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What is the best small manufacturing ERP of 2024?

Here’s some food for thought: ERP software was originally designed only for manufacturers. Still today, the largest ERP user base is the manufacturing industry. So, it goes without saying that upgrading to an ERP solution is a good idea for your small manufacturing business.

That said, choosing the right small manufacturing ERP software can be daunting. But it’s crucial for small businesses that want to maximize operations and their bottom line.

In this blog post, you’ll look at 10 of the best small manufacturing ERP software programs on the market. You’ll learn:

  • What sets each program apart.
  • How to determine which is right for your business.

What is small business manufacturing ERP software?

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It’s a set of integrated applications or business manufacturing software designed to manage core business operations, such as:

  • Accounting and finance.
  • Procurement and order fulfillment.
  • Production management.
  • Supply chain management (SCM).
  • Inventory and warehouse management.
  • Sales and customer relationship management (CRM).
  • Human resource management.

ERP software facilitates efficient production processes, streamlines inventory management, and optimizes supply chain management. As a result, it also increases overall business productivity and facilitates growth scalability.

Reasons to turn to small business manufacturing software

In today’s competitive market, efficiency and speed are the keys to success in all industries. Not only does a small manufacturing ERP software offer both, but it also:

  • Reduces production costs.
  • Promotes better resource utilization.
  • Simplifies product lifecycle management.
  • Enhances order tracking and fulfillment.

Explore why manufacturing businesses are making the switch and the benefits they stand to reap.

Integrate your business with cloud manufacturing software

Integrating cloud-based custom manufacturing software has revolutionized how small manufacturing businesses operate. A single platform provides real-time analytics and insights anywhere, breaking down the barriers of traditional manufacturing methods.

Sales opportunities screen with phone

With seamless cloud integrations, your business can respond better to changes, enabling quicker decision-making and greater productivity. Your best option is implementing a solution that integrates with existing business systems you already know and love.

Streamline the flow of data between manufacturing locations

Small business ERP systems ensure that everyone has accurate, real-time information by streamlining data flow between different manufacturing locations.

A smooth flow accelerates the time-to-market of products, improves scheduling, and encourages proactive maintenance by helping you identify potential bottlenecks before they become problematic.

Small business manufacturing software helps you make better decisions

Real-time data supports better decision-making in your manufacturing strategies and boosts operational efficiency.

Your ERP should provide a clear, real-time view of your operations, revealing trends and patterns that will help you: 

  • Optimize your production line. 
  • Improve efficiency.
  • Increase profits.

How small manufacturing businesses benefit from ERP software

By automating your processes, small manufacturing ERP software improves efficiency and accuracy while reducing costs. It gives small businesses an edge in the competitive market and fuels growth.

Small manufacturing ERP software centralizes your business data and processes into one hub to give a real-time view of all your manufacturing processes, including everything from raw materials to finished products.

This visibility lets you identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies to help you make more informed decisions.

Key features of ERP for small manufacturing businesses

With limited resources and a small team, you’ll need all the help you can get to run your small business efficiently. You should look for these tools in a small manufacturing ERP system.

Project management dashboard

Most small manufacturing ERP solutions provide a project management dashboard for a 360-degree view of your operations. With this feature, you can improve your quality control.

Comprehensive solution for inventory management

Inventory control and management are essential to keeping your entire supply chain in tip-top shape. Some of the functionalities you should look for in an inventory management module include:

  • Stock monitoring and transfer management.
  • Procurement management and product lifecycle management (PLM).
  • Sales order management.
  • Order distribution and fulfillment.
  • Payment gateway integration.
  • Logistics and shipping tracking.

Analytics and forecasting tools.

Accounting and financial management modules

Most ERPs come with accounting and finance modules that automate and streamline basic tasks like: 

  • Accounts receivables.
  • Accounts payables.
  • Payroll management.

One thing to look out for in an accounting module is integration with popular accounting software solutions such as QuickBooks or Xero.

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools

A business is nothing without its customers. And in this fast-paced world, you must provide quick and reliable customer service if you want to compete.

CRM tools consolidate customer data and interactions into a central hub so that you can pull up information on purchase histories, past issues, and more without wasting time.

Types of ERP software for small manufacturing business

There are three types of small manufacturing ERP systems to choose from.

On-premise ERP

This type of software system offers near-total control and responsibility and requires installation and maintenance at your headquarters.

Cloud-based ERP

These small manufacturing ERP solutions allow anyone with access to log in and change company information, whether it’s via their desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.

Cloud-based ERP data is stored online, so you don’t risk damage to physical servers and aren’t confined to your office.

Hybrid ERP

Also known as a two-tier ERP, this type of ERP can be accessed on-site and in the field. It is popular for businesses looking for two layers of protection for their manufacturing software.

How we selected the best ERP systems for small manufacturing companies

We considered the following factors when selecting the top 10 small manufacturing ERPs.

  • Features: A good small manufacturing ERP provides a project management dashboard, inventory management, accounting capabilities, and a reliable CRM.
  • Pricing: Small businesses don’t always have big budgets, so we looked for software systems that come at a reasonable price.

Flexibility: No two businesses are alike. That’s why configuring a system to fit your business needs is important.

Best manufacturing ERP for small businesses

Here’s the list of the top-rated small manufacturing ERP software you can find on the market.

1. Method


Method is a cloud-based solution for small manufacturing businesses. It lets you access customer data, automate tasks, keep tabs on orders, send invoices, and more.

With a strong focus on CRM, Method allows you to manage leads and sales opportunities from an easily-accessible central hub. Its customization potential is limitless and ensures personalized engagement through custom messaging and consistency in using brand elements like your company logo.

Better yet, Method gives you powerful tools for customizing reports and analyzing data, letting users create custom reports and choose what tasks to automate in order to increase efficiency and eliminate manual data entry.


  • Real-time data sync with QuickBooks and Xero: Method boasts powerful, real-time, two-way syncing with QuickBooks and Xero to make your accounting a breeze.
  • The best of CRM + ERP: Method is a powerful automation tool that you can tailor to your needs. You get immediate CRM functionality but can automate any other workflows you need, including those outside of direct operations like marketing and accounting.


Method starts at $28 per month per user. Watch the free demo to find out why it’s the #1 rated CRM for QuickBooks and Xero users.

2. NetSuite

Image credit: NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite is a manufacturing cloud ERP that helps growing manufacturers with controlling, optimizing, and monitoring every aspect of their operations in one place.


  • Planning and scheduling tools: Choose from a traditional calendar view or Gantt chart to keep track of upcoming products and build production schedules with intuitive drag-and-drop tools.
  • A global ERP solution: NetSuite has multi-language and multi-currency capabilities, allowing businesses around the world to make the most of the system without the need for clunky third-party apps.


Pricing information on NetSuite’s website is unavailable, so you’ll have to contact the vendor directly for an estimate. You can also register for a free product tour on their website.

3. E2 Shop System

Image credit: Software Advice

E2 ERP by ECI ShopTech is a module-based manufacturing system for small-to-midsize businesses. This flexible small manufacturing ERP system lets users pick which modules work best for their business.


  • A flexible estimating and job costing module: A customizable module that lets you pre-set codes that automatically generate rates and costs for items like burden rate, labor rate, set-up time, etc.
  • A mobile shop suite: Apple and Android-compatible apps that let you view critical data, collaborate with shop managers, and communicate with customers and vendors through their mobile devices.


Pricing information is not available on the website. However, you can contact ShopTech for a personalized demo or information on pricing plans.

4. Cetec

Image credit: Capterra 

This cloud-based ERP is an affordable and simple business solution you can run on a web browser. It boasts an all-in-one software platform that combines ERP, MRP, CRM, and QMS capabilities.


  • Mobile warehousing: A package of advanced automation tools like barcode scanners and mobile printers that empowers warehouse personnel to strengthen their throughput and accuracy.
  • Real-time reporting tools: Utilizing business intelligence tools, users can turn data into visualized custom reports to better understand their key metrics.


Cetec recommends businesses go for their Enterprise plan, which is $40 per month per user and $3,200 per month per company.

5. Sage 100

Image credit: Software Advice

Sage 100 is an enterprise resource planning software for all small-to-midsize manufacturers, whether your forte is simple assembly or custom fabrication.


  • Inventory requirements planning: Track the supply of your raw materials, open purchase and sales orders, and more.
  • Custom scripting: Create automation for basic and complex processes, then import files into third-party applications with ease.


Sage does not provide product pricing online, but you can request a quote through their website.

6. Epicor Kinetic

Image credit: Software Advice

Epicor Kinetic is a “future-focused” cloud-based manufacturing software solution you can personalize to your needs. The software offers integrated capabilities such as APS, CRM, and CPQ.


  • Human capital management capabilities: Offer self-service HR processes and give your employees self-managing goals.
  • Governance, risk, and compliance software: This module helps you comply with legal, supply chain, and regulatory mandates to minimize the risks involved with compliance.


Epicor does not publicly disclose pricing for its products and services. But you can get in touch with the software provider to get a quote.

7. Global Shop Solutions

Image credit: Software Advice

Global Shop Solutions offers both on-premise and cloud-based small business ERP for manufacturers. Its all-in-one multi-modular application boasts 30+ modules such as CRM, accounting, estimating and quoting, routing, shipping, sales, and more.


  • Unlimited reporting: Forecast business trends and gather key insights into your performance.
  • Planning and scheduling tools: With a drag-and-drop scheduling system, you can easily schedule jobs and manage your resources without wasting time or effort.


Global Shop Solutions does not publicly offer pricing information. You must contact the vendor directly to get a quote.

8. Acumatica

Image credit: The AME Group 

Acumatica is a cloud-based solution that provides businesses with cross-team workflows and AI-powered automation to make collaboration and coordination easy.


  • Integrations with dozens of pre-built software: The Acumatica Marketplace features dozens of native and third-party integrations, from Shopify and MES software by LYNQ to sales order automation by OrderAction.
  • Flexible licensing plans: Pick and choose what functionalities you want and only pay for them, leading to greater cost savings.


For pricing information, contact Acumatica directly through their website.

9. Fishbowl

Fishbowl product dashboard
Image credit: Fishbowl

While not a traditional small manufacturing ERP, Fishbowl is a manufacturing inventory management software. It offers advanced work order and bill of materials management as well as a QuickBooks accounting software integration.


  • Barcode scanning: Turn your phone or tablet into a barcode scanner using the Fishbowl Go for iOS mobile app.
  • Inventory management: Stay on top of your inventory across multiple warehouses with parts tracking, auto reorder points, automatic order creation, and more.


For pricing information, you may request a demo or quote from the Fishbowl website.

While not a traditional small manufacturing ERP, Fishbowl is a manufacturing inventory management software. It offers advanced work order and bill of materials management as well as a QuickBooks accounting software integration.


  • Barcode scanning: Turn your phone or tablet into a barcode scanner using the Fishbowl Go for iOS mobile app.
  • Inventory management: Stay on top of your inventory across multiple warehouses with parts tracking, auto reorder points, automatic order creation, and more.


For pricing information, you must request a demo or quote from the Fishbowl website.

10. Striven

Image credit: Software Advice 

Striven is an integrated cloud-based platform for manufacturers with “all types of products and builds”.


  • Business intelligence tools: Get real-time data and key insights and analysis to improve production time and decrease manufacturing costs.
  • Bill of materials: This feature lets users track parts for simple or complex builds.


Striven offers a 30-day free trial to all first-time users. There are two pricing plans:

  • Standard: $35/user per month.
  • Enterprise: $70/user per month.

Monthly hosting fees are not included.

ERP for different types of manufacturing systems

Regardless of your manufacturing model, choosing the right ERP solution is a game-changer.

Here’s how different types of manufacturing systems benefit from a small manufacturing ERP:

  • Job shop manufacturing: Job shop manufacturers often face the challenge of managing highly customized, low-volume production runs. An ERP for small manufacturing businesses automates production scheduling and enables accurate cost tracking for individual jobs. This lets you meet unique customer demands on engineer to order (ETO) manufacturing projects without compromising efficiency or profitability.
  • Discrete manufacturing: In discrete manufacturing, products are assembled from a number of distinct parts, making inventory management crucial. Custom manufacturing software enhances accuracy in demand forecasting by providing real-time inventory data, avoiding stock-outs and overstocking. Moreover, it aids in managing product variations, simplifying your entire production process.
  • Process manufacturing: This involves blending or transforming raw materials into final products, often in batch processes. An ERP solution helps manage complex formulas and recipes, tracks batch production, and improves quality control measures. Additionally, it precisely monitors materials and assists in regulatory compliance and traceability.
  • Lean manufacturing: Lean manufacturers aim to eliminate waste and continually improve processes. An ERP solution supports these goals by providing real-time production data, highlighting areas for improvement, and enabling quick adjustments to your production line.

Which small manufacturing business software is best for you?

There’s a variety of quality management software programs available to small businesses in the manufacturing sector.

However, the best one for your business depends on several factors, including the size of your business and your specific needs.

The bottom line is that you need to:

  • Know the ins and outs of your business before looking for a small manufacturing ERP.
  • Carefully consider each provider’s products and features before making a decision.
  • Read user reviews and take advantage of free trials before purchasing.

ERP Software FAQs

How do ERPs benefit small manufacturing businesses?

ERPs help small businesses save time and money by:

  • Reducing manual tasks.
  • Improving coordination between teams.
  • Consolidating data into a central dashboard.
  • Enhancing efficiency by generating reports using AI-driven tools.

What are the limitations of small manufacturing ERPs?

Generally, ERP systems designed for small businesses offer more than most companies need at this growth stage, meaning that you get a solution that’s more than you need. As a result, implementation is often slower than you expect, and costs remain high.

Instead, consider deploying an alternative solution to a small manufacturing ERP, like Method. With it, you get:

  • A comprehensive CRM.
  • Deep connection with your accounting software.
  • Automation for the workflows that need it.

What is cloud-based ERP software?

A cloud-based ERP system is a software solution that allows businesses to access and manage their data in the cloud.

See why manufacturers love Method.

Image credit: Industrieblick via Adobe Stock

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