Searching for the best ERP for Manufacturing is no easy task. Here’s how to choose the best Enterprise Manufacturing ERP, including a step-by-step guide, industry trends, and key considerations for choosing the right solution in 2023.
When running an efficient manufacturing business, implementing an ERP can make all the difference to your business’s growth and success. With hundreds of products on the market, choosing the right solution to fit your organizational needs and goals can be difficult. To help you make an effective decision, let’s run through the must-haves when choosing and assessing the right ERP system for manufacturing.
What is ERP Software?
ERP software allows your business to manage all aspects of its day-to-day operations, from accounting to project management. It undergoes continuous updates to provide real-time data to everyone in the business. ERP software is one of the most comprehensive solutions for companies needing back-end organization, with features tailored to businesses of all sizes and industries. An ERP system allows companies to centralize many key elements of their production line, building a more productive and cost-effective business model.
According to Oracle NetSuite, manufacturing companies are the number one users of ERP software, and manufacturers represent the largest portion, at 47% of companies looking to purchase ERP software.
What’s the ‘best’ Manufacturing ERP software?
The best ERP software for manufacturing will help you to efficiently plan and manage resources across your manufacturing enterprise, typically via a suite of integrated applications. Your manufacturing ERP software should also ensure your operations run smoothly to stay efficient, compliant, on schedule, and profitable. However, it’s important to remember that the most popular or common manufacturing ERP software may not fit your business needs best. Simply put, the ‘best ERP’ is the one that meets your business needs. Not the first search result on Google or the highest reviewed system on G2 or Gartner. Identifying which is best for your business needs is traditionally a slow and manual process. Unless you conduct a thorough ERP evaluation, you will never understand which ERP system is best for your business’ bespoke needs and why.
Although some manufacturers may prefer to use an all-in-one ERP solution, an industry-specific solution is often the best ERP system for manufacturing companies. The choice ultimately comes down to factors such as your requirements, the size of your business, your budget, and the specific features you require.
Manufacturing ERP Considerations
While most manufacturing ERP software solutions offer similar functionality, they each have their features and specialties to take into consideration. Let’s take a look at the top ERP manufacturing features, functionalities, and benefits below:
Manufacturing ERP Features and Functionalities
- Inventory Management features: ERP software with inventory management capabilities provides real-time visibility on the availability, location, and status of required products or materials. As a result, you can identify shortages and supply requirements before any issues arise. Manufacturing ERP software automates this process, meaning you can fulfill orders on time and within budget.
- Features for Production and Capacity Planning: Manufacturing ERP software can manage your production and capacity planning requirements, giving you 360° visibility of your production platform to optimize processes and the allocation of your resources.
- Increased visibility and automation: Your ERP system should also increase your visibility and automation so all organizational functions are connected, such as manufacturing operations, finance, sales, supply chain, and inventory. The best ERP system for manufacturing will provide automation in the form of real-time reporting and analytics features. Functions that can be increased through automation include:
- Works orders
- Production planning
- Shop floor control
- Inventory updates
- Manufacturing specifications
- Bills of materials
- Job costing
- Improved customer service: Data from manufacturing operations can be connected to customer information through a CRM system, either integrated with or added as a module to your ERP software. This can provide real-time insight into customer activities to assist in customer service and ensure customers are kept happy before, during, and after the sale and delivery of their orders.
Benefits of Sourcing Your Company’s Best-fit Manufacturing ERP
Sourcing the right ERP can provide manufacturers with a single, centralized, and integrated software system, which can create benefits such as:
- Streamlined manufacturing processes, such as by reducing redundancies
- Improved operational workflows, such as through more data sharing across departments
- Reduced costs, such as by identifying supply chain inefficiencies or inventory waste
- Stronger compliance, such as through more consistent documentation of inventory and manufacturing processes
When the perfect match is made, your ERP should be a positive force for business transformation and give your organization a critical competitive edge.
How to Choose the best ERP for Manufacturing
While there are hundreds of options available, your decision on manufacturing ERP software will depend on whether the system deploys effectively into your working model and integrates with your existing business management software. Although it’s not uncommon for criteria to vary, you must ensure your ERP software meshes well with your business needs. Consider the following for choosing the right ERP for your manufacturing business:
- The Right Business Fit: Some ERP solutions are good at general functions but may need to be stronger regarding manufacturing-specific processes. Therefore, choose a solution provider that understands the manufacturing industry and can develop solutions to improve your organization’s efficiency.
- ROI: Consider specific functions or processes where you want to reduce long-term costs and increase efficiency. You should also consider the software’s long-term savings on hardware, software, or workload costs and ensure that the benefits of ERP make implementation worthwhile.
- Ease of Everything: Your ERP software should detract rather than add to your business challenges. Focus on choosing an ERP system with an intuitive, easy-to-learn user interface that can increase employee satisfaction and productivity.
- Future-Ready to Support Growth: Today’s decisions must help your business thrive now and in the future. The ‘’best’’ manufacturing ERP system will allow you to reach new markets, expand product lines, establish additional facilities, and grow your business.
Longevity: Software implementation is costly and time-consuming, so when you select an ERP provider, you are effectively trusting them to continue providing their software solution in the long term to avoid repeat implementation projects. Thoroughly research your chosen software vendor, customer base, and financial position to determine if they can work with you in the long run to provide the best ERP system for your manufacturing business.
How to Choose the Best ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System in 2023
Compare Manufacturing ERP Systems to your Enterprise Needs in Olive
If visiting a ton of websites and comparing ERP manufacturing vendors is stressing you, consider using Olive. Our process helps you quickly evaluate ERP vendors against your company’s evaluation criteria. Olive gets you out of emails and spreadsheets and allows you to drill deep into your specific requirements.
Check out ManufacturingERP Project and Requirements Templates
Olive’s requirements management software helps you select requirements from pre-built templates or build your own. No matter the complexity of the software you are looking for, Olive has requirements templates to kick off your manufacturing ERP project and requirements-gathering process.
Invite vendors to respond to requirements
Olive does not charge ERP vendors. We facilitate vendor-neutral decisions based on what you need, not what vendors sell or subjective reviews. Olive allows you to invite vendors to respond to requirements without revealing the identity of your client or business.
Compare Vendors to Criteria
Gartner, G2 Crowd, and Capterra can give you a good overview of the top-rated ERP vendors on the market, but shortcutting the process and only reviewing a few solutions in the space is fraught with risk and bias. Choosing the wrong solution will cost you in the long run. Olive helps you find the right ERP solution for your client or organization’s needs.
Find your organization’s Best-fit Manufacturing ERP software.
Choosing the best mERP software may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Olive helps you find the best-fit manufacturing ERP software to fit your business needs.