TEC’s New Approach to Comparing ERP Software for SMBs

Sharp-eyed visitors to our Evaluation Centers may have noticed a new addition recently: ERP for Manufacturing (SMB).

Each of TEC’s Evaluation Centers is a comprehensive software research and evaluation environment that contains information you’ll need to make an objective software buying decision.

TEC’s Evaluation Centers also allow you to compare software products side by side with TEC Advisor, based on the features and functions specific to that type of software.

To make it easier for you to compare software, we create software “models” consisting of software features and functions organized into logical modules (e.g., “Financials,” “Human Resources,” “Manufacturing Management”).


These models make it easier for you to assess your business priorities (see screenshot above), and to use TEC Advisor to evaluate how different software products will meet your needs.

Characteristics that distinguish TEC’s new evaluation model of ERP software for SMB manufacturers:
1. It’s aimed at manufacturers with roughly 250-300 employees, with one facility (or very few facilities), but operating within a relatively complex business environment, and potentially serving multinational clients.

2. It covers characteristics of ERP solutions designed for discrete, process, or mixed-mode manufacturers.

3. It focuses on functionality that small and medium businesses need, rather than the functionality normally only required by larger businesses (e.g., multiple facilities management and reporting, complex manufacturing, internal logistics, and financial consolidation subjects).

4. Although this new model thoroughly covers accounting functionality, it focuses on manufacturing functionality. TEC’s previous ERP for SMB model focused mostly on accounting.

Our aim is to make ERP software comparison easier for small businesses that have already outgrown entry-level accounting solutions and are now seeking more sophisticated applications that are not on the scale of massive ERP solutions.

Indeed, for today’s SMBs, internal manufacturing, inventory, financial, and other business processes are not that simple. Companies within this segment are typically still growing in terms of size, and business needs tend to shift frequently. Therefore these SMBs require systems that offer a decent level of agility and flexibility, as well as the possibility of growth.

Additionally, TEC data shows that substantial numbers of small and medium companies are seeking support for recipe or formula-based bills of materials (BOMs) and other specific process manufacturing functionality.

If your business has the characteristics described above and you’ve already compared ERP software using TEC Advisor (whether for discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, or mixed-mode manufacturing), try using this new evaluation model to see which software products are best tailored to your needs.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below—I am always open to suggestions and new ideas.
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