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Manufacturing organizations today have more than 200 different manufacturing ERP software solutions to choose from. To help navigate this challenge, we developed a report highlighting what we believe to be the top ERP systems for the manufacturing industry based on our experience and research. The report includes Tier I, II and III ERP systems as well as niche applications. We discuss considerations such as user experience, cultural fit and functional strengths.

Before you download the report, here’s a quick overview of some of the highlights from the Tier I ERP vendors:

SAP

As one of the largest vendors in our report, SAP makes large investments in research and development. SAP has recently invested in its manufacturing execution system (MES) by leveraging artificial intelligence. When tracking defects, for example, the MES system provides near real-time information by relying on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Another strength of SAP is the ability to configure and centrally manage a hierarchy of resource reason codes across plants.

One thing to consider when evaluating SAP is the systems’ complexity. In our experience, implementation durations can range from nine months to more than 18 months, depending on complexity as well as the rollout methodology.

Infor

Infor is another large ERP vendor that is consistently developing innovative products. Infor’s products for process manufacturers are designed to increase operational efficiencies by allowing easy adjustments to formulas before and during production.

Earlier this year, Infor enhanced its supply chain management (SCM) functionality to leverage digital technologies, such as big data, machine learning and IoT. The SCM system can be purchased as part of a full suite of solutions.

While both Infor LN and Infor M3 provide deep out-of-the-box functionality, organizations may need to implement an additional Infor product to access more advanced functionality.

SAP vs. Oracle Case Study

SAP and Oracle both invest heavily in cloud technology. However, our client was skeptical about cloud scalability and unsure if the products were mature and proven.

Oracle

Oracle also invests heavily in manufacturing ERP software. Oracle’s warehouse management system (WMS), providing cloud-based inventory management and warehouse management, leverages innovative technology, such as IoT and mobility. The WMS system can easily integrate with other business applications.

Oracle’s manufacturing products use artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to rapidly identify issues, pinpoint the root causes and predict events before they occur.

While Oracle’s cloud applications consolidate best practices from their various business applications, Oracle’s cloud functionality is not yet as rich and deep in functionality as historical JD Edwards or EBS functionality.

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics solutions have a familiar user interface and suit organizations of all sizes. Microsoft Dynamics D365 Enterprise enables data and resource integration across various departments and locations. The solution has been redeveloped as a pure SaaS model, but also can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the cloud. In terms of field service functionality, Microsoft Dynamics employs IoT technology to improve response times and operational efficiency.

This October, Dynamics 365 for Sales will be enabled with artificial intelligence, which will give manufacturers better visibility into their supply chain. Dynamics D365 continues its reliance on a partner ecosystem to develop niche functionality. Partners are currently in the process of understanding niche IP development for the new version of Microsoft Dynamics.

The Ideal Manufacturing ERP Software

The ideal manufacturing solution should address the entire supply chain, from product inception to customer delivery. It should have functionality to track suppliers, materials, production costs, maintenance and customer relationships. Ultimately, it should increase operational efficiency and provide full visibility into manufacturing processes and business data. Transforming your manufacturing organization requires technology that drives efficiency and enables full supply chain visibility.

While it’s helpful to compare the strengths of various ERP systems, the best solution for your business depends on your unique needs and situation. We hope this report helps you evaluate the solutions we’ve deemed the most viable manufacturing ERP vendors in the market.

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