We've helped thousands of businesses choose the right ERP software so they can track information across departments and centralize data access. How does it work?

ERP Software


 
COINS logo
 
COINS develops, implements and supports enterprise resource planning software for the construction industry. The company has been in business for nearly 40 years, working with construction companies across the U.S. The COINS construction... Read More
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COINS develops, implements and supports enterprise resource planning software for the construction industry. The company has been in business for nearly 40 years, working with construction companies across the U.S. The COINS construction... Read More
 
abas ERP logo
 
Abas ERP is a solution geared towards small to midsize manufacturers and distributors. Abas has three main application offerings on the market today: Abas ERP, Abas Distribution and Abas eB, a line of e-business solutions that can... Read More
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Abas ERP is a solution geared towards small to midsize manufacturers and distributors. Abas has three main application offerings on the market today: Abas ERP, Abas Distribution and Abas eB, a line of e-business solutions that can... Read More
 
Epicor logo
 
Epicor offers two primary ERP products: Epicor Manufacturing Express and Epicor 9. The former is designed for small to mid-sized companies while the latter targets larger companies. Each system includes accounting, HR and more.
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Epicor offers two primary ERP products: Epicor Manufacturing Express and Epicor 9. The former is designed for small to mid-sized companies while the latter targets larger companies. Each system includes accounting, HR and more.
 
IFS Applications logo
 
Designed for medium-sized and large manufacturers that fulfill custom orders, IFS Applications offers features for shop floor control, capacity planning and more. The software serves chemical, aerospace and other segments.
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Designed for medium-sized and large manufacturers that fulfill custom orders, IFS Applications offers features for shop floor control, capacity planning and more. The software serves chemical, aerospace and other segments.
 
BatchMaster Process Manufacturing logo
 
Food, Chemical, Nutraceutical, and Life Sciences manufacturers add industry specific manufacturing modules to QuickBooks, Sage 100 & 300, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and SAP Business One or upgrade to our complete ERP solution.
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Food, Chemical, Nutraceutical, and Life Sciences manufacturers add industry specific manufacturing modules to QuickBooks, Sage 100 & 300, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and SAP Business One or upgrade to our complete ERP solution.

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +27 87 550 3493


 
Sage ERP logo
 
In 2012, Sage rebranded their diverse set of ERP products as four main products: Sage ERP 100, 300, 500 and X3. We tend to recommend Sage ERP 100 to small to mid-sized firms while we recommend X3 to firms with global operations.
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In 2012, Sage rebranded their diverse set of ERP products as four main products: Sage ERP 100, 300, 500 and X3. We tend to recommend Sage ERP 100 to small to mid-sized firms while we recommend X3 to firms with global operations.
 
Epicor Distribution logo
 
The Epicor Distribution Suite is a scalable, flexible ERP solution that offers a complete set of applications to effectively manage every facet of the business. Epicor has a global footprint, with thousands of clients worldwide.
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The Epicor Distribution Suite is a scalable, flexible ERP solution that offers a complete set of applications to effectively manage every facet of the business. Epicor has a global footprint, with thousands of clients worldwide.
 
Geneva Business Management Systems (GBMS) logo
 
Realizing that each organization needs different components from their software, Geneva preforms a System Requirements Definition Study to help customize. The solution is also accessible whereever there is an Internet connection.
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Realizing that each organization needs different components from their software, Geneva preforms a System Requirements Definition Study to help customize. The solution is also accessible whereever there is an Internet connection.
 
Ventus logo
 
Ventus, by Vertical Market Software, incorporates over three generations of construction industry knowledge into the software. The software serves a wide range of companies working in the construction market - HVAC and mechanical contractors,... Read More
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Ventus, by Vertical Market Software, incorporates over three generations of construction industry knowledge into the software. The software serves a wide range of companies working in the construction market - HVAC and mechanical contractors,... Read More
 
ECi M1 logo
 
ECi’s M1 is a solution that we recommend to manufacturers of made-to-order or engineered-to-order goods. Can also handle mixed-mode production. Users can purchase MRP as a stand-alone solution or within an integrated suite.
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ECi’s M1 is a solution that we recommend to manufacturers of made-to-order or engineered-to-order goods. Can also handle mixed-mode production. Users can purchase MRP as a stand-alone solution or within an integrated suite.

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +27 87 550 3493


 
Entree logo
 
NECS has been developing software for over 25 years. NECS Entree offers industry-customized features, including special pricing for individual customers, route automation, and robust reporting.
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NECS has been developing software for over 25 years. NECS Entree offers industry-customized features, including special pricing for individual customers, route automation, and robust reporting.
 
Blue Link ERP logo
 
Blue Link is well suited for small to medium sized distributors in North America with company revenues of $1 million to $50 million, 6-100 employees, and a need for 6-50 concurrent users. The system is built on Windows as an integrated... Read More
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Blue Link is well suited for small to medium sized distributors in North America with company revenues of $1 million to $50 million, 6-100 employees, and a need for 6-50 concurrent users. The system is built on Windows as an integrated... Read More
 
Microsoft Dynamics AX logo
 
A very flexible system, Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP is usually implemented on-site, but can also be web-hosted if needed. This broadly functioning software is usually used by business making around $50 million in annual sales.
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A very flexible system, Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP is usually implemented on-site, but can also be web-hosted if needed. This broadly functioning software is usually used by business making around $50 million in annual sales.
 
ERP-ONE logo
 
With deployment options of on-site or web-hosted, ERP-ONE by Distribution One can integrate with services like FedEx Ship Manager or Yahoo! Store Integration for maximum efficiency. This system is sold as a single, total solution.
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With deployment options of on-site or web-hosted, ERP-ONE by Distribution One can integrate with services like FedEx Ship Manager or Yahoo! Store Integration for maximum efficiency. This system is sold as a single, total solution.
 
Exact MAX Manufacturing logo
 
For manufacturers in the SMB space seeking a complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that offers the functionality they need at a price they can afford, Exact MAX Manufacturing is a great option to consider.
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For manufacturers in the SMB space seeking a complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that offers the functionality they need at a price they can afford, Exact MAX Manufacturing is a great option to consider.

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +27 87 550 3493


 
Oracle JD Edwards logo
 
Oracle JD Edwards is designed to support medium-sized to large businesses, which makes the system well-suited for corporate spin-offs and subsidiary organizations. The system supports manufacturers, distributors and others.
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Oracle JD Edwards is designed to support medium-sized to large businesses, which makes the system well-suited for corporate spin-offs and subsidiary organizations. The system supports manufacturers, distributors and others.
 
SAP Business ByDesign logo
 
SAP Business ByDesign is a software as a service (SaaS) enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Acknowledging the increasing adoption of SaaS solutions, especially in the middle market, SAP made the bold decision to develop an entirely... Read More
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SAP Business ByDesign is a software as a service (SaaS) enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Acknowledging the increasing adoption of SaaS solutions, especially in the middle market, SAP made the bold decision to develop an entirely... Read More
 
Intacct logo
 
Intacct is a Cloud-based accounting solution that we tend to recommend to firms in professional services, banking, real estate and related industries. In addition to best-of-breed accounting, Intacct offers BI and CRM.
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Intacct is a Cloud-based accounting solution that we tend to recommend to firms in professional services, banking, real estate and related industries. In addition to best-of-breed accounting, Intacct offers BI and CRM.
 
IBS Enterprise logo
 
IBS Enterprise is available as an on-premise or a hosted solution. The on-premise system is designed to deployed on the IBM iSeries while the web-enabled version can be accessed from a Web browser such as Internet Explorer.
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IBS Enterprise is available as an on-premise or a hosted solution. The on-premise system is designed to deployed on the IBM iSeries while the web-enabled version can be accessed from a Web browser such as Internet Explorer.
 
ProcessPro Premier logo
 
Ideal for manufacturers that need powerful quality control monitoring, ProcessPro® Premier is a complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that effectively manages inventory, manufacturing, and financials.
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Ideal for manufacturers that need powerful quality control monitoring, ProcessPro® Premier is a complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that effectively manages inventory, manufacturing, and financials.
 

FrontRunners for Enterprise Resource Planning, April 2017

Powered by Gartner Methodology

What Is the FrontRunners Quadrant?

A Graphic of the Top-Performing ERP Products

FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.

To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 600 enterprise resource planning (ERP) products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.

Scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have).

Is One Quadrant Better Than the Others?

Nope, Products in Any Quadrant May Fit Your Needs

Every product in this quadrant offers a balance of capability (how much the products can do) and value (whether they’re worth their cost) that makes them stand out in the race for small business software success.

FrontRunners has four sub-quadrants:

  • Upper Right = Leaders: Leaders are all-around strong products. They offer a wide range of functionality to a wide range of customers. These products are considered highly valuable by customers.
  •  
  • Upper Left = Masters: Masters may focus more heavily on certain key features or market segments than Leaders do. If you need a more specialized set of functionality without bells and whistles, then a product in the Masters quadrant might be right for you.
  •  
  • Lower Right = Pacesetters: Pacesetters may offer a strong set of features, but are not rated as highly on value. For example, a Pacesetter might offer greater functionality, but cost more.
  •  
  • Lower Left = Contenders: Contenders may focus on a more specialized set of capabilities that are priced at a higher point. This makes them ideal for companies willing to pay more for specific features that meet their unique needs.

Depending on the specific needs of a software buyer, a product in any of these sub-quadrants could be a good fit.

Why? To even be considered for this FrontRunners, a product had to meet a minimum user rating score of 3.0 for both capability and value. This means that all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top-performing products in their market. Their positions in the quadrant are plotted relative to how their peers performed.

For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners quadrant might be best. For example, a number of the vendors in the “masters” and “leaders” quadrants are ERP “megavendors”—i.e., vendors that sell a full complement of ERP modules in a variety of bundles tailored to different industry verticals. Their licensing schemes are frequently tailored to the needs of enterprise buyers rather than small businesses, and they may offer far more functionality than small businesses need. For such buyers, vendors in the “contenders” and “pacesetters” quadrants may be better fits.

You can download the full FrontRunners for ERP report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the Frontrunners quadrant.

How Are FrontRunners Products Selected?

Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews and Other Data

You can find the full FrontRunners methodology here, but the gist is that products are scored in two areas, Capability and Value.

To be considered at all, products must have at least 10 reviews and achieve minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, accounting and human resources.

From there, user reviews and other product performance details, such as the product's customer base and the features it offers, dictate the Capability and Value scores. Capability is plotted on the x-axis, and Value is plotted on the y-axis.

Got It. But What if I Have More Questions?

Check Out Our Additional Resources!

For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:

Have questions about how to choose the right product for you? You’re in luck! Every day, our team of advisors provides (free) customized shortlists of products to hundreds of small businesses.

  • Simply take this short questionnaire to help us match you with products that meet your specific needs.
  •  
  • Or, talk to one of our experienced software advisors about your needs—it’s quick, free, and there’s no-obligation—by calling (844) 687-6771.

One Last Thing—How Do I Reference FrontRunners?

Just Follow Our External Usage Guidelines

Check out the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:

FrontRunners scores and graphics are derived from individual end-user reviews based on their own experiences, vendor-supplied information and publicly available product information; they do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

Runners Up

Providers listed as Runners Up were considered for inclusion in the quadrant, but were ultimately not included for one or more reasons: they did not have enough reviews; they did not meet the reviews score minimum; they did not meet the ultimate Value and Capability minimum scores; or they did not meet our functionality requirements for the market.

360 Enterprise Suite
3PL Warehouse Manager
3PLink
585 ERP
abas ERP
Ability 585 ERP
Academia ERP
Accelerated/ICIM ERP
AccellosOne Enterprise 3PL
AccellosOne WMS
AccountEdge
Accounting by Bill.com
Accounting CS
AccountMate
accountsIQ
AcctVantage ERP
Acculytic
Accurants
AcquireTM
Actimize Platform
actiPLANS
Activ Absence
AcTouch.com
Acumatica Cloud ERP
Acural
Adaptive Planning
Adicio
Adjutant
Advanced HR
Advanced Supply Chain
AdvisorFi
AffinityLive Retainers
Agiliron
Agni Link
AIM Vision
AIMS
AkkenCloud
Akti
Aladtec
AllProWebTools
Amphis Customer
AMT
Anaplan
Anybill
Aplicor 3C
Apollo ERP
Appian DirectRoute
Apprise ERP
APPS 10i
Apptivo Financials
Aqilla
Aquilon ERP
AQURA
Arena PLM
ArgoERP
Aria
Arithon
ArrowBooks
AscendTMS Logistics Software
Asset Manager Verian
Atlas Planning Suite
Autodesk PLM 360
Avancert.com
Avangate
Axolon ERP
BadgeBox
BatchMaster ERP
bcFood
Billy
BizAutomation
BizMerlin
BizSlate
Bizz Wizz
bkper
Blue Link ERP
BlueBoard
BluLogix
Bright Suite
BST10
BusinessMan CRM/ERP
busybusy
bxp software
Cadence WMS
CAMS Enterprise by Unit4
CANIAS ERP
CAPA Manager
Captio
Catapult QMS
CEIPAL Workforce
Central ERP
CentralBOS
Centreviews Business Intelligence Suite
Certspring
Cetec ERP
ChainReaction
CheckMark Payroll
Chronotek
Chronus
Ciiva
Cin7
CISAT HR Automation Solution
Claritum
Clear Biz
Clearview by Valicom
Clockspot
ClockVIEW
Cloud Logistics
CMI Fixed Assets
Cogentys
Cognos
COINS
Collaborative Supply Portal
Comdata AP Automation
CommunicatorBase
CompAccelerator
CompACT
Composity
Concord
Connexys Recruiting Software
Consected
Continu
Contract Logix
contractERP
ContractRoom
ConvergePoint Policy Management
CoreIMS
CoStar Real Estate Manager
Coupa Unified Spend Suite
Courseplay
Covercy
Criterion HCM
Crunch
Crush
CSB-System
CubeAnywhere
CuViBox
Cybake
Cyber Recruiter
Cyber Train
Da Vinci Supply Chain Business Suite
Datacor Chempax
Datamolino
Daxko Accounting
Dayforce HCM
DBA Manufacturing
DBI Staff-Scheduler
De Facto ERP
Debitoor
Decision Builder
DeepTalent
Degreed
DeltaBid
Deltek First
Deltek Maconomy
Deskera ERP
DevonWay CI
DevSKiller
DispatchTrack
DistributionPlus
DocMinder
Document Creator
DocuPhase
Dokeos
Dolibarr ERP & CRM
Dryrun
DSX
Dynacom Enterprise
DynaFile
e-conomic
e-days
E2 Shop System
E2open
EAMbrace
EaseCentral
Easy Accountax
EasyERP
EasyGrouper
EasyHRMS
EazeHR
eBuyerAssist
ECGridOS
ECI Empower
ECi M1
eclipse SmartAP Automation
eCoordinator
Ecount ERP
Edible
ediEnterprise
EFACS E/8
effitrac-erp
EIC Software
eKEPLER ERP
Elorus
eLynxx Print Procurement
EmpCenter
Employment Hero
EmployWise
emPower by InterSoft Systems
Empower Suite
EmpowerHR/Pay
Encore by Cluen
Enlist
Entelo
Enterprise 21 ERP
Enterprise WMS
Ento
Entree
Entryless
EPAY HCM
Epicor ERP
Epicor Manufacturing Express Edition
ePMS ERP
Epsilen
EQMS by Qualsys
eRecruiter
eRequester
eReviewz
ERP MARK 7
ERP-ONE
ERP123
ERPAG
ERPinCloud
Erpisto
ERPLY Books
ERPWEB
erpWizard
EVO~ERP
Exact Globe
Exact MAX
Exact Online
Exacta
EXEControl ERP Software
Expand ERP
Expandable ERP
Expeni
ExpertusONE
Farvision ERP
FINSYNC
Firefish
Fiskl
Fitrix ERP
Flexi Software
FlexiBake
FlexRFP eSourcing
Float
Focal Review
Form.com (Suite)
FR8nex
Front Rush
Fulfil.IO
Gatekeeper
Geenio
Gem Accounts
Genius Manufacturing
GoAssign
GoCo
GroMAX - Contract Farming
GroSum
HAL Warehouse Management System
Halo
Harrington Quality Management System (HQMS)
Henning Visual EstiTrack ERP
Hibob
High Line Personality
HighGround
HighJump WMS
HighLine
Hively
Holded
Hoops
Humanity
Hydra
i-Sight
i2B Connect
IBM Cognos TM1
IBM OpenPro
iCast ERP Foundry Software
iFap ERP 6
IFS Applications
IFS Manufacturing
iManage by Corporate Business Solutions
In-Style ERP
InFocus ERP
Informasoft
InHiro
InstantGMP MES
INSYSPAY
Integrum
Intelex EHS
IntelligenceBank GRC
IntelliTrack WMS
InterviewStream Enterprise
Intuitive ERP
INTUO Engage
INTUO Perform
iPlanner.NET
IQS
IRIS Accountancy Suite
IRMS Warehouse Management
isoTracker QMS
iTracker 3PL WMS
JCAD CORE
JDA Software
JOBSCOPE
JumpSeat
JustFoodERP
Justworks
Keepek
Keka
Kenandy Cloud ERP
kintone
Kudos
LA WMS
LaborVIEW
Lacoda
Latitude WMS
Lattice
LCT Planner
Lead Commerce
Learndot
LeaseQuery
Lecturio
Lenoir Anywhere Warehouse Management System
Lightning Bolt
LillyWorks
LogFire Cloud WMS
LogistaaS
Loopline Systems
Luceo
LuminX
Macola
Made2Manage ERP
Magaya WMS
Management Feedback System
Manager by manager.io
ManEx
Market Dojo
MarketRate
Masterplan
MAUS Performance Review
Maxwell Health
MemberCheck
MentorcliQ
MFG/PRO
Minterapp
MISys Manufacturing
move2clouds
Movinhand
MRPEasy
Multiview Enterprise .NET n10
MX ERP
MYFiO ERP
NDS Enterprise Solutions
NEOGOV Insight
Neurored E-Business & SCM
NextBuy
Nidhi Company Software
Nocturne
NorthStar WMS
NOVAtime
O2B
OASIS by IntelliTek
Oasis by Merge Solutions
OCREX DocuRec
Odoo
Officevibe
Ogone
OmegaCube ERP
onclouderp
OnContact CRM 7
One System ERP Solutions
ONE UP
OneMint
OneStep Accounting
OneStream XF
Online Orientation
Openbravo ERP
Oracle E-Business Suite
Oracle ERP Cloud
Orderhive
ORDERS Plus
Outright
PackManager
Pandle
Pantonium
Paragon ERP
PBS Manufacturing
PENTA ERP
Pentana Disclose
PEX
PharmaNET
PHC FX
Pingboard
Planvisage SCM
Plooto
Plum
Plus & Minus
PolyPM
POOL4TOOL
Precision Manufacturing
Prescreen
PRIAM ERP/CRM
PRIMS by Focus Works
Priority Software
ProcessPro Premier
ProcureWare by eBid Systems
Produce Pro Software
ProFicient
ProfileXT
ProfitFab ERP
ProjectionHub
Propago
Prophix
PropulsionMRP
ProSel
ProShop
Prospect
proVision WMS
Purchase Control
Puridiom
QAD ERP Enterprise Applications
Qarrot
Quantum by CIMx
Quinyx
Quotiply
Qvinci
Rapid Response Manufacturing
RationalPlan
Real Time Freight TMS
RealSoft ERP
REALTRAC
Reckon One
Recsite
Redii Recognition Software
RentalMan ERP
Rerun
Resource Manager DB
Resource Navigator
ResuWe
RetailOps
RevX Revenue Management Platform
Rhino Accounting
RitExpense
RIVS
Roboeyelabs
Rootstock ERP
Ross - ERP
S2K Enterprise
Sage ERP
Sage X3
Sakai
SAP Business ByDesign
SAP Manufacturing
SAP S/4HANA
SapphireOne
Savant Warehouse Management
SB-RECRUITING
SBS Financials
SCExpert
SCMProFit
Scout RFP
SCP 4.0
SDS Portal
SDS4 Distribution Software
SecurePayPlus
SeeControl
Sendouts
Serenic Navigator
Series4000
Shipedge
ShipHawk
ShippersEdge TMS
Shipwire
Shopfloor-Online
shopVOX
ShopVue
SignalHire
Simility
SIMMS Inventory Management
Simplicant
simPRO Enterprise
Skilljar
Skilo
Skubana
SkuBrain
SkuVault
Skybill
Skyenterprise
sleekr
Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite
SMARTer Manager
Smarty
SMB Suite
Snapfulfil
Softgarden
SoftTime Online
sourceit
Spark
SpendManagerPro
Sphere WMS
Spoke
staffRostering P.R.A.G.A.
Standard Accounts
Standard ERP
Starta
Statii
Summit Dpath
Suntico
Supply Chain Guru
Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Platform
Supply Chain Synchronization Portal
Synapse WMS
SYSPRO
T.FAT ERP
Talika PMS
Tally.ERP 9
Telogis Route
The Plex Manufacturing Cloud
TMW Suite
ToolTrack
Total Contract Manager
TPSynergy
TrackVia
TradeGecko
Tradepoint Enterprise
Tradogram
Transcount
Transport Pro
Traverse
TrueERP
Tryton
TS FleetWatch
Turbine
Tygris ERP
UAS
UltraShipTMS
Unanet
UNIT4 Coda Financials
Unleashed
Vanguard Demand Planning
Vanguard Forecast Server
Velo
VersAccounts
VERSE
VertenSys
Viamente - Supply Chain Management
viaPeople Performance Evaluation
VibeCatch
VIENNA Advantage ERP & CRM
ViewPoint Logistics
Vin eRetail
VISIBILITY.net
Vistex
Vistrata Budgeting
Visual Planning
Voyager Talent Management
VROOM!
Vroozi Procurement Platform
WaerLinx
webexpenses
Website Toolbox
Weekdone
Weekly10
WFX Cloud ERP
WHMCS
WIN -
WinBill
Winddle
WinWeb Cloud ERP
Wireless Warehouse In A Box
Wodify
Wonderlic Online
Workday Financial Management
Workpop
WorkTango
Workteam Time Off Tracker
WorkWise ERP
XCD HR
XERP
Xledger
Xpansa Cloud
Yanomo
Yendo
Zed Axis
Zed Timesheet
Zervant
ZUUS Workforce

Buyer's Guide

by Daniel Harris,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: May 19, 2017


The enterprise resource planning (ERP) software market is large and complex. There are hundreds of vendors offering best-of-breed (i.e., stand alone) ERP applications or integrated ERP software suites. Additionally, many ERP software companies offer vertical market solutions to meet the unique requirements of specific industries, such as manufacturing, distribution, retail and others. We wrote this buyer’s guide to help organizations better understand how to select the best ERP system that suits their business needs.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is ERP Software?
Common Features of ERP Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Market Trends to Understand
Recent Events You Should Know About

What Is ERP Software?

An enterprise resource planning system helps organizations track information across all departments and business functions, from accounting to human resources to sales and beyond. Common ERP functionality includes:

  • Product and purchase planning
  • Manufacturing and delivery planning
  • Inventory management
  • Shipping and payment
  • Supply chain management
  • Accounting
  • Marketing and sales
  • Customer relationship management

The term "ERP" took root in the U.S. around 1990 as a growing number of organizations required integration outside of—but not exclusive of—their manufacturing applications. They needed to share data from their MRP system with say, their financial accounting, customer relationship, supply chain or other applications. Enterprise planning software was introduced to describe a broader system that integrated each of these applications. The top ERP software packages will cover the following application categories. 

Common Features of ERP Software

ERP Accounting Accounting systems help organizations manage their financial transactions. At its core, it will have a general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll. Vendors often develop additional features and functionality to meet unique business and industry needs (e.g., Sage Nonprofit with fund accounting). Example vendors include Sage accounting software and Microsoft Dynamics.
Business intelligence Business intelligence, as a term, gained widespread adoption in the late '90’s. However, the technology has existed in some shape or form since the '60’s. It is used to analyze and report business data to help companies make smarter business decisions. Core functions include analytics, data mining, reporting and more. An example vendor is SAP.
Customer relationship management A CRM application is used to manage interactions with prospects, customers, clients and/or partners. It tracks activity across all departments: marketing, sales and service. Core applications closely align with these departments. They include sales force automation, marketing automation and service and support. CRM aims to increase customers, revenue and customer satisfaction. An example vendor is Oracle.
Human resources Modern HR systems help organizations manage traditional HR activities such as personnel tracking and benefits administration, as well as new strategic HR initiatives like talent management, employee evaluation and learning management. Example vendors include Epicor and Lawson Software.
Inventory management An inventory management program helps companies track up-to-date information about their product supply. Its aim is to maintain optimum stock levels so that companies avoid depreciation of inventory and overspending, and ultimately maximize profits. There are different types of inventory programs to meet the unique requirements of different industries and companies. For example, a food distributor will have different inventory management needs than say, an apparel retailer. Sample products include MAS 90 and 200 Software.
Manufacturing We wouldn’t have enterprise resource software if it wasn’t for manufacturing resource planning software. Today, it’s at the core of many well-known ERP systems. Other manufacturing applications and/or modules include manufacturing execution systems (MES), bill of materials (BOM), product life cycle management and more. Example vendors include NetSuite, Infor and Sage.
Supply chain management The supply chain management (SCM) application tracks goods as they move from manufacturing facilities to distribution centers to retail stores. Common applications include: supply chain planning to adjust inventory as demand changes; supplier management to monitor performance of suppliers; warehouse management to track placement of goods within a warehouse, and others.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before evaluating options and performing an ERP software comparison, you’ll need to determine what type of buyer you are. Over 90 percent of buyers fall into one of these three groups:

Enterprise resource planning systems buyer. These buyers require integration of data across all departments. They want to have everything in one system and avoid the technical challenges of integrating disparate applications. These buyers favor complete ERP solutions like SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Infor, Epicor, Oracle and others.

Best-of-breed buyers. These buyers require a single component like a standalone CRM system or a HR system. They often need greater functionality and more features than what is offered in an integrated suite. Because of the functional depth these buyers require, it's important that they spend time evaluating reviews for specialized systems instead of integrated suites. 

Small business buyers. A year ago analysts predicted that the average company would have 18 employees before adopting an ERP system. Five years ago the average number was 29. Statistics aside, more and more small businesses want to leverage ERP technology for better business performance. In the past, high upfront costs and technical challenges kept many small businesses out of the market. But with a growing number of cloud options, small business buyers have a new opportunity to implement enterprise-level technology. Of course there are still on-premise or client/server options still available for small businesses.

Market Trends to Understand

There are several trends playing out in the market. ERP software vendors are consolidating, adoption of software as a service (SaaS) is growing and more. Here we’ll highlight a few you should know about.

Vendor consolidation. The consolidation of ERP products isn’t necessarily a new trend. Mergers and acquisitions have always been a part of this market's history. However, the rate at which it’s taking place and the implications it has for buyers are worth mentioning. Large vendors continue to acquire niche vendors to round out their product lines, acquire excellent technology or to expand into new geographic markets. Buyers need to consider this when evaluating systems. In a worst-case scenario, their provider gets acquired, the product gets sunsetted and support and updates are no longer available. Avoid this situation by considering a vendor’s financial and strategic viability.

Adoption of software as a service. SaaS or Web-based ERP is an appealing alternative to traditional on-premise systems. The initial investment is lower, the implementation can be quicker, the user interface is familiar (it runs in a Web browser) and companies don’t need full-time IT staff to maintain servers and hardware. Most ERP vendors now offer—or have plans to offer—some kind of Web-based option.

Mobile app development. Vendors have responded to rapid growth in smartphone adoption by developing mobile interfaces for their ERP software systems. For example, Oracle already has a mobile client, so do SAP and Epicor. 

Social media integration. Although very much in its infancy, many ERP companies are developing social media tools to keep abreast of the bigger trend playing out. Internal tools are being developed to foster greater collaboration among employees, while integration betwen ERP programs and outside networks such as Facebook and Twitter is also taking place.

Recent Events You Should Know About

ACCEO launches cloud-based ERP solution. ACCEO Solutions has launched a cloud-based ERP offering that is built on the Acumatica platform and targets the Canadian ERP market. The solution is the fruit of ACCEO’s OEM partnership with Acumatica.

Acumatica and Malaysia’s Censof sign deal to bring cloud ERP to Southeast Asia.Acumatica signed a long-term agreement with Malaysian financial management software vendor Censof Holdings Berhad (Censof) in September to offer ERP solutions in commercial and public sectors across Southeast Asia. The alliance gives Acumatica a competitive edge via quick access to the market. The companies hope to leverage cloud computing infrastructure, which is gaining traction in the region despite the current low adoption rates.

Anagram unveils cloud-based ERP system for UK small businesses. Anagram Systems launched a cloud-based version of Encore, its ERP software for small businesses. The service was developed keeping in mind the needs and limited budgets of businesses having 1-150 employees. It provides small businesses affordable access to advanced and secure hosting facilities as well as the full range of ERP capabilities.

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Free Download:
Ten Steps Guide To Selecting ERP Software

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How to Assess ERP Software Vendors' Viability (ERP Market)

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