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Manufacturing Software


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NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite Manufacturing Edition offers an integrated inventory, warehouse management, accounting and financial management, order management, customer relationship management (CRM), and e-commerce platform. Offered as a cloud-based solution... Read More
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NetSuite Manufacturing Edition offers an integrated inventory, warehouse management, accounting and financial management, order management, customer relationship management (CRM), and e-commerce platform. Offered as a cloud-based solution... Read More
 
Fishbowl Manufacturing logo
 
Fishbowl is a business automation and inventory management platform for small to midsize companies. It integrates with QuickBooks accounting and offers inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP) and job shop floor control/manufacturing... Read More
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Fishbowl is a business automation and inventory management platform for small to midsize companies. It integrates with QuickBooks accounting and offers inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP) and job shop floor control/manufacturing... Read More
 
E2 Shop System logo
 
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 manufacturers. E2... Read More
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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 manufacturers. E2... Read More
 
Global Shop Solutions logo
 
Global Shop Solutions offers a One-System ERP software to serve clients across manufacturing industries of all sizes. The multi-modular application comprises of independent modules for customer relationship management, inventory management,... Read More
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Global Shop Solutions offers a One-System ERP software to serve clients across manufacturing industries of all sizes. The multi-modular application comprises of independent modules for customer relationship management, inventory management,... Read More
 
ECi M1 logo
 
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
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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

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Infor VISUAL ERP logo
 
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 sourcing,... Read More
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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 sourcing,... Read More
 
Priority logo
 
Priority is an on-premise and cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery... Read More
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Priority is an on-premise and cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery... Read More
 
Infor SyteLine ERP logo
 
Infor SyteLine ERP is a mixed-mode application for engineer-to-order, configure-to-order, repetitive and service-based manufacturers. It’s suitable for companies in industries such as aerospace, metal fabrication, plastics and rubber... Read More
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Infor SyteLine ERP is a mixed-mode application for engineer-to-order, configure-to-order, repetitive and service-based manufacturers. It’s suitable for companies in industries such as aerospace, metal fabrication, plastics and rubber... Read More
 
Deskera ERP logo
 
Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
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Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
 
TrueERP logo
 
True ERP is an operations management suite available in both cloud-based and on-premise formats which caters to SMB enterprises like wholesalers, construction firms and retailers, along with others. True ERP contains several different... Read More
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True ERP is an operations management suite available in both cloud-based and on-premise formats which caters to SMB enterprises like wholesalers, construction firms and retailers, along with others. True ERP contains several different... Read More

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Henning Visual EstiTrack ERP logo
 
Visual EstiTrack ERP is an on-premise solution for small to midsize shops that offers manufacturing execution management, light material requirements planning, product lifecycle management, supply chain management, customer management,... Read More
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Visual EstiTrack ERP is an on-premise solution for small to midsize shops that offers manufacturing execution management, light material requirements planning, product lifecycle management, supply chain management, customer management,... Read More
 
EVO~ERP logo
 
EVO~ERP is an enterprise resource management (ERP) solution that helps small and mid-size businesses to manage inventory, accounting, warehouses and manufacturing. The solution supports multiple languages, currencies, exchange rates... Read More
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EVO~ERP is an enterprise resource management (ERP) solution that helps small and mid-size businesses to manage inventory, accounting, warehouses and manufacturing. The solution supports multiple languages, currencies, exchange rates... Read More
 
E2 Manufacturing System logo
 
Shoptech’s E2 MFG System is a fully integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution designed for discrete manufacturers of all sizes utilizing make-to-order, make-to-stock, engineer-to-order, assemble-to-order and mixed-mode... Read More
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Shoptech’s E2 MFG System is a fully integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution designed for discrete manufacturers of all sizes utilizing make-to-order, make-to-stock, engineer-to-order, assemble-to-order and mixed-mode... Read More
 
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
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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
 
MIE Trak PRO logo
 
MIE Trak Pro is an ERP offering that is ideal for manufacturing businesses with modules designed to accommodate most production cycles and optimize the capabilities of repetitive, custom, quick-turn and mixed mode operations. MIE... Read More
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MIE Trak Pro is an ERP offering that is ideal for manufacturing businesses with modules designed to accommodate most production cycles and optimize the capabilities of repetitive, custom, quick-turn and mixed mode operations. MIE... Read More

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ProfitKey ERP logo
 
ProfitKey has developed Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) tool to provide an integrated ERP and MES solution for small to mid-size manufacturers. Rapid Response Manufacturing incorporates an accounting solution with advanced MES functionality,... Read More
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ProfitKey has developed Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) tool to provide an integrated ERP and MES solution for small to mid-size manufacturers. Rapid Response Manufacturing incorporates an accounting solution with advanced MES functionality,... Read More
 
uniPoint Quality Management logo
 
uniPoint Quality Management Software is a modular on-premise quality management solution capable of integrating with other ERP systems. Built on Net Technology, a SQL database, and Crystal Reporting, this system is designed to grow... Read More
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uniPoint Quality Management Software is a modular on-premise quality management solution capable of integrating with other ERP systems. Built on Net Technology, a SQL database, and Crystal Reporting, this system is designed to grow... Read More
 
OptiProERP logo
 
OptiProERP is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for small and midsize discrete manufacturers and distributors. Key features include supply chain management (SCM), purchasing, work orders, scheduling and quality... Read More
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OptiProERP is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for small and midsize discrete manufacturers and distributors. Key features include supply chain management (SCM), purchasing, work orders, scheduling and quality... Read More
 
QT9 Quality Management logo
 
QT9 Quality Management Software is a web-based QMS software used by companies to comply with ISO and FDA quality standards. The software is available for deployment either on-premise or in the cloud. The tool eliminates the need for... Read More
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QT9 Quality Management Software is a web-based QMS software used by companies to comply with ISO and FDA quality standards. The software is available for deployment either on-premise or in the cloud. The tool eliminates the need for... 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
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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
 

FrontRunners® for Manufacturing, December 2017

Powered by Gartner Methodology

What Is the FrontRunners Quadrant?


A Graphic of the Top-Performing Manufacturing 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 315 Manufacturing 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 price/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 be considered for the Manufacturing FrontRunners, a product needed a minimum of 10 user reviews, a minimum capability user rating score of 4.0 and a minimum value user rating score of 4.0. In most cases, we evaluate hundreds of products and feature 20-25 as FrontRunners; all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top performing products in their market.

For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners sub-quadrant might be best. For example, products on the right side of the quadrant are more likely to offer an extensive suite of modules, such as field service management, sales management and others, which may not be necessary for smaller manufacturers.

You can download the full FrontRunners for Manufacturing 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 meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, material requirements planning (MRP), manufacturing execution (MES), quality management and product lifecycle management (PLM).

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.

1factory
4G:PLM
585 ERP
A2000
Accelerated ERP
AccountMate
Acctivate
AcctVantage ERP
Adjutant
ADS Solutions - Accolent ERP
Advanced Supply Chain
AdvancePro
Agile PLM
Agility DMSI
Agni Link
Aha!
AIM Vision
AIMS
AMT
Analyse-it
Aplicor 3C
Apprise ERP
aPriori
Aquilon ERP
Aras Innovator
Arena PLM
Asprova
Assembla
Audros
Autodesk PLM 360
BatchMaster ERP
bcFood
BlueCherry
Bluestreak
BusinessMan CRM/ERP
CA Release Automation
CATIA
Cetec ERP
ChainReaction
Chempax
Ciiva
Cin7
Cincom CPQ
CIS Configurator
CloudFactoryWorx
CMPRO
Collaborate Cloud
Concept EPC
CONSELF
Cosential
Cougar Mountain FUND
craft
CSB-System
Cybake
dapulse
Datacard
DataLyzer Spectrum
DBA Manufacturing
De Facto ERP
DEAR Inventory
Decision Builder
Delfoi Planner
DELMIA Ortems Agile Manufacturing
DesignWin
Deskera MRP
DevonWay CI
DevSuite
DEXMA PLM
E2open
ECi M1
eCompliance Safety Software
Ecount ERP
Edible
EIC Software
Electronic Work Instructions
eMaint CMMS
Empower by EmpowerSoftware
Enterprise 21 ERP
EnterpriseIQ MRP
EnterpriseIQ Scheduling
Epicor Mattec MES
ePROMIS ERP
EQMS by Qualsys
ERP MARK 7
ERP123
ERPAG
EVO-ERP
Exact MAX
Exact Online
Expandable ERP
EZ-MES
FabSuite
FabTrol
Factory MES
FactoryLogix
FactoryTalk
FashionFlow
FAST Scheduler
Fiix
Fishbowl Enterprise
Fitrix ERP
FlexiBake
Flow Manufacturing
FORCAM FORCE
Fulfil.IO
FusePLM
GainSeeker Suite
Gatherspace.com
GBMS Warehouse Management Suite
Genius Manufacturing
Harrington Quality Management System (HQMS)
Henning Visual EstiTrack ERP
HighJump WMS
Hudman Central ERP
Hydra
ihCheckpoint
In-Style ERP
infoBoard Planning Board
Infor CloudSuite Business
Infor CRM
Infor Customer Experience Suite
Infor Discrete Manufacturing Essentials
Infor ERP
Infor LN
Infor M3
Infor Process Manufacturing Essentials
Intelex EHS
InterAcct
InterLink QMS Platform
Intuitive ERP
InvGate Assets
iRise
Isolocity
isoTracker QMS
JDA Software
JobPack Production Scheduling Suite
JobPRO
JOBSCOPE
just plan it
JustFoodERP
Kenandy Cloud ERP
Kinaxis RapidResponse
Kosmas Manufacturing
LaserQuote
Lead Commerce
LillyWorks
LiquidPlanner
LogicBox CRM
Lumo Flow
Maintenance5000
ManageEngine AssetExplorer
ManEx
Manufacturing Vision
MasterControl Documents
Masterplan ERP
Mestec Cloud MES
MFG/PRO
Microsoft Dynamics AX
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Microsoft Dynamics GP
Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Microsoft Dynamics SL
Minitab 17
MISys Manufacturing
Monday
MRPEasy
Multi-Facility Processing
NGIMES
NolaPro
OASIS
OfficeBooks
OmegaCube ERP
Omono
OnContact CRM 7
One Click LCA
OneDesk suite of products
Oneir
OnePlace PLM & Workflow
Onshape
Onspring
Optessa
Oracle E-Business Suite
Oracle SCM Cloud
ORITAMES
Ostendo
PackManager
Paragon ERP
PBS Manufacturing
PDXpert PLM
PerformOEE
PINpoint
Pivotal Tracker
PlanetTogether
Planvisage
PLMWorx
PolyPM
POOL4TOOL
PowerSteering
Precision Manufacturing
Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
PRIMS by Focus Works
Priority Matrix
PRO.FILE
ProcessPro Premier
Prodigy
ProdPad
ProductCenter
ProductPlan
ProFicient
ProfitFab ERP
Propago
PropulsionMRP
ProShop
Protean
Pure Manufacturing
QI Macros SPC Software Excel
QT9 Quality Management Software
Qualio
Quality Management Software by Intelex
Quality Management Software by IQS
Quality Management Software by UniPoint
Quantum by CIMx
Quip
Ramco ERP
Rapid Response Manufacturing
REALTRAC
Resource Manager DB
River Cities
Roadmunk
Ross ERP
Rundown Content Studio
S2K Enterprise
Sage 50
Sage X3
Salesforce
SAM - Superintendent's Automated Manager
SAP Anywhere
SAP Business ByDesign
SAP PLM
SAP S/4HANA
Schedlyzer
SCP 4.0
Sequence Enterprise
Seradex ERP
Shop Mate
Shopfloor-Online
shopVOX
ShopVue
Signum
Simio
SimScale
SirruX sxCLOUD
SkyCiv Structural 3D
Slingshot Enterprise Business Suite
SMARTer Manager
Snappii Mobile Apps
SPC for Excel
SPC-PC IV Explorer
SpiraTeam
Spitfire AMS
Spoonfed
SQCpack
Statii
Synchro PRO
Synergy SPC
System100
SyteLine
Tactic
Talika PMS
TD/OMS
Teamcenter
TechCalc 100
The Plex Manufacturing Cloud
ToolTrack
TPSynergy
TrackVia
Traverse NFP
TrueERP
Unleashed
Vanguard IBP for Supply Chain
VelocityEHS
VERSE
Vicinity
VISIBILITY.net
VisionFlow
Visual Shop
WFX PLM
Winddle
WinSPC
WIPtrac
Woises
Workteam Planner
XLSTAT
ZenQMS

Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: April 19, 2018


There are more than 220 manufacturing software solutions to address all aspects of manufacturing, from product inception to customer delivery. We’ve written this buyer’s guide to help manufacturers navigate this complex market.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Manufacturing Software?
Common Features of Manufacturing Software
Manufacturing Software BuyerView | 2014
Where Type of Buyer Are You?
Market Trends to Understand
Benefits of Manufacturing Applications
Recent Events You Should Know About

What Is Manufacturing Software?

Manufacturing ERP software assists with the planning and execution of manufacturing projects by tracking suppliers, materials and production costs and supporting the maintenance of relationships with end customers. This class of software covers the gamut of ERP—from the accounting systems that track accounts for international giants, to the shop scheduling system that your local metal shop uses. Regardless of the scale of the system, software for manufacturers helps increase productivity and improve management of the product life cycle—from design concept to production planning to field service.

Common Features of Manufacturing Software

Material requirements planning (MRP) Automates the front end of the production process. Functions include planning and costing of materials, labor and equipment; automated quoting; order processing and resource scheduling. Systems should also process advanced shipping notification from suppliers to reduce receiving errors and report any changes in cycle counts for inventory management.
Manufacturing execution system (MES) Controls the actual production phase and shop floor operations. Functions include work-in-progress reporting, production tracking, labor tracking, equipment utilization and scrap reporting.
Manufacturing accounting Manages all of the financial transactions and operations for a company. In addition to the traditional accounting functions of general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, inventory and payroll, the accounting application includes support for sales orders, purchase orders, change orders, work-in-progress reports and job costing modules.
Production planning & scheduling Creates production schedules, including reviewing inventory levels, tracking lead times and making build-versus-buy decisions. This is a subset of MRP; planning and scheduling does not generally include automatic ordering or inventory tracking functionality.
Product life cycle management (PLM) Organizes all manufacturing information around to the designing, producing, supporting and disposing of manufactured goods. May include computer-aided design software, bill of materials data and document management.

Manufacturing Software BuyerView | 2014

Over the years, we've spoken to thousands of manufacturing software buyers. As a point of reference, we thought it would be helpful to provide potential buyers with an overview of past clients' pain points and reasons for switching to a new system. Key questions analyzed by the report include:

  • What methods do buyers currently use to track processes?
  • What are the top reasons for a manufacturing software purchase?
  • What are the top application requirements?

Access the full report here

What Type of Buyer Are You?

The specific type of system you need depends on what kind of company you are, what problems you’re experiencing, or what objectives you set. Here are a few common situations in which buyers find themselves.

You’re looking to consolidate applications into a single system. This kind of buyer values the seamless integration of data and processes that comes from having one ERP software system for all functions. For example, it can be helpful to have a full-suite system for estimating, work-in-progress management and accounting so you can automatically turn an estimate into a budget for project management, and then match invoices to project status while allocating job costs. If you’re a large manufacturer, you should evaluate enterprise-level suites like SAP, Oracle, Sage ERP or Microsoft Dynamics AX. We recommend systems such as Epicor, NetSuite and MISys Manufacturing for small to mid-sized firms.

You run a subsidiary manufacturing division of a larger company. Businesses running from multiple locations need a way to stay tuned in to one another. Smaller subsidiaries will require a smaller, less robust system to complement the larger system used at the company’s main headquarters. You’re likely looking for a “two-tier ERP.” NetSuite, for example, is a good choice here because of its fast time to deployment, which is useful for a division that needs to get up and running with an ERP system quickly.

Netsuite CFO Reporting Dashboard
CFO Manager from NetSuite


You need to improve one process (e.g., shop floor operations). Some buyers will find that they only need a single application, such as manufacturing resource planning software, to improve their production. If you’re in a small job shop industry like sheet metal fabrication, an efficient MRP system that can schedule the production of each customer’s order is key. Job shop specialities have a smaller scope, and need a solution that suits their focus. Exact JobBOSS and Casco ShopVue are good solutions here as they both offer strong MES and job shop control.

Casco Graphical Sequencer
Shop Floor Scheduling from Casco ShopVue

 

You’re a small manufacturer. Small manufacturers often spend too much time tracking information such as inventory in spreadsheets or by other manual means, which is prone to errors. You need an automated system for small manufacturers that is more reliable than a “pen and paper” method of managing important data, and you are probably on a tight budget. A good solution here is Fishbowl—an affordable program that has the ability to integrate with QuickBooks, which is useful given that many small manufacturers are already using this program for their accounting needs.

You’re a job shop or process manufacturer with unique needs. General systems aren't specialized enough for you. If you’re a process manufacturer, for instance, you may have difficulty with your bill of materials functionality. You’re the type of buyer who will rely heavily on a system that includes a strong inventory control feature that can adjust to many different kinds of units of measurement. 

A system such as ProcessPro that is specifically designed for process manufacturers would be a good fit. You will also need inventory management that can integrate with your most important system: the MRP application. Infor is a good provider for niche manufacturers to consider as they offer extensive vertical functionality thanks to their acquisitions of smaller, niche providers.

Meanwhile, job shops such as metal fabricators or aerospace manufacturers also have specialized needs. For example, the shop floor may have special fabrication machines which require special control systems that integrate with specific job shop software. Additionally, some organizations will require industry-specific functionality. For this reason, we have created unique guides for aerospace, apparel, chemical, electronics, food and beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Market Trends to Understand

Several industry-wide trends are worth keeping in mind as you shop for a manufacturing software solution:

Vendor consolidation. Large vendors like Infor, Oracle and Microsoft are buying niche vendors to round out their portfolios and offer more functionality. With so many vendors and products in this fragmented market, 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 manufacturing systems. 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.

Adoption of cloud technologies. Cloud-based systems are still the exception rather than the rule. However, more and more manufacturers are choosing software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. SaaS reduces the maintenance costs in computer infrastructure and frees up capital to invest in shop equipment and elsewhere.

Use of mobile devices. Until recently, most inventory system designers assumed that users would be working from a fixed location. There were small mobile devices used for inventory control and parts identification, but most information had to be either remembered or written down and then brought to the computer. The new trend is to have completely mobile workstations on a wireless network in the warehouse or on the shop floor. Operators enter pertinent information directly into their system via mobile devices without having to go to a permanent workstation.

Benefits of Manufacturing Applications

Some of the specific benefits of implementing a manufacturing solution include:

Better planning and resource allocation. One of the greatest benefits of a manufacturing solution is better data and insight into the actual costs of inventory, people and equipment and the time needed 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.

Support for lean manufacturing. Better planning, better resource allocation and reduced waste are all goals of lean disciplines.

Producing compliance documentation. Many manufacturers are subject to strict compliance regulations because of the materials they use, the products they manufacture, or the raw materials they consume. Software can generate much of the required documentation as a consequence of ordering and receiving materials and equipment.

Recent Events You Should Know About

Manufacturing PMI ends 2016 on a high note. The purchasing manufacturer’s index (PMI), a measurement of health in the manufacturing industry from the Institute of Supply Management, reached its highest level since March 2015 in December 2016 with 54.7 percent. Due to growth in new orders, production and employment, manufacturer’s are starting 2017 with a positive outlook.

NEC’s manufacturing visualization solution aims to boost productivity. Taking advantage of the NEC Industrial IoT solution, the Visualization Solution for Manufacturing collects IoT data from the production site to create a more connected factory for increased production and quality.

Open Manufacturing Language initiative serves printed circuit board assemblers. The Open Manufacturing Language initiative, launched by Mentor Graphics Corporation, will offer an Internet of things solution specific to printed circuit board assembly. The solution provides a comprehensive, vendor-neutral interface.

2016 Maintenance Study finds seven key impacts. A study performed by Plant Engineering reveals seven findings that have significant impacts on maintenance management, including strategies, shutdown schedules, training and technology.

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