By Lars Lofgren
The manufacturing industry has its fair share of challenges. Between planning for demand and ordering the right inventory without wasting materials, there’s a lot to keep track of.
Manufacturing resource planning (MRP) software reduces these challenges by tracking raw materials, inventory, costs, demand, and everything else associated with the product production life cycle. MRP software helps eliminate waste, keep costs low, and improve clarity throughout the manufacturing process.
This in-depth guide will help you find the best MRP software for your manufacturing operation.
The Top 6 Best MRP Software
After extensive research and testing, we’ve narrowed down the top six tools in the MRP software category. Below you’ll learn more about the features, benefits, and use cases for each solution on the list.
#1 – JobBOSS — Best For Shop Floor Control Management
- Material & Inventory Control Included
- What-If Planning Built In
- Real-Time Shop Floor Capacity
- US-Based Support
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JobBOSS is an exceptional tool for resource planning on shop floors. It’s especially useful for custom manufacturers that need to manage large quantities of inventory and raw materials. This software helps you match material supplies with demand while doing so much more throughout the process.
Beyond the material management features, JobBOSS stands out from the crowd with its advanced shop floor scheduling tools. It provides you with complete visibility into the details of each job, ultimately ensuring that machines and other resources are available.
This functionality makes it much easier for manufacturers to reply to customer requests with real-time data about the floor’s capacity. So you can confidently make decisions based on material availability, workload, and other shop floor information.
The great part about JobBOSS is that it works for day-to-day operations and big-picture initiatives alike. You can even use it for “what-if” planning scenarios.
Organizations using JobBOSS benefit from reduced costs and less employee overtime. The software helps prevent machine bottlenecks and keeps everyone on the shop floor on schedule.
JobBOSS is available in the cloud or on-premises. All plans come with exceptional US-based support. Request a quote and personalized demo to get started.
#2 – Fishbowl — Best For MRP Process Automation
- Integrates with Quickbooks, Xero, Shopify, and SalesForce
- Automatic Reordering Included
- Advanced Inventory Management
- Built to Scale
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Fishbowl is a bit unique compared to other tools in this category. It’s not quite as comprehensive as traditional MRP software or ERP solutions, but it simplifies crucial manufacturing processes using integrations and automation.
Fishbowl integrates with other business software like QuickBooks, Xero, Shopify, Salesforce, eBay, FedEx, Amazon, and more. These integrations allow for advanced inventory management and resource planning from a single source of truth.
That’s why high-profile brands like GE, NASA, Mercedes-Benz, the US Army, the US Air Force, and Lowe’s all rely on Fishbowl for manufacturing resource planning.
With Fishbowl, you can reduce the number of steps in your manufacturing process by putting repetitive tasks on autopilot. Set automatic reordering points on your products to avoid stock outages and get real-time inventory updates.
Fishbowl also lets you save and reuse commonly used work orders and bill of materials sheets for future projects.
The software lets you scale your manufacturing business by automating inventory management.
If you’re on the fence, you can try a Fishbowl for free with a 14-day trial. Schedule a demo and reach out to the sales team for more information on pricing.
#3 – Infor VISUAL — Best Order-Driven MRP Software
- Anticipate New Purchase Orders
- What-If Planning Scenarios Included
- Multi-Site Support Built In
- Increase Profit Margins
Connect With an Infor Rep
Infor offers an extensive suite of products and solutions for organizations across a wide range of industries. In the manufacturing space, they assist auto companies, aerospace and defense organizations, chemical manufacturers, industrial manufacturers, high-tech companies, and more.
Infor VISUAL is an MRP solution built specifically for order-driven manufacturing. The software is designed to reduce all complexities associated with this process and eliminate guessing from new job quotes.
With Infor VISUAL, you can see at-a-glance information related to orders, constraints, and bottlenecks in your process. As an end-to-end MRP solution, it’s easy to deliver consistent and profitable results.
Manufacturers can use Infor VISUAL to assert quality controls throughout the manufacturing supply chain. This includes inspections, compliance, training, and more.
Your organization will also benefit from on-time delivery of your products. You can increase your margins while simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction. The software lets you anticipate new purchase orders and plan for “what-if” scheduling scenarios.
It’s advanced enough to accommodate the needs of multi-site, multi-entity, and multi-currency manufacturing organizations.
Connect with an Infor business development representative to get started.
#4 – Odoo — Best All-in-One MRP Solution For Manufacturing Companies
- Starts at $48
- Excellent Product Lifecycle Management
- Manufacturing Execution System Built In
- Automate Procurements Included
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Odoo is an open-source suite of business tools that cover every aspect of your company’s needs—including manufacturing resource planning.
The manufacturing software is an all-in-one solution for MRP, manufacturing execution system (MES), product lifecycle management (PLM), maintenance, and quality control. As a fully integrated tool, It’s arguably the most comprehensive MRP system on the market.
Here’s a brief overview of Odoo’s features, benefits, and capabilities for MRP:
- Optimize inventory levels
- Implement make-to-order rules
- Set a master productions schedule
- Automate procurements
- Use routes, lead times, and constraints to avoid material shortages
- Barcodes out-of-the-box
- Built-in reporting and KPI tracking
More than seven million users across the globe rely on Odoo. Beyond its MRP solutions, you can also use the open-source software for things like CRM, marketing automation, helpdesks, project planning, and so much more.
The manufacturing solution starts at $48 per month. Try it free to get started.
#5 – Prodsmart — Best MRP Software For Data-Driven Insights
- Starts at $600
- Custom Add-Ons Included
- Real-Time Data Reporting
- Unlimited Seats At No Extra Cost
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Prodsmart is a user-friendly manufacturing solution that encompasses a wide range of features and potential use cases. It’s fully customizable, so you can add whatever features you need to manage your manufacturing operation.
With Prodsmart, you can track and analyze every aspect of your operations in real-time. You’ll get comprehensive data insights into your materials, costs, labor, work orders, maintenance, machines, and so much more.
All of this data makes it easier for you to manage orders and schedule things more efficiently.
From raw material orders to your staff and the machines that they’ll be working on, Prodsmart has you covered. You can use both real-time data and historical data to make accurate and confident decisions throughout the manufacturing process.
Another cool aspect of Prodsmart is the visual workflow tool. This helps you set priorities and identify potential bottlenecks in your process.
Prodsmart can be as simple or as advanced as you need it to be. The core solution starts at $600 per month, which includes unlimited seats, unlimited operators, and unlimited devices.
From there, you can expand the software functionality with add-ons like:
- Drag and Drop Scheduler — $300 per month
- MES Mobile Production Tracking — $500 per month
- Labels and Barcode Scanning — $100 per month
- Lot Traceability — $400 per month
- Quality Management — $400 per month
- Instructions — $200 per month
- Maintenance — $400 per month
- API Access — $400 per month
- Ecommerce and Carrier Integrations — $0.30 per order
For additional needs, custom dashboards, advanced automation, and MRP software for multiple facilities, contact Prodsmart for a custom solution.
#6 – Brahmin Solutions — Best MRP Software For Inventory Management
Visit Brahmin Solutions
- Starts at $199
- Robust Multi-Channel Inventory Management
- Cost Tracking Included
- Batch Expiration Tracking Included
Try for 14 Days Free
Brahmin Solutions specializes in all things related to inventory. It’s a cloud-based solution for inventory management and manufacturing resource planning.
Some of the top manufacturing features from Brahmin Solutions include:
- Bill of materials management
- Assembly order management
- Production tracking
- Cost tracking
- Make to order
- Make to stock
The software makes it easy to add labor and overhead charges to get a more accurate cost for your projects. It supports multi-channel inventory management, order fulfillment, purchasing, returns, batch expiration tracking, barcode scanning, and so much more.
Brahmin Solutions has plans to accommodate the needs of manufacturers of all sizes:
- Growth — $199 per month (supports $500k to $1 million in sales)
- Established — $399 per month (supports $1 million to $5 million in sales)
- Brand — $599 per month (supports $5 million to $10 million in sales)
All plans support multiple warehouses and unlimited add-ons. For those of you with over $10+ million in sales, contact a Brahmin Solutions representative for a custom enterprise package.
Try it completely free with a 14-day trial.
How to Find the Best MRP Software For You
Navigating the waters of MRP software can feel a bit overwhelming. Lots of these products have similar features, functions, and benefits for manufacturers.
At the end of the day, MRP software is all about resource planning. Whether those resources are machines, people, raw materials, inventory, and more, you can use the software to reduce costs and plan for upcoming jobs.
That said, there are some specific factors that you can use to narrow your focus and find the right solution for your needs. Consider the following sections as a buying guide for MRP software.
This feature depends on what you’re manufacturing and who you’re manufacturing it for.
Are you producing goods for sales direct to consumer? Or are you selling wholesale as a B2B operation from specific purchase orders? Maybe a combination of the two?
The best MRP software lets you plan for demand, costs, and more. For example, can your shop floor accommodate multiple large purchase orders in a short time frame? How much material must you order to plan for future orders without overspending or running out of inventory?
Look for tools with robust “what-if” scenario planning for this. Some solutions even give you insights based on historical data to determine if and when you can accommodate certain requests.
Full Suite vs. Use-Case Specific Features
Within the scope of ERP and MRP software, there are lots of different tools to consider.
Some are packaged as all-inclusive suites with everything you could possibly need to improve your operations. These are great for larger manufacturers that want to simplify everything from a single source of truth.
But smaller manufacturing plants operating from a single site don’t always need a full product suite. Instead, you could consider going with a solution that solves a specific problem you’re facing. Inventory management or process automation would be examples to consider here.
For example, you just might need a tool that syncs your shop floor operations with accounting software and ecommerce software to centralize your data. You don’t need all of the bells and whistles associated with work orders, barcode scanning, lot traceability, etc.
Ideally, you can find a solution that allows you to pick and choose your features. So you can start small and add on later as your operation scales.
Data and Reporting
Harnessing your data effectively can drastically improve your efforts as a manufacturer.
How much output can you get from a particular machine? Where can you cut costs associated with materials and labor? Is your staff working unnecessary overtime hours?
Look for a solution that can automatically track your data and give you real-time insights into the operation. You should have the ability to create custom reports that will answer specific day-to-day and big picture questions.
KPI tracking is another top feature to look for, as this will show you if you’re actually on track for your goals.
Manufacturing resource planning (MRP) is a complicated category. Naming just one solution as the best overall isn’t really possible.
But the six tools listed in this guide should accommodate the needs of the vast majority of manufacturing companies. The best option for you just depends on what you prioritize the most.
JobBOSS has the best features for shop control management. We recommend Fishbowl for MRP process automation. For an order-driven MRP tool, try Infor VISUAL.
Odoo has a full suite of MRP solutions for manufacturing companies. Use Prodsmart for advanced data-driven insights. If you want software that specializes in inventory management, stick with Brahmin Solutions.
Most of these tools offer free trials and free demos. So you can always try them out for free before making a final buying decision.