Choosing the right small manufacturing ERP software can be daunting. But it’s crucial for small businesses that want to maximize operations and the bottom line.
In this blog post, you’ll take a look at 10 of the best small manufacturing ERP software programs on the market. You’ll learn what sets each program apart to help you decide which one is right for your business.
What is small business manufacturing ERP software?
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It’s a set of integrated applications or business manufacturing software that manage core business processes, such as:
- Accounting and finance.
- Procurement and order fulfillment.
- Production management.
- Supply chain management.
- Inventory and warehouse management.
- Sales and customer relationship management (CRM).
- Human resource management.
How small manufacturing businesses benefit from ERP software
By automating your processes, small manufacturing ERP software improves efficiency and accuracy while reducing costs. It gives small businesses an edge in the competitive market and fuels growth.
Small manufacturing ERP software centralizes your business data and processes into one hub to give a real-time view into all aspects of the manufacturing process, from raw materials to finished products.
This visibility identifies bottlenecks and inefficiencies to help you make more informed decisions.
Key features of ERP for small manufacturing businesses
With limited resources and a small team, you’ll need all the help you can get to efficiently run your small business. These are the tools you should look for in a small manufacturing ERP system.
Project management dashboard
Most small manufacturing ERP solutions provide a project management dashboard to give you a 360-degree view of your operations. With this feature you can improve your quality control.
Comprehensive solution for inventory management
Inventory control and management are essential to keeping your entire supply chain in tip-top shape. Some of the functionalities you should look for in an inventory management module include:
- Stock tracking and transfer management.
- Procurement management.
- Sales order management.
- Order distribution and fulfillment.
- Payment gateway integration.
- Logistics and shipping management and tracking.
- Analytics and forecasting tools.
Accounting and financial management modules
Most ERPs are equipped with accounting and finance modules that automate and streamline basic tasks like accounts receivables, accounts payables, and payroll management.
One thing to look out for in an accounting module is integration with popular accounting software solutions such as QuickBooks or Xero.
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
A business is nothing without its customers. And in this fast-paced world, you need to make sure to provide fast and reliable customer service if you want to compete.
CRM tools consolidate customer data and interactions into a central hub so that you can pull up information on purchase histories, past issues, and more without wasting time.
Types of ERP software for small manufacturing business
There are three types of small manufacturing ERP systems to choose from.
This type of system offers near-total control and responsibility, with the ability to install and maintain software at your headquarters.
These small manufacturing ERP solutions allow anyone with access to log in and make changes to your company’s information, whether via their desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.
Cloud-based ERP data is stored in the cloud so you don’t risk damage to physical servers and aren’t confined to your office.
Also known as a two-tier ERP, this type of ERP can be accessed both on-site and in the field.
It is popular for businesses that are looking for two layers of protection for their manufacturing software.
How we selected the best ERP systems for small manufacturing companies
The top 10 small manufacturing ERPs are based on the following factors.
- Features: A good small manufacturing ERP provides a project management dashboard, inventory management, accounting capabilities, and a reliable CRM.
- Pricing: Small businesses don’t always have big budgets, so we looked for software systems that come at a reasonable price.
- Flexibility: No two businesses are alike. That’s why you’ll want a system that can be customized to fit your business needs.
Best manufacturing ERP for small businesses
Here are some of the top-rated small manufacturing ERP software you can find on the market.
Method is a cloud-based solution for small manufacturing businesses. It lets you access customer data, automate tasks, keep tabs on orders, send invoices, and more.
With a strong focus on CRM, Method allows you to manage leads and sales opportunities from an easily-accessible central hub.
Better yet, Method allows users to create custom reports and choose what kinds of tasks should be automated to increase efficiency and eliminating manual data entry.
- Real-time data sync with QuickBooks and Xero: Method boasts powerful, real-time, two-way syncing with QuickBooks and Xero to make your accounting a breeze.
- The best of CRM + ERP: Method is a powerful automation tool that you can tailor to your needs. You immediately get CRM features but can automate any other workflows that you need.
Method starts at $28 per month per user. You can also sign up for a free trial.
Oracle NetSuite is a manufacturing cloud ERP that helps “growing manufacturers control, coordinate, and manage every aspect of their operations in one place”.
- Planning and scheduling tools: Choose from a traditional calendar view or Gantt chart to keep track of upcoming products and build production schedules with intuitive drag-and-drop tools.
- A global ERP solution: NetSuite has multi-language and multi-currency capabilities, allowing businesses around the world to make the most of the system without the need for clunky third-party apps.
Pricing information is not available on NetSuite’s website, so you’ll have to contact the vendor directly for an estimate. You can also register for a free product tour on its website.
E2 ERP by ECI ShopTech is a module-based manufacturing system for small-to-midsize businesses. This flexible small manufacturing ERP system allows users to pick which module works best for their business.
- A flexible estimating and job costing module: A customizable module that lets you pre-set codes that automatically generate rates and costs for items like burden rate, labor rate, set-up time, etc.
- A mobile shop suite: Apple and Android-compatible apps allow you to view critical data, collaborate with shop managers, and communicate with customers and vendors from their mobile devices.
Pricing information is not available on the website. However, you can contact ShopTech for a personalized demo or information on pricing plans.
This cloud ERP is an affordable and simple business solution that can be run on a web browser. It boasts an all-in-one software platform that combines ERP, MRP, CRM, and QMS capabilities.
- Mobile warehousing: A package of advanced automation tools like barcode scanners and mobile printers that empowers warehouse personnel to strengthen their throughput and accuracy.
- Real-time reporting tools: Using business intelligence tools, users can turn data into visualized custom reports and gain a better understanding of their key metrics.
Cetec recommends businesses to go for their Enterprise plan, which is $40 per month per user and $3,200 per month per company.
Sage 100cloud is an enterprise resource planning software for all small to midsize manufacturers, whether your forte is in simple assembly or custom fabrication.
- Inventory requirements planning: Track the supply of your raw materials, open purchase and sales orders, and more.
- Custom scripting: Create automation for basic and complex processes, then import files into third-party applications with ease.
Sage does not provide pricing for its products online, but you can request a quote through its website.
Epicor Kinetic is a “future-focused” cloud-based manufacturing software solution that can be customized to your needs. The software offers integrated capabilities such as APS, CRM, and CPQ.
- Human capital management capabilities: Offer self-service HR processes and give your employees self-managing goals.
- Governance, risk, and compliance software: This module helps you comply with legal, supply chain, and regulatory mandates to minimize the risks involved with compliance.
Epicor does not publicly disclose pricing for its products. But you can get in touch with the software provider to get a quote.
Global Shop Solutions offers both on-premise and cloud-based small business ERP for manufacturers. Its all-in-one multi-modular application that boasts 30+ modules such as CRM, accounting, estimating and quoting, routing, shipping, sales, etc.
- Unlimited reporting: Forecast business trends and gather key insights into your business’ performance.
- Planning and scheduling tools: With a drag-and-drop scheduling system, you can easily schedule jobs and manage your resources without wasting any time or effort.
Global Shop Solutions does not publicly offer pricing information. You must contact the vendor directly to get a quote.
Acumatica is a cloud-based solution that provides businesses cross-team workflows and AI-powered automation to make collaboration and coordination easy.
- Integrations with dozens of pre-built software: The Acumatica Marketplace features dozens of third-party software integrations, from MES software by LYNQ to sales order automation by OrderAction.
- Flexible licensing plans: Pick and choose what functionalities to pay for, leading to greater cost savings.
For pricing information, contact Acumatica directly through its website.
While not a traditional small manufacturing ERP, Fishbowl is a manufacturing inventory management software. It offers advanced work order and bill of materials management as well as a QuickBooks accounting software integration.
- Barcode scanning: Turn your phone or tablet into a barcode scanner using the Fishbowl Go for iOS mobile app.
- Inventory management: Stay on top of your inventory across multiple warehouses with parts tracking, auto reorder points, automatic order creation, and more.
For pricing information, you may request a demo or quote from the Fishbowl website.
Striven is an integrated cloud-based platform for manufacturers with “all types of products and builds”.
- Business intelligence tools: Get real-time analytics and key insights to improve your production time and decrease manufacturing costs.
- Bills of material: This feature lets users track parts for builds, no matter how simple or complex.
Striven offers a 30-day free trial to all first-time users. The program is:
- $20 per month for up to 20 users.
- $15 per month for up to 50 users.
- $10 per month for 51+ users.
Monthly hosting fees are not included.
Which small manufacturing business software is best for you?
There are a variety of quality management software programs available to small businesses in the manufacturing sector.
However, the best one for your business will depend on several factors, including the size of your business and your specific needs.
The bottom line:
- Know the ins and outs of your business before looking for a small manufacturing ERP.
- Carefully consider each provider’s products and features before making a decision.
ERP Software FAQs
How do ERPs benefit small manufacturing businesses?
ERPs help small businesses save time and money by:
- Reducing manual tasks.
- Improving coordination between teams.
- Consolidating data into a central dashboard.
- Enhancing efficiency by generating reports with AI-driven tools.
What are the limitations of small manufacturing ERPs?
Generally, ERP systems designed for small businesses offer a bit more than most companies need at this stage of growth. The result is that you get a solution that’s more than you need. As a result, implementation is often slower than you expect and costs remain high.
Instead, consider an alternative to a small manufacturing ERP like Method. With it, you get:
- A CRM
- Deep connection with your accounting software
- Automation for the workflows you need it for.
What is cloud-based ERP software?
A cloud-based ERP system is a software solution that allows businesses to access and manage their data in the cloud.
See why manufacturers love Method.
Image credit: Industrieblick via Adobe Stock
Oracle ERP Cloud is a popular ERP solution amongst manufacturers, particularly in process industries. ERP Cloud offers integrated functionality across large enterprises including supply chain, production, HCM, financials and more.What is the most common ERP system used in manufacturing? ›
Oracle ERP Cloud is a popular ERP solution amongst manufacturers, particularly in process industries. ERP Cloud offers integrated functionality across large enterprises including supply chain, production, HCM, financials and more.Are ERP systems good for small business? ›
It offers tools to help businesses manage their finances, supply chain, and other aspects of their operations. It is a cost-effective solution for small businesses that want to automate their processes and improve efficiency.How do I choose a good ERP system? ›
- Consideration 1: Software Functionalities and Features. ...
- Consideration 2: Integrations. ...
- Consideration 3: Vendor or Company Reputation and Expertise. ...
- Consideration 4: Costs. ...
- Consideration 5: Implementation Process. ...
- Consideration 6: The Future.
There are three main types of ERP systems that function with different deployment model options. The most common types of ERP systems include cloud ERP, on-premise ERP, and hybrid ERP.What is the most dominant vendor of ERP market? ›
Key disadvantages include the high costs of ERP software, its complexity, slow implementation, and data migration. If you want your procurement process to be as efficient as possible, it's best to invest in a P2P solution that provides integration with an ERP system.How much does an ERP system cost for small business? ›
A 2022 ERP report showed that the average budget per user for an ERP project is $9,000. When you factor in how many users your system may have (especially for larger businesses), and added costs, you'll find an ERP implementation can cost anything between $150,000 and $750,000 for a mid-sized business.Which ERP is easiest to learn? ›
This makes it a flexible and scalable ERP solution. SAP ERP is one of those “easy to learn, hard to master tools” that can only support your resource planning strategy according to how much time and effort you are willing to put into learning the complexities of the system.Is QuickBooks an ERP system? ›
QuickBooks is not an ERP because it provides only accounting functions — just one of the components of an ERP system. ERP systems help businesses manage a wide variety of business processes, including sales and marketing, production, inventory management, procurement and more.
Implementation and Maintenance Costs
If the program is expensive, the installation phase may be almost four times more expensive. Businesses must factor in the expense of personnel as well as the time required for a good ERP deployment.
No company wants to be carrying unnecessary stock when they can avoid it. An ERP system enables you to know exactly what stock you need for each job and when you need it. ERP software also allows you to automate many of your processes so efficiencies can be created across the entire production process.What is an ideal ERP? ›
An ideal ERP system is when a single database is utilized and contains all data for various software modules.What is a successful ERP system? ›
A successful ERP implementation is one that's completed on time within budget and delivers the expected functionality. To ensure your ERP deployment runs smoothly and that you get the most out of your new system, follow these best practices. Focus on outcomes over technology.How do you compare two ERP systems? ›
- Software Tier. First and foremost, it is important that the systems you're evaluating are directly comparable. ...
- Deployment Method. ...
- The People Behind the Software. ...
- The Price. ...
- Meeting Your Needs (Customization and Software Fit) ...
- Company History and Current Standing.
- Custom ERP systems. ...
- Readymade ERP systems. ...
- Hybrid ERP systems. ...
- Cloud-based ERP systems. ...
- On-premises ERP systems. ...
- Hybrid cloud-based and on-premises ERP system. ...
- Generic ERPs.
Two-tier ERP is a technology strategy taken by large, multinational enterprises that uses tier 1 ERP for financials and other core common processes at the corporate level and tier 2 ERP for divisions, subsidiaries and smaller locations of the company to address specific needs.What is the difference between ERP and ERP system? ›
Let's have a look on difference between ERP and Enterprise Systems. ERP software is a business application which that offer solution to different departments as Modules; whereas Enterprise Systems can include ERP, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management.What ERP does top companies use? ›
- Sage Intacct.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- SAP Business One.
- Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
- SAP ByD.
The global ERP software market will grow from $167.33 billion in 2022 to $187.88 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.3%. The ERP software market is expected to grow to $294.34 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 11.9%.
- Epicor Propello for Retail.
- Acumatica Retail-Commerce Edition.
- NetSuite Omnichannel Retailing.
- Infor for Retail.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce for Retail.
- QuickBooks POS integrated with QuickBooks Accounting Software.
- 1) Lack of planning. ...
- 3) Picking the right software provider for your ERP project. ...
- 4) Poor communication and feedback. ...
- 5) Inadequate training. ...
- 6) Time & resources. ...
- 7) Neglecting maintenance/updates.
- Determining the Processes that Should be Integrated. ...
- Resistance by the Organization's Teams to Change. ...
- Lack of Flexibility. ...
- Costs Involved in Maintenance. ...
- Issues Related to Data Migration. ...
- Poor Project Management.
Since an ERP records and stores all the data users input, it makes for an excellent business intelligence tool. As long as your vendor provides strong functionality, ERP software makes it easier and faster for your team to generate various reports.What is the monthly fee for ERP? ›
To start, the average cost of ERP software is between $1,740 and $9,330 per month, though this range can significantly increase depending on your annual revenue.How much does Microsoft ERP cost? ›
Business Central licenses start from $70.00 USD/user/month ($89.60 CAD) for Business Central Essentials. There are also premium licenses, team member licenses, and promotional pricing for some companies.Which is the most critical phase in ERP implementation? ›
The development phase is the third and most crucial part of implementing ERP. This is where you work with your vendor to construct and configure every component and feature defined in the design phase.Which ERP is better than SAP? ›
SAP's software contains relatively basic budgeting capabilities, such as managing and executing general planning, however, Oracle's ERP system is significantly better.Is there an alternative to ERP? ›
What are the alternatives for ERP? Some of the most popular alternatives for ERP systems are CRM software and specialized third-party automation systems. Enterprise systems are one of the most comprehensive business solutions across the board, but there is one significant trade-off.How much time required to learn SAP? ›
Duration of the SAP course varies depending on the area of specialisation. Typically, the course takes around thirty to sixty days. Full-time SAP courses and SAP online courses can both have similar significance. For obtaining SAP certification, you require a bachelor's or master's degree.
ERPs are a single integrated system, making them less vulnerable to human error. On the other-hand, Excel is an extremely manual tool. Instead of being centralized and integrated like an ERP, multiple departments within your organization will rely on different sets of Excel spreadsheets containing the same data.Does Microsoft use an ERP system? ›
Bring enterprise resource planning into your business
Transform your business with Microsoft Dynamics 365—intelligent business solutions that seamlessly integrate ERP capabilities.
Microsoft is one of the world's leading providers of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, thanks to its Dynamics 365 ERP.Which is the most common mistake that companies do when selecting an ERP systems? ›
Too many stakeholders. One of the most common mistakes organizations make on an ERP selection is involving too many players in the process.Does a startup need ERP? ›
From the moment you start to market your product, you should have a running ERP tool to start your growing business! If your company grows even faster than you might expect, or if you are planning a step towards internationalization, you do not need to worry about your processes.Should every business buy an ERP package Why? ›
ERP systems simplify a variety of business processes that take a lot of time and effort when done manually. Businesses can now do repetitive tasks such as tracking inventory, assigning tasks to employees, monitoring working hours, distributing salaries, and generating financial reports automatically.When should a company get an ERP? ›
If your business spends too much time compiling data for reports due to your software not providing the information you need, or not knowing where to pull the correct data, you may want to consider an ERP solution.Why is ERP so expensive? ›
Factors That Affect the Cost of an ERP
Larger companies will pay more for an ERP since they'll require more features and functions. Plus, the scale of their implementation will be larger, and therefore, will need more manpower. The industry your business is in will also affect the cost of an ERP.
So, it's pretty simple: ERP project costs = 5% of total revenue. ERP project costs = 5x your software license costs. Internal resources = 5 FTEs.What is ERP for small business? ›
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system manages all aspects of a business, including production, planning, purchasing, manufacturing, sales, distribution, accounting, and customer service, from one fully-integrated system.
- An integrated system. ...
- The system Operates in (or near) real-time. ...
- A consistent look and feel across modules. ...
- Multiple Deployment options.
Manufacturing ERP is a centralized method of managing every aspect of facility operations and processes, from production to payroll. ERP allows for unprecedented visibility, coordination and management across the disparate processes that make up a business — ultimately resulting in greater operational efficiency.What is SAP used for in manufacturing? ›
SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud
Empower key stakeholders to analyze global and plant-level manufacturing performance. Acquire data from different manufacturing operations management (MOM) systems and automation systems by integrating multiple systems and standards-based interfaces.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a future-ready enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics.What is a typical ERP system? ›
An ERP software system is a set of integrated applications or modules for managing a company's core business processes – including finance and accounting, supply chain, HR, procurement, sales, inventory management, and more.Why SAP is the best ERP for manufacturing organization in the world? ›
Better Visibility on Supply Chain
In a highly competitive manufacturing sector, visibility holds the key to succeed. SAP Business One offers you greater visibility on supply chain and inventory to enable you to control cost and meet deadlines while addressing customer demands more effectively.
Faster financial close. Improved inventory planning and accuracy. Accurate forecasting. Reduced days sales outstanding.What is an MRP system in manufacturing? ›
Definition of MRP: MRP is a system designed to plan manufacturing production. It identifies necessary materials, estimates quantities, determines when materials will be required to meet the production schedule, and manages delivery timing – with the goal of meeting demands and improving overall productivity.Why do companies still use SAP? ›
SAP, or Systems Applications and Products, is a widely-used enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. SAP creates a centralized system for businesses that enables every department to access and share common data to create a better work environment for every employee in the company.Why SAP is the best? ›
SAP is the most demanding ERP system nowadays as it has several benefits over other ERP systems. SAP ERP software supports organization to integrate and simplify their various business processes such as finances, HR, manufacturing, and other operations.
The companies using SAP ERP are most often found in United States and in the Information Technology and Services industry. SAP ERP is most often used by companies with 50-200 employees and 1M-10M dollars in revenue. Our data for SAP ERP usage goes back as far as 7 years and 8 months.Which is better ERP or SAP? ›
SAP's software contains relatively basic budgeting capabilities, such as managing and executing general planning, however, Oracle's ERP system is significantly better.How much does SAP cost per year? ›
Financial Only: $645 base fee. $185 Pro, $135 Limited per user/per month. SAP Manufacturing: $840 base fee. $220 Pro, $170 Limited per user/ per month.What ERP systems are similar to SAP? ›
- Infor M3.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.
- Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
A 2022 ERP report showed that the average budget per user for an ERP project is $9,000. When you factor in how many users your system may have (especially for larger businesses), and added costs, you'll find an ERP implementation can cost anything between $150,000 and $750,000 for a mid-sized business.