Every second, manufacturing production software (MRP software) claims to be simple to implement and easy-to-use, often with no prior experience with manufacturing software required.
As a result, many small manufacturing businesses spend months analyzing number of solutions, trying to find the one that does the job well, is simple as promised and takes less time to implement.
We have selected 5 manufacturing production software vendors which, in our opinion, are worth trying out if you are a small manufacturing business looking for truly simple (compared to the complicated on-premises enterprise solutions, like SAP) MRP software to get your production and inventory organized.
Keep in mind that if you have no experience with manufacturing systems, then even so-called “simple” solutions might not meet your expectations.
Dolibarr ERP & CRM is advertised as a modern and easy to use software package to manage your small business. It manages customers, invoices, orders, products, stocks, agenda, e-mails, shipments, etc. You are able to setup the application to match whatever you need (sales, human resources, logistic, stock, invoicing, accounting, manufacturing, etc.).
Dolibarr is a unique entry in our list, because it is the only software in this list that is free. The provider of the software is Dolibarr Foundation, created in France in 2009, with the aim to provide open source and free ERP software.
The software has all the positive and negative aspects of such free software:
- Forever free
- You can customize it by yourself (if you know programming)
- No guarantee about sustainability
- Limited documentation
- Weak or absent support
So, while this software could be interesting for learning, you should understand the risks if you use for your business operations.
Fishbowl is mainly known for their powerful inventory/warehouse management solution. Now, they also offer manufacturing functionality with traditional MRP features like production planning and control, managing job/shop floor workers, bills-of-material and more.
Xero, or QuickBooks, which can be easily integrated, handles accounting – no internal accounting functionality is included.
Interface is intuitive and should get you started without issues. Also worth mentioning is that Fishbowl offers trainings as well as good customer support.
Fishbowl Manufacturing is on-premises software, which means that you must have your own server infrastructure to host it, and your own server administration staff (or outsourced partner).
The price per user starts from $4395, which is a reasonable price among on-premises manufacturing software solutions. You can try the software for free during a 14-day trial period.
PlanetTogether is on-premises manufacturing software with some functionality available in the Cloud, which offers a more powerful toolset for companies that are looking for more than standard functionality of planning, scheduling, inventory and orders.
PlanetTogether is one of the very few MRP systems that can integrate with SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle and other ERP systems.
The price tag for PlanetTogether starts at $1500/month, but you can also get a free trial access to evaluate the software and see if it fits your needs.
If you are not new to MRP systems, then PlanetTogether is definitely worth a try.
Plex is the most advanced solution in this batch of top 5 manufacturing production software, which also means that if you are new to MRP systems, it might not be the best decision to go with Plex at this stage. However, for more experienced users, Plex can be a magic bullet.
This is a true Cloud ERP solution, since it takes care of all manufacturing business processes starting from the job floor and ending with the accounting department, since it offers a complete financial management functionality, such as cost accounting, enterprise financials and reporting, fixed assets and sales tax computation.
Plex allows for easy and automatic collection and full integration of job floor data, such as production scheduling, real-time inventory control, tool tracking, production tracking and part genealogy.
Besides that, it has its own CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) functions, such as supplier quality and traceability.
Plex is a perfect solution for manufacturing companies who are growing fast and want to avoid moving to a more advanced manufacturing production system as the company gets bigger.
MRPEasy is Cloud-based manufacturing production software made with SMB’s in mind.
Having long experienced over-complicated legacy manufacturing and inventory software, the MRPEasy team decided to build a truly simple solution for small and midsize manufacturers, which
- Can be easily implemented in matter of days
- Does not require deep customization and long implementation consultations, if you have at least a basic understanding of MRP
- Does not cost a fortune
Today, hundreds of manufacturing SMB’s rely on MRPEasy when it comes to managing production, inventory, sales and supply chain.
A typical customer is a 11-300 person manufacturing company. Though there are companies that employ more than 300, and are successfully using MRPEasy to manage manufacturing and inventory, this is not where we deliver the most value.
For manufacturers with more requirements, MRPEasy offers a more advanced functionality, such as serial number tracking, barcode scanning with your mobile device, maintenance management, customizations to fit your specific needs and much more.
The price, starting from $39/user/month, with a free trial period from 7 to 36 days, imposes no barriers in obtaining and learning about the software system.
When selecting manufacturing production software for your small business, we highly recommend taking your time and trying out your chosen option carefully, using simplified test tasks, since aligning business processes and entering/moving all your data is one-time, serious project.
Besides, most MRP vendors offer a free trial or a free demo, which is a great way to evaluate the software without spending a dime.