10 Software Products to Make Your Small Manufacturing Business More Efficient

10 Manufacturing Software Products to Make Your Small Manufacturing Business More Efficient

In order to run a successful manufacturing business, you need the proper tech tools in place. Software can help you to manage all parts of the supply chain, from materials and inventory to job tracking, without having to create manual processes for everything. However, there are so many different choices for software available, so it can be difficult for some manufacturers to even know where to start.

Dan Taylor, content analyst at business software review and research platform Capterra offered some tips in an email to Small Business Trends, “It’s got to have good financial and inventory management tools. It needs to allow the user to do material requirements planning (MRP) to manage the manufacturing process. It should have a safety management feature. All of these features together provide a holistic manufacturing management solution.”

Manufacturing Software Options

While different manufacturers are likely to have different needs in terms of software, here are a few popular options to help you in your search.

E2 Manufacturing System

The first program that Taylor recommends is E2 Manufacturing System. From Shoptech Software, this tool includes a full array of management features, from order and inventory processing to job tracking and shipping. The company offers a list on its website of the specific types of manufacturing shops that can most benefit from its software, including assembly shops, mold shops and wood shops. You can also request a demo to see if it would be a good fit for your business.


From the well-known German enterprise SAP, this manufacturing suite includes cloud-based and on-premises enterprise resource planning solutions. There’s one that’s made specifically for small businesses, one for medium sized businesses and an enterprise version. The small business solution offers functions for managing supply chains, purchasing and even accounting.


JobBOSS is another software that Taylor says is especially popular with manufacturers. It’s a customizable solution. So you can pick and choose the functions that you want included, from the basics like quote processing, inventory control and shipping to optional add-ons like quality control and payroll. The company also offers both cloud and on-premises options and a free demo.

NetSuite Manufacturing Edition

NetSuite Manufacturing Edition includes an integrated platform that includes options for managing inventory, warehouse, finances, orders and customer relationships. A cloud and web based solution, NetSuite helps you manage all of these various functions in real time.


The manufacturing software from TrueERP comes with a wide selection of different modules, including marketing, job costing, training, servicing, shipping and more. You can create your own processes and resources and take advantage of real-time reporting and payments to manage almost every aspect of your business.

Fishbowl Manufacturing

An inventory management and automation tool made specifically for small manufacturers, Fishbowl Manufacturing lets you easily manage inventory and materials. It also offers integrations with many popular business tools, including QuickBooks and Xero.

Priority Manufacturing

Priority’s manufacturing software solution offers a comprehensive ERP tool for production management and control. The module is made to support the entire supply chain, from materials to shipping. And it’s made specifically for small and medium sized businesses.

Global Shop Solutions

Global Shop Solutions actually offers a number of different software programs and tools specifically for manufacturers that you can manage from one central dashboard. You can use it for managing inventory, job costing, shop floor display, project management and even your website.


Specifically for machine shop manufacturing businesses, Realtrac offers solutions for shop management, scheduling, purchasing and inventory, accounting and more. It also boasts a relatively low cost of implementation, though the exact cost varies depending on your company and the solutions you need.

xTuple Manufacturing Edition

xTuple is actually an open source platform for ERP and CRM. The company’s manufacturing option offers modules for products, inventory, orders, scheduling, sales, CRM, purchasing and accounting. Prices are calculated by which licensing options are needed, depending on the type of modules you need and the number of users you need to access the software.

While these are some of the most popular software solutions on the market that can be helpful especially for small manufacturers, Taylor stresses that there is no single solution that’s right for everyone. You have to be willing to try out different options to find the best features and capabilities that work for your specific business, either through a trial period or at least a demo.

He says, “You never know if software is right for you until you’ve tried it. Fortunately, most software developers have a free trial option.”

Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

6 Reactions
  1. I didn’t know that you need software in this business. I guess there are so many ways to organize data.

  2. Appreciating the time and energy you put into this post and detailed information you offer to make small manufacturing business more efficient. Though, using manufacturing reporting software will also help you. Like Thrive’s OEE calculation and downtime tracking software, one must use good software in their manufacturing industry. Please also share your opinion and experience. Thanks!!

  3. Although there are many ERP solutions provider in the country, one of my friends recently availed OpenPro ERP solutions. The ERP software was easily integrated with the existing system of her businesses. Moreover, they also offered her wide range of other real time financial solutions through awarding her with some additional features such as; Job Cost, Budgets, Fixed Assets.

  4. Will be sharing this with our customers. I mostly get to hear from our customers that they find themselves entangled in between multiple tools. They feel the majority of their time is consumed in managing data stored in different places and they aren’t able to sync with dealers and distributors. But, with Orgzit they have been able to streamline their lead and order management with dealers. They manage their whole business process from a single screen and are able to achieve 10x ROI.

  5. Thanks, Annie! really Appreciate you for sharing the valuable information. As I work in manufacturing unit and I really know the advantages of software to make business more efficient and loud. Thanks again for sharing the post and I am eager to read your next post related to this

  6. Thanks, Annie! For sharing the wonderful information, as I work within Megatronics industrial automation sector I was searching for something like this which can help my organization. Thanks again for the much-needed information. Please also share an post informing about monitoring software for automation work