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Top 8 ERP Tools

SAP ERPSAP S4HANAOracle E-Business SuitePeopleSoftSAP Business OneMicrosoft Dynamics AXJD Edwards EnterpriseOneIFS Applications
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    ERP is stable. The outcome is clear to us as far as the design goes.SAP is already working on improvements by doing annual releases with enhancements.
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    The solution makes its use and the management of our infrastructure easy. Because I'm a procure-to-pay consultant, I mostly look at that angle, and I have a bit of experience with sales and distribution. I also like the integration between S/4HANA and other ERPs because S/4HANA is a suite. For example, the integration between S/4HANA and EWM Transportation Management, and Ariba.
  3. Find out what your peers are saying about SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and others in ERP. Updated: October 2021.
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  4. leader badge
    Oracle E-Business Suite is a stable product.It can easily be developed into an application.
  5. leader badge
    PeopleSoft is a good core system. It has a lot of functionality. They frequently update the solution and recently they have added some good enhancements features for higher education. We just switched to the new fluid interface and that is working very well for us is very good.
  6. leader badge
    We bought all licenses for the whole package in the very beginning, and now we're just paying for 404 licensed maintenance. It's a standard fee. Of course, we still pay partners for implementation.
  7. Support is really good.The stability is very good.
  8. report
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  9. We did not have any problems with the scalability of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.I have found the solutions best features to be financial procurement, inventory, and manufacturing.
  10. The best feature is the maintenance module, which is essentially an industry-specific workflow designed with a manufacturing module as per industry standards. It's very precise and specific without having complex functionalities. It's straightforward. Field Service Management is definitely a wonderful product that IFS has developed because it caters to field services. The energy and utility sectors can answer their business needs using the software.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top ERP questions. 542,721 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Anonymous User
I work for a mid-sized AEC company. We currently use an older version of BST Enterprise. Which ERP systems do you recommend that would be the most compatible? Thanks! I appreciate the help.
author avatarRamon Lipparoni
User

I assume when you state AEC, you are meaning engineering company. BST is a well-positioned ERP application, and I assume you are currently using an on-prem built solution. There are a few factors you will need to address before you simply move to a new ERP application, Size of the company (you mentioned mid-sized 150 users + I assume), how much custom dev do you currently have and are you looking to replace these with an end to end solution? Your budget is vital, are you looking at a cloud-hosted solution? How many modules are you wanting to deploy and so on? These are the primary questions you need to answer

When you look at things like 365 Business Central and Finance & Supply chain from Microsoft you need to factor in the licensing costs. Microsoft has built a new model around a per user/per month which is making life difficult due to the amazingly huge layout per year for some of their solutions. The implementation cycle is a slimmer option against something like SAP 4 Hana for instance, but these are factors that will always influence the change from one ERP system to another. We are seeing newer players entering the market now, SAGE has a big drive factor for their new ERP platform but it's still young and the verticals are limited at this stage, Syspro was a great offering as well, however, their verticals, like Sage are limited at this time, but are very capable.

So if I was going to recommend a viable option, I would suggest you set out what your current spending is and what it is that you can afford. Look at your road map for the next 18/24 months and add a 3 and 5-year option and see what it is you are going to need over that time. Cloud is the only viable solution as most of the bigger houses will be pushing companies in that direction in the next 3 years. Break down what the core of your business needs are and then choose the application that fits that mold with a bit of adjustment where needed.

I am a great fan of Dynamics 365 F&O/F&SCM and for a smaller environment of say, less than 150 users, Business central is always a great idea, it carries good weight in the current market and is a modular application. You can implement some of the standard offerings as stand-alone options and you can go big and go end to end if you wish. D365 F&O financials is a great ERP platform to build off and as you get more comfortable you can add more areas in that way costs are used on a consumption base rather than all-out purchase. But hey this is my opinion the rest of responders here have great options as well

author avatarcommerci931584 (Commercial Cost Accountant ( Interim) at a security firm with 1,001-5,000 employees)
Real User

AEC businesses cover several different sectors with specific requirements, and covering all of them will increase project complexity. So they need to work their budget, which parts are you going to include, and their level of expertise in system implementation.

The big choice is between:
A. A generic cross-sector ERP, with bolt ones for sector-specific requirements (My old BPO company used Microsoft Dynamics AX). But I’ve also seen JD Edwards / Oracle and Open accounts Orchard + in Housing Sector.
B. A sector-specific ERP (which may not be quite so good on the ERP side) e.g. Total Synergy.

Suggest if your client is asking you, then he needs some professional help in the whole process from the project scope, selection, and implementation. Picking the right professional help (as opposed to someone who has expertise in one ERP system) is key.

Some links below

https://www.to-increase.com/blog/dynamics-ax-for-growing-aec-and-government-contracting-companies

https://totalsynergy.com/features

author avatarHatem Mohamed Nageeb Salama
User

As for me, I don't recommend your selection be based on product size, maybe your company is a mid-sized company (Revenue perspective) but in the processes, it's small or medium or large or ultra-large, so basically if you can share a glimpse of the processes it would be good and it will narrow your selections to a specific tier of products *BTW maybe I can tell you a specific product that I can manipulate to transform your business but this is just me I cannot assume all guys can do so. Like SAP products (SAP B1 - ByDesign - S4HANA) with standard modules, no hidden costs and the pricing is well known in the market you can get it from 50K+ USD to ## millions USD based on the processes and industry.

author avatarAlvaro Correia Junior
User

Check Microsoft Dynamics. It is a good option for mid-size companies and has a good position in your industry. Its integration with other Microsoft products like Office and Project is a plus. If you really need some features not present in the core ERP, there is also an ISV ecosystem, companies who build solutions on top or well connected to the ERP. If you still have some specific needs to differentiate your business beyond the ISV offers, you can build it, on loosely-coupled complementary developments, usually with less effort and cost compared to other similar-sized and bigger ERPs. I do not know all the ERPs but be aware that these developments sometimes are not possible in other smaller options, could make you dependent on the vendor or their partners to evolve, or become a nightmare when you need to upgrade to newer versions.

The weakness of Dynamics and other mid-size and small solutions might be the implementation partner ecosystem, depending on the country (ies) you operate. Take this into account as well. You don't want to do it by yourself and the software company is usually focused on developing and selling the software, not on services.

Business and IT needs to be united in this journey since the beginning and create a joint list of requirements as the base of your comparison. Price is an important criteria, but not the number one, or you better wait until you can secure the budget to really make an affordable good choice for your business objectives. And if you are still unsure, get independent advice, not linked to any ERP-vendor, from an expert you trust or hire one for the selection job, which should take weeks not months. And do not get trapped in promises like "the next version will have that".

author avatarEric La Maitre
User

There are multiple ERP systems available for the Engineering & Construction industry. Oracle JD Edwards however has specific strengths for Engineering & Construction and is one of the best developed modern ERP systems available.

author avatarSally Schilling
Real User

Oracle's NetSuite 100% Cloud Platform. Ideal for 20+ Employees. Real-Time Data. Types: Accounting Verticals, Cloud ERP Software, Cloud Financials, Ecommerce Solutions.

author avatarHusin Kurnia
User

Besides NetSuite and Dynamics Nav, you may also consider SAP Business One for a mid-sized company. This depends on your company's requirements, each ERP has its strength on certain business processes.

author avatarMohan-S
Real User

Of late, Dynamics 365 is proving to be reliable and cost-effective for many of the mid-sized companies. I have seen more and more mid-sized companies are embracing this with confidence. I would not suggest Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV or Dynamics GP as they have a history/baggage with them carried over from the original products that they emerged from. If you can afford the new SAP HANA from SAP or M3 from Infor (the resource cost for support or any other related work can be expensive) they are fantastic. SAP HANA or M3 in the cloud will not let you customize/enhance though! You have to opt for the on-premise for that and it will cost quite a bit Of the Cloud-based solutions, Dynamics 365 is more flexible and the learning curve is shorter.


ERP Articles

Gene Hammons
Director at ProfitFromERP
What don't they tell you about ERP? Turns out there's plenty left unsaid. There's actually an 80% marketwide failure rate measured by cost overrun, time to go-live and expected functionality - granted, getting the system up a month later isn't the end of the world, but a 2x budget overrun is no… (more)

What don't they tell you about ERP? Turns out there's plenty left unsaid.

There's actually an 80% marketwide failure rate measured by cost overrun, time to go-live and expected functionality - granted, getting the system up a month later isn't the end of the world, but a 2x budget overrun is no laughing matter. 

CIO's have also expressed disappointment in having sufficient budget to finish the rollouts successfully. Unmanaged, unrealistic expectations can turn a great project into a perception of failure that's just as discouraging as some of the more disastrous flops. 

What else don't they tell you? While ERP vendors trumpet the successful companies using their software, success depends more on your internal team than any other single factor. While the vendor sales team and software consulting team have their own incentives, there can be hidden disincentives within the internal staff that doom a project before it even starts. Understanding your team and their incentives is key to ERP success.

What else don't they tell you?  Demos are great, if your business is in a demo environment. Unfortunately, most companies run in the real world where things are a bit messier. Focusing on a tightly defined and carefully analyzed Requirements gathering project can at least focus the demo on critical features. 

Another crucial aspect is business analysis - with an eye on how ERP can cut transactional costs - and from there, developing a business case with defined payback, breakeven cash flow and cost analysis.  All of this pre-supposes your on-staff analysts have relevant ERP experience to understand time-saving automation features and can estimate without overstating expected results. 

Competitive pricing, with a careful eye on upfront costs and implementation estimates, also creates a stumbling block. In an effort to win the deal, vendors offer to offload implementation tasks to the company employees - exactly how the staff will suddenly develop ERP implementation skills while simultaneously figuring out how to get their regular daily workload done in half the time is again, unspoken. While everyone is happy with a lower upfront cost estimate, it almost bakes a cost overrun into the project from the start and constrains the project managers in the end. 

What Else is unsaid? 

In summary, building a careful Requirements process along with cost analysis of what it's costing us without ERP sounds like a fairly major step for some companies - but here's where it pays off. Creating small project goals, a cut in paperwork and duplicate data entry, increasing sales, accuracy in inventory - all of this adds up to value the project appropriately. 

Cost/Revenue Modeling details how other ERP users have cut costs and increased revenue opportunities using the same ERP platform. While the model may well change in out years, it at least outlines one path to achieve payback for the ERP project. Done right, you can also build consensus within the company for the new ERP undertaking and actually incentivize the users toward success. 

One caveat - software vendors often tout best performance results and customers of course, on average, experience average returns.  'Sales increased 11% with our ERP!' This may be true for a similar company - but it's also likely the very top result in the category. A more careful approach says 'If company A improved Sales by 11 points, we can surely count on a 3% bump.' Again, you're managing expectations. Don't forget to factor in learning curves - it may take several months before the users are up to speed on the new ERP tool - perhaps 3 months for accounting, maybe 6 or 7 months for the warehouse guys - and it ramps up over time. A realistic, achievable goal serves a couple of purposes. 1) Most ERP projects don't set or measure to goals - and a goal unstated is a goal unachieved in most cases - so setting the goal puts you ahead of most ERP implementations. 2) Setting lower goals can still justify sufficient budget and company focus on the project - and should the team over-perform - there's enough glory to go around. 

This article is excerpted from a recent ERPodcast, Episode 27 What They Don't Tell You About ERP (but you'll soon find out). You can listen Here or Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Android Google Podcasts.

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James Brolin
Marketing Manager at MIE Solutions
Shop floor management with improved capabilities is an important component of the manufacturing industry. This makes it vital for manufacturers to have centralized systems and the best ERP software is the ideal choice in this regard. The main purpose of shop floor management is to increase and… (more)

Shop floor management with improved capabilities is an important component of the manufacturing industry. This makes it vital for manufacturers to have centralized systems and the best ERP software is the ideal choice in this regard.

The main purpose of shop floor management is to increase and sustain the production quality and efficiency. Today’s rising trend of digitization calls for identifying the improvement potentials of all manufacturing operations with focus on managing the shop floor. Fully optimized shop floor gives the managers more time to utilize in real management tasks.

Your choice of an ERP solution significantly affects the flow of information at every point. Hence, for better shop floor management, centralized information is a key feature that helps run your manufacturing operations smoothly and efficiently.

Let’s take a look how you can manage and monitor your shop floor in a better way using a manufacturing ERP.

Improved Turnaround Time:

Quick turnaround of finished products largely depends on outstanding shop floor management. With an integrated ERP, you can not only streamline the manufacturing process, but also connect production workflows happening on the shop floor with your inventory, finance and distribution process for greater efficiency and productivity enterprise-wide.

Any gap or mistake on the shop floor will backfire all business areas and more importantly the end customers – disturbing your sales order fulfilment and thereby, your brand reliability in the industry. For this reason, it is important to seamlessly communicate every single detail of each step, task and route, etc., in successful completion of the sales order.

Producing an item or batch also includes BoM (Bill of Materials) encompassing a specific sequence of events and detailed methods your shop floor employees must follow.

An ERP allows you to generate multi-level BoMs that can be configured in the production process, involving multiple routes – with specific sets of instructions in each route. That’s why, within a comprehensive system, you are going to have a well-optimized routing that will certainly make a big difference in improving shop floor efficiency – how fast you can produce finished goods.

Track Workers Progress:

In any industry, it’s important to leverage the skills of the workers on the shop floor and track their progress. Obviously, you cannot automate everything, but for shop floor productivity improvements you must be using an ERP. It will help you augment the work proficiency of your shop floor workers and allow them to make better decisions. Moreover, it will make the job easier especially for trainees.

The shop floor employees when having detailed BoMs cannot overlook the important information – expunging the guesswork and reducing the likelihoods of subjective decisions.

By splitting a BoM into step-by-step operations (routing), production teams on the shop floor know exactly what to do and can better focus on every step involved in manufacturing a finished part or assembly. An ERP software for manufacturing helps production teams and managers spot and solve shop floor and assembly line problems besides identifying the progress of the manufacturing process by end of the day.

When there is no grey area in production workflows, it will give your workers a greater capacity of understanding and improving shop floor efficiency. Moreover, when your shop floor workers have complete information about each and every step of the production or assembly process, they can easily execute it and make changes where needed to achieve finished goods at the lowest cost.

Error-free Operations:

In the manufacturing industry or any other business, everything should distill down to standardize operations with minimum-to-no errors. However, it is quite difficult to completely remove the human input and their related mistakes in any process. Despite using an ERP, there are some operations that need human resources and if they make a misstep, it could be devastating for your business growth and profitability.

As a discrete manufacturer, you may focus on all production essentials – planning both tangible and intangible resources, timely acquisition of raw materials and components required for assembly, and having the right equipment on the shop floor. However, one mistake by any of your shop floor workers will undo everything.

Here, you need to invest in improving the knowledge and skills of your production teams – especially working on the shop floor. 

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Gene Hammons, MBA
Director at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Over the past few months, political coverage reminded me of a Winston Churchill quote – “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get it’s pants on”. Living in a world of competing politicians and contentious media, there were seemingly plenty of lies for both sides to… (more)

Over the past few months, political coverage reminded me of a Winston Churchill quote – “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get it’s pants on”. Living in a world of competing politicians and contentious media, there were seemingly plenty of lies for both sides to yelp about.

I thanked my lucky stars that in the business of ERP, we don’t deal in lies as the currency of the realm. Over the next few days, I began to rethink that. I won’t go so far as to say there’s widespread lying in the world of ERP, but there’s a lot of conventional wisdom, which neither follows proven convention, nor is particularly wise.

I realized that as an ERP Consultant, half of our work seems like swimming upstream with the truth on our backs – truths learned the hard way – truths proven time and time again – but implementing these truths and getting client buy-in is sometimes the hardest part of a software selection and implementation. If you find yourself dealing with an ERP implementation, here’s a few ‘truths’ you might find helpful

Conventional Wisdom says ‘buy ERP software and your business will be see huge improvements’.

  • Truth is it’s a lot more than simply buying software.
  • Truth is 80% of the attempts at ERP will fail.
  • Truth is you’re not buying a solution with ERP, you’re buying a toolkit.

The clients and prospects I talk to are really smart people. They run great businesses and the most common problems they really have revolve around dealing with rapid growth and phenomenal success.

Conventional Wisdom says, ‘how hard can ERP be – we can figure this out in house’

  • Truth is, ERP is far more complex and the ERP industry survives by making it look simple, when it rarely is.
  • Truth is every, and I mean every client in the last 20 years has underestimated how difficult an ERP project is measured by both effort and people needed to get the project to go live. Did I say every? – there was one who was exactly right a few months ago – but that’s one in 25 years, 1 in 400.

Conventional Wisdom says ERP can improve your business.

  • Truth is, 9 of 10 companies have no idea HOW MUCH ERP has the potential to impact the business and
  • Truth is, without setting those goals, most companies will never reach the goal. You know that about goal setting in your own life, you don’t set a goal, you don’t measure progress to the goal, you don’t reach the goal - the life of your business is no different.

The truth is, starting your ERP project with careful business analysis let’s you build a case that justifies the project, gets you the resources you need, and focuses the entire organization on a common goal. Replacing a poorly performing, older ERP platform can actually enable a company to drive an average of 3% bottom line improvement. Implementing ERP over manual business processes can often result in a 7% bump. Is that easy? NO – it’s hard work. And it all comes after the ERP implementation and as the users learning curve results in better workflow and processes.

Look, change in any business is hard. If you find yourself running an ERP project you will run up against resistance – that’s normal. Say you’re dealing with a Operations Manager – he’s been doing things the same for many years. He’s found out, in the beginning, by trial and error, through his hard knocks research that ‘his way’ is the best way to do it. He’s proven it over the years that come hell or high water, his process works. He’s experienced that his way is the best way. Research, Proven, Experienced. Is it any wonder he’s hesitant to change when some IT guy walks in telling him this is how the software does it best?

Truth is, you can’t just walk in and say ‘do it because I said so’. You need to show him the research – this is how others have done it in the past. Proven, that after go-live, costs dropped, efficiencies rose. Experienced – knowing that many others said the same thing and when you do it right, here’s what happens.

The truth is, ERP is an IT Project, a Software Project, and a Business Reengineering process. When you pull all those aspects together, well, truth is, it’s not easy - but the payoff can be worth it.

Exerpted from the ERPodcast, the weekly musings of Gene Hammons, Director of Profit From ERP, a selection and implementation consultancy. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts  or visit the Profit From ERP Website 

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Gene Hammons, MBA
Director at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
The VP catches up to you and says, “The Strategic Planning Meeting was today and it was agreed we need new ERP Software – so you guys in IT get right on that – and can you have it done by Q2?” Wow! That’s quite the project. Quite the responsibility. And can quickly become quite the nightmare.… (more)

The VP catches up to you and says, “The Strategic Planning Meeting was today and it was agreed we need new ERP Software – so you guys in IT get right on that – and can you have it done by Q2?”

Wow! That’s quite the project. Quite the responsibility. And can quickly become quite the nightmare. (We’ll address why you aren’t in the Strategic Planning Meetings in the first place in another column.)

As a Software Selection Consulting group, getting involved with an ERP selection project run solely by IT is a huge red flag for us. The only thing worse is the ERP project headed up solely by the accounting department - or a newly minted PMP certified Project Manager.

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning really involves the entire enterprise. Trying to get user adoption when you’ve selected and installed ERP to meet requirements of the marketing team works fine until you get to the warehouse and realize their workload triples under the new system design.

In reality, industry averages show an 80% failure rate for ERP when measured by cost overrun, feature expectation or time to go-live. And many of those failures can directly trace back to differing goals, incentives and expectations of the various users.

So, how do you, the IT Manager, actually manage such a bear of a project?

Here’s a few Tips from ProfitFromERP, a group with experience in over 400 ERP projects ranging from small to regional companies, and even the occasional global and international projects.

ERP can have big payoffs but to be really successful it has to be a team effort.

There’s two teams of people you’ll be dealing with, volunteers and draftees. Your volunteers are excited about the project, those draftees need to be enlisted regardless if they’re wanting to play along – and more often than not, you’re trying to draft a CEO or CFO. The thought of ‘let the people who will be using the software pick the software’ is actually half right. Because ERP is two simultaneous projects, there’s a software project, there’s also a business consulting project.

Without the C-Suite providing executive input, that business consulting project is simply floating along, left to it’s own devices – and how many things in business ‘just work themselves out’? ERP isn’t one of them.

While the users in any department are the ‘experts’ at how things are currently done within their own department, there’s Williamson's First Law*, Everything looks simple if you don’t know the first thing about it – but he generally use a different f-word.

We were working with one Pharmaceutical manufacturer several years ago and had a morning meeting with the Supply Chain Manager, the Finance team was in the afternoon. We actually heard the Supply Chain Manager berate the Finance department for trying to save 8 cents a unit by foreign sourcing of a packaging vial without understanding customs costs or fees associated with importing. And in the afternoon, Finance criticized the Supply Chain manager for not knowing accounting terminology and ‘how she can run that department without knowing what FGI is, is beyond me’. In hundreds of accounting software projects, I’d never come across the term FGI either, so I suppose I’ll stay out of running Supply Chain departments just to be safe.

The point is, when you’re involving everyone in Enterprise software, you need to involve everyone from the beginning – and what one department thinks they know about another department can be very shortsighted.

But back to involving everyone. If they’re not on board from the beginning, find out what peaks their interest.

Yes, the higher ups are busy – but they’re also very focused on their areas of responsibility. The CFO may be too busy to look at journal entry screens, but she’s all ears when you tell her you’ve finalized the Requirements for the new AR workflow and she’ll make time to meet with you to cover those areas. The objective is to draft her involvement in future system design meetings and clarify/quantify project goals.

In a mid-sized company, you’ll end up with 75 – 150 Requirements – and working with your C-level leadership team, you should be able to make decisions like, Requirement 28 for centralized purchasing will cut costs by X while Requirement 63 auto batch reversal is nice to have a couple of times a year. Prioritizing your Requirements allows you to focus on evaluating which ERP solves your major issues best – and relegates those ‘nice to have’ issues to the right level of attention.

Fortunately for IT Departments – your daily work involves every department so use that access for full effect. CC higher ups with emails detailing proposed system architecture and when the final review meeting is to be held. You’ll be surprised who shows up.

Classically, you’ll want an Executive Steering Committee as your highest level of involvement – mostly in overall decisions. Your ERP Committee should have representatives from every department that will use a module in the new system – they may not all be in every meeting – but they’ll all be represented. Your User Group Committee should represent the staff doing the day to day entry into the new system.

And remember, you don’t own the actual project, you own the facilitator role. The new software doesn’t do anything – but your users can use the new software tool to accomplish much. Make sure they’re on the same page.

For more tips and methodologies used by the leading ERP implementation teams, www.ProfitFromERP.com offers podcasts, success stories, guidelines and white papers on how to select ERP and make it pay.

*This is generally referred to as Williamson’s First Law, from an article by Kevin D. Williamson on National Review – regardless of your political stand, you have to admit it makes a great deal of sense.

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Find out what your peers are saying about SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and others in ERP. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.