Aerospace and defense companies face many difficult challenges that are forcing them to rethink the way they do business and replace their old processes and approaches with modern alternatives.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) has seen major changes since the Gartner Group first used the term in the 1990s, and the global ERP market is expected to grow to $74.2 billion by 2026, from $34.1 billion in 2017. The growth of the ERP market can be explained by a single statistic: 95 percentof companies experience an improvement in their processes after implementing an ERP system.
For aerospace and defense companies, any process improvement effort that yields great results is worth it because global competition and market pressure are escalating. However, selecting an ERP software solution that follows industry-leading best practice protocols and ensures efficiency is no easy task, which is why we created this list of the top 20 best ERP software solutions for aerospace and defense.
What Is ERP Software?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provides integrated management and continuously updated view of main business processes. ERP software has been in use since the 1990s, helping companies across all industries manage business functions and streamline operations.
ERP software is commonly used to automate time-consuming back-office tasks like entering data or generating reports. By eliminating repetitive manual processes, companies can increase their efficiency and simultaneously reduce operational costs.
Because modern ERP software solutions integrate accounting, sales, marketing, production, inventory, and other business processes, they promote inter-department collaboration and make the company more flexible. The integrated nature of ERP software solutions provides the foundation for accurate forecasting with the help of business intelligence tools that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to dig deep into big data and reveal useful insights.
Main Features of ERP Software
There are several different types of ERP software (on-premise versus cloud, enterprise versus SMB, and various industry-specific variants). However, all ERP software solutions share certain basic features, which include:
- Integration: ERP software provides an integrated system that collects data across all departments and ensures seamless communication within the company, breaking down information silos and reducing discrepancies between teams.
- Automation: The immense value of ERP software stems largely from its ability to automate repetitive tasks and processes, such as order entry, payroll, accounting, invoicing, reporting, and others. Automation not only allows staff to focus on more important assignments, but it also decreases the chance of a human error.
- Data analysis: With data from across all departments collected in a single place, it’s only natural to analyze it and reveal insightful trends and patterns. Modern ERP software solutions support advanced data analysis techniques, sometimes enhanced with machine learning and artificial intelligence.
- Reporting: From interactive dashboards to printed reports, reporting is a core feature of virtually all ERP software solutions. Reporting provides traceability and minimizes inconsistencies.
- Mobile functionality: The use of mobile devices among employees is steadily increasing, and companies can embrace this trend by selecting an ERP software solution with mobile functionality.
How to Select ERP Software for Aerospace & Defense
Aerospace and defense companies are tasked with managing complex projects while dealing with global supply chains, regulatory compliance, and aggressive delivery cycles. A good ERP software solution can help overcome these and other challenges, but selecting it isn’t as simple as it may seem at first.
Any selection of an ERP software solution should begin with a clear and extensive list of requirements. “Focus on specific business processes and system requirements. The more specific you can be upfront, the more detailed your vendors can be in their proposals,” advises Ed Talerico, director, Industry & Solution Strategy, Infor.
With all the requirements listed, the next step is to carefully evaluate the available options and their advantages and disadvantages. The truth is that the best ERP software solution doesn’t exist. All companies are different, and their individual differences determine which ERP software solutions are suitable and which are not.
Finally, it’s a good idea to ask vendors for references and get in touch with companies that are already using the ERP software solutions they offer. A solution that looks amazing on paper may be disappointing in practice.
Top 20 Best ERP Solutions for Aerospace & Defense
1. NetSuite ERP
Known for providing businesses across industries with tools to automate and centralize processes across departments, NetSuite ERP handles financial management, financial planning, order management, production management, supply chain management, procurement, and warehouse and fulfillment. Thanks to its built-in business intelligence capabilities, it’s easy to combine data with visual analytics to generate meaningful and actionable business insights that support growth and help companies achieve their objectives.
2. Sage X3 ERP
From supply chain to sales, Sage Business Cloud X3 collects data from various workflows and uses them to inform and streamline operations. This ERP software solution respects the fact that each user is different by adapting to users’ unique roles, preferences, and workflows. It can be applied across all industries and expanded with integrated solutions from Sage and certified partners.
SAP Business One is a popular ERP software solution for small and medium-sized businesses, available for deployment both on-site and through the cloud. It can be extended with a variety of add-ons and tailored to each company’s specific needs. Just like enterprise-grade ERP software solutions, SAP Business One handles all department needs and captures critical information for immediate access and company-wide use
4. IQMS ERP
IQMS is a global software company that develops and markets a manufacturing ERP software system to the automotive, medical, packaging, consumer goods, aerospace, defense, and other industries. Its solution integrates applications to help improve business operations, communication and collaboration, providing the backbone for manufacturers and helping them overcome manufacturing-specific challenges.
Through tools such as forecasting, automated compliance monitoring, and the integration of financial systems, Infor CloudSuite Industrial, also known as SyteLine, allows companies to streamline business gains and significantly increase the opportunity to advance their business success. It is trusted by more than 5,000 manufacturers around the world, many of which operate in the aerospace and defense industry.
Built for manufacturing growth, Epicor ERP is a future-proof and scalable ERP software solution that makes user adoption easier with its clean, modern interface. It’s designed to manage every part of a company’s business, from leads and customers to financial operations to production. Epicor ERP can be deployed in the cloud or on premises, and it embraces the Internet of Things (IoT) through the Azure IoT Hub.
SYSPRO ERP stands out with a web-based UI for universal access, delivering the SAME ERP experience on any device, on any platform, from anywhere, at any time. It is designed with manufacturing and distribution industries in mind and offers enough flexibility to integrate with the latest innovative technologies, such as IoT, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Empowering companies to innovate in the business reality of a digital economy, Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud automates low-value, manual tasks and leverages real-time data for predictive insights to improve decision-making, increasing business performance and driving operational excellence across the company.
First released in November 2016, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a line of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications whose purpose is to unify data, deliver predictive insights, and help companies achieve great results. It is trusted by many global businesses and sold in two editions, the Business Edition for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs or SMBs), and the Enterprise Edition for medium to large organizations.
10. abas ERP
Intended for manufacturing companies across all industries, abas ERP is a complete ERP solution that provides employees with all the features and information they need to achieve their objectives, regardless of whether they work in management or finance, purchasing or sales, service or cost accounting, production or warehousing.
11. Cetec ERP
Cetec ERP is a web-based manufacturing ERP platform used by several aerospace and defense companies with stringent regulatory requirements, from ISO 9001 to ITAR. The tool mainly target SMB growing manufacturing shops and distributors. Cetec ERP handles quality requirements, and it uses real time features to record data and generate quality documents to reflect all actions and details on any given order. The tool has a cloud ERP model and all a good data traceability and auditability. Cetec ERP allows for serialized inventory with date code and lot code traceability with a full integration from purchased material to in production and final inspection into invoice and shipment. Cetec covers the scope of the manufacturing process, and also includes built in accounting and financials suites. It is possible to start a free trial of Cetec ERP for 30 days free. Full pricing is $40/user/month
14. OmegaCube ERP
19. Genius ERP
20. Total ETO
A capable ERP software solution can provide the edge companies in the aerospace and defense industry need to be competitive and deal with escalating market pressure. The good news is that many ERP providers have been investing a lot of time, money, and effort in emerging technologies, making their ERP software solutions more capable, flexible, and easier to use.
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