In the coming months, manufacturing companies that have not already done so will have no choice but to shift their business models in response to the rapidly changing economy.

To help manufacturers navigate today’s challenges, we have provided a list of the top ten manufacturing ERP systems based on our experience with software evaluation and contract negotiation.

This list comes to you in the form of our 2021 Top 10 Manufacturing ERP Systems Report. This report is designed to help mid- to large-sized manufacturers understand what kind of ERP functionality is available in the market today that can help them manage their supply chains and control costs.

2021 Top 10 Manufacturing ERP Systems Report

Here are the ten ERP systems that we believe – if implemented successfully – could counter the industry disruption that manufacturing firms are experiencing.

When selecting the best ERP for manufacturing, it’s not only important to understand the technology landscape, but you also should develop an ERP business case and start thinking about ERP implementation success factors. So, in this blog post, we’ll discuss both.

Understand Why You’re Considering a New ERP System

Before beginning ERP selection, you’ll need executive buy-in and clearly defined business goals. An ERP business case can help in both regards.

When developing a business case, consider what has sparked your search for new ERP software. Was it the need for predictive analytics? Was it the recognition that your customer experience could use improvement?

Regardless of the reasons, it’s important to outline them and quantify your expected ERP business benefits. A strong business case that outlines tangible benefits and ties these back to bottom line revenue works wonders in convincing executives to invest in ERP.

For example, as a manufacturer, you likely have hundreds, if not thousands, of SKUs. Whether you’re in an administrative or managerial role, you know how daunting a task it can be to track inventory. This becomes especially true if you’re manufacturing either a large product with many pieces or small widgets with thousands of SKUs.

If this sounds familiar, you can make the case for implementing a modern ERP system by demonstrating how this system could integrate various departments and simplify inventory tracking.

In fact, the CRM functionality within most modern ERP software fully integrates with your shop floor and enables more accurate reporting.

Another example relevant to today’s manufacturers? Say you want to meet your customers’ expectations regarding a flexible purchasing process. In your business case, you’ll want to highlight ERP’s ability to facilitate the user-friendly purchasing that B2B consumers have come to expect in their B2B transactions.

Once you understand your business goals, you can evaluate ERP software based on its ability to support your goals and your digital strategy. This will help you find not only the best ERP for manufacturing but the best ERP for your company in particular.

best erp system for manufacturing

Understand ERP Implementation Success Factors

Our manufacturing clients have historically been in industries such as aerospace and defense, industrial manufacturing, chemicals, food and beverage and consumer products, among others. Through this experience, we have found that regardless of a company’s sub-vertical, it likely faces similar challenges and opportunities as its peers.

With this in mind, here are some ERP implementation best practices that manufacturers should follow in order to rise above the challenges of their industry and take advantage of opportunities for growth.

Even if you’re in the ERP evaluation phase, it’s important to start thinking about these implementation success factors now because a lot of business process work takes place before selection:

1. Focus on Integration

While ERP systems can gather and analyze masses of data, few manufacturers have been able to make a sense of all these insights. The only way to do this with any success is to focus on defining integrated business processes during your ERP implementation.

These processes should be aimed at turning data into actionable information by integrating data across functional areas. For example, your demand forecasting and advanced planning processes should be integrated with your inventory and sales processes.

2. Leverage IoT Data

The internet of things (IoT) allows manufacturers to leverage data from multiple sources and devices throughout their supply chains. Similar to the point above, IoT will provide you with loads of data, but this data only benefits you if you have processes that enable data integration across functional areas.

In other words, business process reengineering may be necessary if you want to analyze and act on IoT data.

3. Focus on Organizational Change Management

New business processes mean lots of change for employees. The importance of change management lies in the fact that most people naturally resist change.

We recommend using change management strategies to ensure employee adoption across your supply chain. Employee adoption is essential if you want to realize expected ERP business benefits.

The Best ERP for Manufacturing Doesn’t Always Equal ERP Success

Manufacturing ERP success doesn’t begin with a list of ERP vendors, but it’s an important part of the journey. To learn more about manufacturing ERP functionality, download our 2021 Top 10 Manufacturing ERP Systems Report.

To learn how to find the best ERP for your company in particular, request a free consultation below to speak with our ERP consultants about all aspects of ERP selection and ERP implementation planning.

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