What Are The Top 3 Must-Have Features In A Manufacturing Application?

There is no end of options available to you when it comes to manufacturing software – what should you pay attention to when trying to find the best option?

Manufacturing is a complex, evolving and often unforgiving industry. It presents a number of difficult challenges:

  • Complicated supply chains
  • Rising costs of labor
  • Local and offshore competition
  • Multi-faceted inventory management considerations

That’s just to name a few.

It’s these challenges that manufacturing applications aim to help you deal with. Unfortunately, equipping your firm with the best software available isn’t just a matter of picking one at random.

There are some that are better than others – but how can you tell them apart?

Many firms like yours have a combination of up-to-date software programs running side by side with core legacy programs.

How To Narrow Down The Right Manufacturing Application

The reality is that, given how large and important the manufacturing industry is, the need for constantly improving technology is so considerable, and there’s no end of options available to you.

With so many vendors vying for your business, how can you narrow down the options and choose the best one for you?

What Features Should You Look For In Manufacturing Software?

Worthwhile manufacturing software will…

  1. Assist With Inventory Management.

    Let’s face it – this is often the primary concern for those operating in the manufacturing industry, right?

    If you’re going to invest in software, it should have features including:

    1. Barcoding
    2. Asset management
    3. Raw materials management
    4. Cycle counting
    5. Customized reporting

If you can’t manage your inventory with the application you choose, then you’re just going to have to find another, right? That’s why you should ensure it has inventory management capability before you make any decisions.

  1. …Be Accessible.

    This is easy to overlook, but it’s crucial that you choose software with a user-friendly interface. If you and your staff are going to rely on it for daily, frequent work, then choosing software that’s easy to learn to use can make a huge difference.Before making your selection, give the trial version a test run, or view the training materials that you would have to rely on.
  2. …Integrate With Your Systems.

    It may sound like a basic consideration, but you would be surprised by how frustrating it can be to try to integrate an incompatible application.Whether you’re running on MAC OS, Linux, or any form of Windows (XP, 7, 8, 10, 2000), you need to make sure the software you choose will work with it.

In a nutshell, the right manufacturing application will make what you already do, easier. Simple as that – but, does that sound too good to be true? The good news is that it isn’t.

How Do The Industry-Leading Manufacturing Applications Stack Up?

  • Fishbowl Manufacturing Software

    This application offers business automation and inventory management capabilities, along with built-in integration with QuickBooks for material requirements planning (MRP) and job shop floor control/manufacturing execution.

Fishbowl Manufacturing Software supports the following operating systems:

    • Windows 7
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows XP
    • Mac OS
    • Linux
    • Windows 2000
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 10

Fishbowl Manufacturing Software also provides training and support via online tutorials, in-house support, and training videos. Despite that, many reviews suggest that it can be very difficult to use if you lack extensive technical skills.

  • NetSuite Manufacturing Edition

    In addition to the standard inventory management capability, NetSuite Manufacturing Edition also provides manufacturing firms with accounting and financial management, order management, customer relationship management, and an e-commerce platform.NetSuite Manufacturing Edition is compatible with Mac OS, but also offers an operating system-agnostic web browser option, which means it’ll integrate perfectly no matter what system you use.

    While NetSuite Manufacturing Edition only provides standard training materials, reviews suggest that it is very user-friendly and modern in its interface. Furthermore, given the browser option, it’s less expensive upfront and is very easy to implement.

  • E2 Shop System Software

    This solution, designed with job shops/contract/make-to-order shops in mind, provides scheduling, purchasing, shipping, accounting, and customer management features. Users can easily generate quotes (incorporating costs for labor, overhead, materials and more), as well as generate shipping labels and packing slips with ease.

E2 Shop System Software supports the following systems:

    • Windows 7
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows XP
    • Mac OS
    • Linux
    • Windows 2000
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 10

While easy to learn and use according to reviews, E2 Shop System Software has an outdated interface that will likely not scale for enterprise-level needs.

Like this article? Check out Do New Laws Improve Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP)?

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Published on 15th September 2018 by Jon Morningstar

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