ERP MRP Software Comparison White Paper
MRP Comparison White Paper: Microsoft Dynamics AX, Netsuite, Odoo & SAP Business One
ERP MRP Software Comparison White Paper: A manufacturer looking to upgrade their management software from a legacy system or implement an ERP software for the first time is faced with a multitude of choices. Each part of the manufacturing process is covered by its own software. For example, a manufacturer might run MRP software to plan production, MES to manage the shop floor, CMMS to manage maintenance, QMS for quality control and WMS to track inventory. Most ERP systems on the market cover several of these functional areas, but few truly do everything out of the box. Most rely on third-party add-ons and integrations to provide complete coverage. This is particularly common for operations outside the core manufacturing workflow, such as maintenance, PLM and quality management.
Choosing the Right Software
Whether you are outgrowing entry-level software or replacing a legacy system, choosing an ERP that is a good
fit for your company can have a strong impact on your future growth and profitability. There is tremendous
pressure to get an ERP implementation right the first time because the cost is so high. Implementation requires
a great deal of time and input from employees across your organization, furthermore licensing and consulting
fees can be significant.
Despite these high stakes, most decision makers selecting and implementing ERP software will not do so more
than a few times in their career. The purchasing relationship is therefore tilted in favor of the vendor, with many
vendors requiring hours of qualification before revealing crucial details such as features and pricing. When
dealing with vendors, it is therefore essential to accurately and completely communicate the needs of your
organization to avoid finding out 6 months into implementation that the project isn’t feasible or that an
unexpected and expensive custom development is required.
Cloud or On-Premises?
In recent years there has been a trend in business software towards a software as a service (SaaS)
model. Most major business software vendors, ERP or otherwise, have begun offering their locally
installed products in a cloud-hosted version to provide additional flexibility. When deploying a cloudbased
software, there is no need for a local server or other network hardware, as data is managed and processed on a secure off-site server. Depending on the size of the deployment, this can significantly reduce the initial cost of a system. This can make a cloud solution a better choice for small and medium size businesses with less capital. As data security concerns grow, many organizations must make the decision on how they would like to store their data. Due to the initial overhead and high maintenance costs of a secure locally hosted software solution, many businesses are now considering cloud-based SaaS providers as a low cost/high security option for their operational software needs.
Third-Party Integrations and Add-Ons
While most features missing from an ERP can be added through an add-on or third-party integration, doing so increases the cost and complexity of a solution. It requires a higher level of expertise during implementation and can create instability in performance and compatibility issues during upgrades. It is therefore advisable to select a software that covers all of your core business functions out of the box, only relying on add-ons when absolutely necessary.
For this reason, the trend among manufacturing software solutions has been to incorporate more and more features into the core package. Each software included in this document covers several of the most important functional aspects of a manufacturing business. Each new version of these software solutions, too, has seen the inclusion of new features which widen their functional breadth.
Automated Data Collection on the Shop Floor
An important benefit conferred by modern manufacturing software is a high level of control over the physical
production process via automated data collection. Automated data collection has a number of advantages
over traditional manual monitoring and time-tracking. It takes no additional labor to collect accurate data that is free of human error and provides an unparalleled granularity of insight into the production process. The opportunities for process improvement are profoundly valuable for workflow optimization, saving time and labor costs.
Software Compared in this Document
The four software solutions compared in this document were chosen because they represent a reasonable sample of the mid-market manufacturing solutions available today.
Comparing MRP Software Offers
Microsoft Dynamics AX
Microsoft Dynamics AX is the most feature-rich of the of five products in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP line. AX was originally released as a collaboration between IBM and Daamgard Data (as IBM Axatpa) in 1998 before being acquired by Microsoft in 2002 and re-branded under its current name.
“ MICROSOFT’S ERP SOLUTION ”
AX is designed for mid-to-enterprise size businesses operating across multiple locations, countries, or currencies. Dynamics AX has particular strengths in manufacturing and distribution. It is commonly deployed by companies with revenue greater than $50 million annually, though smaller implementations are also possible. It is commonly used by discrete manufacturers, though it is also deployed by process manufacturers and in the retail industry. AX is offered both in the cloud and as an on-premises installation, sold exclusively by value-added resellers. For this comparison, we chose the latest release, AX 2012 R3, in the on-premises configuration.
NetSuite was founded in 1998 as NetLedger, a cloud-hosted accounting software. It has since grown into a full-spectrum suite of business software applications. True to its name, NetSuite is available exclusively through the cloud.
“ THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE CLOUD BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SUITE ”
NetSuite employs a modular structure, with each deployment comprised of a selection of its core modules or “apps”. NetSuite offers preconfigured “suites” of apps to match the needs of different market segments. Apps are also sold a la carte, ranging in price from $199 to $499 each. Some modules exist as basic and advanced versions. In our comparison, we used the more advanced modules when available.
Odoo is an open-source suite of business apps. It is built on a modular structure in which each app
covers one business function and each app is installed as needed. Odoo is available to be installed
on-premises as well as in the cloud. Odoo recently released a new version of its manufacturing app
suite, adding quality, maintenance, PLM, and expanded MRP and MES functionality. In this document, we
will compare the on-premises configuration of the latest release, version 10.
“ GROW YOUR BUSINESS ”
Support and implementation services for the onpremises edition are sold by Odoo certified partners, while support for the SaaS is provided by Odoo itself. The on-premises edition has thousands of community-developed modules which add or modify functions, allowing a high degree of flexibility. The SaaS only allows the installation of
the three-dozen modules officially supported by Odoo Inc.
SAP Business One
SAP, born from the ashes of the Xerox business computing division, is the venerable purveyor of enterprise
software, primarily selling built-to-suit solutions for large enterprises. In 2002, SAP made its first foray into
the SME market segment with the purchase of what is now SAP Business One (SBO). SBO is the lowest
cost ERP offering from SAP, designed to be deployed quickly and with minimal customization.
“ THE BEST RUN BUSINESSES RUN SAP ”
Business One is designed to cover every business software need of small to mid-sized businesses, from CRM to Manufacturing deployed either in the cloud our on-premises. SBO is best suited to light manufacturing as it lacks advanced planning and shop floor control features when deployed out-ofthe-box. There is a large community of value-added resellers, many of which have developed their own modules to add the missing features needed for more complex manufacturing processes.
Please Click for Detail PDF Document MRP Features Comparison
Odoo Enterprise V10, Microsoft Dynamix AX, SAP Business One, NetSuite
Storage Locations (Bins)
Mobile Device Support
(Advanced Shipping Notice)
Package Management / Cartoning
Freight Carrier Integration
Manage Consignee Stocks
EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
Products Non-Stocked Inventory
Multiple Units of Measure
Inter-class UoM Conversion