5 Manufacturing Tools Leveraging 2022 Trends That Will Streamline Your Business

By: Supriya Deka on February 21, 2022

Every industry has been impacted by technology in one way or another, and the manufacturing industry has not been left out in this evolution. Technological advancements have improved manufacturing systems to make them more productive and efficient. The onset of industry 4.0 (which means automation and data exchange while utilizing technologies such as the internet of things and machine learning) in manufacturing processes have forced employees to work beside robots, cognitive automation, and other advanced technologies.

Manufacturing software has always been there to help manufacturing professionals like you plan and execute projects from beginning to end, automate materials planning, and manage the product life cycle. However, as technology evolves, it changes the way you work and interact with the machines that do the manufacturing.

As workers are beginning to rely on digital tools to complete their work efficiently, the manufacturing software market has adapted features that can help manufacturing professionals prepare for the future workplace.

Let’s take a look at the market trends impacting the manufacturing industry before diving into the top five systems to ensure you know what to expect.

3 manufacturing software trends that will impact businesses in 2022

According to Gartner, 74% of manufacturers believe smart manufacturing will increase competitiveness by redesigning their manufacturing organizations (full content available to Gartner clients).

In this digital era, it’s important to keep yourself up to date with tools that help digitize manufacturing operations in order to improve labor productivity and supply chain agility.

Here are some trends to keep in mind while exploring manufacturing software:

  • Automation: Manufacturing operations such as assembly, inspection, or material handling can be automated to reduce human participation. Ever-increasing labor costs and improved product quality are the major drivers of the automation and digitalization of manual operations. Using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, internet of things (IoT), and big data results in higher production rates. It can also perform manufacturing processes with greater uniformity and can ensure higher conformity to quality standards.

  • Mobile app: Manufacturing software that can be accessed through a mobile device helps workers and manufacturers gain real-time and remote access to plants or factories where employees work. Managers can have access to inventory, worker, shipment, delivery, and vehicle data from anywhere, and workers can view their scheduled tasks and collaborate with others to improve productivity and efficiency.

  • QR codes: The manufacturing industry has started employing remote workers who are not bound by one physical location. These employees are connected via technology, such as computers, smartphones, and other mobile devices to track and update their assigned tasks as well as keep an eye on plant equipment and inventory in different locations. QR (or quick response) codes are 2-dimensional barcodes that can be used to monitor your employees, track manufacturing processes through various stages, and track adherence to safety protocols. QR technology does not require any additional apps to scan codes. Workers and customers can simply scan the code using the cameras on their smartphones and get real-time information regarding the item.

Top 5 manufacturing solutions with features that keep pace with industry trends

Here at Software Advice, we want to help you find the right manufacturing software solution for your business. We took a look at our FrontRunner reports for manufacturing software, manufacturing execution systems, and small business manufacturing software to find the highest-rated manufacturing software options (based on their usability and customer satisfaction score). The article lists the top five tools with features that will make sure you’re ready for these trends in 2022 and beyond.

What is the Frontrunners report?

Frontrunners is Software Advice’s annual ranking of top software tools leveraging ratings from over one million user reviews on the following parameters: Ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend. Products are scored using two primary measurements:

  • Usability (includes user ratings for functionality and ease of use).

  • Customer satisfaction (includes user ratings for customer support, likelihood to recommend, and value for money).

Products are listed in descending order of their total score of usability and customer satisfaction below; you can read our full methodology at the bottom of this page.


*Analysis accurate as of January 31, 2022



4.96/5 (Read user reviews)

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  • Notable features: Quality management, enterprise resource planning, manufacturing execution, dashboard, scheduling, and security and backup.

ProShop is a manufacturing ERP and shop floor control solution. It allows a manufacturer to create estimates and quotes for parts or assemblies, track time and job statuses, manage inventory and equipment, and collaborate through in-app messaging.

ProShop’s digital manufacturing ecosystem (DME) combines the features found in ERP software, quality management, a manufacturing execution system, and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to provide a 360-degree view of your shop’s performance. The paperless solution works on large volumes of data (known as big data) that can help you manage your manufacturing processes with real-time visual work instructions, automated scheduling, inspection tracking and reporting, and preventive maintenance.

ProShop can be accessed through a web browser from anywhere. Whether the software is deployed in the cloud or on-premise with local servers, employees can access ProShop through the web-browser on their desktop or mobile device. The manufacturing management software does not offer a mobile application to install.


Scheduling in ProShop Software (Source)

*Analysis accurate as of January 31, 2022



4.93/5 (Read user reviews)

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  • Notable features: Incident tracking, compliance and traceability reports, quality management, knowledge management, and equipment verification audits.

WorkClout is a quality management system that helps manufacturers and quality engineers with document control, visual inspections, automated internal audits, quality control, and custom dashboards. The software provides real-time reporting and data capture to help prevent errors in day-to-day operations.

It performs layer process audits by automating calculations, alarms, escalations, and conditional logic. Conditional logic can be set to display or hide information so that workers have access to the information that matters the most to them. You can automate the trigger of alert notifications to escalate potential issues in real time via email or with in-app notifications. It automates internal audits and captures data from different systems in one place for risk analysis, compliance tracking, and version history with updated notes and personnel.

WorkClout mobile app is available for iOS, Android, and web. It allows your employees to access their tasks and issues, whether they are working in different shifts or within the same work area, using a unique PIN. The mobile app offers a “sharing mode” that enables multiple employees to log in and access their WorkClout accounts from the same device.

The issue tags and task QR codes help you generate QR codes automatically for on-demand tasks from the software or its mobile application. You can even print these QR codes and place them within the facility so that workers can scan the codes and start the appropriate tasks.

The manufacturing system also provides barcode scanning capabilities to scan and auto-populate information. This helps save time and mistakes associated with searching for the right information and manually typing into each field in a task form.


Quality management in WorkClout Software (Source)

*Analysis accurate as of January 31, 2022



4.71/5 (Read user reviews)

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  • Notable features: Manufacturing resource planning, inventory management, workflow visualization, dashboard, machine management and maintenance, and quality management.

Manufacturing execution system, Prodsmart, can help a manufacturing business track every step in processes from orders to shipping, all in one place. It helps in worker scheduling, inventory tracking, and managing productivity with real-time visibility of data from shop floors.

Prodsmart provides real-time information about your factory floor operations including workers, orders, materials, machines, or maintenance. It leverages the internet of things (IoT) technology to keep you connected to your workplace even when you are off-site. It allows you to set up notifications for specific activities to alert you in real time if something goes wrong.

Their mobile app allows you to add production records, insert punch clocks, and create inventory movements. The mobile app helps you stay connected to your workers through the team chat feature, and you can respond to real-time alerts when machines are out of order or require maintenance, even if you are not present on the site. The Prodsmart mobile app is available for Android, iOS, and Kindle.


Digital production flow in Prodsmart Software (Source)

*Analysis accurate as of January 31, 2022



4.78/5 (Read user reviews)

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  • Notable features: Live inventory management, shop floor control, omnichannel order management, production planning,and end-to-end traceability.

Manufacturing ERP software, Katana, provides businesses with real-time visibility of the entire work process to ensure accurate production planning and resource scheduling.

The system provides smart manufacturing with real-time monitoring and the automation of repetitive tasks. This involves an auto-booking system that automatically allocates available raw materials and finished goods to your open orders, auto calculation of manufacturing costs, and an estimation of delivery time. It can also automate the tasks of monitoring operational progress and maintaining priority-based production management.

While creating a new account on Katana, it generates a unique QR code for each operator that is required at the time of logging in. The account owner can access their teams’ codes to track their activities, view personal information, and attendance. You can log in to your account with a mobile device or a laptop by scanning your unique QR code.

Katana also provides barcode scanning features for inventory level management. It allows operators to add raw material to purchase orders, search for items in order receipts, and assign batch numbers. This allows you to track expiry dates, locate items across warehouses, trace faulty batches, and more.


Live inventory tracking in Katana Software (Source)

*Analysis accurate as of January 31, 2022



4.56/5 (Read user reviews)

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  • Notable features: Sales and CRM, manufacturing resource planning, inventory control, point of sale, and customer portal.

ERPAG is a cloud-based manufacturing system that allows businesses to manage orders and inventory in real time.

The software automates manual tasks such as automatically generating purchase orders based on the number of items available, or sending emails if an estimate is more than the threshold amount or the items are below the minimum quantity. It allows you to automate the production process and workflow procedures with its simple drag-and-drop interface that doesn’t require coding knowledge. You can also automate calculations for the estimation and quoting process.

ERPAG mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices. The application allows you to work from home, a customer’s location, or anywhere inside the factory. The workers from the manufacturing company have live insight into company data and the ability to search for documents or items using barcodes through their mobile devices. This will allow you to gain complete insight into what’s happening on the shop floor during the manufacturing process.

The ERPAG tag, which is a 2D QR code, allows you to define and print tags for machines, vehicles, people, and warehouses. The software’s QR engine allows you to define fields under each tag that you want to display on a phone screen once workers scan these QR codes. QR codes can be tagged to workers’ desks so each of them can scan and see the list of requests received, as well as the daily schedule.


Mobile app for ERPAG Software (Source)

Stay on top of manufacturing software trends with Frontrunners reports

While these five tools are some of the top manufacturing software solutions out there, every business has different needs. It’s important to choose the right software that will help you plan and execute projects from beginning to end.

Software Advice’s annual Frontrunners rankings provide a strong starting point to find the right tool for your business.

If none of these top manufacturing products seems quite right for you, check out these Frontrunners reports to see more tools with high user ratings from businesses such as yours:

Methodology and note:

  • The products selected in this article have been obtained from Software Advice’s Frontrunners reports accessed on January 31, 2022.

  • The five products that are most common and with the highest scores in our Frontrunners reports for manufacturing software, manufacturing execution systems, and small business manufacturing software are featured in this article.

  • Market definition for manufacturing software: Manufacturing software helps companies manage orders and schedule production jobs using accurate bills of materials and inventory management to ensure all components are available. In addition, we identify some related features that organizations purchasing Manufacturing software may also need or wish to consider: sales management, field service management and warehouse management.

Click here to understand the Frontrunners report methodology.


At Frontrunners, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

We conducted this analysis based on reviews and ratings data as of Jan. 31, 2022. In order to present the most up-to-date information, the product cards above show real-time ratings. Please note that this means the ratings value in the product card may not reflect the ratings value at the time of analysis.