Buying ERP: Top 10 midmarket ERP systems

This buyer's guide provides a rundown of the top 10 midmarket ERP systems out there today.

Looking out over the ever-growing ERP market is overwhelming. Small and midsize companies have a plethora of vendors to choose from, all claiming to have something a little different than their competitors. In this buyer's guide, we'll take a look at the top players in today's software landscape to see what they have to offer midmarket ERP customers.

SAP Business ByDesign: As the newest Software as a Service (SaaS) package from SAP, Business ByDesign offers a fully hosted and vendor-maintained midmarket ERP system that can support as few as 10 users and as many more as needed. It's specifically designed for small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors who want 24/7 ERP support without the need for a large in-house IT department. It includes functionality for financials, customer relationship management (CRM), compliance management, supplier relationship management, project management, supply chain management and human resources. SAP Business ByDesign is $150 per user per month.

Oracle E-Business Suite: The E-Business Suite is a good fit for midmarket manufacturers looking for an ERP system that will support a wide range of business applications without the need for much customization. It brings together enterprise performance management, business intelligence (BI) and performance management functions. It also covers applications such as supply chain management, CRM, asset management, product lifecycle management and procurement, and works for either discrete or process manufacturing environments. This package can be implemented on-premises or in the cloud or a hybrid of both. E-Business provides support for 25 to 1,000-plus users and costs between $12,000 and $350,000, depending on the implementation. Oracle also offers JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, which targets larger businesses and can be deployed on-premises or SaaS. This ERP suite covers 15 to 1,000 users and sells for $15,000 to $400,000.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV, GP and AX: Microsoft's three variations of Dynamics can all handle the needs of manufacturers and distributors. NAV is designed for growing small and midsize companies that require fast and flexible ERP support for their changing business needs. On the plus side, it has a user interface that can be tailored to the specific roles of each user. On the minus side, it's the only Dynamics system that can't be hosted in the cloud. NAV can cover five to 750 users and goes for $8,000 to $250,000. GP is for slightly larger midmarket companies, with support for 25 to 500 users. It can be launched on-premises or in the cloud. GP supports processes such as reporting, forecasting, BI, consolidation and budgeting. Its price ranges from $10,000 to $100,000. Finally, Dynamics AX is for larger midmarket to enterprise-level companies. It covers processes such as financial management, CRM, supply chain management, human resources, project management and analytics. AX can support five to 1,000 users and comes in both SaaS and on-premises packages. It costs between $20,000 and $750,000.

Infor SyteLine:  A manufacturing-centric ERP system, SyteLine can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises. It's designed for small to midmarket manufacturers, with support for five to 350 users. Beyond standard ERP modules, SyteLine boasts a number of capabilities that are focused on the manufacturing process. These include mixed-mode manufacturing, advanced planning and scheduling, complex product configuration, materials and inventory management and customer management. Syteline costs from $25,000 to $100,000.

Epicor ERP: Previously known as Vista and Vantage, Epicor ERP is aimed at the midmarket. It can support one to more than 1,000 users in SaaS or on-premises packages. The ERP comes with functionality for supply chain management, BI, CRM, financials, inventory and manufacturing management. Epicor ERP is available in a number of industry-specific packages that come with added features. These industries include discrete manufacturing, distribution, retail, services and hospitality. The package costs between $4,000 and $500,000.

NetSuite: NetSuite is an exclusively cloud-based ERP suite. As a SaaS system, NetSuite allows users to avoid many of the hassles of upgrading to newer versions, as the system is kept current by the vendor. Some of the applications it offers are financials, CRM, inventory management and e-commerce. NetSuite can support from 10 to an unlimited number of users. Industry-specific versions are available, including wholesale distribution, manufacturing and software. The One World version of NetSuite is designed for global, multicompany organizations with many assets to manage. The package runs from $10,000 to $100,000.

Plex ERP: The ERP package from Plex Systems is billed as the first cloud-based ERP system built for the manufacturing plant. It's an entirely subscription-based service that can support 20 to 1,000 users at the cost of $5,000 a month. The lower price tag and vendor hosting makes it a good candidate for midmarket companies with bare-bones IT departments. Plex is designed to help customers achieve a number of plant-specific goals, including increased productivity, reduced inventories and scrap, shorter lead times and compliance with mandates such as ISO, QS-9000, TS-16949 and Honda.

Sage ERP: The Sage 100 ERP system, designed for small and midsize corporations, comes in both a standard on-premises and hosted versions. It can support one to 200 users and costs $65.00 per user for monthly subscription and $1,540.00 per user for perpetual licensing. Larger midmarket companies with an international presence can look to Sage 300 ERP, which does not come in a SaaS version but is able to handle multiple languages and currencies. It can accommodate two to 450 users and costs $75.00 per user for monthly subscription and $1,745.00 per user for perpetual licensing. The online version of Sage 300 ERP runs for a monthly fee $69.00 per user per company. Both systems include modules for common business processes, including inventory control, project costing, purchase orders and return material authorization.

Exact MAX ERP: This system is a discrete manufacturing-specific package that offers full integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP and Intuit QuickBooks. It includes functions for batch processing, parts management and production planning, and supports manufacturing verticals such as food and beverage, electronics and medical devices. Exact MAX ERP is designed to help companies meet environmental and safety-compliance regulations as well as manage product recalls and engineering changes. The system supports five to 150-plus users and costs between $5,000 and $35,000.

Syspro: It's an integrated, midmarket ERP suite that supports manufacturers and distributors in industries such as automotive, aerospace, chemicals, electronics, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, chemicals, consumer products and metal fabrication. It includes functionality for workflow management, business process modeling and customization, and can be deployed as SaaS. Syspro can support four to 1,000 users and costs from $20,000 to $500,000.

Follow SearchManufacturingERP on Twitter @ManufacturingTT.

Dig Deeper on ERP products and vendors

Data Management
Business Analytics
Content Management