Capacity Planning Software

In the most basic terms, capacity planning systems help companies compare production loads with available capacity within a specific time frame. The process of planning for capacity helps avoid bottlenecks in production, which can impact the entire supply chain. With data about required materials, equipment availability and man hours and costs, the software is able to spread out production needs across available machine capacity in order to meet demand, on time.

Quick links

Learn more in our Buyers Guide

Compare All Capacity Planning Software

Filters

Apply Filters:

X

Your Industry

Your Company Size

Price

Sort by

Recommendations: Sorts listings by the number of recommendations our advisors have made over the past 30 days. Our advisors assess buyers’ needs for free and only recommend products that meet buyers’ needs. Vendors pay Software Advice for these referrals.
Reviews: Sorts listings by the number of user reviews we have published, greatest to least.
Sponsored: Sorts listings by software vendors running active bidding campaigns, from the highest to lowest bid. Vendors who have paid for placement have a ‘Visit Website’ button, whereas unpaid vendors have a ‘Learn More’ button.
Avg Rating: Sorts listings by overall star rating based on user reviews, highest to lowest.
A to Z: Sorts listings by product name from A to Z.
Showing 1 - 20 of 277 products
Showing 1 - 20 of 277 products

Fishbowl

Fishbowl is the #1 manufacturing and warehouse inventory management software! Its powerful inventory control system gives your small or midsize business the exact tools needed to transform your inventory management and scale your ...Read more

4.17 (764 reviews)

74 recommendations

NetSuite

With an integrated system that includes ERP, financials, commerce, inventory management, HR, PSA, supply chain management, CRM and more – NetSuite enables fast-growing businesses across all industries to work more effectively by a...Read more

4.11 (832 reviews)

68 recommendations

Striven

Striven is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for many industries and organizations of all sizes. It offers features for accounting, inventory management, human resources, customer relationship mana...Read more

4.81 (58 reviews)

34 recommendations

JobBOSS²

ECI Shoptech brings together industry-leading solutions E2 SHOP and JobBOSS to create the next evolution in job shop business management: JobBOSS². Designed specifically for job shops and make-to-order manufacturers, JobBOSS² is a...Read more

4.24 (856 reviews)

30 recommendations

Global Shop Solutions

One-System ERP Solution is a full-featured ERP that is a great fit for businesses of all sizes. The software features the proprietary Global Application Builder (GAB) that allows for extensive customization and scalability....Read more

4.17 (67 reviews)

26 recommendations

Prodsmart

Prodsmart is the SMB manufacturer’s gateway to digitization. It’s a complete, modular solution that gets any production environment ready for the future of manufacturing. Prodsmart empowers SMBs with data. By gathering insight o...Read more

4.71 (73 reviews)

25 recommendations

24SevenOffice

24SevenOffice is a cloud-based Accounting and ERP system for small and mid-sized businesses. 24SevenOffice eliminates repetitive processes and greatly reduces the need to manually enter information. The system will also streamline...Read more

4.41 (29 reviews)

20 recommendations

Katana Manufacturing ERP

Katana Manufacturing ERP gives you a live look at all the moving parts of your business — sales, inventory, and beyond. Combining a visual interface and smart real-time master planner, Katana makes managing inventory and manufactu...Read more

4.74 (138 reviews)

19 recommendations

DELMIAworks

EnterpriseIQ by IQMS is a comprehensive ERP solution designed to meet the needs of discrete and repetitive manufacturers. Because it's fully scalable, it can grow with any company. ...Read more

4.06 (286 reviews)

16 recommendations

M1 ERP

ECI M1 is a subscription-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, available on-premise or via the cloud, that automates financials, inventory, production, sales/quoting and production planning. The solution is suitable for...Read more

3.69 (67 reviews)

15 recommendations

Software pricing tips

Read our Capacity Planning Software Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

Intellect

Intellect provides a flexible enterprise Quality Management Software (eQMS) solution and platform designed to meet any FDA and ISO compliance requirements, as well as digital transformation goals. Built on the Intellect Compliance...Read more

4.52 (56 reviews)

14 recommendations

REALTRAC

A great fit for job shop manufacturers, Realtrac is a fully integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that offers complete real-time control of the shop floor. This powerful system is quick to deploy and easy to use....Read more

4.07 (68 reviews)

12 recommendations

Adaptive Compliance Engine (ACE)

ACE Essentials A turn-key fully validated quality management system. Designed for those companies wanting to move into an electronic QMS. Be fully compliant in 2 weeks with FDA, ISO, and other regulatory bodies. ACE Enterprise A...Read more

4.62 (21 reviews)

11 recommendations

Quickbase

Quickbase is a low-code application development platform that enables organizations to unite information, people, and workflows within distribution in a single, cloud-based platform. Unlike traditional software solutions, Quickbas...Read more

4.45 (243 reviews)

10 recommendations

MIE Trak Pro

One word sums up MIE Trak Pro: flexibility. You may be using tired old spreadsheets or an ERP system that can't scale with your manufacturing company. When your organization grows, MIE Trak Pro adapts to your needs, striking a bal...Read more

4.65 (117 reviews)

10 recommendations

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

4.77 (11 reviews)

9 recommendations

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

4.41 (32 reviews)

8 recommendations

Mar-Kov Chemical Management System

Mar-Kov CMS (Chemical Management System) is a cloud-based process manufacturing solution for process, batch, and formulation based manufacturers. The solution can also be installed on-premise to automate daily routine processes of...Read more

5.00 (1 reviews)

8 recommendations

ERPAG

ERPAG is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. It is suitable for small and midsize businesses in various industries, including automobile, retail, education, information technology and more. Primary features ...Read more

4.56 (271 reviews)

6 recommendations

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

4.67 (3 reviews)

6 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: June 30, 2022

A wide variety of businesses must grapple with capacity management. Leaders can't simply drop a massive workload on employees and expect to meet a deadline without considering dozens of factors.

In manufacturing production, labor hours, raw materials, tools and equipment, storage and other resources must be carefully assessed before work even begins. All of these moving parts make up capacity—a critical element for production efficiency.

Software can assist companies in applying the complex algorithms to disparate aspects of production operations to meet demand seamlessly. This buyer's guide is designed to help you learn more about the capabilities of capacity planning systems.

We'll cover:

What Is Capacity Planning and Management Software?
Common Functionality of Capacity Planning and Management Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits of Capacity Planning and Management Software

What Is Capacity Planning and Management Software?

In the most basic terms, capacity planning systems help companies compare production loads with available capacity within a specific time frame. The process of planning for capacity helps avoid bottlenecks in production, which can impact the entire supply chain.

With data about required materials, equipment availability and man hours and costs, the software is able to spread out production needs across available machine capacity in order to meet demand, on time.

Capacity planning in Infor Visual ERP

Capacity planning in Infor Visual ERP

There are some important terms related to capacity planning:

  • Infinite vs. finite capacity planning. These are the foundational concepts of capacity planning—infinite capacity assumes no limits on resources needed to produce enough units to meet demand. However, finite capacity factors in the constraints involved in real-world production situations.

    For example, planners may know that a particular machine on a production line is only available for a maximum of, say, 10 hours during a normal shift. This is one kind of limitation that impacts capacity planning.

    Thus, capacity planning software helps by scheduling around real-time constraints and other conditions that can impact production, instead of simply planning based on a baseline capacity level.
  •   
  • Production load leveling. Demand isn't always constant for manufacturers. In the case of fluctuating demand, it's necessary to maintain a smooth production workflow, which may include shifting capacity to "level" production across a few days instead of packing it all into one, or by expanding capacity by adding extra shifts or utilizing external capacity to meet demand (by using another manufacturing plant, for example).

 

Common Functionality of Capacity Planning and Management Software

These systems only have a few individual components, but each one provides useful insights about how to arrange your available capacity to meet production goals. These features often include:

Calendar production view As orders come in, the system can place work into a schedule, and planners can view and edit schedules by dragging and dropping items on a calendar-style workflow chart.

Users can also set priority levels for work orders and assign the total capacity available each day.
Finite capacity management As mentioned above, this functionality allows the system to factor in other planned work schedules, inventory, man hours, material levels and other factors to optimize production plans.
Real-time capacity planning Users can make on-the-fly changes to work order schedules or priorities if problems occur during production, instead of resetting the entire plan.
Scenario testing and modeling Capacity planning tools can help users test unfavorable supply chain scenarios by entering various values to optimize contingency plans.
Reporting As a system is used over time, it collects loads of valuable data. Reporting tools can arrange and visualize that data so managers can identify trends in production and address issues.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Any software purchase comes with several considerations and questions to ask. Identifying the type of buyer you are helps answer many of those. Below are some of the most common buyer types:

ERP suite buyer. Enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) are complex platforms to assist manufacturers (and a wide variety of other types of businesses) by integrating data from all departments to gain a holistic view of operations. This software takes into account the many seemingly unrelated factors that can impact production schedules.

Many modern ERP systems offer capacity planning functionality, and use the wealth of collected data to predict potential issues in production that could impact capacity decisions.

MES buyer. Similarly, stand-alone manufacturing execution systems (MESs) typically offer a capacity planning component. Where an ERP gathers and analyzes information about an entire organization, an MES is hyper specific to that company's manufacturing process—maintaining production assets, dispatching production plans and improving quality of the finished product.

Since this type of software is so particular to the manufacturing type, it's often purchased by itself to integrate with an existing ERP. If you're buying an MES, you likely have the capacity planning functionality you need.

Make-to-order manufacturer. These types of companies begin production only after receiving a work order, so capacity planning is more crucial for these organizations than for those that continuously produce units.

In these situations, manufacturers have a short window to plan for capacity, but software can assist with leveling the load and factoring in other available resources necessary to meet production deadlines.

Benefits of Capacity Planning and Management Software

We've talked about the key benefit of automating the complex issue of capacity planning, but the software also offers some complementary benefits:

  • Optimize the use of assets. Especially for manufacturing plants with a variety of asset types, or different versions of the same type of asset, a capacity planning system can help prioritize jobs. This can lower production costs by shifting jobs to equipment that is less expensive to operate depending on the type and time frame of manufacturing.
  •   
  • Spot production bottlenecks. During capacity planning, the software can help identify specific assets or processes causing slowdowns or inefficiencies. The system's recommendations for prioritizing or spreading out work may reveal these bottlenecks.
  •   
  • Boost the useful life of assets. Because capacity planning helps level the workload, the tasks aren't placed solely on one or two machines, so assets and equipment are likely to operate a good condition for longer.

 

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.