Enterprise resource management (ERP) systems are a modular and integrated suite of business applications. They're designed to share data across your organization i.e. accounting, manufacturing, and marketing.
The best ERP software is the one that can help make your employees more productive, your operations more efficient, and your reporting more accurate. There are tons of ERP systems available in the market. It's best to find one that matches your business's operations. This guide will help you find it.
Acumatica's cloud-based ERP using leading-edge technology, best-in-class business functionality, and customer-friendly business practices to deliver unparalleled value to both small and midmarket organizations.
Specialized industry solutions include:
Acumatica is future-proof platform built on open architecture for scalability, ease of use, and rapid integrations.
Dynamics 365 Business Central from Microsoft was created by combining the functionalities of both Dynamics ERP and CRM products. Dynamics 365 Business Central is intended for use by small and mid-market companies, providing a scalable way to get the features your business needs to be more profitable.
Why We Like It: A start-up or small businesses (SMBs) that has outgrown their first accounting program should look to a small business ERP such as Dynamics 365, which will grow with the business as needed to expand. The software can be purchased on a modular basis, which means you can buy what you need and have the software priced accordingly. Their entry-level package of Dynamics 365 is "Business Central Essentials", which includes financial management, CRM, project management, supply chain management, HR, and warehousing.
Oracle NetSuite ERP is designed for modern companies who require cloud access and mobile-enabled tools. This works great for companies with multiple locations, as they can access the same information as another in real-time, wherever they are located. NetSuite is designed to support growing organizations, as it lets you add or customize features as your company grows.
Why We Like It: Cloud ERP software such as NetSuite can be internally hosted or licensed as a hosted SaaS solution. Cloud access will allow sales staff and technicians in the field to have access to important customer data, as well as let staff on production/warehouse floors, see info about orders that need to be filled. It provides for a more direct line of communication between all departments.
Odoo is an open-source ERP and CRM that you will never pay for when using the community version. Because of this, the solution is used by over 4 million users worldwide. With 10,000 applications, Odoo can handle any business need you may have, such as billing, accounting, manufacturing, and project management.
Why We Like It: Open source ERP software such as Odoo allows access to the source code, which provides new opportunities for customization, lets end-users have more impact on product development and transparency that elevates quality standards. Odoo is a completely free ERP software, if you install and manage the software yourself. Otherwise, Odoo offers paid options that include an Enterprise version and an Online version that offer online hosting and several paid applications starting between $12-$72/month.
Want more open source options? Check out our list of best open source ERP software.
Lightspeed Retail is a commerce platform used by the retail and hospitality industry. The offerings by Lightspeed include capabilities for point of sale, eCommerce, delivery, loyalty, accounting, kitchen displays, analytics, and more. The solution offers options for both online and in-store sales, which includes creating appointments for services offered in-store or creating Google local inventory ads. Inventory can also be handled through automated order processes and includes high-quality product images and detailed supplier information.
Why We Like It: Lightspeed is simple and easy without sacrificing quality. The implementation and onboarding time for many companies is less than two weeks. For companies with a larger inventory dealing with several categories, Lightspeed lets you get as detailed as you would like. Lightspeed also allows for reserved inventory, that lets you sell products that will remain on-site until a later date (for shipping or customer pick-up).
LightSpeed Retail is very affordable when just starting--the Lean version starts at $69/month and includes access to their retail POS and integrated payments system. For those looking for more enterprise capabilities (such as integrated accounting and eCommerce), the Standard version starts at $119/month.
Epicor Kinetic (formerly Epicor ERP) is specifically developed for growing manufacturers. Its strengths include the amount of data it can store and analyze, as well as the automation it can provide when it comes to production. A top feature in Epicor Kinetic includes the shop floor control that can measure everything from raw materials to the final product. The software can be deployed on-premise, hosted, or as a hybrid option.
Why We Like It: Epicor shines in the made-to-order and engineer-to-order community due to its strong product configuration. This ties together everything from sales and estimating through the manufacturing of those products.
When sales reps are taking orders from customers, they need to know if they can configure the product how the customer desires. This requires a knowledge of how materials and subassemblies go together, and whether or not this is even possible in your manufacturing environment--something your sales staff might not always be aware of. Epicor Kinetic provides this knowledge to your sales staff so your manufacturing team isn't left with an order you can't fulfill.
Epicor Kinetic is modular, meaning you can add only the modules you need. This helps keep a low total cost of ownership, as well as provides visibility into operations with built-in reporting. The software also focuses strongly on both manufacturing and distribution. Many ERP solutions can be implemented in a manufacturing environment. However, without an industry-specific tool, one may get the feeling that their software provider doesn't understand their needs. For these companies, an industry-specific ERP such as Epicor Kinetic will work tremendously.
Want more options? Check out our list of best manufacturing ERP software.
ERP software is an integrated suite of business applications designed to automate or help with back-office functions of your organization, including end-to-end business processes such as financials, sales, and operations. More commonly, they can be thought of as all-in-one software for a business, covering a variety of processes.
ERP systems include a broad variety of modules chosen to meet the specific needs of your business. These features connect all areas of your business to create maximum efficiency. By enabling inter-departmental collaboration, ERP software provides a means for better financial tracking and forecasting. Comprehensive analytics use in-depth insights and real-time data to better inform your business decisions.
At one point in time, ERP software was most typically used in the manufacturing process or by industrial companies. Nowadays, it is fair to say that ERP can refer to packages targeted to any and every industry, and have a variety of definitions provided by ERP experts.
To discover which enterprise resource planning software options are relevant to your specific needs, you'll need to know what features you'll need to implement and how you can implement them effectively to streamline business management.
Why is a centralized, comprehensive ERP software solution necessary in the modern business environment? What is the business value of cloud-based ERP? Consider some of the top benefits businesses and departments alike have experienced via improved workflows, streamlined business functions, and significant savings:
The scope of ERP systems is constrained by the variety of business operations present in the market and the ability of software developers to keep up with new requirements. ERP modules are available for virtually every task, program, or function that a business performs. There are even specific products to handle small business ERP while others are aimed at enterprise-level corporations.
ERP solutions include modules that help with all facets of a business, but should be prioritized based on what industry your business falls under:
While not an ERP software in the traditional sense, QuickBooks Enterprise brands itself as an "ERP alternative". QuickBooks Enterprise attempts to let smaller businesses get ERP-level functionality at a small business software price and offers an easy transition from their more simple options (Pro, Premier, or Online) to a business that is suddenly in need of more advanced functionality.
The software can manage and integrate all components of their businesses such as marketing, accounting, sales, costing, manufacturing, and more. The software excels at offering advanced functionality of the modules you'll find in its Pro and Premier versions, such as advanced inventory tracking, advanced pricing, and advanced reporting.
Technology is being upgraded and replaced at such a rapid pace, it can be hard for businesses to keep up. At the same time, it's important not to fall victim to every new tech fad. When the time does come for an ERP platform upgrade or even to purchase a new solution, you may feel overwhelmed with the volume of options available.
Some important questions to ask yourself about your company include:
Questions to ask ERP vendors include:
ERP which is software-as-a-service (SaaS) includes routine upgrades and maintenance as part of the ongoing subscription cost. While you may pay more for the software throughout ownership, you'll have peace of mind knowing you have the latest ERP applications at all times.
ERP pricing depends on a lot of variables, such as number of active users, total employees, and whether the system is on-premise or cloud-based. Monthly subscription costs can range from $1,700 to $10,000 for small to midsize businesses. Most ERP vendors estimate software should cost about 3% of annual sales.
Implementation costs are another key variable, as they can drastically increase the total cost of ownership (TCO) during the first year of use. The general rule of thumb is to calculate implementation fees is to double the cost of using the software annually.