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Small Business 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 Manufacturing is a business automation and inventory management platform for small to mid-sized. It integrates with QuickBooks accounting. Fishbowl offers inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP) and job shop... Read More
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Fishbowl Manufacturing is a business automation and inventory management platform for small to mid-sized. It integrates with QuickBooks accounting. Fishbowl offers inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP) and job shop... Read More
 
ECi M1 logo
 
ECi M1 is a complete on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that automates financials, inventory, production, sales/quoting, and production planning. The software is designed to meet the requirements of small to midsize... Read More
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ECi M1 is a complete on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that automates financials, inventory, production, sales/quoting, and production planning. The software is designed to meet the requirements of small to midsize... Read More
 
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
 
KeyedIn Manufacturing logo
 
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
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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

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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
 
E2 Shop System logo
 
E2 by Shoptech Corporation brings all business operations into a single simple solution, from estimating to scheduling, purchasing, shipping and even customer management and accounting, with its easy-to-use solution. Designed specifically... Read More
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E2 by Shoptech Corporation brings all business operations into a single simple solution, from estimating to scheduling, purchasing, shipping and even customer management and accounting, with its easy-to-use solution. Designed specifically... Read More
 
JobBOSS logo
 
JobBOSS by Exact is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) built for small and midsize manufacturers in North America. It allows key office and production staff to manage job information day-to-day to aid customer service and on-time... Read More
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JobBOSS by Exact is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) built for small and midsize manufacturers in North America. It allows key office and production staff to manage job information day-to-day to aid customer service and on-time... 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
 
IQMS MES Software logo
 
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
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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

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Deskera logo
 
Deskera is an enterprise resource planning software formulated to run manufacturing operations. The system is suitable for companies manufacturing for a variety of industries. Textiles, automotive, distribution, metal processing, pharmaceuticals,... Read More
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Deskera is an enterprise resource planning software formulated to run manufacturing operations. The system is suitable for companies manufacturing for a variety of industries. Textiles, automotive, distribution, metal processing, pharmaceuticals,... Read More
 
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
 
SYSPRO logo
 
SYSPRO offers Enterprise Resource Planning software to support the control, integration, and synchronization of the life of the manufacturing process for both short and long production runs. Implementing SYSPRO is made simple with... Read More
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SYSPRO offers Enterprise Resource Planning software to support the control, integration, and synchronization of the life of the manufacturing process for both short and long production runs. Implementing SYSPRO is made simple with... Read More
 
ProfitKey ERP logo
 
With over 30 years of experience in the ERP and Manufacturing markets, ProfitKey International has developed Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) to provide a fully integrated ERP and MES solution for small to mid-size manufacturers.... Read More
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With over 30 years of experience in the ERP and Manufacturing markets, ProfitKey International has developed Rapid Response Manufacturing (RRM) to provide a fully integrated ERP and MES solution for small to mid-size manufacturers.... 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

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EVO~ERP logo
 
EVO~ERP was first introduced to the market in 2004 as a fully integrated, real-world business solution, providing an organizational, financial management, and business intelligence platform from which companies can revolutionize their... Read More
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EVO~ERP was first introduced to the market in 2004 as a fully integrated, real-world business solution, providing an organizational, financial management, and business intelligence platform from which companies can revolutionize their... 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
 
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
 
Realtrac logo
 
For over three decades, Realtrac has been providing job shop manufacturers a modular machine shop management tool. Realtrac offers job shop management features such as estimating to order entry, job tracking, purchasing, scheduling,... Read More
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For over three decades, Realtrac has been providing job shop manufacturers a modular machine shop management tool. Realtrac offers job shop management features such as estimating to order entry, job tracking, purchasing, scheduling,... Read More
 
Priority logo
 
Priority is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that is suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments, including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery and more. Priority’s... Read More
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Priority is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that is suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments, including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery and more. Priority’s... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Lisa Hedges,
Content Analyst
Last Updated: September 23, 2017


There are hundreds of software solutions on the market, many of which address every step of operations from product inception to customer delivery. For smaller businesses, however, many solutions are more complex than their needs require. To better help these buyers, we've narrowed down the manufacturing software market to focus on those solutions ideal for small businesses only (manufacturers with $10 million or less in annual revenue).

What is Small Business Manufacturing Software?

A small business manufacturing software solution provides various modules, such as bills of material (BOM), manufacturing resource planning (MRP), work jobs, sales orders, purchasing and inventory, to small-sized businesses. The system addresses the major requirements of the overall manufacturing process workflow, which is the core of small businesses.

Common Reasons Small Manufacturers Shop for New Software

Many small manufacturing firms contact us for advice as they search for new software solutions. Some are replacing manual methods and have never implemented a software solution before, while others are looking to upgrade to a new system with greater functionality. The most common reasons prospective buyers cite when looking for manufacturing software for small businesses is that they’re:

  • Transitioning away from manual methods (e.g., pen and paper);
  • Outgrowing an older system;
  • Seeking additional functionality or
  • Needing a system that’s more user-friendly.

While the reasons abound, the systems and features that address these issues are also plentiful. We do find however, that most small businesses require one or more of these basic capabilities:

Feature Function Benefit
Material requirements planning (MRP) MRP systems are used for tracking and organizing production materials and monitoring the flow of labor and equipment. These systems can also be used to help reduce shipping and receiving errors by processing advanced shipping notifications from suppliers and reporting changes in cycle counts for inventory management. Automates the initial phases of the production process.
Manufacturing execution system (MES) An MES is used to provide manufacturing managers with real-time reporting from the shop floor in order to assist with decision-making about the production process. Additional MES functions include production and labor tracking, equipment utilization and scrap reporting. Provides a real-time window into shop floor operations.
Manufacturing accounting Manufacturing accounting systems include standard accounting features such as inventory, payroll and accounts receivable, but also come with more manufacturing-focused capabilities such as sales and purchase orders, work-in-progress reports and job costing modules. Manages manufacturing-specific financial transactions and operations.
Supply chain management (SCM) While the functionality of an SCM system within a manufacturing system will likely be less robust than a standalone SCM system, this feature assists with basic supply chain management, particularly inventory control. Automates basic supply chain control and alerts users to delays and backlogs.
Customer relationship management (CRM) Within a manufacturing solution for smaller businesses, this function will assist with basic customer service and support, such as troubleshooting and the storage of customer contact information. Manages all of a company’s customer data and interactions.

Market Trends to Understand

Small manufacturers should always be prepared for unexpected changes in the market and competition from larger enterprises. Here’s a list of the current trends in the small business manufacturing market.

Small manufacturers will develop strategies more aggressively. Small-sized manufacturing companies will try and fight the digital differences that can develop between them and larger enterprises by creating strategies that embrace the latest manufacturing technologies and concepts. To achieve this, they will need to modernize their plant floor equipment and move to advanced manufacturing systems so that they can manage information more efficiently.

The adoption of robots will rise. Among several advanced technologies, small manufacturers are expected to adopt affordable and general-purpose robots. These robots will work in collaboration with the human workforce in a safe and secure manner to transform the overall plant floor activities. Also, concepts such as machine learning and visual analysis, will make it easier to deploy robots in frontline manufacturing roles, make them flexible for various types of work jobs and easier to program for complicated tasks.

Demand will drive production. Earlier, manufacturers used to push work orders to the shop floor, irrespective of the amount of work in line. However, this has now eased and current lean manufacturing practices help shop floors by requesting for a job based on the requirement. Manufacturers are applying the same concept to their high-level output planning by working closely with the sales force and customers. This helps them predict the actual demand for the future and results in lower lead times, fewer inventory items and overall satisfied customers.

Currently, even small business manufacturing software solutions provide capabilities that support demand-driven manufacturing. Hence, small manufacturers that are adopting such systems are on the rise.

Key Considerations for Small Businesses

What level of functionality do you require? The first consideration for a small business evaluating manufacturing software is how much functionality they require in a system. This will differ considerably from business to business, but starting with a clear assessment of your needs will go a long way in determining which system is the best fit.

Some small manufacturing companies may be automating only some operations for the first time, and thus may not require a full suite that includes material requirements planning. For example, a smaller firm may only need bill of materials (BOM) automation, which can be done with certain manufacturing accounting products, such as Peachtree and Quickbooks.

Does your business require an ERP system? Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can be used by small manufacturing companies, but are often a better fit for mid-to-large-sized manufacturing operations due to their complexity and advanced functionality (and often times, cost).

However, there are a number of ERP systems on the market tailor-made for small businesses. These systems offer more functionality than basic manufacturing software, but are easier to implement and operate than the enterprise-level ERP systems on the market.

Which manufacturing mode is specific to your business? Different products are made to support different modes of manufacturing, e.g. repetitive, made to order, mixed mode or another specific process. When evaluating manufacturing software for smaller firms, it’s important to select a product that supports your specific manufacturing type.

Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling to adapt your business processes to software that isn’t adequately designed to handle them.

Free Download:
Ten Steps to Selecting the Right Manufacturing Software

Free Download:
Manufacturing Software Price Comparison Tool

 

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