Many manufacturers have been responding to supply chain disruptions by replacing their legacy systems with modern technology, including emerging technologies, like IoT.
If you’re thinking about following suit, you’ll soon discover just how many options you have. To help manufacturers navigate the technology landscape, we’ve compiled a list of the top ERP systems for manufacturing based on our client experience. These manufacturing ERP systems are suitable for mid-size to large sized manufacturing companies and include cloud based and on premise options.
The Top ERP Systems for Manufacturing
1. SAP S/4HANA
SAP S/4HANA is made for businesses of all sizes and offers on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployment. It’s designed to meet industry-specific requirements, and it leverages AI and machine learning. It provides operations management functionality that allows organizations to perform system-optimized monitoring of all shop floor operations.
2. SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud
SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud is a suite of five applications with IoT capabilities. Some of its features include data analytics, integrated scheduling, and shop-floor execution. Manufacturing companies can use the system’s preconfigured analytics to analyze global and plant-level manufacturing performance and associated causes.
3. Oracle NetSuite
NetSuite ERP automates and centralizes functions such as distribution, financial management, CRM, and supply chain management. This system is cloud-based and customizable. It supports full MES and manufacturing operations management capabilities.
4. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations is a cloud-based ERP system designed for large or diversified companies. Manufacturing companies can perform supply planning and production planning multiple times per day using the system’s in-memory services.
5. Infor CloudSuite
The Infor CloudSuite solution is suitable for enterprise and SMB manufacturing companies. It features an end-to-end planning system for specific manufacturing industries. The solution connects suppliers and manufacturers, brokers, 3PLs, and banks to the supply chain.
6. Epicor Kinetic
Epicor Kinetic has a cloud-based deployment option and includes advanced reporting and analytics tools. It also includes advanced planning and scheduling, dimensional inventory management, and serial, sub serial, and lot traceability.
7. IFS Cloud
IFS Cloud includes functionality for accounting, warehouse management, distribution, sales, HCM, and more. The software can be accessed through the cloud or on-premise. It’s designed for mid-sized and large organizations.
DELMIAWorks (formerly IQMS) has an emphasis on functionality for organizations with a heavy manufacturing component. The system provides native integration of ERP, MES, Quality Management, and many other modules. Deployment options include on-premise, hosted managed services, and SaaS.
Sage Business Cloud X3 has on-premise and cloud deployment options. It’s designed for businesses of any size and includes manufacturing functionality for both process and discrete environments. The system is suitable for project-based manufacturing as well as complex global distribution supply chains.
10. QAD Adaptive ERP
QAD Adaptive ERP is cloud-based and has flexible deployment options. It provides industry best practices built into embedded processes maps. Key functionality includes demand & supply chain planning, supplier relations management, global trade & transportation execution, and more.
You can find more information on the functionality of each system by downloading our 2022 Top 10 Manufacturing ERP Systems Report:
2022 Top 10 Manufacturing ERP Systems Report
Which manufacturing ERP systems have the strongest functionality? Learn about the systems with the most advanced capabilities in our unbiased report.
In the meantime, we’d like to share a few best practices for selecting the best ERP for manufacturing companies. We’ll share expert insights that will prepare you for a successful ERP selection and implementation in the manufacturing industry.
The First Step in Manufacturing ERP Selection: A Business Case
Before beginning ERP selection, you 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 manufacturing ERP software. Was it the need for advanced analytics for production scheduling? Was it the recognition that your order management or 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.
The benefits of modern manufacturing ERP software are numerous. For example, as a manufacturer, you likely have hundreds, if not thousands, of SKUs, and you know how daunting it can be to track inventory. This is 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 manufacturing ERP system by demonstrating how the system could integrate various departments and simplify inventory management and inventory control. This is possible because the CRM functionality within most modern ERP solutions 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.
Once you understand your business goals, you can evaluate the top ERP systems for manufacturing based on their 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 unique needs.
3 ERP Implementation Success Factors
Our manufacturing clients have historically been in industries such as industrial manufacturing, chemicals, food and beverage, and consumer products, among others. Through this experience, we’ve 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 to rise above the challenges in their industry and take advantage of opportunities for growth.
1. Focus on Integration
ERP platforms, especially those with IoT capabilities, can gather and analyze masses of data from a variety of sources.
However, this data only benefits your organization if you have processes that enable data integration.
Be sure to define these integrated business processes before ERP selection and implementation. During these early stages, we recommend focusing on designing processes that turn 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. Consider Usability
Usability is an important consideration when evaluating manufacturing software systems because younger people are entering the workforce. These employees have different expectations for the user experience, and they are unenthused by much of the old technology that manufacturers use.
Evaluating the user interface of each system you consider will help you find a manufacturing ERP system that ensures high employee retention.
3. Prepare Your Workforce
User adoption is essential if you want to realize expected ERP business benefits. Unfortunately, most people naturally resist change, and thus, most organizations experience low user adoption.
Those that experience high user adoption focus on what is known as organizational change management.
Developing a change management plan helps you manage change resistance and equips your workforce with the knowledge to embrace new manufacturing processes and technology.
The Best ERP for Manufacturing Doesn’t Always Equal Success
ERP success doesn’t begin with a list of the top manufacturing ERP systems, but it’s an important part of the journey.
To learn more about manufacturing ERP functionality, download our 2022 Top 10 Manufacturing ERP Systems Report, and to learn how to find the best ERP for your company in particular, request a free consultation below. You’ll have the opportunity to speak with our ERP consultants and discuss your unique business needs.