Manufacturing Software for Small Business Blog Feature

Unlocking Production Efficiency: 10 Best Manufacturing Software for Small Businesses

In a market dominated by multinational behemoths, the survival and success of small manufacturing businesses depend on process optimization. It’s all about finding ways to reduce costs, promote better resource utilization, and simplify product lifecycle management to stay competitive and on top of your game. 

Luckily, there’s a hero in this story—small business manufacturing software. These nifty programs streamline and automate various manufacturing tasks like production scheduling and inventory management. They also provide real-time visibility into critical aspects of operations that helps you map out your processes and determine bottlenecks and areas for improvement.

In this article, we will discuss the top 10 manufacturing software for small businesses and shed some light on their key features, pricing, user reviews, and most notable shortcomings. By picking the right tool, you’ll be able to improve your processes and ensure informed decision-making and efficient order fulfillment. 📈

What Is Manufacturing Software for Small Businesses?

Software for a small manufacturing business is a versatile tool designed to streamline core manufacturing operations, from procurement and production to sales and HR. 

Automating vital processes like inventory management, these programs help minimize the risk of overstocking, free up valuable human resources, and plan production timing based on limited raw materials. They also assist with tracking and managing orders, thus improving customer relationships.

Manufacturing tools for small businesses bridge the gap between data collection and actionable insights, facilitating the seamless execution of operational strategies. When you leverage these valuable insights into your business processes, you’ll be able to make better decisions that drive efficiency and maximize profit. 💸

What Should You Look for in Manufacturing Software for Small Businesses?

Before deciding to integrate any small business manufacturing software into your processes, make sure it has the following key features and qualities: 

  1. Scalability and customizability: The tool should adapt to rising complexities and data growth that accompany the expansion of your business and product portfolio
  2. Ease-of-use: Your staff should be able to take advantage of the software even if they’re not tech-savvy 
  3. Production scheduling: The program should be able to manage production schedules effectively. This will aid the allocation of resources and minimize downtime
  4. Integration: See that the software seamlessly connects with the systems you already use, such as order management and customer relationship management (CRM) tools 
  5. Inventory management: The tool’s ability to provide real-time visibility into warehouse inventory is vital as it prevents overstocking or understocking 
  6. Quality control: The software should aid quality control schemes by monitoring production processes and providing automatic alerts for deviations
  7. Order processing: The program should be able to optimize order fulfillment workflows by tracking orders and ensuring timely deliveries

Top 10 Manufacturing Software for Small Businesses to Use in 2024

If you’re aiming to automate and fine-tune your processes to drive sales and grow your business, take a closer look at our roundup of the top 10 manufacturing software for small businesses. 👇

1. ClickUp

Example of all the different ClickUp views
ClickUp’s 15+ views provide organizations with a wall-to-wall solution for every team

ClickUp is a versatile platform that promotes collaboration and productivity in teams of all sizes and industries. Its exceptional project management capabilities also make it a top-notch manufacturing software for small businesses, helping improve critical processes like inventory management, production scheduling, and order tracking.

The platform has an entire suite of features specially designed for construction and manufacturing teams, helping them plan, manage, and track project schedules and product lifecycles. The platform assists in estimating purchase orders and quantities of raw materials needed to fulfill these orders. Doing so, ClickUp serves as a barrier against stockout, ensuring you can meet customer demands.

ClickUp 3.0 Calendar view simplified
Manage and organize projects, and schedule tasks across the flexible Calendar view to keep teams in sync

The ClickUp Calendar view eliminates the hassle involved in production scheduling and timeline management. By color-coding tasks, such as raw material sourcing or product shipping, in order of priority, you’ll be able to visualize and plan the different activities that make up the production lifecycle. That way, you’ll know precisely when and what to produce, ship, or store, enabling you to manage time and resources appropriately. 

This feature seamlessly integrates and synchronizes with your Google Calendar, preventing discrepancies in scheduling across different platforms. 📅

ClickUp 3.0 Gantt chart simplified
Group, filter, or hide tasks in ClickUp 3.0 Gantt charts to track and connect workflows across all your work

With the ClickUp Gantt Chart view, you’ll have a crystal-clear overview of your procurement, production, storing, and shipping processes. These highly visual tools make progress tracking a breeze and provide a centralized space for communicating with team members,  contractors, and suppliers. 

Use the Gantt charts to schedule and prioritize crucial tasks, manage dependencies and deadlines, and eliminate bottlenecks in your production processes for maximum efficiency. 💯

ClickUp best features 

  • User-friendly Calendar view for optimizing scheduling, informational retrieval, and timeline management
  • Gantt Chart view for planning manufacturing roadmaps and preventing bottlenecks 
  • Color-coding to group projects in order of priority
  • Superb real-time collaboration options, including comments, tags, and built-in chats
  • ClickUp Goals and Milestones for tracking progress based on tasks or achievements 
  • 1,000+ templates for creating manufacturing SOPs, communications plans, and daily reports
  • Integration with 1,000+ third-party tools

ClickUp limitations 

  • The number of features and tools can be overwhelming
  • Some users wished for more customization options 

ClickUp pricing 

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $7/month per user
  • Business: $12/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact sales
  • ClickUp AI: Available for all paid plans for $5 per workspace 

*All listed prices refer to the yearly billing model

ClickUp ratings and reviews 

  • G2: 4.7/5 (9,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (3,000+ reviews)

2. NetSuite

NetSuite is a digital manufacturing solution designed to streamline the way you manage your inventory, time, and production operations

By providing real-time insights into your stock levels, this tool reduces the risk of overstocking or product spoilage. With NetSuite, you can say goodbye to unnecessary costs due to excessive inventory storage.

NetSuite also ensures orders are managed properly by facilitating prompt delivery of error-free invoices and meticulous tracking of payments. This allows your business to transition smoothly from sales quotes to efficient order fulfillment. 

The program provides a real-time view of your business’s financial performance, empowering you to plan strategically and quickly adapt to market trends and movements. 

NetSuite best features

  • Tracking system to monitor inventory and ensure customer demands are met
  • Order management tools to ensure clients receive timely invoices 
  • Financial management system for a holistic view of financial performance 
  • Supply chain management system to facilitate shipping of goods and services to customers
  • Support for 27 languages and 190 currencies

NetSuite limitations 

  • Loading and refreshing time is notably slow
  • It takes time to learn how to utilize the features effectively

NetSuite pricing 

  • Available upon contact 

NetSuite ratings and reviews

  • G2: 4.0/5 (2,000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.1/5 (1,000+ reviews)

3. MRPeasy

MRPeasy Dashboard
Via: MRPeasy

MRPeasy is an excellent manufacturing scheduling software for businesses with 10 to 200 employees. This robust tool leverages an AI-powered material requirement planning (MRP) system to determine precisely what goods to produce and in what quantities. This ensures an appropriate response to market demands, optimal resource allocation, and reduced production waste.

MRPeasy keeps you in the loop with automatic updates on inventory levels. This functionality helps you prevent stockouts and cut back on inventory storage costs.

Lastly, MRPeasy utilizes a spreadsheet system, calendar, and Gantt chart features to facilitate production planning based on demand, order due dates, and resource availability. 

MRPeasy best features

  • Calendar feature for production scheduling
  • Gantt charts to assist in order tracking
  • Material requirement planning (MRP) system that helps in determining the type and quantity of goods to be produced
  • Accounting system that monitors cashflow and balance sheets 
  • Real-time reporting to prevent low inventory levels and overstocking

MRPeasy limitations 

  • Limited features and functions
  • Limited dashboard customization options

MRPeasy pricing 

  • Starter: $44.92/month per user 
  • Professional: $63.25/month per user 
  • Enterprise: $90.75/month per user 
  • Unlimited: $136.58/month per user 

*All listed prices refer to the yearly billing model

MRPeasy ratings and reviews 

  • G2: 4.3/5 (10+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (80+ reviews)

4. Global Shop Solutions 

Global Shop Solutions is focused on streamlining the complexities involved in production, shop floor monitoring, and order tracking. 

The tool’s work-in-progress reporting features help you monitor production and make it easy to identify and respond to any process upsets.

On top of that, the program has unique maintenance tracking functionalities that update you when a piece of equipment requires some form of preventive maintenance. This feature is particularly useful as it helps prevent production downtime due to machine breakdowns.

Global Shop Solutions also provides comprehensive physical inventory data and automates inventory purchases at low stock levels to prevent losses caused by stockout. This feature is integral in material requirements planning as it helps determine what and when to produce. 

Global Shop Solutions best features 

  • Scheduling features for effective production planning
  • Tracking system to monitor work-in-progress, invoices, costs, and payments
  • Maintenance monitoring system to prevent downtime due to machine breakdowns
  • Automated inventory purchases at low stock levels to prevent stockouts
  • Generating quotes and automatic sales orders

Global Shop Solutions limitations 

  • The operating system experiences delays in loading
  • Training users to operate the software effectively typically requires a considerable amount of time

Global Shop Solutions pricing 

  • Available upon contact  

Global Shop Solutions ratings and reviews 

  • G2: 3.8/5 (10+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.1/5 (60+ reviews)

5. Katana

Katana MRP
Via: Katana

If you’ve been struggling to monitor and manage stock levels across different warehouses, Katana could be the answer to your problems. 

This cloud-based inventory management software lets you keep tabs on specific products stored in each warehouse, thus preventing overstocking or understocking issues.

Katana’s production management features assist you in determining what and when to produce based on raw material availability and market demand for specific goods. This, in turn, facilitates efficient production scheduling.

Additionally, the program helps you make better decisions by identifying your most profitable products and top clients.

Katana best features 

  • Advanced inventory tracking system that monitors stock levels in different warehouses 
  • Production management system that schedules operations based on raw material availability, time, and customer demand
  • Tracking system that locates defective or expired batches before they are delivered
  • Real-time insights on profit margin trends and the most successful sales channels 

Katana limitations 

  • New users might find the interface overwhelming
  • The loading speed can be slow when dealing with multiple inputs

Katana pricing 

  • Essential: $99/month per user
  • Advanced: $299/month per user
  • Professional: $799/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact sales

*All listed prices refer to the yearly billing model

Katana ratings and reviews  

  • G2: 4.4/5 (30+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (150+ reviews) 

6. JobBOSS

JobBOSS
Via: JobBOSS

One of the key reasons JobBOSS excels as a manufacturing software for small businesses is its robust scheduling and shop floor control capabilities.

JobBOSS recognizes the challenges manufacturers face in modifying operations with rapidly changing customer demands. It tackles this problem by allowing users to drag, drop, and adjust production schedules seamlessly. 

Furthermore, its what-if analysis feature promotes workflow optimization by helping you predict the consequences of altering production schedules before implementing any changes. 

With JobBOSS, the risk of losing contracts due to delayed quotes will become a thing of the past. This tool is capable of generating error-free quotes instantly, using up-to-date figures. 💵

JobBOSS best features 

  • A production scheduling system that facilitates order and production tracking 
  • Material and inventory control tracking
  • Readily accessible on computer and mobile devices 
  • Rapid generation of error-free quotes for customers using current figures 

JobBOSS limitations 

  • Software servers can be slow, which impacts workflow efficiency 
  • Difficulties in accessing and utilizing certain features

JobBOSS pricing 

  • Available upon contact 

JobBOSS ratings and reviews  

  • G2: 3.8/5 (40+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.3/5 (800+ reviews)

7. CloudSuite Industrial by Infor

CloudSuite Industrial by Infor
Via: Infor

If you’ve been experiencing frequent shutdowns and unplanned downtimes that affect overall productivity, it’s time to consider integrating CloudSuite Industrial into your operations.

CloudSuite Industrial is a comprehensive solution that employs artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality (XR) to predict the maintenance required for machines, enhancing equipment reliability. ⚒️

This tool excels at alerting you whenever there are potential disruptions that can impact order fulfillment. This helps you make informed decisions and respond proactively, thus ensuring your products reach the target customer at the expected time.

Additionally, CloudSuite Industrial accelerates product innovation by comparing cost and performance against established products. This ultimately helps in refining new product development strategies.

CloudSuite Industrial best features 

  • Uses artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality (XR) to perform predictive maintenance that prevents machine downtime
  • Alerting features that warn you about potential disruptions that can affect order fulfillment 
  • Automates invoice processing, resulting in fewer errors and faster approval 
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that facilitates effective production scheduling  

CloudSuite Industrial limitations

  • Steep learning curve for inexperienced users
  • It might not offer the best product shipping solutions

CloudSuite Industrial pricing 

  • Available upon contact 

CloudSuite Industrial ratings and reviews 

  • G2: 3.9/5 (50+ reviews)
  • TrustRadius: 7.6/10 (10+ reviews)

8. Cetec ERP

Cetec ERP is a comprehensive small business manufacturing ERP software that offers various solutions for inventory management, production planning, and scheduling needs. 

This platform effectively resolves inventory tracking concerns by allowing you to serialize raw materials and finished products for easy identification. Moreover, the tool’s inventory management features let you monitor stocks, ensuring they remain within your company’s predefined levels.

Cetec ERP helps you plan your production schedules by automatically suggesting ways to allocate materials and time based on order due dates. 

Cetec ERP best features 

  • Inventory tracking system that monitors stock levels and ensures they remain within predefined limits 
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for small businesses that automatically suggests ways to allocate finite resources 
  • Provides information and features that are accessible on a mobile tablet
  • Automatically schedules production based on order due dates and shop floor capacities

Cetec ERP limitations

  • Users occasionally experience glitches with new updates 
  • Users new to ERP systems might have difficulties adapting to the software

Cetec ERP pricing 

  • Lite: $40/month per user + $0 per company
  • Standard: $40/month per user + $500/month per company
  • Enterprise: $40/month per user + $3,200/month per company

Cetec ERP ratings and reviews  

  • G2: 3.9/5 (20+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 (40+ reviews)

9. Fishbowl

Fishbowl is designed to efficiently monitor and manage your inventory levels in different warehouses by conducting automated stock counts. It allows you to effortlessly check your inventory in different warehouses from a centralized location, regardless of where you are. 🐟

The program also offers work order calendar functions that enable proactive scheduling and timely production well ahead of the order delivery date. 

Moreover, its material resource planning (MRP) functionality aids production planning by letting you know when and where materials are needed. 

Fishbowl best features 

  • Automated stock counting that prevents overstocking or stockout 
  • Work order calendar that plans production schedules, guaranteeing products are set for shipment on delivery day
  • Real-time insights that can be accessed from any location 
  • Advanced tracking features that monitor stock levels in multiple warehouses 

Fishbowl limitations 

  • Difficulty navigating certain features on the platform
  • Unstable support resulting in frequent issues

Fishbowl pricing 

  • Drive: Starts at $329 per month (warehousing) 
  • Advanced: Starts at $329 per month (warehousing); starts at $429 per month (manufacturing) 

Fishbowl ratings and reviews  

  • G2: 4.0/5 (100+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.1/5 (800+ reviews)

10. BatchMaster

BatchMaster is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool that bolsters process efficiency by meticulously monitoring production, quality, inventory management, and material requirements planning. 

In particular, this software helps you track inventory by categorizing items based on weight, volume, and plant location. This assists your team in locating the most suitable raw materials for manufacturing specific products. 

This inventory tracking functionality helps in material requirements planning by letting you know when to purchase inventory to optimize stock levels.

BatchMaster also allows you to define quality-control tests and accepted values, ensuring that the products produced will consistently meet the stringent demands of your customers.

BatchMaster best features

  • Inventory control functionality that groups stock based on volume, weight, and plant location
  • Material Requirements Planning (MRP) system that notifies you on when to purchase inventory
  • Integration with QuickBooks, Sage 100 & 300, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and SAP Business One
  • Document scanning, search, and retrieval features that provide essential data required for conducting quality audits and inspections 

BatchMaster limitations

  • Extensive training is required to navigate the features
  • Understanding the different modules takes time and effort  

BatchMaster pricing

  • Available upon contact  

BatchMaster ratings and reviews 

  • G2: 3.6/5 (4 reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.8/5 (5 reviews)

Streamline Operations with the Best Small Business Manufacturing Software

With the increasing competitiveness of the manufacturing industry, optimizing operations with small business manufacturing software solutions has become vital. These tools automate tasks, enable real-time insight into operational performance, and ensure order fulfillment. 

With its multiple views, extensive integration capabilities, and hundreds of templates, ClickUp stands out as the perfect tool for supporting small manufacturing operations, from managing inventory and tracking orders to optimizing sales pipelines. So sign up today for free and put your business on the path to success! 🙌

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