This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best ERP software—that’s the best enterprise resource management tools and some other ERP technology that I think you’ll find helpful.
The appeal of enterprise resource planning systems (ERP systems or ERP software) is easy to fathom. After all, who wouldn’t embrace the idea of business processes being compiled and maintained in a neat, easy-to-scale package? That’s probably why 50% of companies are planning to implement (or update their existing) ERP system according to a 2019 report.
The enterprise resource software market is growing exponentially as more companies get on board. In fact, it’s estimated that the ERP software market will be worth a whopping $60 billion by 2024; this is at a CAGR of 8.66% over the forecast period according to MarketWatch.
In this post, I’ll explain what enterprise resource planning systems (ERP systems) are and how ERP software companies set out to make assessments or time, money, and more, much easier for you to manage.
Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best ERP Software Options
Curious as to what types of ERP software are out there and which one you should use? Check out this summation of our top 10 list below.
Before we jump into the reviews, it’s important to know the basics of ERP systems. What is it? How is it used? What does it do? Read on to learn the founding principles of enterprise resource planning.
What is ERP?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a business process management system that compiles, organizes, aligns, and automates various aspects of a company’s workflow. The idea is to have all business functions in one place to increase efficiency and make sure all bases are covered. ERP software is often enlisted by companies to help with the management of a wide variety of back-office functions.
What is an ERP system, and what do they do?
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or ERP software, integrates, manages, and controls different business processes and functionalities through a series of interconnected and complementary modules that might do everything from accounting, manufacturing, production, sales, ERP CRM, timesheets, and more.
What are the parts of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are often broken down into modules designed to address key areas of business processes. The following parts – or modules – are often the core of any ERP system:
Procurement – maintain a standard procurement process and ensure the process is followed throughout your organization.
Product planning and development – keep track of products in the early stages of their lifecycle, from conception to the beginning of the manufacturing process.
Product manufacturing process – ensure products are manufactured according to timelines, comply with regulatory requirements, and pass QA tests and inspections.
Sales – keep track of sales to ensure sales targets and other quotas are being met, as well as manage ecommerce capabilities and functionalities.
Marketing – plan and execute marketing projects and campaigns, as well as allow for marketing project management.
Human resources – integrate human resources priorities such as recruitment, onboarding, and payroll.
Customer relationship management – maintain relationships with current and prospective customers, as well as increase customer retention with CRM functionalities.
Supply chain management – manage your supply chain from materials sourcing to storage to raw material inventory.
Inventory management – track inventory levels and forecast demand.
Order management and order processing – keep track of purchase orders, order fulfillment, and order status.
Warehouse management – optimize and manage warehouse operations for streamlined inventory management and storage.
Corporate governance – keep track of governance policies and procedures, and ensure employees across the company are familiar with them.
Financial management – manage invoices, purchase orders, and accounting all in one place.
Business intelligence – collect and analyze data, as well as integrate it with your other business functions.
Enterprise asset management – keep track of your tangible assets and ensure maintenance is completed on schedule.
As you can see, there is some overlap between the different functionalities offered by ERP software, but not all businesses will require all the functionalities listed above.
For example, mid-market manufacturing companies may need an ERP that can integrate and assimilate the product planning, development, and manufacturing processes. If they have a distributor network that handles warehouse management and inventory management, those functions wouldn’t be necessary. The idea is to interconnect all of the aspects that cater to a business’s specific needs within a single enterprise interface.
What’s the difference between ERP and MRP?
ERP vs MRP—what’s the difference? Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and material requirements planning (MRP) differ in a few important ways: (1) MRP is more about manufacturing only, whereas ERP covers a vast array of integrated business processes; (2) MRP tends to be stand-alone software, whereas ERP has apps, integrations, and add-ons so that it can cover a whole suite of business needs. MRP ERP systems, a mix of the two, can do all of the above.
Who uses ERPs?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools can be used by small, mid-sized, or large enterprises alike. Anyone who is interested in integrating and connecting many business processes all at once can benefit from using ERPs.
What’s the most common ERP software?
Common ERP software doesn’t necessarily mean “the best”, instead it is usually promoted by big-name tech businesses that are reliable in their field. Some popular ERP tools that you may have heard of are Netsuite, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle ERP Cloud, Sage X3, and/or Epicor ERP.
What is some free ERP software?
Free or low-cost tools might be the best ERP for small business, while others might require a paid plan. Here are some free ERP tools:
Free ERP software (and freemium):
VIENNA Advantage Community Edition
Many of these will also have paid versions of their software, which you can take advantage of as needed.
Enterprise Resource Planning System Comparison Criteria
What are we looking for when we select enterprise resource planning software for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
Features & Functionality:
Accounting Functionality – How well does it integrate or include accounting software and tools?
Inventory & Warehouse Uses – How well does it integrate or include inventory processing tools?
Marketing Tools – How well does it integrate or include marketing features and functions?
Reporting and Analytics – Does it offer customizable, robust reporting, and analytics options to track business performance? Are reports easy to export, design, and share?
Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
On-Premise vs Cloud ERP: These are the two common deployment options. Is the ERP software cloud-based or delivered as a SaaS? Would you need to work with the software vendors to undergo an ERP implementation and install it on site?
Real time updates: Does the system allow for real time updates on items like inventory, new purchase orders, or invoice payments? Keeping your software as up-to-the-minute as your business is will allow you to gain efficiency and reduce miscommunication.
When reviewing ERP software for the criteria above, it is critical to consider the specific needs of your business.
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 size need some type of ERP software system that fits their business needs.
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Overviews of the ERP Solutions
Here’s a brief description of each of the ERPs that are featured on this top 10 list.
1. Odoo – Open source ERP and CRM with 10,000+ apps designated for sales, service integration, operations, web presence, and more.
2. ERPNext – Open source cloud ERP software that includes accounting and cash flow, payroll and HR, manufacturing, sales, and more.
3. Compiere – An cloud-based ERP program with warehouse management, manufacturing process automation, CRM functionality, and more.
4. Dolibarr – An open-source ERP application with flexible scalability making it great ERP software for small businesses with growth potential.
5. webERP – A cloud-based ERP, accounting, and business management system that requires only a web-browser and pdf reader to use.
6. Delmiaworks – Formerly IQMS Manufacturing Software, Delmiaworks is ERP designed for the unique challenges of a factory environment.
7. Microsoft Dynamics 365 – ERP integration designed by Microsoft that connects all your data to create advanced intelligence solutions.
8. Oracle ERP Cloud – Oracle’s business process tools integrate everything from ERP accounting software to advanced controls management.
9. SAP ERP – Integrate business processes with various financial functions to facilitate communication and information sharing across the platform.
10. SYSPRO ERP – SYSPRO ERP software allows manufacturers to plan, execute, and control each element of product or service production.
Other Enterprise Software Solution Options
Different types of ERP systems require different tools, so here are a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for ERP implementation, check these out.
Sage X3 – A flexible business management solution with support for supply chain, sales, procurement, customer service, financial management, and more.
Acumatica – A holistic business package for financials, project accounting, CRM, and reporting, business intelligence (BI), and more.
FinancialForce ERP – A customer-centric, cloud-based ERP CRM solution featuring personalized analytics and a next-gen UX, payroll and HCM capabilities, and more.
Visibility ERP – ERP designed for complex manufacturers with mobile solutions, business intelligence, advanced scheduling, and more.
Epicor ERP – ERP designed to harvest data, make advanced decisions with business insights, collaborate and automate, manage documents, and more.
Infor ERP – ERP solutions for enterprise-level and small and medium-sized businesses securely hosted through Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Netsuite – A popular cloud ERP with financial management and planning, order navigation, production functionality, warehouse and fulfillment, and more.
What Do You Think About This ERP Systems List?
Have you tried out any ERP vendors listed above? What enterprise resource planning software company do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.