ERP Software Options for Small Manufacturing Businesses

Finding the right ERP software for your company is always a challenge, but if you’re a small manufacturing business, seeing a large ROI is crucial. Learn about different ERP software options from guest blogger Derek Singleton.

Small manufacturing businesses are constantly looking for a way to remain competitive in this global economy. For years, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has been an effective means for manufacturing companies to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Until recently, ERP software has been out of the price range of small manufacturing businesses. Even though ERP software is now more affordable today than ever before, many manufacturing businesses still operate on spreadsheet and enter all of their data manually. For those that are ready to get off of spreadsheets, I’ve put together a shortlist a affordable solutions that should make the shortlist for first time buyers.

First, let’s take a look at the functionality that each vendor brings to the table.

1. Epicor Manufacturing Express Edition
Epicor has been involved in the manufacturing software industry for more than two decades and has a great line of software products to choose from. Epicor Manufacturing Express Edition is one of the company’s newest additions to the portfolio. It is a software-as-a-service offering that is aimed purely at small and medium manufacturers. The software is particularly good at serving the needs of job shops. One thing that I like about Epicor is that you know you have room to grow. Once you are done with Epicor Manufacturing Express Edition, you can transition right into Epicor 9.

2. Exact JobBOSS
This Dutch manufacturing software company has a great story. They started in their garage and are now one of the most recognized names in the industry. Remembering their roots, they make it a point to serve small businesses and they do a good job of it. ExactJobBOSS is a great for the job shop and can handle most mixed mode and make to order manufacturing needs. One nice thng is that JobBOSS comes in three different varieties – Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. As your company gets bigger, you can stay with the same product.

3. Fishbowl Inventory
Most manufacturing companies will have at least heard of Fishbowl Inventory. They are one of the most popular and respected add-ons to the QuickBooks program that’s around. Fishbowl Inventory can serve a broad range of manufacturing industries and is can handle process manufacturing – serving industries like chemical and food manufacturing. It’s an easy move from QuickBooks to Fishbowl Inventory and companies will find that their inventory needs are better serviced.

4. Intuitive ERP
Intuitive ERP is put out by Consona. Consona has spent a long time in the manufacturing industry which is why they have more than 800 manufacturers use their software. The soiftware is always praised by customers for its usability. The system is built on the .NET architecture and maintains the look and feel of Microsoft type documents. Beyond its deep functionality, the usability of the system makes it a great choice for companies making their first venture into ERP.

5. MISys
MISys is great for manufacturers that have a solid handle on their finances but aren’t getting the results they need for planning and production. The software is used by several thousand manufacturers across the globe. A nice thing for smaller manufacturers is that they can purchase modules on an a la carte basis. The ability to pick and choose which modules you need comes in handy. The other great thing is the affordable payment plan. MISys has a monthly payment schedule that can have manufacturers paying as little as $10 for the system.

Naturally, there is more to evaluating manufacturing software that what I’ve laid out. If you’d like a more in-depth analysis you can view our article at Software Advice Small Business Manufacturing Software | 5 Affordable Options and learn more about ERP mobile integration.