Potential buyers of ERP software have hundreds of systems to choose from. To give you an idea of how many there are, we track more than 250 systems in our internal ERP vendor database to help our team provide data to clients.
The evaluation process can be daunting, which is why we created our 2021 Top 10 ERP Systems Report. Based on our experience with hundreds of ERP systems, our list of top 10 ERP software highlights the vendors that our ERP experts have found to be strong in functionality across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, retail and more.
To learn what these top ERP systems have to offer, continue reading for an overview of each vendor as well as ERP selection advice.
2021 Top 10 ERP Vendors Report
This report is relevant to organizations across industries and outlines the top ERP vendors that we believe will help organizations prosper in 2021.Download Now
Overview of the Top 10 ERP Vendors
Our report provides details on these vendors’ strongest products, but in this blog, we’ve provided a brief overview of the top ERP vendors:
While most of SAP’s solutions can take a relatively long time to implement, the vendor does offer out-of-the-box processes built specifically for an organization’s needs. Both enterprise-sized and midmarket companies make up a large portion of SAP’s customer base. The SAP systems featured in the report include SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business ByDesign.
Oracle provides a set of core applications and industry-specific applications that can be leveraged in basic and advanced ways. In 2016, Oracle acquired NetSuite, an application that was born in the cloud and provides solutions for businesses of all sizes and industries. The featured Oracle systems include Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle NetSuite.
Microsoft continually develops new data centers to support its cloud capabilities, including its Dynamics 365 suite. Microsoft’s D365 solutions have been gaining market share, which is in part due to the solutions’ wide variety of pre-configured processes. The systems featured in the report include Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.
Infor’s recent focus has been on its industry-specific cloud ERP solutions designed for enterprise and SMB organizations. These solutions are built with pre-configured business processes and setups. The Infor systems featured in the report are Infor’s industry CloudSuites.
The IFS product is tailored for the aerospace & defense, utilities & resources, construction & infrastructure, manufacturing and service industries. It allows customers to pick and choose the specific functionality they need and add more as needed. IFS’s core modules include everything from customer relationship management to finance to supply chain management.
In October, Epicor was acquired by CD&R, a US-based private equity firm. The firm plans to expand Epicor by building cloud-based products with a SaaS model. This will give Epicor increasingly advanced functionality in the cloud, including embedded EDI and advanced warehouse management. The featured Epicor products include Epicor E10 and Epicor Prophet 21.
Acumatica was born in the cloud. It is a cloud-based ERP solution for small to mid-sized businesses. Acumatica’s pricing model offers flexible licensing and deployment options and is easily expanded for a growing organization. The Acumatica ERP system includes integrated functionality for accounting & financial management, customer relationship management, distribution & manufacturing planning management, retail, eCommerce and field service.
SYSPRO is a global, independent provider of industry-built ERP software designed for manufacturers and distributors. The SYSPRO solution can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or accessed via a mobile device. The SYSPRO ERP system provides advanced functionality for outbound distribution control activities as well as inbound supply chain management.
IQMS provides a single solution for managing and monitoring the entire manufacturing process. It is ideal for discrete and process manufacturers. In addition to ERP, IQMS has an integrated manufacturing execution system that can interface with shop floor programmable logic controllers.
Salesforce provides cloud-based CRM software and a platform that is the basis for additional solutions, including FinancialForce and Rootstock. FinancialForce is an ERP suite providing professional services automation, while Rootstock is an ERP solution designed for manufacturers, distributors and supply chain organizations.
Tips for Selecting an ERP System
1. Outline Specific Benefits Your Company Wants to Realize
ERP projects often deliver minimal ERP business benefits because they are not aligned with the company’s strategic goals. We recommend clearly defining your goals so you can evaluate software based on its functional fit.
For example, if your company wants to improve its customer service, one of your ERP requirements might be the ability to automatically order inventory when it reaches a certain level and automatically update this information for the sales department. With this functionality, the sales department would be able to quickly and easily provide customers with a realistic delivery date, thus improving the customer experience.
It’s important to find customer relationship management (CRM) functionality that improves the customer experience. If you’re determining what CRM functionality your company needs, you may find our ERP vs. CRM blog post helpful.
Many of the vendors in our report provide ERP software systems with strong reporting capabilities that ensure data consistency across departments and enable real-time data insights. When scheduling ERP demos, we recommend asking vendors to demonstrate their reporting functionality in a test case, using your data.
Whichever functional areas you’re hoping to improve, you should define these with the executive team before selection. This preparation is essential for many reasons, one of which is minimizing ERP customization.
2. Understand ERP Market Lingo
This is especially important when you’re talking about buzzwords like, artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT because different vendors have their own definitions of these terms.
While some vendors may consider AI to be a system that autonomously learns and solves problems, other vendors may simply consider AI to be an automated workflow. It’s important to understand what a vendor means by AI because the most advanced AI in ERP systems is typically expensive and complicated to fully integrate.
Large enterprises with the money and resources to invest in AI may achieve long-term ROI, but smaller companies may not be able to wait this long for a payoff. For these companies, integrating a niche application – such as robotic process automation (RPA) technology – with their main ERP, may be a better option.
Another niche application example, besides RPA, that many small to mid-sized companies benefit from is specialized cash applications. These applications can automate financial management processes, like the process of receiving a payment from a customer, applying it to the most recent invoice, entering it into the system and processing checks for validation. These applications are designed to learn and improve overtime.
While AI is exciting, it’s not right for every company. We recommend only implementing the technology that aligns with our short-and long-term enterprise strategy.
3. Seek External Guidance and Support
Many companies face resource constraints when building an ERP project team to assist with ERP selection. There are several ways to address this challenge depending on your unique situation:
- If your company doesn’t have sophisticated internal IT resources, consider hiring external IT resources.
- If your company already has sufficient internal IT resources, focus on backfilling these roles with temporary contractors.
- If your company has identified an ideal ERP project manager but he is having difficulty balancing his day job with the ERP project, you may want to backfill his previous role. Strong ERP project management is important, and an internal project manager has the intel necessary to make difficult decisions when your team faces challenges.
- If your company lacks ERP selection experience, then hiring an ERP consultant is beneficial. They have lessons learned from implementing ERP systems for companies across a variety of industries.
What Does This Mean for Your ERP Selection?
These tips are only a few of the secrets to selecting the right ERP system. More ERP selection tips can be found in our ERP Selection Guide.
Your company ultimately needs to decide what section criteria are most important, then narrow down your options based on these criteria. This may or may not lead you to consider one of the top ERP systems from this year’s list. No matter which systems you’re evaluating, the ERP selection advice in this blog post and our report is essential to finding a solution that supports your organizational goals.
Panorama’s ERP consultants have helped hundreds of companies select the right ERP system and develop an effective ERP project plan. Contact us below and be sure to download our 2021 Top 10 ERP Systems Report.