Best Manufacturing Execution System Providers Compared

By: on January 28, 2020

A manufacturing execution system (MES) is software used to manage shop floor operations of manufacturing units to improve production output. Its scope can vary from scheduling the operations of a small set of critical machines to managing the complete fabrication process. Compiling bills of materials (BOM), handling and scheduling resources, preparing and dispatching production orders, creating work-in-progress (WIP) reports, and tracking production lots are some of the key tasks performed by an MES.

MES is a subset of ERP. In a manufacturing unit, an ERP system is used to plan all manufacturing operations, while an MES ensures that these operations are executed efficiently on the shop floor.

Selecting the right MES for your manufacturing business involves comparing all available options based on features, cost, and deployment, among other factors. To help, we’ve analyzed all MESs featured on Software Advice to arrive at our five best recommendations. These five products (listed alphabetically) have been selected based on Software Advice user ratings and reviews. You can view our product selection methodology here.

We’re highlighting users ratings on four key parameters for each of the featured software products: ease of use, value for money, customer support, and functionality. We’ve also highlighted what users like about the software solutions and areas that they feel can be improved. Products are presented in alphabetical order.

Datacor ERP

Datacor ERP logo
Ease of use: 4.0/5.0
Value for money: 3.5/5.0
Customer support: 4.5/5.0
Functionality: 4.0/5.0

Datacor ERP is an integrated, comprehensive suite of applications, including customer relationship management (CRM), MES, manufacturing resource planning (MRP), product lifecycle management, supply chain management, and business intelligence. It can be deployed on-premise or on the cloud.

Product details in Datacor ERP

Product details in Datacor ERP (Source)

Suitable for: Datacor ERP is designed for chemical process manufacturers and distributors of all sizes.

What users say: Users like Datacor ERP’s short learning curve and customizable interface. They also like its responsive support team. However, a few users feel that the tool tends to become slow on opening multiple windows.

E2 Shop System

E2 Shop System logo
Ease of use: 4.5/5.0
Value for money: 4.0/5.0
Customer support: 4.5/5.0
Functionality: 4.0/5.0

E2 Shop System is a manufacturing tool that offers capabilities such as scheduling, purchasing, shipping, customer management, and accounting. It can be deployed on-premise or on the cloud.

Job scheduling in E2 Shop System

Job scheduling in E2 Shop System (Source)

Suitable for: E2 Shop System is designed for job shops, contract manufacturers, and make-to-order manufacturers.

What users say: Users like E2 Shop System’s intuitive interface, responsive customer support, and seamless software upgrades. However, a few users dislike the fact that when they make an error, the software doesn’t allow them to go back to the previous step/window, and they have to start all over again.

EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing ERP

EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing ERP logo
Ease of use: 4.0/5.0
Value for money: 3.5/5.0
Customer support: 4.5/5.0
Functionality: 4.0/5.0

EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing ERP, a flagship product of software vendor IQMS, offers integrated ERP and MES applications with functionalities such as accounting, CRM, purchasing, reporting, business intelligence, supply chain, production planning and scheduling, and warehouse and shipping management.

It also includes tools for monitoring, tracking, and communicating different business activities across the supply chain. The software can be deployed on-premise or on the cloud.

Manufacturing summary page in EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing ERP

Manufacturing summary page in EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing ERP (Source)

Suitable for: EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing ERP is designed for discrete and batch manufacturers of all sizes in a range of industries including aerospace, medical devices, automotive, food and beverage, consumer products, plastics, packaging, and electronics.

What users say: Users are impressed by the variety of predesigned reports offered by EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing ERP. They also like its report customization feature. A few users feel that the tool’s learning curve is quite steep.

Infor VISUAL ERP

Infor VISUAL ERP logo
Ease of use: 4.5/5.0
Value for money: 4.5/5.0
Customer support: 4.5/5.0
Functionality: 4.5/5.0

Infor VISUAL is an ERP system that offers applications such as MES, MRP, supply chain management, HR, reporting, and CRM. It supports a variety of manufacturing modes, including assembly-to-order, make-to-stock, configure-to-order, make-to-order, and engineer-to-order. The solution can be deployed on-premise or on the cloud.

Work order summary in Infor VISUAL ERP

Work order summary in Infor VISUAL ERP (Source)

Suitable for: Infor VISUAL ERP is designed for manufacturers seeking a complete solution that can support their entire operations lifecycle, from planning and sourcing to production and delivery. It can be used by manufacturers in industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, industrial equipment, and healthcare devices.

What users say: Users like Infor VISUAL ERP’s short learning curve, intuitive interface, and cohesive modules. However, a few users feel that the tool is difficult to configure, and its implementation is time-consuming.

Prodsmart

prodsmart logo
Ease of use: 5.0/5.0
Value for money: 4.5/5.0
Customer support: 5.0/5.0
Functionality: 4.5/5.0

Prodsmart is a cloud-based production tracking and management solution that offers MES, MRP, and planning capabilities. Its key features include real-time shop floor data collection, production analysis, quality checks, scheduling and planning, and lot traceability.

Current production order in Prodsmart

Current production order in Prodsmart (Source)

Suitable for:Prodsmart is designed for businesses in the manufacturing and fabricating industries, such as metals, medical devices, jewelry, footwear, automotive, chemicals, electronics, and food processing.

What users say: Users are impressed by Prodsmart’s intuitive interface and quick implementation. They also like its customer support team’s responsiveness. A few users feel that the software should allow more dashboard customization options than those currently available.

Which MES should you purchase?

Finding the right MES can be tricky, as these tools are usually included in the larger ERP software category. Our recommended products can get you started on your software search, but your right fit will depend on your manufacturing requirements. You can use the following approach to decide which software to purchase:

  • Research software features: All the products listed in the article have certain similar and distinct features. Compare these features against your requirements and then choose a tool that offers most, if not all, of the features you need. You can explore more products by checking out our MES directory.
  • Read what existing users have to say: Read user reviews on Software Advice to understand what users like and dislike about these products.

If you need help choosing a specific MES, you can also reach out to our trusted advisors. They provide free, fast, and personalized software recommendations to help businesses of all sizes find software that meets their specific needs. Schedule an appointment with an advisor here.


Product selection methodology

To be listed in this report, products had to meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum overall rating of 4 (out of 5) on Software Advice (as of Dec. 27, 2019)
  • Minimum of 20 user reviews on Software Advice
  • Offer the core MES functionalities, i.e., compiling BOMs, managing and scheduling resources, preparing and dispatching production orders, preparing WIP reports, and tracking production lots

Note: The content in this piece provides the opinions and points of view expressed by users. It does not represent the views of Software Advice.

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