Showing 1-20 of 185 products
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
Recent recommendations: 118 recommendations
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
Recent recommendations: 114 recommendations
JobBOSS Shop Management Solutions, an ECi Software Solutions company, is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution built for small and midsize manufacturers in North America. It allows key office and production staff to manage... Read more
Recent recommendations: 32 recommendations
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
Recent recommendations: 31 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 sourcing,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 24 recommendations
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
Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations
IQMS’ flagship product, EnterpriseIQ 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... Read more
Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations
Sage 100cloud is an ERP platform for growing and medium-sized distributors and manufacturers. Financials, supply chain, reporting, analysis, and collaboration are all part of the mobile-ready solution. Financial processes within... Read more
Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations
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 manufacturing... Read more
Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations
KeyedIn Manufacturing is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution specifically designed for custom, make-to-order and mixed-mode manufacturers. The solution offers manufacturers a solution that can be customized to... Read more
Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations
Prodsmart is a cloud-based real-time production tracking and management solution designed for businesses in the manufacturing and fabrication industries. Features include shop floor real-time data collection, production analysis,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations
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
Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations
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
Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations
Visibility ERP is a fully integrated and modern ERP solution designed to meet the unique needs of manufacturers of complex products (including To-Order, ETO, CTO, MTO, Project Based, Discrete and Hybrid). It provides manufacturers... Read more
Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations
Epicor ERP is an integrated enterprise resource planning that is delivered either on-premise, hosted, or as a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. It caters to small, midsize and large enterprises in aerospace, automotive,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations
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
Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations
Skulocity is a cloud-based ERP system for manufacturing and distribution businesses. It offers functionality for warehouse management, inventory planning, manufacturing management, payroll, shipping management, and financial analytics. Skulocity’s... Read more
Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations
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
Recent recommendations: 7 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, centralized... Read more
Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations
WorkWise ERP is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps midsize businesses in the manufacturing industry with their management processes and operations. It can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. WorkWise ERP... Read more
Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations
Maintaining tight control over inventory is crucial for manufacturers operating in modern manufacturing environments where stock is kept at a minimum and orders are filled just in time (JIT). Manufacturing inventory software, sometimes referred to as manufacturing inventory control software, is one of the more traditional manufacturing applications. For this reason, there are more than 100 vendors that offer some form of manufacturing inventory management software.
This buyer’s guide, along with our manufacturing inventory software reviews, cover the essential information needed to make a purchase. Here’s what we’ll cover:
What Is Manufacturing Inventory Management Software?
Inventory management software helps optimize supply levels so manufacturers always have what they need as orders are placed, without tying up capital in excess parts or ingredients. The systems allow manufacturers to instantly determine on-hand inventory balances, which is useful for financial planning. In addition to tracking raw materials and stocked items, the system also records work-in-progress (WIP) items, finished products and more.
Most inventory systems will track purchased material and stocked items by lot number and/or serial number. Inventory management solutions use these numbers to track and locate in-stock items and produce picking information for item retrieval. Many systems have barcode, or radio frequency identification (RFID), functionality to scan items that are received, picked or transferred. Inventory management systems can also track purchase orders and other value information that is helpful for accounting.
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Before deciding on which system best fits your needs, it’s important to determine what type of buyer you are. More than 90 percent of buyers typically fall into one of these three categories:
Full-suite buyers. These buyers appreciate the integration that a solution from a single provider offers. Having a single system control all manufacturing functions improves information sharing between applications. For instance, a full-suite system can manage inventory picking, product assembly and invoicing from a single source.
Multi-location manufacturers. Operating multiple facilities adds a layer of complexity to the software requirements. These buyers need to track inventory for multiple facilities and balance levels across a geographic region. For manufacturers with international operations, the system should include multi-currency and multi-language support.
Small manufacturers. These buyers have straightforward requirements and need a system to improve data entry and inventory tracking. Small manufacturers are typically transferring over from pen and paper to a more automated system and only need basic inventory control functions such as order processing and lot/serial tracking.
Benefits and Potential Issues
In order to remain competitive in today’s global economy, manufacturers need to reduce excess inventory and have the capability to manage stock levels with an automated system. Here are a few of the benefits and potential issues that accompany a manufacturing inventory management system.
Time savings. An inventory system will reduce the amount of time spent processing and recording. It also enables manufacturers to immediately find the location of an in-stock item and check availability in real time.
Improved inventory accuracy. Fewer manual entry mistakes, such as logging the same inventory item twice, are made using an an electronic system. Getting a better grip on inventory management will also help reduce potentially costly manual recording errors.
Implementation difficulties. Implementing a comprehensive inventory management solution can be expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, manufacturers have to start from a clean physical inventory so the system can work off a well-organized inventory from the beginning. This can be very labor intensive.
Market Trends to Understand
Time and again different inventory management concepts, such as lean manufacturing, Kanban, six sigma methodology and 3D printing, arise to make the manufacturing process more efficient. Inventory management is moving away from the manual process, which is onerous and prone to errors. Instead, it is moving toward digital technology, which constitutes web services, mobile and internet of things (IoT). Therefore, manufacturers are looking for digital solutions that can help them manage their inventory efficiently.
Manufacturing inventory software is a niche market that is still evolving as its adoption in manufacturing organizations is increasing. Before buying a manufacturing inventory solution, decision makers should consider the following industry trends when they are evaluating a solution:
Smart inventory tracking. One-dimensional barcoding has gained a foothold in industrial and inventory tagging. Advanced systems use RFID, which enables remote monitoring to track the inventory status and product availability. Manufacturers can track products throughout the supply chain in real-time to help reduce instances of theft and spillage. In addition, real-time inventory report generation helps manufacturing and supply chain professionals to monitor business performance and take corrective actions.
Adoption of web-based platforms. There has been a gradual shift in manufacturer’s preferences from on-premise to cloud-based solutions. One of the reasons for this shift is that software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions require very little upfront investment. In addition, the digital infrastructure helps companies save maintenance.
Enhanced business intelligence. Manufacturers are increasingly looking to track and analyze their inventory levels to understand lead time, analyze the variability in product demand and avoid inventory stock outs. Advanced manufacturing inventory solutions provide real-time business intelligence and analytics features to improve planning and strategic decision-making capabilities by providing timely updates.
Access from mobile applications. Inventory professionals have moved from working at a fixed, single location to mobile workstations. These mobile workstations are typically connected through wireless networks and operate in remote locations. To facilitate business operations from these mobile workstations, manufacturing inventory software vendors offer mobile applications that can be accessed 24/7 from any mobile device. Moreover, these mobile applications share notifications whenever an order is received, confirmed, packed, shipped and delivered to the user.
Internet of things (IoT). With this technology, internet-connected sensors communicate without any human intervention. Though it is still in its nascent stage, this technology is expected to grow exponentially and disrupt supply chain and manufacturing operations. Small businesses should keep a watch on this initiative and prepare themselves for IoT in the future.