144 systems found
Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of businesses choose the right ERP software so they can track information across departments and centralize data access.
The enterprise resource planning (ERP) software market is large and complex. There are hundreds of vendors offering best-of-breed (i.e., standalone) ERP applications or integrated ERP software suites. Additionally, many ERP software companies offer vertical market solutions to meet the unique requirements of specific industries, such as manufacturing, distribution, retail and others. We wrote this buyer's guide to help organizations better understand how to select the best ERP system that suits their business needs.
Here's what we'll cover:
An enterprise resource planning system helps organizations track information across all departments and business functions, from accounting to human resources to sales and beyond. Common ERP functionality includes:
The term "ERP" took root in the U.S. around 1990 as a growing number of organizations required integration outside of—but not exclusive of—their manufacturing applications. They needed to share data from their manufacturing resource planning (MRP) system with say, their financial accounting, customer relationship, supply chain or other applications. Enterprise planning software was introduced to describe a broader system that integrated each of these applications. The top ERP software packages will cover the following application categories.
|ERP Accounting||Helps organizations manage their financial transactions. At its core, it will have a general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll.|
|Business intelligence||Used to analyze and report business data to help companies make smarter business decisions. Core functions include analytics, data mining, reporting and more.|
|Customer relationship management||Manages interactions with prospects, customers, clients and/or partners. It tracks activity across all departments: marketing, sales and service.|
|Human resources||Manages traditional HR activities such as personnel tracking and benefits administration, as well as new strategic HR initiatives like talent management, employee evaluation and learning management.|
|Inventory management||Helps companies track up-to-date information about their product supply. Its aim is to maintain optimum stock levels so that companies avoid depreciation of inventory and overspending, and ultimately maximize profits.|
|Supply chain management||The supply chain management (SCM) application tracks goods as they move from manufacturing facilities to distribution centers to retail stores.|
Before evaluating options and performing an ERP software comparison, you'll need to determine what type of buyer you are. Over 90 percent of buyers fall into one of these three groups:
Enterprise resource planning systems buyers. These buyers require integration of data across all departments. They want to have everything in one system and avoid the technical challenges of integrating disparate applications. These buyers favor complete ERP solutions like SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Infor, Epicor, Oracle and others.
Best-of-breed buyers. These buyers require a single component like a standalone CRM system or a HR system. They often need greater functionality and more features than what is offered in an integrated suite. Because of the functional depth these buyers require, it's important that they spend time evaluating reviews for specialized systems instead of integrated suites.
Small business buyers. In the past, high upfront costs and technical challenges kept many small businesses out of the ERP market. But with a growing number of cloud options, small business buyers have a new opportunity to implement enterprise-level technology. Of course there are still on-premise or client/server options still available for small businesses.
There are several trends playing out in the market. ERP software vendors are consolidating, adoption of software as a service (SaaS) is growing and more. Here we'll highlight a few you should know about.
Vendor consolidation. The consolidation of ERP products isn't necessarily a new trend. Mergers and acquisitions have always been a part of this market's history. However, the rate at which it's taking place and the implications it has for buyers are worth mentioning. Large vendors continue to acquire niche vendors to round out their product lines, acquire excellent technology or to expand into new geographic markets. Buyers need to consider this when evaluating systems. In a worst-case scenario, a provider gets acquired and no longer provides support and updates. Avoid this situation by considering a vendor's financial and strategic viability.
Adoption of software as a service. SaaS or web-based ERP is an appealing alternative to traditional on-premise systems. The initial investment is lower, the implementation can be quicker, the user interface is familiar (it runs in a web browser) and companies don't need full-time IT staff to maintain servers and hardware. Most ERP vendors now offer—or have plans to offer—some kind of web-based option.
Mobile app support. Vendors have responded to rapid growth in smartphone adoption by developing mobile interfaces for their ERP software systems. If you have employees who need to access ERP data while on the go, you should consider systems that support mobile apps.
Microsoft launches Dynamics 365 Business Central. In light of the rising interest in cloud-based ERP software, Microsoft launched its Dynamics 365 Business Central solution, which exists solely in the cloud. Its other ERP offering, Microsoft Dynamics NAV—which was previously offered on-premise and as a cloud-based solution—will be offered exclusively on-premise.
Workday acquires Adaptive Insights. Traditionally known for its human resources and business finance components, Workday's recent purchase of budgeting and planning software Adaptive Insights further solidifies the cloud-based solution's increasing footprint within the ERP software market. The acquisition expands on Workday's existing features to support use cases generally found with more robust ERP systems.
U.S. government warns that hackers are targeting ERP systems. Citing a study by Onapsis and Digital Shadows, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to businesses that cybercriminals have taken a keen interest in ERP software. The study details the specific ways in which hackers have exploited vulnerabilities in ERP software, which houses critical business information and private customer data, and urges businesses to protect their "crown jewels" in this era of enhanced cybersecurity threats.
Take this short survey so we can help you identify the products that best fit your needs.
A Graphic of the Top-Rated ERP Products
FrontRunners uses real reviews from real software users to highlight the top software products for North American small businesses.
Our goal is to help small businesses to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them. That’s why we engineered FrontRunners.
To create this report, we evaluated over 195 ERP products. Only those with the top scores for Usability and User Recommended made the cut as FrontRunners.
Scores are based on reviews from real software users.
The Different Graphics Show Different Sizes of Vendors
Small and Enterprise refer to the size of the software vendor company—not necessarily the size of customers they serve.
We break vendors into two groups for two reasons: It’s a more equal comparison of products, and software buyers have told us it’s helpful.
To determine who’s Small and who’s Enterprise, we look at how many employees the vendors have. All products in FrontRunners, whether Enterprise or Small, are evaluated using the same process.
Each graphic shows the top 10-15 performers for each the Enterprise and Small vendor categories. You can switch views simply by clicking on the version you’d like to see (above the graphic). You can read more in the full FrontRunners methodology here.
Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews
The gist is that products are scored in two areas—Usability and User Recommended—based on actual user ratings.
To be considered at all, products must have at least 20 reviews published within the previous 18 months, and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, ERP products have to offer financial management, HR management and inventory management.
From there, user reviews dictate the Usability and User Recommended scores. Usability is plotted on the x-axis and User Recommended on the y-axis.
You can download the full FrontRunners for ERP Software report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the FrontRunners quadrant.
Check Out Our Additional Resources!
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.
For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:
FrontRunners constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.