With so many different enterprise resource planning (ERP) software available, figuring out which is the right fit for your needs is tough. You know you want a system to integrate and organize all your core business processes and make your data management practices more efficient, but you need to figure out which software is best. In this article, I'll help you make your choice easier by sharing my insights on the best ERP software to centralize all your business processes, workflows, and data from end-to-end.
What are ERP Software Solutions?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions are robust interconnected platforms that streamline and manage core business processes such as finance, human resources, manufacturing, supply chain, and services within an organization. They facilitate the efficient flow of data across departments and often include modules for functions like accounting, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), procurement, and reporting.
ERP platforms enable businesses to centralize their data, automate their workflows, and improve cross-functional alignment. By centralizing these functions and improving operational efficiency, organizations also benefit from lower operational and administrative costs. In addition, ERP software also provides data and real-time business intelligence insights, leading to better decision-making.
NetSuite ERP is a robust and comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution designed to empower businesses with a unified platform for managing and optimizing critical aspects of their operations, including financials, supply chain, human resources, and more. This cloud-based ERP system is known for its scalability, flexibility, and versatility, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes and industries. NetSuite ERP streamlines and automates core business processes, offering real-time visibility into vital data for informed decision-making, enhancing productivity, and ensuring regulatory compliance.
NetSuite ERP goes beyond traditional ERP functionality by offering a unified commerce platform that integrates ecommerce, point-of-sale (POS), and order management seamlessly. This unique feature enables businesses to manage their online and in-store operations in one system, providing a holistic view of customer interactions and transactions across all channels. Competing ERP systems often require additional third-party solutions to achieve this level of integration, making NetSuite a standout choice for businesses seeking a comprehensive, all-in-one commerce solution.
NetSuite's SuiteCloud platform offers extensive customization and extensibility options, setting it apart from competitors. Businesses can tailor NetSuite to their specific needs by building custom applications, workflows, and reports. Moreover, SuiteScript allows for advanced scripting and automation, while SuiteTalk facilitates easy integration with third-party applications. This high degree of customization and extensibility makes NetSuite adaptable to various industry requirements and workflows, providing a unique level of flexibility and scalability for businesses.
Integrations include BambooHR, Constant Contact, DealRoom, DocuSign, Domo, Fieldmagic, HubSpot Marketing Hub, Ledgible, Mailchimp, Orange Logic, Project Insight, Recurly, TrueCommerce, Twilio Flex, Zendesk, and other software options.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the obvious choice for enterprise resource planning if you are already in the Microsoft software ecosystem (MS Teams, MS Project, MS Office). MS Dynamics 365 is used by the likes of Coca-Cola, Crate&Barrel, BMW, and Lowe’s. Mix and match modules for sales, marketing, content management systems (CMS), field service, finance and operations, and connected commerce.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 will have a familiar feel and interface for anyone used to dealing with MS platforms, making for easy adoption for Microsoft-savvy workplaces. On top of that, you can pick and choose which of their applications you want to implement to better customize your experience (and your pricing!). Microsoft Dynamics ERP is suitable for companies of all sizes.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be a bit of a memory/CPU hog, which may not be ideal for older office computers or entry-level laptops. The built-in reporting suite could also use more customization options, so it would be wise to employ a third-party integration for most complex analytics. Luckily, plenty of options are available.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrates with all other Microsoft software solutions as well as third-party apps like Power BI, Yammer, ESB, HubSpot Sales, Zoom, Salesforce, Cisco Webex Scheduler, Mendeley Cite, IMPACT, FindTime, MIPA Personal Assistant, and more. You can also build your own integrations using their REST API.
TallyPrime is a tried-and-true business management solution suitable for small and medium businesses. Their user interface may be outdated but their suite of enterprise resource planning features is more than capable of supporting growing SMBs.
They boast a powerful and secure server to save and manage your company's critical data giving employees a centralized source of information. With TallyPrime Server, stored information instantly gets updated ensuring that all employee profiles have the most up-to-date data available. TallyPrime Server also gives administrators monitoring capabilities to manage user sessions and activities.
TallyPrime offers a wealth of ERP reporting capabilities with a focus on time-saving, which SMBs will appreciate. With 400+ reporting templates, you can generate reports with customizable fields like multiple go-downs, multi-currency, order process, and cost centers.
Another plus: TallyPrime’s inventory management system lets you track, manage, and forecast inventory ensuring that you have the resources to complete projects and deliver products on time.
In 1972, five former IBM employees founded the company they call SAP Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung (“System Analysis and Program Development”). Since then, SAP ERP has excelled in enterprise resource planning and financial management solutions. SAP currently supports over 200M subscribers in their cloud user base and has been named a top contending software company in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 14 years.
SAP ERP can easily integrate with other SAP first-party software. You can tap into SAP’s reliable treasury and cash management features; financial closing assistance; agile international trade compliance; and customer and employee insights. SAP has a host of business software modules so you can expand or contract as your needs and budget require. 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. This goes doubly so if you upgrade your account to include the expanded SAP universe of apps.
SAP ERP integrates with other SAP solutions, like SAP Business One, SAP Business ByDesign, SAP Commerce Cloud, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Third-party integration opportunities require the SAP Integration Suite, which comes at an additional cost. SAP does their best to keep you within their first-party ecosystem.
ERPNext is a free open source ERP software that is an awesome option for small to midsize businesses with limited resources who are looking to take advantage of some free ERP software solutions. ERPNext has been translated to more than 70 languages; offers smart device apps for iOS and Android; and comes with personalized training for any paid plan.
SMBs will be able to track leads and customers, set up subscription plans for services, establish loyalty and rewards programs, and schedule appointments and meetings with your team for a low (or no) cost so long as you don’t mind self-hosting and DIY troubleshooting after your initial consultation call. Mind you, their YouTube channel has over 300 videos to help you find your groove.
For people who are familiar with Odoo, this tool is comparable as an open source solution with a few caveats. ERPNext doesn’t have nearly as robust or thorough documentation, particularly when it comes to the JS side of things (client end). However, the free modules are easy to implement and understand so it makes total sense as a freeware ERP solution.
ERPNext integrates natively with Amazon MWS, PayPal, Razorpay, Dropbox, LDAP, Braintree, Paytm, Stripe, Shopify, WooCommerce, Google Drive and Calendar, FairLogin, Plaid, GoCardless, and Exotel.
GeniusERP is a comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software designed to streamline and automate various business processes. It's a tool that's been built with manufacturers in mind, especially those in the custom manufacturing industry. You can use the system to manage everything from inventory and orders to accounting and customer relationships.
One of the things that really sets this platform apart is its ability to connect your engineering and manufacturing operations. It's capable of turning CAD designs into BOMs and RFQs, speeding up your engineering process and mitigating human error in the transformation process. Meanwhile, the ShopFloor module of the platform brings together all of the essential information for your manufacturing team. Work orders, drawings, quality controls, pickup locations, and instructions can all be found by staff working on the shop floor.
The software also has robust job costing capabilities. You can track all costs associated with a job in real-time, keeping records accurate and up-to-date. Another feature that I found incredibly useful is the Advanced Product Configurator. This tool lets you quickly and easily create custom products with multiple options and variations. It's a real time-saver and helps to eliminate errors.
The platform integrates with a variety of other tools, including CAD software, CRM systems, and e-commerce platforms. It also has an open API, so you can even build your own custom integrations if you need to. Pricing starts at $125 per user per month, and a free demo is available to give you a feel for the product.
Vault ERP is a powerful enterprise resource planning software that streamlines the management of business processes. It offers an efficient tool to improve organizational productivity and profitability by unifying data from multiple sources into one secure system. With Vault ERP, businesses can manage their resources more effectively and keep operations running smoothly.
Vault ERP provides easy-to-use tools for tracking inventory, automating accounting tasks, managing customer relationships, and optimizing product production. It also allows users to access data from all departments in real time. This helps them make informed decisions quickly without sacrificing accuracy or security. Additionally, the platform integrates with other popular business applications such as Salesforce and QuickBooks for added functionality and convenience.
From budgeting to forecasting, Vault ERP is a comprehensive solution for large enterprises looking to gain control over their resources and increase their bottom line.
Vault ERP is hugely scalable as ERP software. This is because you can mix and match your subscription to include other workforce software modules like HR, recruitment, asset management, client management, and more. Most companies need more than just resource management to function and Vault ERP can accommodate with additional solutions for onboarding, upskilling, and sales enablement.
Features include Gantt charts, resource management, project management, attendance tracking, calendar management, customer management, employee database, external integrations, notifications, task scheduling/tracking, timesheets, time management, collaboration support, batch permissions & access, dashboards, data visualization, scheduling, workflow management, budgeting, expense tracking, forecasting, payroll, supplier management, and vacation & absence calendar.
Integrations include Unfuddle, Microsoft Azure, Jira, GitHub, Basecamp, Google Apps, Logmill, Wufoo, Trello, Microsoft Active Directory, NodeBB, and Tempo.
That’s right—Dolibarr is another open source ERP-meets-CRM solution with a free version available for all computers and OSs. Dolibarr offers modules for CRM, sales, human relationship management (HRM), CMS, websites, ecommerce, point-of-sale, product and stock, finance and billing, productivity, and integration/development.
Dolibarr is easy to use, easy to customize with add-ons, and easy to learn on the go. You can immediately tell that usability and customer-friendliness is top priority in the development teams’ minds. Below I’ll go into all the third-party integration options but it should also be noted here that they are much easier to implement than those associated with other tools on this list.
Dolibarr doesn’t offer a mobile app, which is one of the few downsides of the software. Seeing as Dolibarr is free to use, it is a picky criticism to add that the UI isn’t as modern and clean as some of its contemporaries. What Dolibarr lacks in modernity, they make up for in convenience and flexibility.
Dolibarr integrates with LDAP, PayPal, Stripe, Paybox, Google services like Google Maps/Contacts/Calendar, Prestashop, Magento, WooCommerce, and many more paid and unpaid tools in their app marketplace. You can also build and submit your own modules for integration.
Kechie ERP, developed by My Office Apps, is a cloud-based ERP system that automates and synchronizes inventory management, procurement, sales orders and warehouse management within one streamlined platform. Their scalable system is also mobile friendly, providing easy access to crucial information to managers on the go.
You can use Kechie ERP to scan and track your inventory (including expiration dates, where applicable) and easily manage your supply and demand. It also helps to streamline the picking, packing and shipping processes, with direct links to sales orders that update in real-time, plus automated invoicing. Another helpful feature is their Return Merchandise Authorization module that manages returned items, repairs, substitutes or refunds.
Kechie ERP integrates with ADP Global Payroll, Amazon EC2, Authorize.Net, Avalara, EBizCharge, EasyPost, Pacejet, ShipStation, Shopify, SPS Commerce, and QuickBooks Online.
Kechie ERP offers customized pricing upon request, as well as a free demo.
Multiview Financials ERP is a comprehensive ERP and accounting software solution that addresses four main areas of enterprise resource planning: core accounting, business insights, inventory management, and workflow automations. Their software is used across a wide variety of industries including retail, healthcare, and hospitality.
Their built-in business intelligence features include fast and powerful data dashboards with graphic visualizations that update in real-time, plus the ability to drill down for additional details. This is coupled with their budgeting and forecasting tools that support multi-year budgeting, as well as long and short term budgeting goals. Budgets can also be developed at a very granular level, including human resource costs by employee type, plus their expected salaries and benefit costs.
Multiview integrates with Ancora Software, Avalara, Cerner, MDI Solutions and Paylocity.
Multiview Financials ERP offers customized pricing upon request, as well as a free demo.
Best for what-if resource scenario modeling
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Best ERP software for Microsoft platform users
30-day free trial
|From $153.60 /user/month||Website|
Best ERP software for SMBs
Free demo available
Best ERP software for advanced analytics using AI and machine learning
90-day free trial
|From $3200/user for a perpetual license||Website|
Best free ERP software
14-day free trial
Best for integrating engineering and manufacturing processes
Free demo available
Best enterprise resource planning software for scalability
Free demo available
Best ERP software for third-party integrations
Free trial available
My Office Apps
Best cloud ERP tool for inventory and supply chain management
|Pricing available upon request||Website|
Best ERP for business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting
Free demo available
|Pricing available upon request||Website|
- Oracle ERP Cloud
Best ERP software system for end-to-end analytics
Best open-source ERP software
Best retail management system
Best ERP software for manufacturing companies
Best customizable ERP software
Best ERP platform for adding unlimited users with no additional fees
Best free ERP software for scalability
- Infor ERP
Best customer order and management
- Sage X3
Best ERP with project management capabilities
Best accounting and financials module
- Epicor ERP
Best ERP for the automotive industry
- Versa Cloud ERP
Best ERP software for inventory-heavy businesses
- BatchMaster ERP
Best for recipe-based and formula-based manufacturers
Best ERP software for wholesale and distribution
Selection Criteria for Enterprise Resource Planning Software
Wondering how I selected the best enterprise resource planning software for this list? I'm happy to explain my process. I drew on my years of experience assessing software systems to dive into the details of each system with gusto.
Here’s a summary of the main details I evaluated:
To start things off, I ensured that any ERP software I included in my list offered the following core functions:
- Financial management tools to track financial transactions, manage accounts payable and receivable, monitor spending, budgets, and more
- HR management tools that help with workforce planning, managing employee information, and tracking employee performance and productivity
- Reporting & analytics tools that offer automated data analysis, plus additional insights to support data-driven decision-making
On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based ERPs
These are the two deployment options, each with its own pros and cons. I took note of whether the ERP software was cloud-based and delivered as a SaaS product via a monthly subscription, or whether it would be customized and managed in-house, requiring more of your internal IT resources to keep it up-to-date. For on-premise systems, I examined the requirements of the vendor's ERP implementation process to have it installed on-site.
It's essential that ERP software updates key items in real-time to ensure your staff are always operating on up-to-date information. This includes frequently changing data related to inventory, new purchase orders, invoice payments, and cash flow. Keeping your software accurate up-to-the-minute will improve efficiency and reduce miscommunication between all your user groups.
Industry Specific Needs
Since ERP software can be used by organizations in numerous industries I tried to ascertain the key industry verticals that each ERP system served the best. As you're evaluating these software systems for your own company's needs, it's crucial to give your industry-specific needs the most weight.
- Manufacturing companies will need to keep track of the manufacturing process and their supply chain.
- Distributors will need to track purchase orders as well as ensure proper order management, order processing, and warehouse management.
- Large enterprises might need everything from sales to marketing to manufacturing to distribution. Either way, businesses of all sizes need some type of ERP software system that fits their business needs.
Other Key Elements
Beyond the core functionalities and key features noted above, I also assessed these additional elements to make sure my top 10 recommendations in this list were solid. To do that, I used these questions as a guiding framework for my assessment:
- User Interface (UI): Is the user interface clean, uncluttered, and attractive?
- Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
- Streamlined Features: Are there built-in features to help with accounting, inventory and warehouse management, and marketing?
- Software Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools, like your human resource information system (HRIS), your project management software, and your performance management tools? Are there pre-built integrations with accounting software like QuickBooks and Intuit?
- Value for Price: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, flexible, and scalable?
What is ERP?
What does an ERP system do?
What are the parts of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?
What’s the difference between ERP and MRP?
Who uses ERP software?
What’s the most common ERP software?
Are there any free ERP software options?
The Best ERP System is the One That Meets Your Needs
There are a ton of ERP software options on the market, and new ERP systems are being created all the time. But finding the right ERP for your business needs takes some time and research. That’s why I’ve taken the time to review and summarize my findings on each of the ERP software solutions outlined in this list.
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