• John Hannan

The Best ERP Systems for Small Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing is one of the most competitive and dynamic industries. To achieve their objectives, small-sized manufacturing companies must accelerate processes and enhance operational efficiency. One of the best ways to streamline company operations is through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.


ERP software solutions feature integrated business management tools that boost efficiency. They enable employees to work collaboratively, improving response time and productivity. These programs provide businesses with a 360-degree view of the organization's processes.

Choosing suitable ERP systems for small manufacturing can be overwhelming. According to a 2022 finance report, 50% of organizations implementing ERP solutions improved their business processes. So finding the right ERP software for your small manufacturing company is crucial for growth.


This guide highlights a few core considerations when looking for ERP manufacturing software.


Considerations for Choosing ERP Manufacturing Software

Although ERP systems have various benefits, most businesses dread the idea of implementing new technology. The wide range of manufacturing ERP systems can make it challenging to choose one.


Here are four valuable tips to help in choosing to choose an ERP system:


01. Examine Your Current Process

How do you currently manage your company operations? If you've outgrown basic programs like Excel and QuickBooks, it's time to implement customizable manufacturing ERP software. ERP products come loaded with convenient features to help transition from limited solutions to robust ERP solutions.


Your current system will help you decide which software is best for your business. If switching from QuickBooks, look for an ERP compatible with the program to avoid the hassle of rebuilding databases. Compatibility with your existing data simplifies the transition by maintaining your historical and current databases.


02. Look at Your Manufacturing or Production Process

Innovative ERP solutions are often engineered for specific manufacturing modes, including:

  • Discrete manufacturing.

  • Process manufacturing.

  • Light assembly.

  • Mixed-mode manufacturing.

  • Make to order (MTO).

  • Engineering to order (ETO).

  • Make to stock (repetitive manufacturing).

  • Professional services.

Although non-specific ERP software may work, having the precise tools to support your manufacturing mode enhances efficiency. Suppose your business practices process manufacturing; you need an ERP with extra management functionalities to streamline process-specific requirements and meet federal compliance requirements.


03. Consider Your Industry

Enterprises from different industries face unique challenges. To choose the appropriate ERP software for your manufacturing company, you need to determine the specific industry you operate in.


Some considerations when choosing a manufacturing ERP are industry-specific. Various ERP systems serve companies from different industries. Therefore, it is best to select a plan tailored to your niche.


04. What’s Your Budget

Finally, you must consider the budget for your ERP system. The up-front cost of manufacturing software varies widely. But the essential factor to consider is your ERP's return on investment (ROI).


Also, decide whether you need an on-premise or cloud-based ERP solution. Cloud-based or SaaS systems work best for small companies. Ensure to pick an easily scalable system.


Best ERP Systems for Small-Sized Manufacturing

Selecting an ERP is a complex but essential decision. The following are the most flexible and popular ERP systems for small manufacturing companies, in no particular order.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central provides a robust ERP platform that includes:

  • Operations and project management.

  • Financial accounting.

  • CRM and purchasing.

This software offers a field service option for companies with field technician operations. While it has core functionalities out of the box, it may need Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) for specific programming requirements.


Dynamics 365 Business Central is deployable on-premise or as a cloud-based solution hosted on Microsoft's cloud platform. Purchase it as a subscription or one-time payment.


Epicor

Epicor has decades of experience serving manufacturing companies. Their flexible EPR system is suitable for various manufacturing modes, such as MTO, ETO, and discrete manufacturing. Its compatibility with mobile devices is an added advantage.


This EPR solution works well for businesses in highly specialized industries like aerospace or medical device manufacturers. The platform delivers management tools for production, supply chain, and finance operations. It’s easily customizable and scalable.


Epicor features a Quality Performance Management (QPM) module that most ERP systems lack, saving you the cost of ISVs.


Acumatica Manufacturing Edition

Founded in 2008, Acumatica is one of the fastest-growing ERP providers. They offer full-service ERP products for manufacturing, professional services, and distribution.

Acumatica EPR systems use an xRP platform and feature essential functionalities like inventory management and CRM. The Acumatica Manufacturing Edition ERP suits varying business models and workflows.


NetSuite

NetSuite Manufacturing Edition is a complete solution for manufacturing resource planning, integrated inventory and dynamic replenishment, warehouse management, financial accounting and costing, customer and partner relationship management, and ecommerce.

NetSuite Manufacturing Edition includes specific modules for demand planning, material requirements planning, production engineering, shop floor control, manufacturing inventory control, manufacturing cost control, project control, lot and serial control, and multi-division, multi-site solutions.


Make Your ERP Vision a Reality

Implementing a new ERP system can be an overwhelming experience. But with expert guidance, you will increase your chances of success. With more than two decades of experience working in ERP, we will help deliver your company's ERP vision.


If you’re a manufacturing company running on aging systems and looking to optimize your operational efficiency through ERP, subscribe to our blog for valuable tips on enterprise resource planning.


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