If you’re about to begin ERP selection, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What types of ERP systems are there?” Well, you’re in luck because, today, we’re going to answer this question at length. First, it’s important to understand some of the different ways enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are categorized. Full ERP vs. industry-specific ERP and cloud ERP vs. on-premise ERP are two examples.
The distinction between full ERP vs. industry-specific ERP comes down to whether the system is designed for a variety of industries or is specialized to just one or two. The distinction between cloud ERP and on-premise ERP lies in how the system is installed and maintained.
You can also categorize ERP systems based on the size of business they target. We use the terms Tier I, Tier II and Tier III to differentiate between systems based on the revenue and complexity of the companies they’re targeting.
2020 Top 10 ERP Vendors Report
This report provides ERP selection guidance to organizations across all industries that are evaluating ERP systems. The vendors featured in this report were chosen based on the strength of their functionality across a variety of products.
Now that you understand the types of ERP systems, let’s explore what specific systems fit into these categories.
What Types of ERP Systems are There and What are Some of the Top ERP Solutions?
While there are hundreds of ERP systems on the market, we’re going to highlight some of the strongest based on our client experience.
These systems are designed for large corporations with more than $750 million in annual revenue. Most enterprises of this size are complex, either due to complex business processes or complexity in their entity structure and consolidation needs. Tier I applications address multiple industries and scalability.
Oracle Cloud ERP
This system relies on a global network of data centers all managed by Oracle. This allows applications to easily be extended to the cloud. The system also integrates machine learning and AI into finance applications, giving finance leaders better insight into their business.
Manufacturing ERP Vendor Spotlight: Oracle Cloud ERP
This system gives users actionable insights, enabling them to make informed business decisions. The system also reduces data sizes, which frees IT resources to focus on higher-value activities than maintaining legacy databases.
If you’re interested in the differences between SAP and Oracle, be sure to read our SAP vs. Oracle post.
This is another cloud-based system that provides functionality for aftersales service providers, distributors and a variety of manufacturing verticals. It has the flexibility to manage mixed-mode and complex value chains.
Manufacturing ERP Vendor Spotlight: Infor M3
Upper Tier II
These systems typically serve small to midsized companies with $250 million to $750 million in annual revenue. Companies of this size may encompass multiple industries and multiple business units.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
This system was recently re-built in Azure technology, making it a pure SaaS model with other deployment options. It has a strong ecosystem of independent software vendor (ISV) channel partners providing “last mile” functionality.
If you’re currently running Dynamics AX and are considering an upgrade to Dynamics 365, be sure to read our post, Dynamics AX vs. Dynamics 365.
Manufacturing ERP Vendor Spotlight: Microsoft Dynamics 365
This pure SaaS ERP system has the ability to scale in order to serve customers ranging from public companies to startups. It includes specialized functionality such as multi-dimensional analysis and industry-specific KPIs that can be accessed in real-time dashboards.
IFS ERP is a cloud-based system that’s perfect for consumer packaged goods companies with a global footprint. It also is strong in accounting as it offers modes for asset management as well as company-wide project management.
Manufacturing ERP Vendor Spotlight: IFS
This leading human capital management software provides advanced functionality for human resources functions, like recruiting and talent retention. The vendor is continuing to develop and strengthen its ERP functionality, especially in the area of financial management.
This is a scalable and flexible ERP solution with the ability to manage manufacturing operations. It provides multiple deployment options, including a SaaS option. It is built on Microsoft platform, making it easily configurable.
Manufacturing ERP Vendor Spotlight: Epicor
Lower Tier II
These systems typically serve small to midsized companies with $10 million to $250 million in annual revenue. These companies usually represent only one industry and have a single entity to manage.
Manufacturing ERP Vendor Spotlight: NetSuite
Infor CloudSuite Industrial
This comprehensive cloud-based solution provides functionality for the manufacturing industry. It has functionality for repetitive manufacturing and provides capabilities for simplified implementation.
Infor CloudSuite Distribution
This software enables wholesale distributors to detect trends and monitor inventory demand. It also gives companies the ability to maintain a lean supply chain and implement new digital strategies.
This is a niche ERP system for manufacturers in make-to-order, assemble-to-order and engineer-to-order environments. It also provides human capital management functionality as well as customer relationship management features.
Manufacturing ERP Vendor Spotlight: abas
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
A flexible and scalable solution for managing a business of any kind, this software can improve your company’s sales and optimize your supply chain. It is built on best practices from Microsoft NAV, GP and SL.
SYSPRO provides a single ERP product with the ability to support process, discrete and mixed-mode manufacturing. The system includes a machine learning designer allowing non-technical users to easily design their own AI models.
Manufacturing ERP Vendor Spotlight: SYSPRO
This solution is specifically designed to resolve the operational and regulatory needs of discrete manufacturing firms. It provides functionality that allows tracking of shop floor activities, completions and statuses.
There are hundreds of software providers in this tier serving mostly small businesses. However, there are also some very robust point solutions with niche functionality that are often used to supplement a larger ERP system.
This system provides financial functionality for retail, manufacturing and distribution companies. It is great for global companies as it has the ability to adapt to multiple currencies and locations.
ASC is a supply chain management software that easily integrates with an existing ERP system. It is great for warehouse management as it has the ability to utilize mobile, real-time devices at the point of activity. It also is able to eliminate batch-mode reconciliations.
This solution also has many pre-configured best practices for specific industries. These include professional services, public sector, higher education and non-profit. The vendor has a strong focus on user experience and building strong client relationships.
Plex’s ERP+MES suite is a multi-tenant SaaS ERP solution built exclusively for manufacturers. The system can connect to shop floor equipment, third-party enterprise systems, EDI transactions and mobile or wearable devices.
Determine Your Company’s Goals
Once you understand your company’s goals, you can determine what type of ERP system will help you get there. While this list is a great start, it is by no means a complete list of all the ERP solutions we have found to be strong in functionality.
Panorama’s ERP consultants can illuminate more options for you, and help you understand complex terminology and imprecise buzzwords. We also can help you optimize your processes, outline your ERP requirements and select an ERP system that supports the company you want to become.
If this sounds helpful to you, request a free consultation below.