Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of manufacturers choose the right job shop software so they can manage small-batch orders and estimate time and materials.

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E2 Shop System

E2 by Shoptech Corporation is a manufacturing solution that offers scheduling, purchasing, shipping, customer management and accounting. It’s designed specifically for job shops, contract and a variety of make-to-order manufacture... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 51 recommendations

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JobBOSS

JobBOSS Shop Management Solutions, an ECi Software Solutions company, is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution built for small and midsize manufacturers in North America. It allows key office and production staff to manag... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 47 recommendations

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Prodsmart

Prodsmart is a cloud-based real-time production tracking and management solution designed for businesses in the manufacturing and fabrication industries. Features include shop floor real-time data collection, production analysis, ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 36 recommendations

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Visual EstiTrack

Henning Software has helped small to midsize manufacturers and job shops for 30 years. Visual EstiTrack ERP has complete material requirements planning, product lifecycle, supply chain, customer relationship, human resource and ma... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

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QT9 ERP

QT9 ERP is a highly-scalable manufacturing platform for connecting and automating business data from multiple systems into one scalable and intuitive solution. QT9 ERP integrates inventory management, accounting management, sales ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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DELMIAworks

DELMIAworks (formerly IQMS) 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, and elec... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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REALTRAC

Realtrac is an on-premise job management solution designed for job shop manufacturers and modular machine shops. It helps small and midsize manufacturers to schedule workflows, manage shop operations, track inventories, manage pur... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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Infor VISUAL

Infor VISUAL is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System with end-to-end functionality built for manufacturing organizations looking for a complete solution that supports the entire operational lifecycle, from planning to sour... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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MRPEasy

MRPeasy is a manufacturing software for small manufacturers. The software is a suite comprising production planning, CRM, procurement, supply chain management, and inventory control modules. The application features a drag-and-dro... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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Statii

Statii software is a cloud-based system for small manufacturing companies. The solution is designed to facilitate communication between team members more effectively and manage activities involved in any manufacturing process. The... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Fulcrum

Fulcrum is a cloud-based platform serving small/mid-sized manufacturers and job shops looking for a software platform that truly understands them and their unique, complicated processes. Humans weren’t meant to transcribe data fro... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

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Rootstock Cloud ERP

Rootstock Software is a worldwide provider of cloud ERP on the Salesforce Cloud Platform. When combined with Salesforce CRM, Rootstock Cloud ERP offers manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain organizations a single plat... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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ShopKeeper Job Control

ShopKeeper Job Control is the flagship of the application suite that makes up the ShopKeeper ERP shop management solution for small- to mid-sized job shops, process shops and contract manufacturers. This solution has been refined ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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shopVOX

shopVOX is a cloud-based platform for small to large businesses, which helps automate and streamline all processes related to manufacturing of custom products. The centralized platform comes with job boards, which let users create... Read more

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ProShop

ProShop is a machine shop and manufacturing process management solution designed for small and midsize manufacturers. It offers enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution system (MES) and quality management system... Read more

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1factory Manufacturing Quality

1factory is a quality management solution suitable for manufacturing companies of all sizes. Cloud-based and on-premise deployments are available. The solution offers quality control plans, first article inspections, incoming insp... Read more

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TRICORN:Production

Tricorn: Production is an on-premise production control and job processing solution designed to help small to large businesses manage and streamline all manufacturing processes, from generating initial estimates to final invoicing... Read more

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Total ETO

Total ETO is an ERP solution exclusively for small to medium engineer to order (ETO/custom design) manufacturers that covers everything from sales to shipping. Total ETO features a nested dynamic BOM by project\job that can b... Read more

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Paperless Parts

Paperless Parts is a cloud-based ITAR compliant quoting and collaboration solution for machine shops in the aerospace, defense, industrials, and medical devices industries. Paperless Parts Quoting and Collaboration offers a c... Read more

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Clarity Software

Clarity Software is an on-premise suite of management information system (MIS) applications, which allow businesses of all sizes in print and packaging industry to manage schedules, quotes, production and more. Key features includ... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 20, 2021

 

Job shop and machine shop specialties are limited-scale manufacturing, including prototyping and single unit production or “one offs.” Margins can be very thin, so successful firms balance their time spent on manufacturing with time on maintaining inventory and fostering customer relationships.

Job shop software is essentially an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with a limited scope. In fact, it's is often part of ERP if the shop is a small part of a larger organization. Broadly speaking, the system is used to automate many of the tracking and scheduling duties within the company.

A prime requirement for job and machine shops is manufacturing resource planning (MRP), the system that schedules the manufacturing of each customer’s order. Inventory and order entry are important and must be integrated with the MRP system, particularly with the pipeline management system.

Screenshot of E2 Shop System scheduling whiteboard

Screenshot of E2 Shop System scheduling whiteboard

Contract manufacturing is a relationship-based businesses. As such, owners should use customer relationship management (CRM) to track sales history and to market opportunities targeted at specific customers. Strictly speaking, payroll is standard. However, one of the resources tracked by MRP is worker time spent per work order. This allows owners and managers to measure the profitability of each employee.

General ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable are standard. Most job shop manufacturing systems are installed on premises. The computerization and networking of tools and the associated costs means that most of the infrastructure to support job shop scheduling software is already in place, negating the hardware cost arguments for cloud-based installations.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Job and Machine Shop Software?
Common Features of Job and Machine Shop Software
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Job and Machine Shop Software?

Job and machine shop software provide necessary, real-time data that is related to manufacturing and other operations, such as job scheduling, finance, estimations, employees, sales, materials, engineering, job accounting and job management. They also provide job data related to competitors, vendors, customers, marketplace and the overall supply chain.

A job and machine shop solution helps manufacturing units reduce waste, enhance productivity and improve the bottom line. The solution helps users meet the specific requirements of job shops that cannot always be achieved using traditional manufacturing solutions.

Common Features of Job and Machine Shop Software

In addition to core business functions, it's important to evaluate the following functions to meet the company's unique requirements:

Pipeline management Balances jobs against the available resources, checks inventory and prepares orders for materials. Advanced systems also factor in cost and price, prioritizing the most profitable production.
Customer sales monitoring Compares each customer’s historic sales to recent sales to gauge trends. Also, enables supports customer sales incentives.
Job estimating Evaluates required time, materials, machines and personnel to perform a job. Calculates costs and profit. Advance systems can substitute resources and optimize for time or profit.
Make/buy reporting Applies estimating to subassemblies to evaluate whether it’s more profitable to make or buy components. Advanced systems will factor in time to build or buy as well as cost.
Process planning reporting Helps plan and document each step in fabrication for accurate estimating and job tracking. The process planning reports track the development of the process plan for each contract.
Material supplier planning Assists in the make/buy process by helping material suppliers assign a bill of materials to each subassembly. Allows make/buy decisions to be based on current market prices for material and labor for each estimate.
Fabrication scheduling Supports dynamic scheduling fabrication process, changing as different jobs finish late or early and as materials arrive in inventory. Also allows schedules to be reprioritized.
Customer delivery scheduling Helps streamline flows of shipping/delivery/pick up for efficient fabrication process. Includes transit time and adjustable slack time.
Slipped/late jobs reporting Tracks and reports job status through the entire process from estimation to delivery. Advanced systems will have a dashboard that signals management as soon as a job slips past a defined threshold.
Work load planning Helps managers adjust the work load to leverage the most expensive equipment to depreciate or minimize usage of the most expensive to run. Also helps manage employee work loads, taking into account workers’ preferences.
Scrap reporting Provides efficient tracking to minimize the amount of scrap by planning production to make the most efficient use of material. Also helps tracks recyclable scrap through to resale to the scrap yard.
Engineering change management Tracks engineering changes and their impact on delivery date and profit on the project. It should also be easy to enter the changes into the system so that the changes can flow to other projects and the overall schedule.

Market Trends to Understand

In the past several years, many major trends have influenced the manner in which job shops operate in the manufacturing sector, and will continue to impact in the future. New technologies, such as advanced robotics, data analytics and mobile devices will enable small job shops to compete with larger enterprises that have state-of-the-art infrastructure.

To keep up with the latest developments, job shops must be aware of the key trends:

Fully digital supply chain. The digitization of operations in a supply chain is about to become obligatory, leaving no scope for paper-based work. In this situation, paperwork is unacceptable in even the smallest of job shops. An all-digital supply chain increases productivity and efficiency and minimizes the chance of errors.

Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. The back office requires a finer and better grasp of the big picture for uninterrupted operation. Many low-cost analytics platforms in the market quickly gather data in the warehouse, on the shop floor and through customer communications. This information is then assessed through predictive analytics to shape various supply orders for the upcoming months. It also helps predict which machine is likely to fail soon and which customers to pursue in the immediate term.

Augmented reality. A few years ago, the concept of augmented reality services, such as Google Glass, was in hype but it vanished quickly due to the high price of these services and devices. However, the concept has great potential. In the coming years, the cost of wearable hardware linked to such concepts is expected to reach a more realistic level. It will create plenty of opportunities in inventory management and enable quicker response to overall processes and operations on the job shop floor.