5 of the best ERP systems for process manufacturing

A year ago, we wrote about some essential features for a new process manufacturing ERP;  these features are useful for most process manufacturers, but no two businesses are the same. Remember, your requirements list will be unique based on the needs of your organization.  Ultimately, you will need to translate general requirements into specific ERP systems that might fit your needs.

Those needs start with sector-specific requirements; an ERP built for discrete manufacturing is unlikely to be a perfect fit for a process manufacturer. All process manufacturers combine component materials and apply their process in such a way that those component materials can never be returned to their original state.  A discrete manufacturer can unscrew a few fasteners and return a slide rail to inventory. That discrete manufacturer will always have one right and one left slide rail. Process manufacturers must modify their recipes often. One customer wants jelly in jars a little sweeter than another customer does. The same tank car of crude oil begins the process but we might make 87 octane gasoline today and jet fuel tomorrow.

Compare the features of process manufacturing ERPs with our free ERP comparison tool

There are many good systems on the market whether your needs are simple or they require a global platform and many different processes and requirements. Here are a few process manufacturing ERP systems to begin your search.  

Epicor is a mid-size ERP provider that has a good track record.  Their ERP offerings include both process and discrete manufacturing as well as other kinds of business.  You choose modules that fit your requirements and can easily add more modules over time. Many process manufacturers need to use a recipe-based approach where the quantities of ingredients or some of the processing variables change depending on the desired yield.  Epicor will provide those needs and help meet tough regulatory standards at the same time.

ProcessPro is another ERP and it is designed entirely for managing batch process manufacturing in regulated environments.  ProcessPro advertises benefits aimed toward food and beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic and personal care, and cannabis businesses. You can get the precise product you want along with co-products and byproducts that will enhance your profitability using ProcessPro.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an ERP to fit process manufacturers.   This ERP from one of the largest software providers offers a modular approach so that process manufacturers can achieve their needs and other businesses can select different modules to meet their requirements.  The popular office suite of tools integrates seamlessly with Dynamics too.

Ross ERP from Aptean is another system worth a look.  You need to successfully manage the variability and complexities of your products and processes.  You need to accurately account for all raw material and finished products and improve production scalability.  TraceExpress is one module from this ERP that answers one of the most important requirements for any process manufacturer.

WinMan is another process manufacturing product.  GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) are built in. WinMan will give a user full traceability and accuracy of ingredients at each stage of production.  Quality controls and testing are logged within the system ensuring accurate reporting.

Whatever process manufacturing ERP you select will become a reliable and long-term tool you will use daily to ensure your products are the best possible ones for your customers and your goals are accomplished.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller

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