Today’s Top ERP Software Solutions

Insight on modern enterprise solutions for the Food & Beverage, Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, Fabricated Metal Products Manufacturing and Distribution industries

The right ERP solution can deliver the capabilities you need to improve processes, find new efficiencies, enhance decision-making, increase velocity, reduce waste and, perhaps most important, ensure that your company can prosper despite any challenges that lie ahead.

What is the Best ERP Solution for Your Organization?

That’s a difficult question. Because every industry has unique requirements. Because every company is different. And because every organization handles operations differently.

Start your search by asking these basic (but critical) questions:

  • What new capabilities do you need and want?
  • What problems are you trying to solve?
  • What do you want your core processes to look like?
  • How can new tools enable your organization’s digital transformation?

When you have the answers, you can start researching solutions that will suit your unique requirements. And we can help you select the right technology solution.


Top ERP Software Solutions in Four Key Industries

These top software solutions lists are derived from the 2021 and 2022 ERP Vendor Updates, which were compiled from interviews with software company product experts, product documentation and product briefings, independent research and Ultra internal documents. The individual vendor content is the opinion of our expert consultants, is based on interviews, project experience, sales experience and product knowledge, and is not intended to provide a complete review, comprehensive analysis or ranking of the products or companies described.

 

Top ERP Solutions: Food & Beverage

(in random order)

 


SYSPRO
Manufacturing- and distribution-focused
SYSPRO offers a robust feature set, and focuses on the manufacturing and distribution industries. For organizations that like the ability to customize their ERP solution, SYSPRO allows it by providing modular functionality. For small- to medium-sized businesses, SYSPRO provides solid “bang for your buck.”

With U.S. offices in Costa Mesa, Calif., USA, SYSPRO (syspro.com) is a privately held provider of ERP software for manufacturers and distributors. Established in 1978, the company has 12 major offices around the world, and over 15,000 licensed customers in 62 countries.


Microsoft Dynamics 365
Customizable for process manufacturing
Microsoft goes to market in a purely channel model. Microsoft has provided a strong foundation in Dynamics 365, and then it’s up to its vast network of VARs and ISVs to provide industry-specific enhancements. Dynamics 365 is a highly configurable system that can easily scale up and down.

Microsoft (microsoft.com) is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., USA, and is the world’s largest software company. Its Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) product line contains a long list of applications.


IFS Applications 10
Built for complex organizations
IFS Applications 10 is a functionally robust product that thrives in complex organizations in both process and discrete manufacturing. IFS provides a 360-degree view of the supply chain and manufacturing, delivering broad scope, deep functionality and exceptional configurability.

IFS AB (ifs.com) is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, and is focused on developing and delivering enterprise software for manufacturing and distribution customers. IFS generates more than $668 million in annual revenue and has more than 10,000 customers worldwide.


Sage X3
Strong in process manufacturing
Sage X3 is well-suited for mid-sized companies that want broad ERP functionality without the high cost of the big solutions. The software solution provides crucial functions for the food and beverage industry, offers greater transparency and supports food safety.

Sage Group plc (sage.com) is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Sage is the world’s third-largest supplier of ERP software, with $2 billion in annual revenue, 6.1 million customers worldwide and products/ services available in 160 countries.


QAD
Highly integrated and adaptable
QAD’s Adaptive ERP Solution is built for food and beverage manufacturers with fully integrating planning, scheduling, supply chain management, material control and shop floor control. It adapts to all types of manufacturing styles used by food and beverage companies from process and batch production to discrete packaging.

QAD (QAD.com), headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif., USA, is a leading provider of adaptive cloud-based enterprise software and services for global manufacturing companies. QAD has more than 300,000 users at 4,000 customer sites.


Plex
Food & beverage disruptor
The Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform is a single system that offers control over every aspect of manufacturing operations. The platform includes MES, ERP, supply chain planning, quality, Industrial IoT and analytics. Plex has long been known as a player in the automotive and metals industries, but over the past five years has started to make waves in Food & Beverage.

Based in Troy, Mich., USA, Plex Systems (plex.com) began in 1989 as an internal IT project at an automotive parts manufacturer. Known as the first provider of a complete cloud solution for manufacturing companies, the company reports that 675 manufacturers and 1200 facilities in 37 countries currently use Plex solutions.


Aptean
Committed to food & beverage
Aptean’s Food and Beverage ERP suite brings together six solutions – JustFood, bcFood, LINKFRESH, DIN, Agiles and Foodware 365 – built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. The food and beverage offerings are tailored to specific segments of the industry, and offer connectivity to payment, ecommerce, MES, EAM and transportation management systems.

Aptean (aptean.com) is headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., USA. A $360 million global provider of industry-specific enterprise software, the company serves 10,000 customers and provides niche solutions for process and discrete manufacturers and distributors.


Deacom
A different approach to F&B
Deacom is a strong player in the mid-market, especially for process manufacturers in Food & Beverage, Chemicals and Life Sciences. It offers a rich feature set, as every release includes major functionality enhancements, which are rolled out to its entire customer base.

Deacom (deacom.com) is headquartered in Chesterbrook, Pa., USA, with offices in Denver, Colo. and Frankfurt, Germany. With 25 years of experience, Deacom (deacom.com) has a strong focus on medium- and large-sized manufacturing and distribution companies in a wide variety of industries.


Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage (M3)
An lower-cost alternative to bigger solutions
CloudSuite Food & Beverage (M3) offers a robust feature set that can compete functionally with its primary competitors – often at a lower total investment. The platform offers food and beverage ERP capabilities across all major segments of the food & beverage industry.

Infor (infor.com) is headquartered in New York, N.Y., USA, brought in $3.2 billion in revenue in 2019 and, with 67,000 customer organizations worldwide, is a leader in industry-specific cloud software products.


SAP S/4HANA
Everything for everyone
Everybody knows SAP – it’s been a leader, not just in Food & Beverage, but in all industries for decades. It offers a fully integrated platform on its proprietary HANA database, and its robust feature set allows it to service organizations ranging from pre-revenue startups to multi-billion-dollar global corporations.

SAP (sap.com) is headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, and has regional offices in 180 countries. Founded in 1972, the $29.2 billion company has 440,000 customers and 21,000 partners around the world.

Top ERP Solutions: Industrial Equipment Manufacturing

(in random order)


 

Infor LN
IEM-focused right from the start
Infor LN is best suited for mid-market or large companies, or companies that are growing. And, as a top-tier product, it is not one that companies will need to move on from in five years. Infor started as a product for IEM and project-based manufacturing companies. Shop floor and project management are areas where Infor shines.

Infor (infor.com) is headquartered in New York, N.Y., USA, brought in $3.2 billion in revenue in 2019 and, with 67,000 customer organizations worldwide, is a leader in industry-specific cloud software products.


Rootstock
A Different Approach to IEM ERP
Rootstock supports multiple modes of manufacturing that exist simultaneously within a single ERP environment. Specifically, Rootstock supports companies that may deploy a wide variety of production processes such as make-to-stock, make-to-order, configure-to-order, engineer-to-order, project-based or non-project-based, and share resources to meet specific customer requirements.

Built on the Salesforce Cloud Platform and launched in 2008, Rootstock Software (rootstock.com) is a global provider of cloud ERP solutions for manufacturing, distribution and supply chain. The privately held company is headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., USA.


DELMIAWorks
High performance for high-volume IEMs
DELMIAWorks performs well for manufacturers of high-volume industrial equipment such as machinery components, sensors and standardized material handling systems. Customers often leverage the software’s renowned MES and its leading batch-oriented manufacturing functionality that offers finite scheduling and real-time data monitoring.

DELMIAWorks (IQMS.com), headquartered in Paso Robles, Calif., USA, provides ERP software designed for repetitive, process and discrete manufacturing companies. IQMS was acquired in by Dassault Systèmes in 2018, and its solutions were rebranded DELMIAWorks.


Oracle Cloud
Flexibility and broad capabilities
Oracle Cloud is a solution with a full range of services to support the industrial machine manufacturing industry – everything from management of an engineer-to-order project to service of the final product. It is one of the few ERPs to support diverse manufacturing strategies such as engineer-to-order, configure-to-order, assemble-to-order make-to-order products within the same framework

Oracle (oracle.com) is headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA. In 2020, Oracle was the second-largest software company, with $39.1 billion in revenue, 430,000 customers and 20,000 partners around the world.


SAP S/4HANA
Everything for everyone
SAP S/4HANA is a major global player in the ERP arena. It is best suited for larger companies or fast-growing middle-market companies. One of the advantages of SAP is its strong technical architecture. The database structure is truly integrated across all the applications, providing solid data integrity for business analytics.

SAP (sap.com) is headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, and has regional offices in 180 countries. Founded in 1972, the $29.2 billion company has 440,000 customers and 21,000 partners around the world.


QAD
Powerful capabilities and scalability
QAD’s roots are in manufacturing. In fact, it’s a manufacturing product that expanded into financials, instead of the other way around. One of its big advantages is that it is highly scalable, allowing companies to grow their QAD solution as they grow. Another advantage is that it can handle discrete (design-to-order) and repetitive manufacturing with the same depth of functionality.

QAD (QAD.com), headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif., USA, is a leading provider of adaptive cloud-based enterprise software and services for global manufacturing companies. QAD has more than 300,000 users at 4,000 customer sites.


Plex
Management tools offer valuable edge
Plex ERP was developed for the requirements of the automotive industry – with a focus on efficiency, quality assurance and collaboration. Over the years, Plex Systems has gained dozens of IEM customers. The company has invested heavily in their MES as it relates to the shop floor user interface, production quality control and real-time machine metrics – and the MES is a key selling point and differentiator.

Based in Troy, Mich., USA, Plex Systems (plex.com) began in 1989 as an internal IT project at an automotive parts manufacturer. Known as the first provider of a complete cloud solution for manufacturing companies, the company reports that 675 manufacturers and 1200 facilities in 37 countries currently use Plex solutions.


Epicor
Flexibility for mid-market IEM companies
Epicor has a well-developed portfolio of IEM customers that build low-volume, highly engineered equipment. Epicor works well for mid-market businesses looking to grow. Epicor’s key differentiator is its ability to reduce part-number data clutter by allowing “part-on-the-fly” manufacturing.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, Epicor Software Corporation (epicor.com) provides industry-specific on-premises and cloud software solution. The company has 27,000 customers in 150 countries.


IFS Applications 10
Built for IEM’s complex requirements
IFS supports all manufacturing variants, from simple make-to-stock to more complex make-to-order and highly-complex configure-to-order and engineer-to-order businesses. Manufacturers of complex industrial equipment and machinery with low- to high-volume/high-complexity production are well-supported by this solution.

IFS AB (ifs.com) is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, and is focused on developing and delivering enterprise software for manufacturing and distribution customers. IFS generates more than $668 million in annual revenue and has more than 10,000 customers worldwide.


Microsoft Dynamics 365
Robust tools for everyone
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based solution that provides in-depth support for finance, operations, customer relationship management (CRM), field service and other activities. The software is primarily implemented through a network of service providers. Support for IEM companies centers on project integration – the project is the center point for tracking engineering time, procurement, subcontracting, manufacturing, inventory, resource assignments and project milestones.

Microsoft (microsoft.com) is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., USA, and is the world’s largest software company. Its Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) product line contains a long list of applications.

Top ERP Solutions: Fabricated Metal Products Manufacturing

(in random order)


 

Epicor Kinetic
Powerful, highly capable cloud solution
Metal fabrication is an area of strength for Epicor – and the company recently acquired KBMax, which is a next-generation CPQ toolset with interactive 2D/3D visualization and engineering automation. A cloud solution, Epicor Kinetic’s differentiators include advanced planning/scheduling, embedded MES, integrated back-end financials, CPQ capabilities, and strong product management, integration with CAD/PLM systems and cost solutions.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, Epicor Software Corporation (epicor.com) provides industry-specific on-premises and cloud software solution. The company has 27,000 customers in 150 countries.


Oracle Cloud
Capabilities for today and tomorrow
The ideal customer for Oracle’s Fusion Cloud solution has $200 million to $1 billion in annual revenue. The solution offers integrated PLM, product configurator (CPQ), order management, SCM projects, production scheduling, lot tracking, attribute-based pricing, attribute-based inventory tracking and support for mixed-mode manufacturing.

Oracle (oracle.com) is headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA. In 2020, Oracle was the second-largest software company, with $39.1 billion in revenue, 430,000 customers and 20,000 partners around the world.


Infor LN
Built with discrete manufacturing in mind
Infor LN’s sweet spot is companies with annual revenues greater than $500 million. Its differentiators include planning, manufacturing and scheduling in complex manufacturing environments, management of supply chain and management of mixed-mode manufacturing. Other strengths include cost capture, genealogy/lot tracking, subcontracting and procurement.

Infor (infor.com) is headquartered in New York, N.Y., USA, brought in $3.2 billion in revenue in 2019 and, with 67,000 customer organizations worldwide, is a leader in industry-specific cloud software products.


IFS
New interface, strong functionality
IFS is a full-function, feature-rich top-tier system that serves a multitude of industries. The metal fabrication capabilities include support for ETO and MTO, and all types of manufacturing in between, including mixed-mode. Its strengths include a full suite of manufacturing functionality, embedded WMS, and linkage to third-party CAD and nesting products.

IFS AB (ifs.com) is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, and is focused on developing and delivering enterprise software for manufacturing and distribution customers. IFS generates more than $668 million in annual revenue and has more than 10,000 customers worldwide.


Microsoft Dynamics 365
Focused on metal fab’s unique needs
For fabricated metal products manufacturing, Microsoft Dynamics 365 relies on Crowe, an implementor, and the Crowe Metals Accelerator to provide metals-specific capabilities such as nesting, inventory tracking, materials planning, capacity planning, analytics/reporting and materials utilization, and more.

Microsoft (microsoft.com) is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., USA, and is the world’s largest software company. Its Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) product line contains a long list of applications.


SYSPRO
Scalable, highly configurable solution
SYSPRO focuses on the manufacturing and distribution industries, and offers a robust feature set. Its strengths in metal fabrication include support for mixed-mode operations (ETO, MTO, MTS), quoting/estimating, demand planning/forecasting, capacity planning and labor tracking, quality control/management, and automation and PLC integration.

SYSPRO (syspro.com) is a privately held provider of ERP software for manufacturers and distributors. Established in 1978, the company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., USA, and has 12 major offices around the world, and more than 15,000 licensed customers in 62 countries.


DELMIAWorks
Big capabilities for smaller companies
DELMIAWorks Manufacturing ERP (formerly IQMS EnterpriseIQ) is a full-featured, operations-oriented ERP system that is a good fit for small to medium-sized manufacturers. The foundation of the system is a core product with numerous native add-on/embedded modules to allow customers to configure the system to their specific needs.

DELMIAWorks (IQMS.com), headquartered in Paso Robles, Calif., USA, provides ERP software designed for repetitive, process and discrete manufacturing companies. IQMS was acquired in by Dassault Systèmes in 2018, and its solutions were rebranded DELMIAWorks.


SAP S/4HANA
Big solution with big capabilities
SAP is an ERP system with a full suite of products to support all areas of the business. For metal fabrication, its strengths are whole-order entry (including pricing and costing models), integration between sales and operations, dimensional attributes in planning, scrap across multiple orders, quality management, genealogy tracking, and the ability to group and execute nested orders.

SAP (sap.com) is headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, and has regional offices in 180 countries. Founded in 1972, the $29.2 billion company has 440,000 customers and 21,000 partners around the world.

Top ERP Solutions: Distribution

(in random order)


 

Epicor
Strong platform for durable goods distributors
With Prophet 21, Epicor provides wholesale distribution customers with an option that supports all durable goods distributors with support for sub-verticals within distribution. The strategy for Prophet 21 over the last 50 years is to provide a “fit for purpose” approach. This has led to Prophet 21 providing a great depth and width of functionality in its core offering.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, Epicor Software Corporation (epicor. com) provides industry-specific on-premises and cloud software solution. The company has 27,000 customers in 150 countries.


Oracle NetSuite
Easy to implement and customize
NetSuite’s advantages are its speed-to-implementation and the ability for customers to find pre-developed customizations through SuiteApp.com. Its cloud structure and ease of configuration make it a good solution for distribution companies that do not have a deep IT bench for either implementation or ongoing support.

Oracle (oracle.com) is headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA. In 2020, Oracle was the second-largest software company, with $39.1 billion in revenue, 430,000 customers and 20,000 partners around the world.


Oracle Cloud
Smart choice for complex environments
Oracle Cloud is an ERP solution focused on customers with revenues $200 million and above. Oracle has found that its best customers are those embarking on major transformations – and often the bigger the client, the more complex environment, the better the fit. Oracle’s Warehouse Management System (WMS), formerly LogFire, is easily scalable, and its functionality is appropriate for pure distributors, 3PL operations, retailers and manufacturers with heavy distribution requirements.

Oracle (oracle.com) is headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA. In 2020, Oracle was the second-largest software company, with $39.1 billion in revenue, 430,000 customers and 20,000 partners around the world.


Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise (M3)
Fast-time-to-value, low-risk solution
Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise, also known as Infor M3, is a Tier 1 cloud-based solution designed specifically for wholesale distribution. One of its differentiators is that it offers fast time-to-value because it utilizes pre-configured industry-specific solutions. This allows the implementation team to deploy the solution faster with lower risk to the client.

Infor (infor.com) is headquartered in New York, N.Y., USA, brought in $3.2 billion in revenue in 2019 and, with 67,000 customer organizations worldwide, is a leader in industry-specific cloud software products.


Infor CloudSuite Distribution
Experience enables rapid deployment
Infor CloudSuite Distribution (formerly SX.e) is effectively a scaled-down version of Infor’s CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise that is targeted at companies with annual revenues less than $250M. CloudSuite Distribution is a cloud-based ERP purpose-built for wholesale distributors that delivers industry-specific capabilities without extensive customizations or integrations.

Infor (infor.com) is headquartered in New York, N.Y., USA, brought in $3.2 billion in revenue in 2019 and, with 67,000 customer organizations worldwide, is a leader in industry-specific cloud software products.


Sage X3
Flexible solution for complex businesses
Sage X3 focuses on the distribution and manufacturing industries, and particularly companies with the complexity of being a multi-national, multi-language, multi-currency operation or multiple entities. The ideal company size for Sage X3 are companies with around $30 million in revenue or higher. And companies with international supply chain complexity are a particularly good fit.

Sage Group plc (sage.com) is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Sage is the world’s third-largest supplier of ERP software, with $2 billion in annual revenue, 6.1 million customers worldwide and products/ services available in 160 countries.


Acumatica
Distribution-specific and unique pricing
Acumatica is one of the newer players in the distribution ERP space, and it offers a cloud solution designed specifically for the vertical. The solution is engineered to support cross-functionality. And it allows third parties to develop and modify business logic – the core logic is protected but the business logic is available above the core logic to be modified.

Acumatica (acumatica.com), founded in 2008, is a technology provider that develops cloud- and browser-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for small and medium-sized businesses. The company is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., USA. Acumatica is owned by EQT Partners, which also owns IFS – a combination the firm hails as a “global cloud ERP powerhouse.”


SAP S/4HANA
Big solution with built-in best practices
S/4HANA is SAP’s flagship product. It has broad functionality that covers most industries and types of companies. However, it is geared for companies in the upper-mid-market or larger. Within the distribution marketplace, S/4HANA’s largest market share is in healthcare/ pharmaceuticals, and it also has a strong presence in food service, industrial products and technology.

SAP (sap.com) is headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, and has regional offices in 180 countries. Founded in 1972, the $29.2 billion company has 440,000 customers and 21,000 partners around the world.


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
Familiar feel, powerful SMB toolset
Business Central is an ERP solution that is well suited for small and medium-sized companies. It is designed for customers that have outgrown an entry-level ERP or home-grown solution from both a process and software perspective. Based on the Microsoft NAV on-premises software, Business Central takes advantage of a mature code set, while providing its customers the support and maintenance advantages of a cloud environment.

Microsoft (microsoft.com) is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., USA, and is the world’s largest software company. Its Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) product line contains a long list of applications.


Aptean
Built for distribution and its needs
Aptean Distribution ERP is one of several Aptean solutions that are purpose-built for specific industries. The solution is used by more than 400 customers in the United States, United Kingdom and EMEA. Two-thirds of its customers are implemented on the cloud solution. Key differentiators include embedded EDI, chargeback management, profitability scorecards and long lead time forecasting.

Aptean (aptean.com) is headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., USA. A $360 million global provider of industry-specific enterprise software, the company serves 10,000 customers and provides niche solutions for process and discrete manufacturers and distributors.


Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations
Big platform and broad functionality
Microsoft Dynamics 365’s strength lies in its ability to offer a comprehensive set of functionalities, including robust warehouse and transportation management and ecommerce. It provides 85% to 90% of functionality in its core product, and then relies on partners and ISVs to provide the remaining, industry-specific functionality.

Microsoft (microsoft.com) is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., USA, and is the world’s largest software company. Its Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) product line contains a long list of applications.


SAP Business One
Reliable, scalable, flexible and extensible
SAP Business One is SAP's small- to mid-market solution, and it is running at 72,000 companies globally. The ideal distributor size for Business One is $20 million and $250 million in revenue. The solution focuses on a several sub-verticals within distribution, including durable goods, food and electrical. SAP Business One comes with 43 localizations, and is offered in 27 different languages, making it a strong player for global companies.

SAP (sap.com) is headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, and has regional offices in 180 countries. Founded in 1972, the $29.2 billion company has 440,000 customers and 21,000 partners around the world.


Want to learn more about the top ERP software solutions?

In 2021 and 2022, we compiled up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive information on the top software solutions for companies in four industries. These ERP Vendor Updates offer a close-up look at the top ERP solutions. And each enables easy analysis with detailed information on key ERP capabilities – and a comparison table that puts the solutions side-by-side. In addition, the reports include real-world insight from our experienced consultants on the fit, functionality and future of the ERP software solutions featured.

Download the full ERP Vendor Update for your industry:
• Food & Beverage
Industrial Equipment Manufacturing
Metal Fabrication
Distribution

Marketing Content Manager at Ultra Consultants | Website | + posts

Tim is an expert IT services and software marketer, B2B marketing communications professional and content creator who brings more than 30 years of experience to the job.

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