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What is ERP Software?

ERP is the abbreviation for enterprise resource planning. ERP software helps enterprises to use integrated solutions for business management and to automate the functions of departments such as IT, services, and HR. ERP software also serves to integrate the functions of manufacturing, development, product planning, sales, and marketing. It is used by large corporations to customize and analyze business data, and to deploy and upgrade their processes successfully.Show more Small companies can complete all this with a simple ERP that is suitable for their specific industry. Of late, two-tier ERP, social ERP, cloud ERP, and mobile ERP are becoming popular. For the sake of exploring ERP functions, consider checking the top apps in this category, most of all NetSuite ERP which our experts rated as the best one. Show less

How was this ranking made?

To devise this list of best ERP Software we have analyzed 433 various systems currently present on the market, analyzing their features, ease-of-use, customer support, possible integrations and mobile device support using our patented SmartScoreTM rating algorithm. This ranking has been developed by Nestor Gilbert, our software authority dedicated to the ERP Software category.

List of Top 12 ERP Software

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1. NetSuite ERP

Our score: 9.6 User satisfaction: 99%

A scalable cloud ERP solution for growing medium-sized businesses and large enterprises. It offers complete control and automation options in managing financials, billing, orders, inventory, fixed assets, and revenue. It also has different modules to help you bring together all your key business processes.

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2. Tipalti

Our score: 9.1 User satisfaction: 100%

A cloud-based solution that automates complex global payment processing operations from onboarding to tax compliance. It also helps you stay secure thanks to features such as payment fraud detection and payment risk management. Its end-to-end accounts payable automation service boosts its users’ accounting efficiency, accuracy, and safety.

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3. Sage Intacct

Our score: 9.4 User satisfaction: 99%

Sage Intacct offers a wide range of out-of-the-box features with customizable functions to fit various conversion funnels and purchase orders. This cloud-based solution empowers users with tools to enhance efficiency to grow their businesses.

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4. SYSPRO

Our score: 9.2 User satisfaction: 95%

An award-winning ERP solution designed to give entrepreneurs a 360-degree view of their business activities including warehouse, inventory, and financial management. The platform simplifies business complexity across manufacturing and distribution. It provides tools, processes, and solutions that enable users to leverage data and gain actionable insights.

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5. Odoo

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 96%

An open-source ERP and CRM solutions with seamless integration between native and third-party apps. This product is highly customizable and it even has features for website building applications. Thanks to its open-source architecture, it can integrate with other business systems like POS systems.

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6. Oracle ERP Cloud

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 99%

An innovative ERP solution designed to help businesses of different sizes to enhance operational excellence and drive business performance. Oracle ERP Cloud provides a complete suite of products including risk, procurement, financial, and enterprise resource management. It blends modern technologies including AI, blockchain, and more to help automate redundant tasks.

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7. Microsoft Dynamics GP

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 97%

A robust ERP solution for businesses that want to regain control over inventory, financials, HR, and sales to grow their bottom line. This is a decent option for small and medium-sized businesses that want to make sense of data and surface insights to enhance their operations.

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8. SAP ERP

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 100%

A powerful and intelligent on-premise ERP software built primarily for large businesses in different industries. It unifies and automates business processes across sales, service, finance, HR, procurement, and manufacturing. This way, it provides a single source of truth thus eliminating information silos and setting businesses up for increased operational efficiency.

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9. Epicor ERP

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 100%

A reliable and scalable ERP software solution designed to streamline inventory management, accounting, manufacturing, and pre-production material planning processes. The platform provides robust functionalities and an intuitive interface to help manufacturing businesses collaborate, innovate, and automate processes to maximize revenue and profits.

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10. Scoro

Our score: 8.9 User satisfaction: 100%

Scoro is a cloud-based business management software trusted by small to medium enterprises. It is currently one of the most comprehensive work management solutions on the market as it offers end-to-end features for scheduling, billing, CRM, financial reporting, and collaboration.

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11. Deltek Vision

Our score: 8.6 User satisfaction: 100%

Deltek Vision is a robust web-based ERP application that is available for cloud or on-premise deployment.

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12. ParagonERP

Our score: 8.0 User satisfaction: 97%

A comprehensive solution to a business’s ERP challenges, from product management to shipping and logistics.

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ERP Software Guide

Table of contents

Regardless of the size of the business, every entrepreneur would agree that the most critical aspect of every corporate decision is the financial one because numbers exhibit best the quality of the operations, both the internal and external satisfaction of participants in the business process, and the productivity drivers that deserve the most attention. Helping a company deal with these challenges online is exactly what every ERP system specializes in: it uses what you have in a smart way, leading to the desired results using minimal time and effort.

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These programs are in fact enterprise resource planners that can offer a multitude of benefits for process manufacturing firms. ERP software for enterprises calculates returns on investment better than any manual process can do, automate vital phases of complex workflows, and develop real-time business expectations based on the quality of your past and current performance. As there are thousands of ERP software platforms available in the market, it can be a hard task to select a suitable one for your needs. This buyer’s guide aims to help you out by listing the main features to look for in the best ERP software.

It’s always a good idea to start your research for ERP tools by testing a fair number of free trials or demo and basic unpaid plans from reliable ERP software providers. It will save you some time and money because you will be able to experience all the important features firsthand to get a comparison and identify any possible issues. You will also understand what is ERP software better. The best thing to do is to try services that currently have the highest rankings in the SmartScore and Customer Satisfaction Rating in our ERP tools reviews: Intacct reviews, NetSuite ERP, NetSuite OneWorld, and Brightpearl.

 Targeted Businesses

ERP software is welcome to any business trying to plan and manage resources in an adequate manner or to reestablish control over customers. Generally speaking, the businesses that qualify as potential ERP users are the following:

  • Small Businesses using multiple complex programs to manage resources. Managing inventory is extremely time-consuming, especially for a small business with a patchwork of on-premise systems and legal programs that require constant and expensive upgrading. Note that each of the systems needs a separate implementation process and creates an incredible workload for IT teams in charge of integrating them. This is where ERP systems are most helpful: they gather information in a single database, keep it accurate, and dissolve data logjams to free time and help employees make smarter decisions.
  • Medium Businesses facing accounting difficulties. Accounting is the first department to reveal inventory management troubles because employees there are still relying on paper-based invoices which they have to enter manually in order to perform quality reporting. As the problem deepens, consolidating requires more and more time, and medium companies still can’t reach key numbers no matter how hard they try. ERPs, instead, collect financial data under one roof and give them easy access to it, the same as an amazingly relieving report-generation capacity.
  • Large Businesses with lots of customers to respond to. The main reason for lack of control over vital business operations is the lack of an ERP system that would maintain inventory and customer data in a single location and would, for instance, disable sales of popular products once a certain threshold is reached. The information will be available to every department at the same time and, more importantly, to involved customers wishing to track the status of their order or to make a new one.

What are Examples of ERP Software?

  • Brightpearl: An outstanding multi-channel retail management system that simplifies resource management and accelerates growth.
  • Intacct: Very efficient cloud-based ERP software designed for starters and mid-sized businesses that want to manage inventory in a single reliable systme.
  • Sage 100 ERP: An advanced resource-planning platform with comprehensive financial functionality that handles core accounting, manufacturing, distribution, HR management, and much more.
  • NetSuite ERP: A scalable cloud-based solution for small business that organizes fixed assets and manages revenue and inventory using standardized performance indicators.
  • NetSuite OneWorld: A smart on-demand platform that addresses real-time global management for small and mid-sized businesses.
  • Epicor ERP: An easy to use ERP software solution designed to streamline the mission-critical business processes, such as inventory control, accounting, and manufacturing.

Types of ERP Software

After in-depth comparisons, we found that ERP tools are fairly different from each other, mostly in terms of their features and the final beneficiaries. Still, they can be divided into three basic groups:

  • Industry-Specific ERP Software. These systems were designed for large manufacturers and distribution corporations, even if they can be customized to suit the needs of nearly every business. Most of them were specifically created to respond to the needs of finance and logistics companies.
  • Web-Based ERP Software. These systems are also known as cloud ERPs, either hosted by the vendor (SaaS) or open-source. What basically happens here is that the company pays a monthly subscription to use the software and then works and stores data on the web thanks to remote access from any location. The lack of complex setup and installation makes this software suitable for every business, in particular startups with limited budgets.
  • Small Business ERP Software. These systems are oriented towards smaller companies that need to manage orders and human resources but lack a manufacturing component. What they get is a set of limited ERP functions, for instance, ones that don’t include automated accounting or customer relationship management. Consequently, small business ERPs are the most affordable resource planning solutions on the market.

Key Features of ERP Software

The ultimate goal of every ERP system is to streamline business processes and gain real-time data that can be used for a variety of purposes. Therefore, every solid ERP system should include a list of vital functions:

  • Human Resource Management. The most important resource of every company is its people, which makes managing of human factors its most critical activity. The HR module of ERP systems enable companies to do that fast and accurately, using functions such as KPI, time tracking, performance assessment, payroll, and reporting.
  • Financial Management. This is another key module of every ERP software aiming to simplify financial reporting and proper allocation of resources.
  • Customer Relationship Management. The CRM component of ERP systems deals with the sales aspect of your business, meaning that it manages leads, handles customers, and tracks growth opportunities. Some ERP systems are also enabled to deal with invoicing and order management.
  • Customization. Unless the ERP system is industry-specific (or even when it is), customization counts as a number one efficiency criterion. What this means is that the system has to be flexible, to allow viable tailoring for your current and upcoming needs.
  • Integration. Due to the fact that every business is unique and works with a different set of applications, an ideal ERP should be able to blend inside its software infrastructure in each and every case. Your best bet here is open API programs that you yourself can configure to suit your other programs.
  • Supply Chain Management: An indispensable ERP module that enables businesses to streamline their manufacturing and distribution processes. It supports vital workflow such as logistics, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, and supply.

Benefits of ERP Software

It is not odd for small/mid-size businesses to refuse ERP software, believing that they still haven’t reached the state of inventory chaos that would require one.  While this may sound as a cost-efficient solution at the beginning, companies underestimate the importance of the “better safe than sorry” slogan and the fact that the “chaos” is much scarier once it has actually happened.

So, why would you implement an ERP system?

  • Industry-specific ERPs reveal best practices. Unlike most B2B tools, ERPs are intentionally tailored to respond to the needs of a specific branch, which means that by purchasing them, you become an active member of an industry community where you have access to expert advice and best practices.
  • ERPs showcase relevant information for making smart decisions. Needless to say, you’re flying blind without a system to consolidate your inventory. Your standard for making decisions is the rule of thumb, and your guesswork is the only one to blame when an idea doesn’t generate the desired result. Without an ERP, you’re walking on thin ice, not just because you make the wrong choices but more because you can’t explain which part of that process went wrong in the first place.
  • Visibility is made easy. An ERP system gathers all information that is relevant to you as a team and to the customers. Having it on board would mean that you can instantly accept/refuse rush orders, control delays, or simply monitor each part of your supply chains.
  • Operational efficiency is improved. Thanks to advanced ERPs, you can plan production more accurately and reduce teardowns and downtimes like never before. The system will also help you control costs and margins, improve DIFOT rates, keep customers happy, and facilitate month-end closure via automated audit trails and fast financial reports. All things together, ERP will reintroduce you to all strengths and weaknesses of your business. Once all business processes are integrated, a company gets a genuine chance to reach top-line revenue growth, as the lack of finances to capitalize on prosperous opportunities is no longer present. Advanced demand/supply planning makes sales more efficient and decreases inventory cycle times to the point where you can benefit multiple times from a single investment you’ve made.
  • Demand and supply are not only organized but balanced too. Each ERP system contains a component called MRP, which is the section in charge of balancing between demand and supply in a way that will never allow suffice/deficit of the stockpile.
  • The feature suite is advanced. It is a simple sentence, but it reveals more than everything being said so far. Alongside their basic components, popular ERP tools offer advanced modules and functionalities for performing more business-specific tasks. The ideal among them should empower lot tracking, commission processing, landed cost tracking, and support multiple languages and destinations.
  • Cloud acceleration. SaaS ERP has been around since the advent of cloud technology. It’s not a new trend, but it has remained relevant as it tolled the bell for the dominance of on-premise ERP. Traditionally, businesses had to incur huge startup fees and hardware costs to implement ERP solutions. Since the emergence of cloud technologies, however, on-premise ERPs are slowly paving the way for cloud-based and hybrid ERP solutions. The inflexibility, costs, and lack of innovation of old ERP systems have ignited the acceleration of cloud computing. It’s therefore unsurprising that more businesses have laid out plans to invest more in cloud ERP.
  • Mobile application. The modern workforce is no longer permanently situated in a physical office. Things have changed and the growth of the remote and mobile workforce has caught the eyes of ERP developers. The need to capture data in the field, approve orders while on the move, close deals outside office hours, or perform critical operations when away from the office has sprung to the fore. Today’s businesses are drifting away from ERP solutions that are tied to a single device. Everyone wants a solution that takes mobility into account without compromising user experience. As a result, solution vendors have gone all out to create a mobile version of their desktop systems.
  • IoT integration. Internet of Things (IoT) holds an outsized potential for the ERP industry. The innovation opens infinite opportunities for ERP technology, including better connectivity and improved machine performance. Most importantly, it helps collect, curate, and analyze vast amounts of data, which is the lifeblood of ERP systems. While it’s still in the inception stage, the technology is expected to be the force that will take ERP to new heights.

Potential Issues with ERP Systems

  • Selection problem: ERP solutions are all-encompassing in design as they blend a plethora of functions and tools. On paper, this is music to the ears of every business owner. In reality, however, this presents a selection conundrum for businesses, regardless of size and type. Remember, to reap the maximum benefits from an ERP solution, you have to scour the web and wade through a pile of enterprise solutions to pinpoint a suitable one. Problems begin when you factor in your budget ceiling and specific functionality requirements. Finding a solution that offers everything that you need and nothing that you don’t with a specific budget is one of the most complex issues.
  • Technical issues: ERP software brings all business processes into a single system, which is a good thing. The negative side of it comes to the fore when the technical demands come into the picture. For the system to work and deliver the protracted benefits, you’ll have to modernize the internal network. Besides, the bandwidth and speed of your internet connection should be improved. 
  • Business philosophy change: Also, when implementing an ERP system, you are bound to alter the existing processes and day-to-day practices. Probably the conventional processes and procedures have been there for years and have become second nature to your employees. In this case, introducing an enterprise will bring significant change to these processes and employee performance will most probably take the hit at first. Humans are resistant to change and your employees are no exception. To ward off the ramifications, make sure employees are educated about the system and the benefits it brings. Encourage them to embrace the new idea to refresh business processes, lighten their duties, and improve productivity.

List of ERP Software Companies

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User reviews:
RouteMagic reviews

RouteMagic

ERP Software
8.0
$48
100%
FACT ERP reviews

FACT ERP

ERP Software
8.0
By quote
95%
Techstation reviews

Techstation

ERP Software
8.0
$3
100%
GoldFinch reviews

GoldFinch

ERP Software
8.0
$99
80%
Smart Pupils reviews

Smart Pupils

ERP Software
8.0
$1.19
100%
Evreka Platform reviews

Evreka Platform

ERP Software
8.0
By quote
100%
KitchenDEV reviews

KitchenDEV

ERP Software
8.0
By quote
95%
Bizowie reviews

Bizowie

ERP Software
8.0
By quote
100%
ChiefEx reviews

ChiefEx

ERP Software
8.0
₹7,999
94%
Websoftex Nidhi Software reviews

Websoftex Nidhi Software

ERP Software
8.0
By quote
97%
Striven reviews

Striven

ERP Software
8.0
$10
96%
FinByz reviews

FinByz

ERP Software
8.0
By quote
99%
ParagonERP reviews

ParagonERP

ERP Software
8.0
$150
97%
Pateast reviews

Pateast

ERP Software
8.0
By quote
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Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

To pick an apt SaaS system for your company, start by asking the following questions:

· Is this cloud system the best solution—economically and features-wise?
· Will it be uncomplicated to do long-term business with the cloud vendor?
· Is the system easy to use and does it simplify technology?
· Can the software help your business to handle compliance, security, and operational risks?

Find out if other firms have successfully deployed the software. Get proof about the vendor being able to offer the desired business value and ROI. Browse case studies to learn about the user experiences of other buyers. Get references from the vendor and find out about the caliber of the software and service provided.

Another important element to consider is the free trial. Before you make such a crucial decision and spend your hard-earned money, be certain if the program actually fits your requirements. You can do this by signing up for the free trial and trying out the app’s features. Also, find out if the provider can help you to pilot the system. You may need to pay for the implementation of the pilot, but the cost is worth it as it will give you results and proof points to analyze before you make a key investment.

Frequently asked questions about ERP Software

What is the best ERP software?

The best ERP software is NetSuite ERP, a scalable, cloud-based solution designed for businesses of different sizes. The platform brings together mission-critical business processes across departments including billing, inventory management, revenue management, financial management, order management, and fixed assets management.  This way, it gives you complete visibility of your businesses and enables you to manage every operation in real-time

Additionally, NetSuite ERP has a built-in business intelligence engine. It pulls data from different sources and blends it with visual analytics to deliver actionable insights to help you make smarter, faster decisions. Even better, the platform is customizable and scalable, hence you can add functionality as called for by company growth.

What are the benefits of ERP software?

At the most basic level, ERP software integrates various business functions into a single system to automate and streamline vital processes. In doing so, it delivers a number of benefits, including the following: 

  • Better operational visibility. The backbone feature of ERP software is the shared database that provides a single source of truth for data. It eliminates data silos and enables different departments to leverage the same information to drive their specific functions. This way, it enables each department to address issues more proactively and drive performance. 
  • Increased efficiency. ERP software automates mission-critical business processes, including procure-to-pay, lead-to-cash, order-to-fulfillment, HR, and customer service. This way, it helps eliminate potential process roadblocks, giving businesses a path to optimize every revenue growth opportunity. In addition, it shortens the inventory cycle times and makes the sales process more efficient.
  • Advanced feature set. In addition to the basic features, ERP software provides advanced functionalities and modules to support other vital tasks. The best-of-the-breed provides functions such as commission processing, lot tracking, multi-language support, and landed cost tracking.  
  • Balance demand and supply. Even better, ERP systems provide powerful Material Requirements Planning (MRP) functionality. With this feature, it’s easy to balance demand and supply for efficient production, reduced inventories, and improved customer service.  
What are the features of ERP software?

To streamline business processes, ERP software should include the following functions:

  • Financial management. This is an integral feature that enables the business to monitor, collate, and analyze financial data. It helps handle different processes including accounts receivable, accounts payable, budgets, costs, and financial forecast. It also streamlines financial reporting, financial compliance, auditing, and tax remittance.  
  • HR management. Without employees, all your operations will grind to halt. ERP systems are designed with this in mind and they offer the tools you need to manage your workforce. From compensation to time management and onboarding to offboarding, the HR component helps you handle the critical HR processes. 
  • Sales. In addition, ERP systems help streamline sales processes such as invoicing, quotations, inquiries, and sales orders. Besides, the sales and CRM work in tandem to expedite the sales workflows and grow the bottom line.  
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This is an indispensable module that comes in handy for sales-oriented companies. It helps salespeople uncover buying trends, optimize sales efforts, and address customer needs. 
  • Supply chain management. The module helps distribution and manufacturing companies monitor distribution, demand/supply, manufacturing, logistics, and supply in real-time.
What is the easiest ERP software to use?

ERP software solutions handle multiple business functions which means they can be difficult to use. Fortunately, technological advancement has opened the door for the creation of ERP solutions that are easy to use. Here are three solutions that are super easy to use: 

  • Sage Intacct. This is a cloud-based ERP solution that offers several out-of-the-box functions to simplify business processes. It’s also highly customizable and can be configured to match the way you work. 
  • Epicor ERP. In addition to its robust features, Epicor ERP offers an easy-to-follow look and feel that’s epitomized by the clean, intuitive user interface. As a result, the system makes it easy for users to leverage the power of each functionality to streamline processes, improve performance, and grow profitability. 
  • Deskera. Billed as an easy-to-use ERP solution, Deskera provides the tools you need to streamline different business processes. With a smooth interface, it supports intuitive document flow, allowing you to handle sales inquiries and order without a struggle. 
What is a good free ERP software?

Many  ERP solutions on the market cost a premium and it makes sense because of the complex and critical nature of the processes they handle. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot find a free ERP software. One of the best options on the market right now is Deskera.

The Deskera free plan is a decent option for startups and small businesses with small investments. It’s only available for a single user and it provides the basic accounting and reporting tools, but also imposes usage limitations. For example, with the free plan, you can only process 10 invoices and 10 bills/expenses.

Nestor Gilbert

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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