Top 5 Manufacturing Software for SMBs

Manufacturing is a fundamental process of many businesses through which products are designed, produces, and made ready for sale. In general, it applies to industrial production companies that seek to produce a variety of readymade goods from raw materials. As the manufacturing process evolved and became more complex over time, it became apparent that businesses require a manufacturing management software solution that can automate their production processes as well as track performance, output, and quality for ensuring efficient production.

We at ITQlick understand that the choice of the right manufacturing software is a key decision in the strategic outlook of SMBs that are trying to ensure the expansion of their manufacturing activities. In our review of manufacturing software for SMBs, we have considered a number of key factors that include pricing, manufacturing functionality, ease of use, adaptation to manufacturer business processes, incorporation of manufacturing best practices, technology, scalability, and the rate of return on investment. Based on these we have reviewed several solutions and some of our best recommendations include the following.

1. Epicor Manufacturing

Epicor is a leading ERP solution vendor that offers a manufacturing module that addresses both discrete and process manufacturers. It provides a complete manufacturing execution system that includes production management, planning and scheduling, product data management, and service and supply chain management. Epicor also provides SMBs with access to financial and business process management, sales management, and CRM, as well as an enterprise portal for information sharing.

This is a scalable solution that can handle multiple manufacturing plants and manufacturing systems including lean manufacturing, which can be beneficial for SMBs since it supports the business growth path. Epicor also offers flexible deployment and can be implemented as an on-premise or cloud-based model.

2. Exact Macola Manufacturing

Exact Macola provides a solution that is designed for SMB manufacturers. Its features include shop floor control, manufacturing cost accounting, materials requirements planning, production order processing, inventory management, and standard product routing. Besides core manufacturing process functionality, Exact Macola also offers ERP features including financials, CRM, workflow and business process management, warehouse management, as well as business analytics for performance and operational monitoring.

This is an important factor to consider for SMBs that are interested in a comprehensive solution that supports manufacturing activities as well as other business processes. Exact Macola is available both as an on-premise and cloud-based solution and is mobile device access ready.

3. Manufacturing is another specialized manufacturing solution focused on the SMB market. It is built on the SAP Business One platform and includes features such as materials resource planning, production control, capacity planning, and quality control. Additional functionality supports advanced planning and scheduling, provides a product configurator, integrates direct machine data collection, and integration with third-party applications. can be provided as a cloud-based solution and is mobile device access ready. This is a solution that provides several benefits to SMBs, including an option to expand to other applications in the SAP portfolio, and scalability to adapt to changing business requirements.

4. Plex Online

Plex Online is a manufacturing system that supports both discrete and process manufacturing and includes features such as advanced production scheduling, plant floor control, planning and scheduling, tools management, and plant and equipment maintenance. In addition, this solution provides a comprehensive manufacturing execution system that focuses on quality management and lean production management. 

Plex Online is designed specifically for the cloud, is mobile device access ready, and supports scalability for any size of manufacturing business. It offers SMBs three different feature-based packages to choose from based on their requirements, thus allowing a clear growth path as the business expands. This is a good option for SMBs looking for a solution with minimal technology investment that offers a manufacturing system that incorporates best practices along with ERP functionality.

5. IQMS EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing

IQMS provides a manufacturing execution system that includes shop floor control, production management, planning and scheduling, inventory management, as well as manufacturing intelligence for detecting problems in the manufacturing process. There are also options for materials and capacity planning, quality and compliance management, and advanced reporting and production monitoring tools.

IQMS is scalable for any size of business and is offered both as an on-premise and cloud-based solution that is also mobile device access ready. This is an Oracle-based system that offers SMBs several industry-specific manufacturing options with added ERP functionality. This is a good benefit for SMBs that manage multiple manufacturing operations in different industry verticals.

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