The Best Production Planning Software in 2020

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Winter is gone and spring is blossoming fresh trees and flowers. Don’t you think it’s time your business did the same? An effective manufacturing ERP system or production planning software may be what you need to cultivate and grow productivity.

Facilities use production planning to ensure raw materials, employees and other necessary items are ready to create finished products within their scheduled timeframe.

Production planning offers several benefits such as:

  • Rapidly adapt to unforeseen circumstances such as transferring operations to another facility or rerouting specific products to areas with increased customer demand.
  • Regulate schedules for every department in your organization to align with one another to meet objectives.
  • Generate reports for every stage of your production process from the cost of raw ingredients at a particular warehouse to your entire company’s shipping costs for a certain product.

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Top Production Planning Software

 

Our handy-dandy research team has compiled an intricate list of the best production planning software. Before you dive into our list, it’s best to review and understand the common functions and features that come with this software.

Recommended Tools

When you shop for new solutions, it’s essential to have a wishlist of features needed for your facility. If you’re unsure of the proper tools, our features and requirements list can assist you. Also, understand that just because a certain tool or module is recommended, it doesn’t mean it’s ideal for your facility.

Here are some common traits you’d find in a production planning solution:

  • Planning: This feature is a given. Effective planning modules allow you to map out your production cycles and display an overview of your supplies, finances and employees.
  • Predictions: This component makes accurate estimates of sales, finances, inventory and more.
  • Production Management: You can oversee and adjust your productivity accordingly with this element.
  • Supply Chain Management: You are provided a complete snapshot of your supply chain with this feature.

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Best Production Planning Software

Now that you have your wishlist in order, it’s time to review our picks of the top production planning software.

MRPeasy

MRPeasy is a cloud-based material requirements planning (MRP) software intended for small manufacturing plants. Some of its key features include purchase order management, forecasting, stock management and more.

Schedule Production with Ease

The production scheduling module allows you to review all of your expected manufacturing orders (MO). Bill of materials (BOM), purchasing and stocking are managed in one place, enabling you to book items in stock and promptly increase purchase orders (PO) for purchased parts. This feature also permits you to:

  • Access details on all of your MOs
  • View MOs as one block or as separate operations
  • Drag-and-drop to reschedule MOs and operations
  • Monitor scheduled orders in calendar or Gantt chart views

Predict Production Patterns

The forecasting accessory grants you with an array of abilities including:

  • Generating and processing material forecasts
  • Ciphering material requirements for building products
  • Study or ignore current material inventory levels
  • Determine deadlines for placing purchase orders and dates to produce orders
  • Develop MOs and POs based on forecasts

Seamlessly Manage MOs

You can draft, edit and update MOs with the production planning component. This module contains a complete synopsis of all your MOs. You can review their progress by order or part availability status. You can also search, filter and export your MOs.

Other Noteworthy Tools

MRPeasy comes with other mentionable modules.

  • Useful Bookkeeping: The built-in accounting tool is comprised of a general ledger, balance sheets, chart of accounts and a profit and loss statement. Any purchase made in manufacturing, stock, procurement and customer relationship management (CRM) automatically appears in accounting.
  • Effective CRM Data: MRPeasy’s CRM module allows you to oversee sales statistics, cash flow forecasts and profit and loss statements of your entire plant. You can also manage customer orders, track orders and payments and craft quotes and invoices.
  • Keep POs Organized: You can view a complete list of POs from vendors and subcontractors as well as add, edit and update them.
  • Visibility of Inventory: You gain a transparent history of stock operations because this module provides real-time stock movements. This module also enables you to track batches and serial numbers.
  • Informative Routing: Routing is a report that displays an intricate list of a product’s production stages. This accessory permits you to view cost estimates so you can draft MOs, edit current routings, or import new and existing routings.
  • Develop Statistical Reports: This module allows you to develop statistical reports from MOs that are either custom-made or chosen from pre-determined options.

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MRPeasy

An example of MRPeasy’s elaborate dashboard.

Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

SAP S/4 HANA

SAP S/4 HANA is a solution that consists of artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), embedded analytics and more to streamline your manufacturing practices. Its key features include asset management, supply chain management and financial management.

Organize Manufacturing Practices

The manufacturing tool permits you to organize every stage of your operations from material requirements to inventory. You can promptly modify information as you receive it from the business, supplier or plant floor. This module enables you to draft plans for complex assembly such as:

  • Material requirements
  • Production planning
  • BOMs
  • Routing
  • Factory layout
  • Machine models

You can harmonize cooperation with the research and development teams with sleek deliveries of engineering files, BOMs and design changes.

Plan for Material Requirements

The material requirement planning component keeps you in the loop of your supplies. You oversee stock-outs, instantaneously develop procurement proposals for purchasing and production and employ production planners to ensure the availability of procured or produced materials at the ideal time.

You can employ numerous manufacturing models such as make to stock, make to order and engineer to order. Make to stock is when facilities match their inventory with customer demand. Make to order is when customers purchase products tailored to their requirements. Engineer to order is when facilities receive an order and design, engineer and finish it.

This accessory comes with other abilities.

  • Heuristic structure
  • Limited capacity planning, scheduling and optimization
  • Industry-specific features such as repairable parts maintenance (RPM) and more.
  • Simulations, including transactional simulation

Evaluate A Product’s Quality

Another tool is inspection planning. It permits you to improve the quality of your products. It sends all of the quality-related information across your business and pinpoints potential risks and defects in early development stages.

Supervise Supply Chain

SAP S/4 HANA’s supply chain management accessory views business rules, material accessibility and allocation policies to determine product availability and promise dates for consumers. You can control warehouse activities and processes by implementing asset use and total output with the best picking, packing and shipping methods. This tool enables you to arrange product movements across inbound, outbound and physical inventory processes to manage waste, damage, loss and production interruption.

Other Noteworthy Tools

SAP S/4 HANA comes with other mentionable modules.

  • Monitor Assets: This tool offers planning, scheduling and executing maintenance activities for assets. It performs planned and unplanned maintenance tasks to streamline operations and notify technicians to detect, report and fix malfunctions and emergencies.
  • Analyze Spending Data: The procurement accessory provides sharp glimpses of purchases by analyzing purchase orders, purchase requisitions, invoices and contracts.
  • Systemize Orders and Contracts: You can supervise order-to-cash processes across all channels and interfaces. This feature also enables you to store contracts in one place.

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SAP S/4 HANA

An example of SAP S-4 HANA’s knowledge base.

Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

Simio

Simio is a simulation production planning and scheduling software that caters to all companies. The cloud version authorizes you to share simulation and scheduling results online. You can generate tailored reports and interactive management dashboards to communicate a plan’s results.

Construct Simulation Models

Simio offers two ways to build simulation models. First, the advanced planning and scheduling (APS) method enables you to create detailed schedules in an environment where machines don’t malfunction, process times are consistent and materials punctually arrive at your plant.

The other approach works under the same simulation model, but the variation component is implemented. This method conducts an analysis to forecast hidden risks affiliated with your schedule. An example of a gauged risk is the probability of meeting articulated targets with expected, pessimistic and optimistic results.

Other Noteworthy Tools

Simio comes with other mentionable modules.

  • Incorporate Google: The solution can incorporate Google Warehouse for access to a free library of 3D symbols.
  • Employ Multiple Algorithms: You can enable the OptQuest add-in module to develop a particular collection of algorithms and intricate analysis practices such as metaheuristics optimization, evolutionary algorithms, statistical analysis and tabu and scatter search.
  • Play with 3D Models: The software is equipped with 3D object-based modeling components and enables you to design models in a step-by-step process.
  • Multi-Model Practices: You can authorize intelligent 3D models to interact with other models on discrete and continuous systems.
  • Determine Risks: The risk-based production scheduling accessory forecasts risks with probabilistic analysis. The tool assures that operations meet specific goals and depletes risks to limit costs.
  • Cipher Production Performance: You can employ the simulation tool to gauge and predict proposed process changes. It also gauges performance through optimized facility design.

Compare Manufacturing ERP Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

Simio

A preview of Simio’s Gantt charts.

Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

Netsuite ERP

Netsuite ERP serves businesses of all sizes and various industries including manufacturing, retail, e-commerce and more. Its key features are financial planning, supply chain management and order management among others.

Predict Clientele Demand

The forecasting module allows you to cipher and estimate clientele demand based on historical demand, open opportunities and manual or imported sales estimates. The tool employs moving average, linear regression, or seasonal average calculations to generate forecasts after reviewing weekly or monthly reviews.

Varying Planning Modes

Netsuite ERP has several modes of planning. First, there’s material requirements planning. The demand planning tool permits you to explore BOMs, monitor check inventory and safety stock levels, evaluate demand and study your supply before you create orders. You can also generate planned orders and implement multi-location planning.

Next, this solution has a capacity planning accessory. This module assures the accurate availability of goods with the advanced scheduling engine. You can utilize multiple constraints, schedule sequencing codes and receive immediate updates from the manufacturing execution system (MES) or an information network that connects, monitors and supervises complex manufacturing.

Lastly, there’s financial planning. The planning and budgeting component assists in company-wide and department finance planning. It employs a calculation engine to house a variety of business logic with an in-memory congregation, financial programming and analysis. The main tasks it handles are simplifying capital expenditure (CapEx) planning, instantaneously assigning indirect expenses and predicting future results with a dashboard.

Full Transparency of Production

You have full visibility of your entire production processes such as sales order, work order processing, routing and scheduling, order fulfillment and product costing. The module’s lot tracking and quality control functions determine batch sizes and develop batch records. You can also predict demand based on historical demand, open opportunities and manually entered or imported sales forecasts.

Up-to-Date Supply Chain Management

The supply chain management accessory advocates inventory fulfillment and cost from the factory to the store with inbound-outbound management, distribution management, warehousing, inventory management and other supply chain capabilities. You always receive up-to-date snapshots of your key supplier, inventory and procurement indicators. This module also allocates self-service capabilities for partners and cooperation with vendors and customers across the supply network.

Other Noteworthy Tools

Netsuite ERP comes with other mentionable modules.

  • Watch Warehouses: You can manage distribution operations with user-defined strategies and abilities including wave management, cartonization (reviewing contents of an order i.e., the number or size of each shipping carton needed for an order), cycle count planning, immediate inventory updates and shipping system integrations.
  • Prompt Analytics: The real-time reporting and analytics accessory constructs reports, monitors the latest reports and recognizes problems for you to carry out the correct actions.
  • Access Based on Roles: This solution’s accessibility differs based on an employee’s position or role in your manufacturing plant.
  • Ensure Compliance: The compliance tool allows you to comply with multiple standards, practices and government regulations such as the international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
  • Monitor Closes: This accessory enables you to simplify the financial close procedure by implementing period locking to avoid incorrect postings in future periods, extending checklists of tasks to complete and offering financial alterations for intercompany transactions, foreign currency revaluation and inventory.
  • View Company Spending: You gain visibility on company spending and vendor performance when this component displays automatic information with the procurement component.
  • Management System: The order and billing management accessory offers a robust price management system to guarantee immediate price updates to customers throughout all channels.
  • Execute Bookkeeping: The accounting and finance feature offers full visibility on receivables and payables with order-to-cash and procure-to-pay (i.e., sales orders, bills, requisitions, purchase orders and invoices).

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Netsuite ERP

A preview of Netsuite ERP’s thorough dashboard.

Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

Statii

Statii is a cloud-based solution intended for small and medium-sized manufacturers that control all business tasks. Some of its features include invoicing, inventory management, time management and production tracking.

Record Production Levels

The production monitoring module enables you to find and resolve issues that slow down your manufacturing plant. You can track progress so you can accordingly adjust and guarantee operations meet full capacity.

Supervise Production Duties

You can control and supervise your production flow and tasks with the production control feature. It records your entire process from obtaining orders and allocating work to sending the completed item to your clients.

Schedule Machines with Precision

The scheduling module allows you to plan out activities for various machinery, materials, tools and labor needed for a project. You can track several aspects needed to generate all of your products and rest assured all stages of production are carried out efficiently and effectively.

Other Noteworthy Tools

Statii comes with other mentionable modules.

  • Supervise Your Time: The time management tool offers job and route card components to gauge the time needed to produce certain outputs of products.
  • View and Share Customer Info: You can share data about your clientele and suppliers such as contact information and value throughout your business with the customer and supplies module.
  • Monitor Purchase Orders: This module permits you to generate purchase orders manually and compels you to tie the cost to a sales order when necessary.
  • Gather Shop Floor Data: You can capture all of the labor elements on your shop floor with a PC terminal, tablet or smartphone in real-time thanks to the shop floor data collection tool.
  • Oversee Inventory: The inventory management tool enables you to preset minimum levels of items in your inventory and offers item requirements.
  • Manage Employees: You can view all of the employees who clocked in on a dashboard with the personnel management component. You can also set the absence status of employees to authorized or unauthorized.
  • Draft Invoices: The invoice accessory allows you to create invoices from a list of delivery notes relative to a customer that includes single or multiple deliveries.

Compare Manufacturing ERP Pricing & Costs with our Pricing Guide

Statii

An example of Statii’s main dashboard.

Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

Grand Finale

In conclusion, finding the ideal production planning software can be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. Some of the features mentioned in this article may or may not be what you need. Therefore, it’s important to take your wishlist and find a solution that aligns with your production practices. Are you still undecided about which vendor is right for you? You can compare features in your wishlist with other vendors using our elaborate comparison guide.

Which software is your top choice and why? Let us know in the comments!

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Khaleel HayesThe Best Production Planning Software in 2020

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