19 December 2023

5 suitable ERP systems for manufacturing companies [2024]

Looking for the ideal ERP system for your manufacturing company? Quite a challenge! The abundance of options makes this search overwhelming. Fortunately, you're not alone.

At Softwarematching, we understand that as a software seeker, you have less knowledge than the vendors. This often makes the playing field unfair.  

Hence, we strive for complete transparency. In this article, we offer you a fair and objective overview of the available ERP packages. We also dare to name the lesser points of the software!

Discover on this page:

Read the article and find the perfect ERP solution for your manufacturing company.

If you want real advice tailored to your company and situation, use our ERP systems comparison tool. It gives free and non-binding advice on ERP solutions tailored to your situation.


ERP packages for manufacturing companies

Suitable ERP software for the manufacturing industry:

This list has been composed by myself, Peter de Bruin. I almost have 15 years of experience in this market. Therefore, I perfectly know which ERP systems to recommend to you for your manufacturing company. Good luck with finding the best business software!

Below you will find more explanations of the above packages. You will discover the advantages and disadvantages of these systems. You can also read what to expect per package and we give you the price of the systems.

1. Microsoft Business Central

The first system we look at is a solution from Microsoft called "Microsoft Business Central." 

See in the table below why this software is so interesting for companies like yours. 

FunctionsFinance, purchasing, sales, accounting, inventory, project management, production, and personnel management. 
Strengths- Many ERP modules
- Seamless integration with other Microsoft software, such as Outlook. 
Downsides- No specific focus on manufacturing companies. 
- User-friendliness and design of the system. 
Extra suitable forAny type of company as well as company size.
Price indicationBetween 65.50 and 93.60 per user per month.


Software 2. Torza

Torza's solution is the next one you see. Torza has a clear focus on companies within the manufacturing industry. This solution is not suitable for companies outside of manufacturing. 

But what are the pros and cons for this software? Check it out in the table below. 

FeaturesFinance, purchasing, item management, data import and export, scheduling, customer relationship management, workshop module and timekeeping. 
Strengths- Clear focus on steel and manufacturing companies. 
- Developed from practice, not from the office.
- Fits well with current business processes. As a result, there is little need to modify the system. 
Lesser points- Lack of an integrated accounting package. 
- No clarity on pricing. 
- Many functions, which makes the overview difficult.
For whom is it particularly suitable? Cutting companies, machine shops, and steel processing industries.  
Price indicationNo price indication is given on Torza's site.

Are you a wholesaler? And want to find your perfect solution? Check out our page of ERP recommendations for your wholesale business and select an appropriate software package.


Solution 3. Odoo

The next system we'd like to show you is Odoo. Below you will find the features, strengths, weaknesses, and you will see a price indication. 

FunctionsOrder management, production planning, parts lists, PLM, version control, document management, quality control, maintenance, reporting. 
Strengths- Scalable and future-proof.
- Affordable.
- Lots of learning material, helping you get to know the system better. 
- Extensive community, helping you with any questions.
Weaker points- Steep learning curve.
- Paying extra to add additional modules. 
- Missing industry-specific features. 
Who is it suitable for? For both any type and size of business. This is due to the modularity and scalability of Odoo's software. 
Price indicationBetween 9.90 and 29.90 per user per month.



System 4. SAP Business One

This software is specifically aimed at somewhat smaller organizations. Business One focuses on these specific sub-areas:

  • Producers of consumer products
  • Manufacturing in general (focus on reducing Supply Chain costs) 
  • Business services
  • Retail
  • Wholesale and distribution. 

Read more about SAP Business One below. And find out why the system may be right for your manufacturing business: 


Features
Financial management, Sales and customer management, Purchasing and inventory control, Business Intelligence and Analytics and reporting. 
Strengths- Accessible via mobile.
- Features for specific niches, such as modules specifically for consumer product manufacturers. 
- Integrated business intelligence.
Downsides- Costs are relatively high for small companies. 
- Not infinitely scalable, as not suitable for large companies.
- Complex. 
For whom extra suitable? Suitable for somewhat smaller production companies. 
Price indicationYou should ask for the price on the website of SAP.

Are you a fairly small company looking for a new system? You will learn how to select the perfect ERP for small companies by reading our page about this topic. 


System 5. Netsuite

Do you operate in multiple countries? Then Netsuite is a good option for you. This is because Netsuite's package excels within an international context. You also get insight into your supply chain with this system. This will help you reduce costs. 

See more features of this software below: 

FeaturesFinancial, order processing, manufacturing, supply chain management, warehouse & inventory and procurement. 
Strengths.- Many applications and options. 
- Many customization options.
- Global production management.
- Able to create the same product regardless of location. 
- Understanding of the international supply chain.
Lesser points- Tricky implementation process in some cases. 
- Complexity and comprehensiveness. 
For whom extra suitable?  International companies that operate in multiple locations. And want to be able to create the same product everywhere. 
Price indicationPrices should be requested on the website. 

Want to see more examples of ERP systems? Check out our page containing 11 examples of ERPs and find out which systems are available to you.

Why buy an ERP system for your manufacturing company? 

Here are the main benefits of ERP software for manufacturing companies:

  • A more insightful manufacturing process. 
  • Automation of your processes.
  • Higher efficiency. 
  • Structured way of working.
  • Fewer manual operations.
  • Fewer errors during your production process. 
  • No more paperwork and Excel sheets. 

With ERP software, your production company functions in a more structured way. You reduce the number of manual operations. As a result, fewer mistakes happen during production. You also know exactly which materials, people, and machines you need per step within your processes.

Advice on how to choose ERP software for your manufacturing company

Finding the right Enterprise Resource Planning package remains difficult. The many options and different functions per software create a lack of overview.

Want to find a perfectly fitting system for your manufacturing company? Then it is important to know exactly where your needs lie. There is no such thing as the best system. Always choose a solution that fits your specific situation.

Use our expert advice below and find a suitable package for your company.

Advice 1. Map your needs

Our first advice is to properly identify the needs of your organization. You do this by doing a thorough needs analysis. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are you looking for a new ERP system?
  • What specific problems do you want to solve with the software?

It's tempting to rush this step, but a careful analysis is essential. It will determine the success of your new system. When you select a new software package, you want it to last for years!

Want to do a thorough and free needs analysis? Use our ERP comparison tool on this and get insight into the necessary features of your new ERP. 


This is what you can expect of the needs analysis within our tool:

Requirements analysis, which helps you find a suitable ERP package


Do you do this analysis hastily and incompletely? Then you run the risk of missing important features in your new system. An incomplete analysis leads to unpleasant situations, such as: 

“You choose a new solution under time pressure. You are satisfied at first, but you later discover that essential functions are missing. Think of forecasting functions for your inventory and production planning functions. You realize afterwards that you need to incur additional costs to add essential functions.”

Take the time for a thorough study of your needs. It's the basis for a successful ERP implementation.

Advice 2. Invest in a future-proof system

A common mistake is selecting an ERP based on low cost rather than functionality and quality. 

Our advice: focus on the power of functionality and quality. Don't let cost be the most critical factor in your decision. 

Visualize what your company will look like in 5–10 years. Select a system that fits seamlessly into this picture of the future. By painting this image, you won't need to switch to a different solution. This will save you from unexpected costs.

Advice 3. Look at the benefits of your ERP package

ERP software costs you money in a variety of ways. Think about implementation, training and licensing costs.

But why are you considering ERP for your manufacturing business? Precisely, to optimize processes and reduce costs.

So our advice is to look beyond the initial cost and see what your new system contributes to your bottom line. Also focus on the benefits of ERP

With a well-functioning ERP, you will need fewer employees for the same output. Therefore, don't see the purchase of your new software as just a cost, but as a strategic choice to increase the output of your manufacturing company.

Features that should be in an ERP for manufacturing companies

Some not-to-be-missed ERP functions for companies within the manufacturing industry: 

  • Purchasing capabilties
  • Sales 
  • Production planning
  • Production execution
  • Service
  • MRP (master resource planning)
  • Quality control. 

Of course, these are not all possible functions. These functions above give you a good idea about the capabilities of ERP systems.

Find the ERP that fits your manufacturing company perfectly

In your search for the ideal ERP system, you've discovered five promising options. These were: Microsoft Business Central, Torza, Odoo, SAP Business One and Netsuite. These systems offer various features tailored to the needs of the manufacturing industry.

Make an informed choice by applying specific criteria that fit your business situation. You want to pick an ERP system that fits your manufacturing company's unique needs.

Want to simplify this process? Complete our free comparison tool within 15 minutes. In this way you will find out which ERP solutions are the best fit for you. We understand that you it isn’t nice to be approached without consent. Don't worry, the decision to get in contact with a vendor is up 100% to you.

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Peter de Bruin
CEO & Sr. Software Specialist
With over 15 years of dedicated experience in the enterprise software industry, I have seen firsthand how crucial it is for an organization to find the right software system for success. In this rapidly changing marketplace, a fair playing field is not always a given. My mission is to create a fair match between companies and vendors, putting the importance of appropriate and effective software first. Our independent selection tool is designed to fulfill this mission, with the goal of creating a future where everyone can effortlessly find the perfect software package, with a smile. Let's strive for that effortless future together.
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