• John Hannan

Comparing the Top 3 Most Popular ERP Systems for Mid-Market Manufacturing

Are you looking to increase your manufacturing company's return on investment? Then consider implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. According to 2022 ERP software statistics, over half of the companies that implement ERPs see a significant improvement in business processes.


ERPs comprise built-in business management and analytic tools that enable manufacturers to maintain a proper workflow. They centralize data and automate processes to save you time.

Choosing new manufacturing ERP software for your business is a significant investment. Besides the budget, entrepreneurs and decision-makers must research the software capabilities and the provider's reputation.


ERP software in the market features various modules and functionalities. With different numbers of licensed users, some manufacturing ERP solutions are cloud-based, while others are hosted platforms.


Knowing your options is crucial to ensure you select the best ERP for your company. Read on to explore the difference between some of the top ERP systems for manufacturing.


1. Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of business apps that helps organizations manage their pipeline, boost sales, and streamline operations. It employs AI, Machine Learning, and Mixed Reality capabilities to offer predictive advice for sales and fraud protection.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers the brand recognition of a reputable brand and a robust ERP platform. It includes project management, financial accounting, CRM, and purchasing functionalities. This solution supports discrete, process, lean, and mixed-mode manufacturing. Users may manage production and distribution activities through the supply chain management module.


Dynamics 365 provides real-time inventory data, enabling manufacturing companies to manage stock. Through its robotic process automation features, users can free up time and devote focus on mission-critical business aspects. This solution delivers real-time data insights that facilitate predictive maintenance and vendor selection. It supports integration with other Microsoft products like PowerBI and Microsoft Project Server.


Microsoft prices Dynamics 365 by user tier based on the number of functions performed and the number of users. Choose between on-premise and the much more popular cloud-based deployment hosted on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.


2. Oracle NetSuite

NetSuite is a popular cloud-based ERP system for manufacturing businesses. Its software-as-a-service (SaaS) model makes it very scalable and versatile. NetSuite is customizable to fit small, medium, or large-scale organizations.


Through automation, this technology helps to streamline operational procedures. It provides further convenience through its modules and apps for business activities.


This solution features five suites:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • eCommerce management

  • Human Capital Management

  • Professional services automation


NetSuite streamlines business processes using business intelligence functionalities that combine data and visual analytics. Its customizable reports and dashboards make it user-friendly.


Pricing for NetSuite is based on modules used and the number of users.


3. Epicor Manufacturing ERP Software

Epicor is a flexible ERP for manufacturing companies. Its customizable design supports additional modules to match the unique needs of various industries. This software gives companies the option of buying just what they need with the ability to add more modules in the future. It features:


  • Production management

  • Supply chain management

  • Financial management

  • Scheduling


It also offers a Quality Performance Management (QPM) module for added convenience.

With support for various manufacturing modes like make-to-order and configure-to-order, Epicor is highly versatile. Use this solution for highly specialized industries such as aerospace and defense.


However, this top ERP software has limited invoicing flexibility and import functionalities. It can be on-premise, hosted, or delivered as a cloud-based SaaS application. Pricing is by user tier and the number of users.


Choosing the Right Manufacturing ERP

When looking for the right ERP solutions within the manufacturing industry, it is best first to identify your organization's needs. This will ensure you choose software that matches your specific requirements.


Organizations that produce perishable goods would need a manufacturing ERP with robust inventory management solutions, which eliminate wasted resources from overproduction. Conversely, manufacturers in specialized industries like pharmaceuticals or food processing should implement an ERP that has lot and batch-tracking tools.


It is best to note some EPR software might lack some built-in features. These solutions will require you to pay additional fees for modules that didn't come with your ERP right out of the box.


Budget is another critical factor when buying an ERP. Up-front costs of manufacturing ERPs vary widely, so ensure to pick a system that provides the most return on investment.


Also, consider selecting an ERP that integrates with software your company currently uses or plans to use in the future. Top ERP software options are compatible with popular third-party applications.


Turn Your ERP Vision into a Reality

Deciding on which ERP software to implement can be overwhelming. But guidance from a seasoned implementation partner for your software selection process will boost your chances of success.


Whether you are implementing an ERP for the first time or upgrading your legacy system, subscribe to our blog for essential tips on digitally transforming your manufacturing company.

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