With so many enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems tailored to the needs of small businesses, finding the right system for you is tough. You know you want to consolidate data from all your key departments and business operations into one integrated system, but you need to figure out which option is best. In this post, I'll help make your choice easy by sharing my insights on the best ERP systems to help small businesses centralize their business processes, workflows, and data.
What is an ERP System?
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a software solution that helps businesses integrate, manage, and control different business processes and functionalities through a series of interconnected modules. They cover everything from accounting to procurement, manufacturing, production, sales, inventory management, productivity tracking, timesheets, scheduling, and more.
ERP systems can help small businesses automate and simplify their business processes, increasing efficiency and reducing the likelihood of manual errors. Small businesses can also leverage ERP systems to improve their data security, make data-driven decisions, reduce operational and administrative costs, and establish a scalable business framework to support future company growth.
NetSuite ERP runs in the cloud and helps thousands of businesses gain greater visibility into their operations. The suite is an integrated solution that helps you automate e-commerce, inventory management, supply chain management, financials, and CRM.
The system has built-in dashboards and offers real-time reporting. It provides a real-time view into performance, from a consolidated level down to individual transactions.
NetSuite ERP pricing starts from $499 USD/user/month and there is no free trial.
HoneyBook targets the small business and professional services market, helping companies and freelancers to organize on-premise work activities, connect with clients, manage invoicing, and get paid. The system includes features such as electronic signatures, expense tracking, and organized calendars.
Branded templates help showcase accomplishments, and payments can be collected by credit card, debit card, or bank transfer. HoneyBook offers mobile apps and integrates with third-party applications such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Sage, and Zapier.
HoneyBook pricing starts from $9 USD/user/month. A 7-day free trial is also available.
QuickBooks Enterprise is well suited to businesses in construction, manufacturing, distribution, and wholesaling. Features include cost accounting reporting, GAAP inventory management, and the ability to deal with large data sets.
The software is easy to use, so client managers can make critical decisions and pivot business operations as specific needs change.
Pricing starts from $140.84 USD/month, and a free product tour is available.
Designed specifically for manufacturers, the DELMIAWorks ERP system is a natural fit for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) and startups. The core system features manufacturing and inventory control, sales, and financial management.
The system is designed to scale as your business grows. Additional shop floor and enterprise functions can be added without the need to use third-party add ons.
DELMIAWorks ERP costs from $35 USD/user/month and a 15-day trial option is also available.
MRPeasy is a cloud-based ERP software solution that meets the needs of small manufacturers with limited budgets. It helps users automate manual processes like invoicing, inventory management, order tracking, and customer service management.
The software has production control tools that help businesses keep track of their production processes, such as material requirements planning capabilities. This allows companies to see exactly how much material they need for each job or project without manually calculating it each time something changes in their workflow process. Quality control features are also available to identify and address potential problems in production.
Forecasting features allow users to predict future demand based on previous sales trends and patterns to better prepare themselves for upcoming projects or jobs they may be taking on. The software also has a customer database that stores customer information such as addresses, phone numbers, and emails to support customer relationship management. Its financial management tools include accounts payable and accounts receivable tracking, inventory control, and cash flow reports.
The platform integrates with BigCommerce, Magento, Pipedrive, QuickBooks, ShipStation, Shopify, Ware2Go, WooCommerce, and Xero. Additional integrations can be accessed with a paid Zapier account.
Genius ERP is a complete enterprise resource planning system built with manufacturers and distributors in mind. It's ideal for companies handling make-to-order, engineer-to-order, custom-to-order, and assemble-to-order operations.
Notable features include accurate estimating, inventory control, order management, procurement planning, and accounts management. With additional options such as product engineering and field service, Genius ERP simplifies complex manufacturing management.
Pricing for Genius ERP costs from $125 USD/user/month. There is no free trial option.
Versa Cloud ERP is aimed at small businesses that need advanced resource planning features. The software helps them monitor, manage, report, and consolidate data across their inventories, revenue, and reports.
As a cloud-based solution, this ERP can be accessed from anywhere via desktop or mobile devices. It provides real-time financial and operational insights so that managers can make more informed decisions.
Versa Cloud ERP costs from $149 USD/user/month for 3 users. There is also a basic version which is free but limited to 1 user only. There is no free trial option.
Dolibarr is an open-source platform that combines ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) software into a single solution for small businesses, foundations, and freelance professionals.
The software is simple to install and use. You can start with the core system, then add industry-specific modules as required. Dolibarr is highly rated and represents excellent value for money.
A free version is available, but paid plans start from $9 USD/user/month. A free trial is also available.
If you're looking for a cost-effective ERP system, then Odoo is well worth a look. This open-source solution can be used to streamline your entire business without the need for additional software.
Odoo includes ERP modules designed for manufacturing, inventory, projects, and accounting. There are also over 23,000 third-party apps that integrate seamlessly with native Odoo applications.
Odoo's Community Edition is available free of charge on an open-source license. Paid plans start at $31/user/month to access all their apps. A 15-day free trial is also available.
With a history that goes back to 1978, SYSPRO is a mature platform that has grown into a fully-fledged solution.
SYSPRO is an ERP solution focused on helping small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) engaged in manufacturing and distribution. The modular nature of the system makes it easy to customize. Additional options such as warehouse management and inventory control can be added as needed.
SYSPRO costs from $199 USD/user/month. There is no free trial option.
Best for businesses with a global presence
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for end-to-end project management
7-day free trial
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise
Best ERP software for QuickBooks users
Free product tour
DELMIAWorks Manufacturing ERP
Best for scalability
15-day free trial
Best ERP system for manufacturing companies
30-day free trial
Best for manufacturing companies
Free demo available
Versa Cloud ERP
Best ERP software for inventory-heavy businesses
Free but limited to 1 user only
|From $149/user/month for 3 users||Website|
Best free ERP system
Free trial available
Best open-source ERP solution
15-day free trial
Best for flexibility and ease of use
- Oracle ERP Cloud
Best for organizations with sophisticated supply-chain requirements
- Open Pro ERP
Best for open source LAMP technology
- ERP Gold
Best for multi-channel businesses
Best ERP system for adding unlimited users with no additional fees
Best ERP for small businesses
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
Best for Microsoft-savvy workplaces
- SAP Business One
Best for industry-specific customizations
- Kechie ERP
Best for an integrated cloud solution
- M1 ERP
Best for real-time operational visibility
Best for importers
Selection Criteria for ERP Systems for Small Businesses
Wondering how I created this list of the best ERP platforms for small businesses? I'm happy to walk you through my selection process. To start things off, I drew on my years of experience assessing software systems to dive into the details of each ERP platform with a critical eye.
Here’s a summary of the main details I evaluated to satisfy your curiosity:
Whenever I'm creating a top 10 list of software, I always determine the core functions it should cover first. That way I can ensure all the critical features are present. When it comes to ERP systems, here are the core functions I made sure each system included:
- Financial management tools to track financial transactions, manage accounts payable and receivable, prepare financial reports, and 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
In addition to the core functionalities above, these are the other key features I reviewed when making my selections for the best ERP systems for growing businesses:
- Human resources tools: These enable companies to administer HR business functions, such as employee scheduling or productivity tracking, with speed and accuracy.
- Inventory management tools: This includes tools to track information on product supply, ensure optimal stock levels, and assist with order management.
- Business intelligence (BI) tools: Built-in BI tools allow you to configure dashboards that automatically track and analyze your pertinent data to assist with data-driven decision-making.
- Manufacturing features: These tools help to improve cost forecasting so that budgets can be allocated correctly.
- Supply chain management tools: These are features that help with inventory procurement, and allow you to track goods as they move through your entire supply chain from purchase to delivery.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) features: These are valuable tools that help you manage interactions with your customers and prospects using time-saving automation at whatever scale you need.
- Automation tools: These tools help to simplify and streamline repeatable business processes for greater efficiency. You can configure them to run based on key triggers without needing a lot of human resources to get the job done.
- Customer service: ERPs can be complicated so you may need some extra help getting set up initially. That's why it's important to understand what level of support your potential ERP provider offers.
ERP systems are complex by nature. That's why it's crucial that the ERP features are presented in a way that's easy to navigate and understand quickly. To assess a software system's usability, I pay close attention to how their user interface (UI) and menus are organized. ERP systems will be used by many different people within your organization. That's why it's important that it offers a good user experience (UX) for all types of users (employees, managers, executives, and department specialists).
Your ERP system will end up functioning like a central hub for all your business management needs. That's why it's very important to make sure it can integrate natively with any other key software systems your organization is already using in-house. Key integrations to check for include accounting software, e-commerce platforms, and point-of-sale (POS) providers.
Value for Price
Often, it all comes down to price, especially when you're buying HR software for a small business. That's why the ERP systems in this list have a lower price point than other ERP software out there, including many with free trials available as well. However, price shouldn't be your only deciding factor. It's more important to ensure the solution meets all of your business needs first.
How can an ERP system help a business?
What's the best way to implement a new ERP system?
What's the difference between an on-premise and a cloud-based ERP system?
What's the most popular ERP system?
What Do You Think About These ERP Systems for Small Business?
Now you have a good understanding of the options available when seeking an ERP system for a small business. And if you're unsure how an ERP system can benefit your organization, check our article out on the 9 Benefits of ERP Software.
Which ones do you think are awesome...and which ones are awful? Let us know in the comments below.
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Related Read: 10 Best HRMS For Small Business