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 systems are suitable for mid-size to large sized manufacturing companies and include cloud based and on premise options.
Top ERP Systems for Manufacturing
- SAP S/4HANA
- SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud
- Oracle NetSuite
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations
- Infor CloudSuite
- Epicor Kinetic
- IFS Applications
- Sage Business Cloud X3
- QAD Cloud ERP
You can find 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. This post provides 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 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 ERP 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 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.