The top E2 manufacturing alternatives include Epicor Kinetic, Infor CloudSuite Industrial, and xTuple. In our analysis of the best manufacturing ERP software, we’ve ranked these alternatives based on usability, deployment options, and industry-specific features.
E2 Manufacturing is an ERP system for manufacturers with repetitive production tasks. The platform encompasses functions like accounting, quality oversight, procurement, project timeline management, job expense evaluations, and shipping capabilities. Additionally, it offers real-time scheduling tools, thorough data examination, and caters to clients dealing with intricate, multi-tiered BOMs.
However, some users report high annual maintenance costs. It’s also unsuitable for batch or continuous flow processes. The user interface is sometimes difficult to navigate, and delayed customer support and limited training resources make usability challenging. Given these considerations, businesses should explore and compare other ERP solutions to find a platform that fits their needs.
Why we chose it: Epicor Kinetic’s architecture is modular, which means businesses can choose the components they need and scale as their requirements change. Epicor offers suites tailored for specific industries, including aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, and medical devices. This industry-specific focus ensures that businesses have tools and workflows directly aligned with their sector’s best practices.
For example, Epicor for Aerospace and Defense provides tools for managing complex product life cycles, rigorous traceability, compliance needs, and supply chain integration. It assists defense contractors in navigating regulatory environments, ensuring on-time delivery, and maintaining cost efficiency. Likewise, the Medical Devices suite helps manage global operations, maintain stringent quality controls, and accelerate time to market.
Read our full Epicor Kinetic review.
Why we chose it: Infor CloudSuite Industrial offers many deployment options, including cloud-based, on-premises, and hybrid models. This variety allows businesses to choose based on their infrastructure, budget, and strategic preferences. Companies that aren’t ready to fully migrate to the cloud can opt for on-premises or a hybrid model, ensuring they benefit from modern ERP capabilities without a full overhaul of their IT systems.
Infor OS is a platform designed to integrate various Infor solutions and third-party applications. It supports both cloud and on-premises deployments, ensuring consistent integration capabilities regardless of the model chosen. It ensures flexibility not just in deployment but also in scaling and evolving with business needs.
Read our full Infor CloudSuite Industrial review.
Why we chose it: xTuple features a deeply-embedded CRM module and integrated web portal known as xTupleCommerce. Its CRM design means that sales, customer service, and other departments can view customer interactions, order histories, and inventory levels from one unified system. Additionally, changes in inventory levels, pricing, or product details in the ERP are immediately reflected on the eCommerce site, and vice versa.
This integrated CRM approach ensures every department has a 360-degree view of the customer, which can lead to better service, more accurate forecasting, and a more cohesive customer experience. Real-time eCommerce synchronization prevents mismatches in inventory and order data, which can be crucial for businesses aiming to provide accurate and up-to-date information to their online customers. This feature also streamlines the order-to-cash process, as orders placed online are instantly visible in the ERP system, facilitating quicker order processing and fulfillment.
Read our full xTuple review.
Why we chose it: Sage Intacct financial focus is evident in its multi-dimensional general ledger. Users can track and report on financial data based on multiple attributes, like location, department, or vendor, without creating more account segments. This approach allows for more nuanced reporting, analytics, and decision-making as users can quickly slice and dice financial data in ways most relevant to their unique business needs.
The platform also offers dynamic dashboards tailored for various roles, from CFOs to financial analysts. These dashboards can pull real-time data, and users can customize them based on specific KPIs, metrics, or visualizations. Additionally, its advanced tools support customizable reporting and analytics to gain insights and forecast more accurately.
Read our full Sage Intacct review.
Why we chose it: MRPEasy is user-friendly because it offers a visual production scheduling tool. Users can drag and drop orders into workstations on a calendar interface. By enabling a tactile and graphical approach, users can make quick adjustments without navigating complex menus or commands. It also provides a clear picture of production bottlenecks, machine availability, and potential delays.
The software offers a structured self-onboarding process for new users, complete with interactive guides, tutorials, and tooltips. As newcomers navigate the software, they’re provided with context-specific information and step-by-step walkthroughs. This approach significantly reduces training time and accelerates the adoption process.
Why we chose it: ERPNext is a top open-source pick because it’s built and maintained by a strong community of developers. This community adds new features, fixes bugs, and improves existing functionalities based on real-world needs and feedback. Companies using ERPNext can benefit from a vast pool of shared knowledge, plugins, extensions, and customizations.
As an open-source platform, ERPNext provides complete access to its source code. This transparency allows businesses or their IT teams to tailor the software to their unique needs. Firms can achieve a level of customization and integration that might be challenging or costly with proprietary systems.
Why we chose it: Striven provides strong communication tools because it has a built-in messaging platform. This allows users to send direct messages to one another and participate in group chats. This ensures faster decision-making, as team members can discuss, collaborate, and finalize decisions all within the same environment. It also reduces the chance of missing vital information since all related conversations can be tied to specific tasks or projects.
Within Striven, users can comment directly on tasks, sales orders, projects, or any other entity. These comments can tag other users, and they act as a running communication thread specific to that item. Instead of sifting through email threads or separate chat applications, team members can quickly view all discussions related to a specific task or project within Striven.
Read our full Striven review.
Why we chose it: JobBOSS² features a real-time job tracking system, which allows users to monitor the production process. Its visual dashboards display job location, duration, and any bottlenecks or delays. This continuous visibility into job status ensures that manufacturers can proactively address issues, optimize workflow, and meet delivery timelines.
The platform boasts a comprehensive job costing module, where users can break down materials, labor, overhead, and any additional expenses. Based on historical data, the system can also provide accurate estimates for future jobs. A detailed understanding of job costs enables businesses to price their products more competitively, ensure profitability, and make informed decisions about future projects.
Read our full JobBOSS² review.
When looking for an alternative to E2 Manufacturing, businesses should consider these factors:
User-Friendliness: The ease of use can significantly impact the adoption rate and overall productivity. Any alternative to E2 Manufacturing should at least match or ideally surpass its usability to ensure a seamless transition and to prevent disruptions in daily tasks. A user-friendly interface can reduce the learning curve for staff. Look for intuitive interfaces, logical workflows, and responsive designs that cater to users of varying tech proficiencies.
Deployment Options: The manner in which an ERP system is deployed can influence accessibility, maintenance requirements, initial costs, and ongoing expenses. Companies should evaluate their current IT infrastructure, technical expertise, and future scalability needs. Cloud-based solutions, for example, provide easy accessibility and usually have lower upfront costs but might have ongoing subscription fees. On-premises solutions might require a more significant initial investment and internal IT support but can offer more control over data and customizations.
Industry Specificity: ERP systems are designed to serve many industries, each with its unique requirements. While some platforms offer broad functionalities, there’s often a trade-off between generalization and industry-specific tailoring. E2 Manufacturing is geared towards manufacturers, especially those engaged in repetitive production tasks. However, for businesses in niche sectors or with distinct operational nuances, it’s essential to consider options that provide specialized modules and regulatory compliance.
For manufacturers engaged in regular production cycles, E2 Manufacturing serves as a comprehensive ERP solution. It provides a suite of features, from accounting and quality management to project scheduling and shipping. Its real-time scheduling capabilities and in-depth analytics are notable, especially for those handling complex, layered BOMs.
However, a few users have mentioned substantial annual maintenance costs, and it doesn’t cater well to batch or continuous production setups. A cumbersome user interface, delayed customer support, and sparse training materials can also make E2 Manufacturing a challenge. Given these considerations, exploring alternative ERP platforms might be a beneficial step for manufacturers.
For SMBs, MRPEasy is a popular choice due to its user-friendly interface and cost-effective deployment. ERPNext, being open-source, provides flexibility and scalability without hefty licensing fees. Sage Intacct is renowned for its strong financial focus, which is beneficial for SMBs keen on streamlining their financial operations.
Yes, Infor CloudSuite Industrial stands out in this regard. It offers both cloud and on-premises deployment options, catering to a variety of IT infrastructures and preferences. Moreover, ERPNext, being open-source, can deploy on cloud servers of your choice or in-house, providing even more flexibility.
Yes, Epicor Kinetic is renowned for its industry-specific suites tailored for sectors such as aerospace, automotive, and medical devices. Another contender, Infor CloudSuite Industrial, offers specialized solutions that cater to industries like machinery, high tech, and industrial manufacturing, ensuring that the unique challenges of these sectors are addressed.