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Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of manufacturers choose the right manufacturing software so they can optimize production quality and manage resources.

Manufacturing Software

199  systems found

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Fishbowl Manufacturing

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
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  178
Our advisors have recommended this product 178 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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NetSuite

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
Rating:  14 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  145
Our advisors have recommended this product 145 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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E2 Shop System

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
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  115
Our advisors have recommended this product 115 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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JobBOSS

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
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  74
Our advisors have recommended this product 74 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Prodsmart

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
Rating:  4 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  61
Our advisors have recommended this product 61 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Infor VISUAL ERP

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
Rating:  19 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  40
Our advisors have recommended this product 40 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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OptiProERP

OptiProERP is a cloud and on-premise Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for small and midsize discrete manufacturers and distributors. Key features include supply chain management (SCM), purchasing, work orders, scheduling... Read More
Rating:  0 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  36
Our advisors have recommended this product 36 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Global Shop Solutions

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
Rating:  62 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  31
Our advisors have recommended this product 31 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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ECi M1

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
Rating:  54 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  31
Our advisors have recommended this product 31 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Made2Manage ERP

Aptean Made2Manage ERP is designed for manufacturers in job shops and dynamic “to-order” and mixed-mode environments. It's suitable for SMB manufacturers in industries like industrial equipment, electronics and fabricated metal,... Read More
Rating:  60 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  27
Our advisors have recommended this product 27 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Henning Visual EstiTrack ERP

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
Rating:  5 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  26
Our advisors have recommended this product 26 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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uniPoint Quality Management

uniPoint Quality Management Software is a modular on-premise quality management solution capable of integrating with other ERP systems. Built on Net Technology, a SQL database, and Crystal Reporting, this system is designed to grow... Read More
Rating:  8 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  22
Our advisors have recommended this product 22 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Priority

Priority is an on-premise and cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for midsize to large businesses in many industry segments including manufacturing, apparel, electronics, food and beverage, industrial machinery... Read More
Rating:  50 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  21
Our advisors have recommended this product 21 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Deskera ERP

Deskera ERP is a cloud-based enterprise business management suite that automates sales, billing, fulfillment, distribution (including pick, pack and ship process), sales commission calculations, purchasing, payment processing, product... Read More
Rating:  3 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  21
Our advisors have recommended this product 21 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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QT9 Quality Management

QT9 Quality Management Software is a web-based QMS software used by companies to comply with ISO and FDA quality standards. The software is available for deployment either on-premise or in the cloud. The tool eliminates the need for... Read More
Rating:  22 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  16
Our advisors have recommended this product 16 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Royal 4 Enterprise

Royal 4 Enterprise is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution with built-in modules for distribution, manufacturing, planning, inventory management, reporting and company financials. It serves midsize to large enterprises... Read More
Rating:  1 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  16
Our advisors have recommended this product 16 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Realtrac

Realtrac is an on-premise job management solution designed for job shop manufacturers and modular machine shops. It helps small and midsize manufacturers to schedule workflows, manage shop operations, track inventories, manage purchases... Read More
Rating:  39 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  13
Our advisors have recommended this product 13 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management

Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management, formerly known as Sage X3, is an ERP software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and... Read More
Rating:  16 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  13
Our advisors have recommended this product 13 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Mar-Kov CMS

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
Rating:  0 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  13
Our advisors have recommended this product 13 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Business Size:  S M L
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MasterControl Quality Management System (QMS)

MasterControl QMS is an integrated quality management system that can be installed on-premise or accessed through the web. It is suited for businesses of any size and a multitude of industries including agriculture, lumber, industrial... Read More
Rating:  41 reviews
Price: 
Price Range is based on our extensive pricing research and represents a comparison of cost between the 199 systems on our list. The best way to get a real cost is to request a quote.
Recent recommendations:  11
Our advisors have recommended this product 11 times in the last 30 days. These recommendations are based on buyers' needs. Contact us for a free consultation.
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Buyer's Guide

Last Updated: December 17, 2018

Manufacturing Software Quick Summary

Manufacturing software provides functionality to plan and execute projects from beginning to end, while automating materials planning, production tracking and scheduling and product lifecycle management.

Benefits of Manufacturing Software

Manufacturing software provides your business with several tangible benefits, including the following:

  • Widens supply chain visibility. Manufacturing software (or an Enterprise Resource Planning system for manufacturing) can be integrated with other systems for a holistic view to make adjustments based on events throughout the supply chain.
  • Stronger production planning. Production processes can be optimized when manufacturers analyze data and identify actual costs and time needed to complete specific steps in the process.
  • Improved compliance management. Manufacturing software keeps a record of activities in the system, including materials used, maintenance tasks and safety measures, which helps you prove compliance during audits.

Competitive Advantages of Using Manufacturing Software

Our digital world requires that businesses adopt a sufficient level of technology just to remain competitive. Manufacturing software designed for your specific type of production helps your company:

  • Scale your business. If you only have 100 contacts to deal with, then you might be able to keep all of their information straight using a simple Excel spreadsheet, or even pen and paper. Larger companies, however, deal with thousands or potentially millions of contacts and customers, which require CRM software in order to keep that information well-organized and accessible.
  • Operate more efficiently. When everyone in your company has access to your customer and contact data, you can deal with those customers more efficiently and avoid the dangers of over or under-contacting them. You can also track those interactions and analyze that data for more efficient resource planning.
  • Protect valuable intellectual property. A manufacturer's most valuable asset is usually their method of production, not the product itself. Software helps preserve and protect these trade secrets when combined with proper security tools.

Business Segments Using Manufacturing Software

Manufacturing software is used by many businesses, across a variety of production types. Each company has its own needs, but you'll likely fall into one of the following segments:

  • Industrial machinery. These types of manufacturers produce a wide variety of equipment or materials used for machinery or infrastructure, typically for other companies or organizations.
  • Food and beverage. Producers of food and beverages have stricter regulations and guidelines to follow to ensure product quality, and more importantly, safety and compliance.
  • Electronics. Electronic device production usually involves partnering with a number of third-parties to perform certain processes or supply parts and materials produced elsewhere. Managing these relationships is crucial to this segment.

Features Guide

A List of Common Manufacturing Features

When comparing manufacturing software, it's important to understand the functionality included in each. The most common functions of these systems are listed in the table below:

Material requirements planning (MRP) Automates the front end of the production process. Functions include planning and costing of materials, labor and equipment; automated quoting; order processing and resource scheduling. Systems should also process advanced shipping notification from suppliers to reduce receiving errors and report any changes in cycle counts for inventory management.
Manufacturing execution system (MES) Controls the actual production phase and shop floor operations. Functions include work-in-progress reporting, production tracking, labor tracking, equipment utilization and scrap reporting.
Manufacturing accounting Manages all of the financial transactions and operations for a company. In addition to the traditional accounting functions, which include general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory and payroll, the accounting application offers support for sales orders, purchase orders, change orders, work-in-progress reports and job costing modules.
Production planning & scheduling Creates production schedules, which includes reviewing inventory levels, tracking lead times and making build-versus-buy decisions. This is a subset of MRP; planning and scheduling does not generally include automatic ordering or inventory tracking functionality.
Product life cycle management (PLM) Organizes all manufacturing information around the designing, producing, supporting and disposing of manufactured goods. May include computer-aided design software, bill of materials data and document management.

Feature Details and Examples

Material requirements planning (MRP): An MRP functions to ensure the various factors that make up the final process and product come together, which involves a bill of materials, labor and equipment costs, reordering for inventory, scheduling production tasks for machines and generating quotes. An MRP is fundamentally used to manage all of the events that drive production efficiency.

A bill of materials in Fishbowl Manufacturing

Manufacturing execution system (MES): A manufacturing execution system is specifically designed to help companies optimize their production efficiency and quality. An MES takes and executes the production plan created in the MRP, which includes the bill of materials, schedules for production machines, inventory requirements and more. The system also tracks machine use so scheduling can be maximized.

A dashboard view of all production machines in Global Shop Solutions' One-System ERP

Manufacturing accounting: This functionality manages all the financial records of the company, focusing on the costs and revenue from production. Some items are specific to the manufacturing process—such as sales orders, purchase orders, change orders, work-in-progress reports and job costing modules. When integrated with an ERP or standalone accounting software, this gives you a valuable view into the financial impact of production.

EVO~ERP's financial records table

Production planning and scheduling: This feature works to help companies make more analytics-driven decisions about dividing up work, based on available capacity instead of just total capacity. This way, managers can prioritize jobs that are more critical to the business and shift others around intelligently. This functionality is particularly useful for make-to-order or highly complex manufacturing processes.

A scheduling view in E2 Shop System

Manufacturing Software Buyers' Top Requested Features

Software buyers typically ask for a few key features most often—ones like MRP and MES, which are manufacturing-specific. Accounting, quality management and supply chain-related functionality are requested to compliment the core systems.

Top Requested Manufacturing Software Features

Pricing Guide

How Manufacturing Software Is Priced and Hosted

Due to the specificity of needs and requirements for which manufacturing software is developed, companies can almost always find a system that fits their budget and deployment model. However, manufacturing vendors don't publish full pricing details on their websites and instead ask you to call for a price quote based on your company's needs.

Pricing models run the gamut, from subscription-based models paid monthly to one-time, upfront payments. While cloud-based software is a popular choice for most industries today, the traditional on-premise deployment—where the vendor installs the system on your hardware—can offer greater control over the data produced on your shop floor.

Alternatively, the cloud-based model offers a greater level of convenience and (typically) a much lower upfront cost.

What Businesses Typically Budget for Manufacturing Software

Looking at a recent sample of manufacturers who call us for software, most (77 percent) say they don't have a preference between cloud or on-premise systems. That's normal—these buyers usually want to weigh other factors before deciding on how the system is delivered.

Cloud-based software is very often subscription-based, but vendors may have monthly pricing or perpetual license for both types of deployment. During discussions with our software advisors, buyers relayed their expected budgets for each pricing model:

(Please note that these prices do not include any potential up-front fees, such as installation and training.)

Budget for Manufacturing Software, Monthly Subscription Per User

Budget for Manufacturing Software, Perpetual License

Hidden Costs of Manufacturing Software

Due to the complexity of a manufacturing environment, a handful of hidden costs exist in the form of services that get the system to perform the way you want and to help your employees and managers to use it correctly.

  • Training and support services are critical to the long-term value of the system, including hands-on instructions and ongoing upgrades.
  • Installation costs are likely required so the vendor can help integrate the system with your specific manufacturing situation.
  • Customization may be necessary to tweak the user interface or make other changes to avoid cumbersome workarounds. This can increase the total cost.
  • Vendors may also provide hardware, such as sensors or controllers for more visibility and remote management, which are separate purchases.

FAQs

What Are the Key Functions of Manufacturing Software?

To recap, manufacturing software offers some key functionality:

What Questions Should I Ask Vendors When Evaluating Manufacturing Products?

Demos of the system can give you a feel for whether the product is a good fit. Evaluate manufacturing software carefully and ask questions based on your specific needs, production type and business goals.

Some of these questions may include:

What features of your system are particularly useful for my type of manufacturing?

Depending on your production situation, you may be able to distinguish among a few top products by the functionality that is designed for your needs.

What parts of the software do users most frequently report problems with?

It's important to get a sense of the common issues users have with the system. This can reveal ongoing problems and the strengths and weaknesses of the vendor's support services.

What are the set-up costs for the software?

This question is especially important for manufacturing vendors. You'll likely need some help integrating the system properly due to the complexity of a manufacturing setting.

What are some popular add-on modules or hardware?

Most vendors offer extra modules that add niche or advanced functionality. Make sure to ask vendors about these options to understand which are most valuable to customers similar to you.

What Are the Differences Among MRP, MRPII and ERP?

The manufacturing software market is evolving, leading to multiple systems with overlapping functionality. It can be confusing, but we have research to make things more clear: MRP vs. MRP II: What's the Difference?

How Can I Develop a List of Manufacturing Needs?

We've delved into the vast amount of options for manufacturing software buyers and laid them out in a couple of reports about ERP modules and ERP feature comparison. Review our research and create a list of necessary features and those you want to implement later.

What Can Enterprise Vendors Offer?

Maybe you're a larger manufacturer and need something robust to help keep your operations healthy. Software giant SAP provides solutions for thousands of companies, but their competitors could be your best option. This report includes a breakdown of SAP's major competitors: Top SAP Competitors: The Best SAP Alternatives for Your Business

Tips & Tools

Relevant Articles

Here are some recent articles about manufacturing software you should check out:

Recent Events in the Manufacturing Market

Here are some important recent events concerning manufacturing, the economy and software:

  • U.S. Manufacturing Continues to Rebound. After a more than 10 percent decline in U.S. exports in 2015-2016, the National Association of Manufacturers reports that, in 2017, exports totaled $1.32 trillion, nearly 5 percent more than the year prior.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Expected to Transform Industry. Gartner offers several predictions about how new technology will impact manufacturing—within the next few years, up to 50 percent of manufacturers will utilize the Internet of Things, virtual assistants, 3D printing and blockchain technology.
  • Many Manufacturers Struggle with Digital Transformation. A new McKinsey survey reveals that the transition into Industrie 4.0 is a major challenge. Despite 92 percent saying they feel ahead or on par with competitors, many don't see the bottom line results yet. Follow our research for tips on how to make this transition successful.

Software Related to Manufacturing

The manufacturing software landscape includes a set of highly-related, but specialized, systems that can be used alone or in combination with your manufacturing software to help you meet business goals:

  • Material Requirement Planning (MRP) Software: Material requirement planning software provides core functionality that includes cost estimating, materials and production planning and forecasting. Systems may also offer features to generate price quotes and support discrete or engineer-to-order manufacturing processes.
  • Manufacturing Execution System (MES): Manufacturing execution systems support quality assurance and improvement focused on the production line. Included features allow companies to analyze asset performance to correct inefficiencies.
  • Manufacturing Accounting Software: Accounting software for manufacturing offers core financial management features, such as a general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, inventory and payroll. Industry-specific features like job costing and work-in-progress reports are also included.
  • Manufacturing Production Planning and Scheduling Software: Manufacturing planning and scheduling software helps production managers by using mathematical models to better simulate and understand the production environment. More advanced than standard MRP tools, best-of-breed manufacturing planning and scheduling platforms help improve production efficiency with apps for capacity scheduling, varied scheduling priorities and forecasting for what-if scenarios.
  • Manufacturing Inventory Management Software: Inventory management software for manufacturing assists in tracking production components, spare parts and expendable materials to reduce carrying costs and optimize quantities on hand.

FrontRunners® for Manufacturing, June 2018

FrontRunners History: 

FrontRunners Vendors Defined

Take this short survey so we can help you identify the products that best fit your needs.


What Is the FrontRunners Quadrant?


A Graphic of the Top-Rated Manufacturing 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 70 Manufacturing products. Only those with the top scores for Usability and User Recommended made the cut as FrontRunners.

FrontRunners-Vendor-Collateral

Scores are based on reviews from real software users.

What’s the Difference Between the “Small Vendor” and “Enterprise Vendor” Views?


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.

How Are FrontRunners Products Selected?


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, materials requirements planning, execution management, quality management and product lifecycle 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 Manufacturing report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the Frontrunners quadrant.

Got It. But What if I Have More Questions?


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.

  • Simply take this short questionnaire to help us match you with products that meet your specific needs. 
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  • Or, talk to one of our experienced software advisors about your needs by calling (844) 687-6771—it’s quick, free, and there’s no obligation.

For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:

  • The “FrontRunners FAQs for Technology Providers,” linked at the top of this page, for detailed answers to commonly-asked questions. 
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  • The complete FrontRunners methodology to understand the scoring.
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  • For information on how to reference FrontRunners, check out the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use: 

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.