Find the best Discrete Manufacturing Software

What is discrete manufacturing software?

Discrete manufacturing systems are designed to give organizations better control of and visibility into the manufacturing process. Discrete manufacturers focus on reducing costs by limiting waste and reducing the time to produce. A typical system will implement a lean manufacturing philosophy, matching the inflow of parts, materials and subassembli... read more
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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 about Fishbowl

4.16 (814 reviews)

138 recommendations


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 about NetSuite

4.13 (1294 reviews)

79 recommendations


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 about Striven

4.81 (116 reviews)

46 recommendations

Deskera MRP

Deskera enables fast growing businesses to operate more efficiently by providing them with an integrated platform that connects manufacturing, accounting, erp, inventory and warehouse management, order fulfillment, procurement, sa...Read more about Deskera MRP

3.67 (3 reviews)

41 recommendations

Katana Cloud Manufacturing

Katana offers a cloud manufacturing platform that makes daily life easier for your business. Bring your manufacturing operations into a single platform for visibility over everything you do and data to make more informed business ...Read more about Katana Cloud Manufacturing

4.69 (149 reviews)

33 recommendations

Global Shop Solutions

Global Shop Solutions offers ERP software to serve clients across manufacturing industries of all sizes. The multi-modular application is comprised of independent modules for customer relationship management, inventory management,...Read more about Global Shop Solutions

4.11 (69 reviews)

23 recommendations


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 about QT9 ERP

4.85 (13 reviews)

21 recommendations


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 about DELMIAworks

4.06 (287 reviews)

16 recommendations


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 about REALTRAC

4.07 (68 reviews)

14 recommendations


SyteLine is an enterprise resource planning software created specifically for engineer-to-order, make-to-order, make-to-stock, and mixed-mode manufacturers. Customers in both discrete and process manufacturing can benefit from thi...Read more about SyteLine

3.86 (66 reviews)

14 recommendations


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 about Infor VISUAL

4.39 (36 reviews)

12 recommendations

Intellect QMS

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 about Intellect QMS

4.60 (70 reviews)

11 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 about Visual EstiTrack

4.77 (11 reviews)

10 recommendations


Vicinity Software is a cloud-based or on-premise solution designed for process manufacturers with a specific focus on food & beverage (VicinityFood), chemical (VicinityChem) and breweries (VicinityBrew). Features include MRP, cent...Read more about Vicinity

4.25 (4 reviews)

10 recommendations


NutraSoft Premium/Ultimate is a food & beverage manufacturing ERP for small to medium sized food & beverage businesses who are looking to manage and grow their operation, increase margins, analyze and improve their production proc...Read more about NutraSoft

4.17 (12 reviews)

9 recommendations


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 about Fulcrum

4.80 (5 reviews)

8 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 about Adaptive Compliance Engine (ACE)

4.69 (26 reviews)

7 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 about Mar-Kov Chemical Management System

5.00 (1 reviews)

7 recommendations

FactoryLogix MES

FactoryLogix is a manufacturing solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include manufacturing execution, quality management, product lifecycle management, supply chain management, supplier management, asset man...Read more about FactoryLogix MES

4.80 (15 reviews)

6 recommendations


aACE offers on-premise and cloud-based business management software for small and midsize businesses. Modules include accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), inventory management, or...Read more about aACE

4.96 (25 reviews)

5 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Discrete manufacturing is a commonly used term in manufacturing that refers to a final product which can be divided up into its raw components. For example, in an automobile, each component can be separated, touched and seen. By contrast, in process manufacturing it isn’t possible to get the raw ingredients out of the final product. An example of process manufacturing is medications produced by pharmaceutical companies.

This guide is intended to help those who are looking for a software solution that will make the discrete manufacturing process more streamlined for their organization. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Discrete Manufacturing Software?

Common Features of Discrete Manufacturing Software

Benefits of Discrete Manufacturing Software

What Is Discrete Manufacturing Software?

Discrete manufacturing systems are designed to give organizations better control of and visibility into the manufacturing process. Discrete manufacturers focus on reducing costs by limiting waste and reducing the time to produce. A typical system will implement a lean manufacturing philosophy, matching the inflow of parts, materials and subassemblies with the production of finished goods.

The key modules for discrete manufacturers are inventory (including purchasing and receiving), accounts receivable and customer relationship management (CRM), with a special emphasis on process control. Manufacturers of discrete goods can choose to implement a full enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or select best-of-breed components to integrate with their accounting system. Firms with automated shop floors will be interested in incorporating manufacturing execution systems (MES). Integration with project management is available on some manufacturing systems as well.

For most manufacturers of discrete goods, general ledger and accounts payable are standard. Payroll is standard, but some companies have bonus pay and overtime that must be charged against specific projects or products.

On-premises installations are the norm for discrete manufacturing software, but cloud-based options exist. The key driver of cloud-based installations is the existing information technology (IT) capabilities of the company, usually based on the complexity of the shop floor technology and integration.

Common Features of Discrete Manufacturing Software

In evaluating software, discrete manufacturers should consider the following functions to meet their unique requirements:

Supply chain management

Discrete manufacturers need transparency into suppliers’ systems. Order status, supplier inventory, current pricing, order entry and payment can all be integrated between supplier and manufacturer.

Make/buy reporting

Products require subassemblies. Make/buy reporting applies job estimating to subassemblies to see if it is more profitable to make or buy components. Advanced systems will factor in time to build or buy, as well as the cost.

Process planning reporting

In order to estimate and track jobs, the process for each step of fabrication must be planned and documented. The process of planning reports tracks the development of the process plan for each product.

Material supplier planning

Part of the make/buy process, material supplier planning assigns a bill of materials to each subassembly. This also allows make/buy decisions to be based on current market prices for material and labor for each product and production run.

Component substitution

If a preferred component is not available, the inventory system should provide any alternative components. The production runs with alternative components should be tracked for recall management.

Bill of materials (BOM) management

The system should create BOMs directly from orders. It should allow revisions to the BOM to provide additional levels of detail. In advanced systems, a conceptual BOM is used as part of the process to develop a quote or new product.

Workload planning

As part of the manufacturing planning process, shop floor managers can adjust the workloads of employees and machines. Managers can use this feature to leverage the most expensive equipment to depreciate or minimize usage of the most expensive to run. Managers can also manage workloads of shop workers, taking into account workers’ preferences.

Engineering change management

The system should track engineering changes and their impact on time and cost per unit. It should also be easy to enter the changes into the system so that the adjustments can flow to other products and the overall production schedule.

Serial number management

If the products are serialized, the serial numbers must be managed. Numbers must be linked to specific products, including any variations, such as color options. Serial numbers must be tied to production runs as part of recall management.

Certified design management

If the manufacturer produces certified products, the system should provide compliance reports for the certification authority. It should also enforce the stipulations of the certification, such as no component substitutions or no changes in software.

Recall management

The system should support product recalls by identifying which runs are affected and which customers received them.

Benefits of Discrete Manufacturing Software

Manufacturing businesses can see a variety of benefits with the implementation of discrete manufacturing software. Some of these benefits include:

  • Creation of a collaborative environment in the organization. Discrete manufacturing tools allow for a collaborative environment that lets employees share information seamlessly with both internal and external stakeholders. They can retrieve a graphical view of processes and workflows that help in sharing and adopting best practices within the organization. Finance and other teams can also access the accurate costs of products and detailed reports once the software is integrated with other applications in use.

  • Improved customer service. Integrating CRM functions with discrete manufacturing software allows users to generate a consolidated view of their customer information. Users can quickly access the order status, product details and progress report. This information helps users provide after-sales service by monitoring the equipment delivered to its customers. Businesses can further expand their customer base by sending competitive quotes and delivering customized products.

  • Better visibility of work in progress. Users get up-to-date information of all product orders, which helps them plan their workflows more effectively. The software helps managers determine whether the order will be finished and delivered within the stipulated time frame. This feature helps floor managers take corrective actions and expedite the work on orders with the nearest deadlines.

  • Increased efficiency. Discrete manufacturers require data about their providers, transportation expenses, the market demand and competitors. An efficient solution provides a consolidated view of data in a single platform, giving full visibility into all processes. Management can also use this real-time data to make better decisions.