management.
Rating:            (107)
Rating:
        (107)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
47
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Exact JobBOSS integrates directly with QuickBooks accounting, making it a good solution for small to mid-sized contract manufacturers. The software helps automate job quoting, machine scheduling and workflow management.

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +64 4 488 7035


 
ECi M1 logo
 
ECi M1 is designed for small to medium-sized discrete manufacturers in segments such as aerospace, electronics and more. The MRP application supports multi-level bills of materials, stock level monitoring and capacity planning.
Rating:            (20)
Rating:
         (20)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
45
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
ECi M1 is designed for small to medium-sized discrete manufacturers in segments such as aerospace, electronics and more. The MRP application supports multi-level bills of materials, stock level monitoring and capacity planning.
 
E2 Shop System logo
 
Built for job shop, contract and other make-to-order manufacturers, E2 Shop System is best-suited for the small to mid-sized firm. The MRP application includes finite capacity planning, RFQ and inventory control functionality.
Rating:            (318)
Rating:
        (318)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
37
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Built for job shop, contract and other make-to-order manufacturers, E2 Shop System is best-suited for the small to mid-sized firm. The MRP application includes finite capacity planning, RFQ and inventory control functionality.
 
IQMS MES Software logo
 
IQMS’ flagship product, EnterpriseIQ ERP, is developed specifically for SMB and large discrete, and batch process manufacturers in the aerospace, medical device, automotive, food and beverage, consumer products, plastics, packaging... Read More
Rating:            (125)
Rating:
        (125)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
26
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
IQMS’ flagship product, EnterpriseIQ ERP, is developed specifically for SMB and large discrete, and batch process manufacturers in the aerospace, medical device, automotive, food and beverage, consumer products, plastics, packaging... Read More
 
KeyedIn Manufacturing logo
 
KeyedIn Manufacturing is a web-based solution designed for small and mid-sized manufacturers that helps manage everything from the shop floor to production, scheduling, estimating, and more. KeyedIn was developed specifically for custom... Read More
Rating: No reviews
Rating:
No reviews
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
24
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
KeyedIn Manufacturing is a web-based solution designed for small and mid-sized manufacturers that helps manage everything from the shop floor to production, scheduling, estimating, and more. KeyedIn was developed specifically for custom... Read More
 
SYSPRO logo
 
SYSPRO’s ERP system supports every mode of manufacturing for small to medium-sized firms. The material requirements planning (MRP) module can be integrated with CAD and CAM designs and supports infinite capacity planning.
Rating:            (6)
Rating:
        (6)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
23
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
SYSPRO’s ERP system supports every mode of manufacturing for small to medium-sized firms. The material requirements planning (MRP) module can be integrated with CAD and CAM designs and supports infinite capacity planning.

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +64 4 488 7035


 
ProfitKey ERP logo
 
With over 30 years of experience in the ERP and Manufacturing markets, ProfitKey International has developed Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) to provide a fully integrated ERP and MES solution for small to mid-size manufacturers.... Read More
Rating:            (6)
Rating:
        (6)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
21
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
With over 30 years of experience in the ERP and Manufacturing markets, ProfitKey International has developed Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) to provide a fully integrated ERP and MES solution for small to mid-size manufacturers.... Read More
 
Epicor Manufacturing logo
 
Epicor is a solution that we recommend to discrete manufacturers looking to improve their execution and planning. A good option for a number of industries, from aerospace and defense to plastics and pharmaceuticals.
Rating:           (30)
Rating:
        (30)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
20
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Epicor is a solution that we recommend to discrete manufacturers looking to improve their execution and planning. A good option for a number of industries, from aerospace and defense to plastics and pharmaceuticals.
 
Henning Visual EstiTrack ERP logo
 
Metal job shops such as fabricators and tool and die shops are supported by Visual EstiTrack. We typically recommend the system manufacturers that need strong inventory control functionality but have only light MRP requirements.
Rating:            (4)
Rating:
        (4)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
19
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Metal job shops such as fabricators and tool and die shops are supported by Visual EstiTrack. We typically recommend the system manufacturers that need strong inventory control functionality but have only light MRP requirements.
 
Infor SyteLine ERP logo
 
With the dependability of the Infor name, SyteLine ERP works to reduce inventory levels and shortages, drive organizational growth, plan and schedule order by order, and deliver critical information quickly to help make better business... Read More
Rating:            (3)
Rating:
         (3)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
16
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
With the dependability of the Infor name, SyteLine ERP works to reduce inventory levels and shortages, drive organizational growth, plan and schedule order by order, and deliver critical information quickly to help make better business... Read More
 
Datacor Chempax logo
 
Chempax by Datacor is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) application designed specifically for chemical process manufacturers and distributors. The solution can be scaled to... Read More
Rating:            (31)
Rating:
        (31)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
14
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Chempax by Datacor is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) application designed specifically for chemical process manufacturers and distributors. The solution can be scaled to... Read More

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +64 4 488 7035


 
SAP Business One logo
 
SAP Business One is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite which primarily serves small to medium-sized businesses with up to one hundred employees and less than $75 million in annual revenue. SAP Business... Read More
Rating:            (37)
Rating:
        (37)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
13
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
SAP Business One is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite which primarily serves small to medium-sized businesses with up to one hundred employees and less than $75 million in annual revenue. SAP Business... Read More
 
Kenandy Cloud ERP logo
 
Kenandy is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution created for companies that design, manufacture, or distribute products. It helps businesses manage core processes including order-to-cash, planning and production, procurement, TPM,... Read More
Rating:            (1)
Rating:
       (1)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
13
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Kenandy is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution created for companies that design, manufacture, or distribute products. It helps businesses manage core processes including order-to-cash, planning and production, procurement, TPM,... Read More
 
Exact Macola logo
 
Buyers of Exact Macola have more than 20 modules to choose from, which firms can purchase individually as functionality needs grow. Functionality included in the MRP software supports finite capacity planning.
Rating:            (11)
Rating:
        (11)
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
13
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Buyers of Exact Macola have more than 20 modules to choose from, which firms can purchase individually as functionality needs grow. Functionality included in the MRP software supports finite capacity planning.
 
Mar-Kov CMS logo
 
Mar-Kov CMS (Chemical Management System) was developed to meet the unique needs of process, batch, and formulation based manufacturers. By automating daily routine processes, companies are able to streamline their operations while... Read More
Rating: No reviews
Rating:
No reviews
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
13
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Mar-Kov CMS (Chemical Management System) was developed to meet the unique needs of process, batch, and formulation based manufacturers. By automating daily routine processes, companies are able to streamline their operations while... Read More
 
Priority logo
 
Priority is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that is suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments, including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery and more. Priority’s... Read More
Rating: No reviews
Rating:
No reviews
Price:
Advisor Recommendations:
11
Platforms:
Deployment:
Business Size:
S
M
L
Priority is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that is suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments, including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery and more. Priority’s... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Daniel Harris,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: April 28, 2017


Manufacturing resource planning software, sometimes called material requirements planning or as MRP II software, is the core technology that sets manufacturing applications apart from other types of business software. This added functionality also adds complexity, both in implementation and in operation. We wrote this buyer’s guide to help buyers navigate the maze of top MRP solutions.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Manufacturing Resource Planning Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Manufacturing Resource Planning Software?

“If you fail to plan, then plan to fail” is equally true in sports and manufacturing. Manufacturing MRP software was the first attempt to bring software tools, such as a materials forecast, to formal manufacturing techniques. These systems answer the four basic questions: What do I make? What do I buy? When do I buy? When do I make? 

MRP is a subset of enterprise resource planning (ERP). It covers the period of time from when a product is conceived, the raw materials are identified and procured, resources are identified, to when production steps are planned. At that point, manufacturing execution systems (MES) take over.

ERP combines the tools of an MRP system and an MES system, and extends both. Whereas MRP and MES focus on planning for individual jobs, ERP is concerned with a manufacturer's entire chain from buying raw materials to delivery of finished goods to the customer, over the course of time. In other words, MRP software focuses on increasing efficiencies for the course of a job and ERP takes a wider and longer view, over all jobs from end to end.

Basic functions include:

  • Inventory control and procurement
  • Production forecasting
  • Materials costing
  • Procurement scheduling
  • Process scheduling applications

Materials costing is usually the core function. It determines what is made versus what is bought. Materials costing works with the inventory system to check quantities on hand and lead times for parts that must be ordered as well as production logs to determine lead times for any sub-assemblies that must be fabricated. 

Manufacturing dashboard in Fishbowl

Manufacturing dashboard in Fishbowl 

MRP suites may also include a module for configure-price-quote (CPQ) functionality, typically used by sales teams to provide quick and accurate custom quotes for built-to-order operations.

Manufacturing resource planning systems are adaptable to many different philosophies but favor the lean manufacturing and just-in-time (JIT) system. It can support all modes including discrete, process, make to stock (MTS), assemble to stock (ATS), assemble to order (ATO), make to order (MTO) and engineer to order (ETO). However, planning and inventory control functions are generally more important to the “to order” modes due to the time constraints that these modes impose.

MRP ERP systems are generally run on premise. Small shops may have only a single-user system or a small network, while larger organizations may have networks with workstations throughout the facility. Manufacturers have been slower to adopt cloud-based materials requirements planning programs but there is an emerging group of vendors offering a cloud program.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

The first step in evaluating programs, is determining what type of buyer you are. Over 90 percent of buyers fall into one of these three groups:

Full-suite buyer. These buyers value the seamless integration of data and processes that comes from having one system for all functions. For example, they would prefer a full-suite system for estimating, work-in-progress management and accounting that can automatically turn an estimate into a budget for project management and then match invoices to project status and allocate job costs. These buyers favor complete suites like Oracle, SAP, Sage ERP or Microsoft Dynamics.

Departmental buyer. Specialists in one function, such as materials costing, may value the feature depth of best-of-breed solutions designed for their function. These buyers may need specific functionality, like the ability to interface with a specific departmental procurement system.

Small manufacturer. Small organizations often have limited budgets and fewer IT resources available. In many cases, they may be deciding between a new system and a new piece of equipment. These businesses need cost-effective small business MRP solutions that are easy to implement and use. Others may be interested in evaluating free MRP software, which is typically offered in an open source model. Some will prefer full-suite systems, while others may just want one application, such as resource planning or production inventory control. 

Benefits and Potential Issues

MRP systems, whether stand-alone or incorporated in an ERP system, offer distinct benefits over less formal production planning systems. These include:

Better planning and resource allocation. One of the greatest strengths of ERP MRP systems is better data and greater insight into the actual costs of inventory, people and equipment, and the actual time costs for each step of the planning and production process. 

Greener operations. Better planning and tracking leads to operations that generate less waste and less scrap, reducing environmental impact for those firms. Additionally, as more documentation is kept electronically, it reduces waste paper and cuts paper costs.

Integration with accounting systems. The basic purpose of an MRP ERP system is to decide what to buy and when. Integration with the general inventory makes it easier to track the inventory costs as well as determining lead times. The accounts receivables system handles ordering and payment.

Material requirements planning as a discipline, and the software in general, does have some limitations which can cause problems if not addressed. Planning is based on what should be possible; it ignores current limitations. The inventory and resource planning are based on the assumption that everything is idle. Care must be taken not to over-allocate resources.

Inventory levels are another area of concern. Inventory items tend to two extremes. Either too much is carried in inventory, tying up valuable capital and credit, or too little is carried in inventory, requiring stock to be acquired and delaying production. These systems are supposed to solve this particular problem, but if the model does not adapt to changes in the inventory supply chain, inventory levels on key items will tend to one of the two extremes.

There are also problems that develop over time. The bills of materials, work orders and schedules are based on the assumptions made when the program is first installed. If assumptions are not updated to reflect changes over time as costs fluctuate and productivity changes, the estimates from the MRP will increasingly diverge from the actual costs.

There is also a scope issue. MRP planning is based around particular jobs. While it can increase the efficiency for those jobs, it is possible that over the course of many jobs, the costs will add up. For example, if three jobs are costed that each use four pounds of salt, the system will miss the discount available if 12 pounds of salt are purchased all at once. Among other things, ERP systems expand the scope to solve this issue.

Market Trends to Understand

While you evaluate programs, make sure you consider these market trends:

Advanced planning techniques. As the cost of computing power and storage decreases, more powerful planning models are available which yield better results.

Harmonization. For many years, the goal for MRP and ERP was a single corporate-wide data store. However, that thinking is now evolving to strategically selected systems for specific purposes, sharing information as required.

Use of mobile devices. Until recently, most system designers assumed that the users would be working from a fixed location. Any information had to be entered, remembered or written down and brought to the computer. The new trend is have to mobile systems in the warehouse or shop floor. Operators enter pertinent information directly into mobile systems without having to go to a permanent workstation.

Vendor consolidation. Large vendors like Oracle and Microsoft are buying niche vendors to round out manufacturing application libraries. With so many vendors and products available, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Intelligent inventory tagging. The use of one-dimensional bar coding for equipment and inventory tagging is well established in systems for manufacturers. Recent systems use radio frequency identification (RFID), which can be read remotely to check inventory levels and to confirm equipment availability. Other systems use two-dimensional bar codes which contain descriptive information in addition to an identifier like a part number.

Functional integration with ERP. While there are still numerous stand-alone systems, generally the functions are part of a larger ERP system that is broader in scope than just a facility.

The Vendor Landscape

The scale of solutions varies greatly; different buyer types need to “right size” and compare the vendors that can meet their needs.

This type of buyer... Should evaluate these systems
Enterprise resource planning suite buyer Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, SAP, Sage
Departmental buyer Microsoft Dynamics, Epicor, SYSPRO, Casco
Small manufacturer E-Z-MRP, ECi, Exact, Fishbowl

Free Download:
Manufacturing Software Feature Checklist

Free Download:
Ten Steps to Selecting the Right Manufacturing Software

 

How it Works

We match organizations with software that meets their needs.

Our service is simple and 100% free to customers like you because software vendors pay us when we connect them with quality leads. You save time and get great advice. Vendors get great referrals. It's a win for everyone!

Call now for advice: +64 4 488 7035
Software Advice Advisors
×