In recent years, Singapore's manufacturing industry has seen significant growth, reaching nearly $84 billion in 2021. In order to effectively manage and streamline their operations, companies operating in this sector require top-notch ERP software. This software should provide automation of business processes, robust analytics, and reporting capabilities, all of which aid in making informed strategic decisions.
Choosing the right ERP solution can be a daunting task, given the abundance of options and vendors available. The specific requirements of a company may vary, with some requiring more flexibility or scalability, or even special features. Regardless of the size of your company - whether it's a single factory or a multinational corporation with multiple locations - there's an ERP solution that's a perfect fit.
To make the selection process easier, we've curated a list of the top ERP solutions in Singapore and highlighted what sets each one apart. But before we dive into those details, let's briefly touch upon what ERP software is and why it's essential for your business.
What is ERP Software?
ERP software, or Enterprise Resource Planning software, is a comprehensive solution designed to streamline and optimize various business processes across an organization. It aims to improve efficiency and productivity by automating routine tasks, fostering inter-departmental communication, and providing a centralized platform for data and information.
In Singapore, ERP software is widely adopted by companies as the primary tool for managing their operations and making informed business decisions. The software integrates and unifies various functions within an organization, such as sales, inventory, purchasing, and supply chain management, into a single system. This allows businesses to have real-time visibility into their operations, making it easier to identify inefficiencies, reduce waste, and improve productivity.
One of the key benefits of ERP software is the automation of routine tasks, such as reordering inventory, managing workflows, and tracking sales. This helps to eliminate manual errors, reduce the workload of employees, and free up their time to focus on more strategic tasks. By having a centralized platform for information, ERP software helps to reduce miscommunication between departments and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.
ERP software is a powerful tool for organizations looking to optimize their operations, increase efficiency, and drive business growth. By bringing everything together in one place and automating routine tasks, ERP software helps companies to reduce waste, improve communication, and make informed decisions.
Why Choose ERP Software?
Often a business will start out using standard financial management software and lots of spreadsheets, and suddenly one day, they realize it isn't working for them anymore, they have outgrown it, and their needs have changed. That is why many companies implement an ERP solution that covers all departments and automates many of the day-to-day business operations.
ERP software combines inventory with sales and purchasing for a full lifecycle. It ties financials in with purchasing and sales as money goes out and comes back in. The seamless integration means fewer errors, tighter control over everything happening within the company, and cohesive communication between departments. Companies with warehouses and multiple locations need this efficiency even more than a single small operation. Keeping an eye on all business functions means less waste and more productivity. Some ERP solutions offer project management to track the entire production journey so that management can find ways to improve the process and save time and money. Granular control also helps employees accomplish their tasks and provides them with all the information they need to do the job. Reporting and analytics help executives make informed decisions that promote steady and sustainable growth for the business.
What is the Best ERP Software in Singapore?
When considering ERP software in Singapore, you have dozens of options. Each solution comes with pros and cons, and some are better suited for specific types of companies. Let's explore the best ERP software for manufacturing and other related industries.
Oracle NetSuite is widely recognized as a leading player in the ERP software market, with a long history of delivering top-notch solutions for businesses of all sizes. The software is cloud-based, providing users with anytime, anywhere access to their data and business processes. After being developed in 1998, Oracle purchased NetSuite in 2016, further solidifying its position as a trusted and reliable provider of ERP software.
NetSuite offers a suite of modules designed to manage various business functions, including ERP, CRM, financials, and e-commerce. This modular approach allows businesses to pick and choose the components that are most relevant to their needs, and easily scale up as their business grows.
Some of the key features of Oracle NetSuite include:
-Seamless integration of ERP, CRM, and financial functions
-Scalability, allowing it to grow with your business
-Real-time access to data and business processes from anywhere
-Streamlined and efficient management of supply chain operations
-Robust financial management, including accounting, budgeting, and reporting
-Advanced reporting and analytics capabilities to drive informed decision-making
-Built-in e-commerce capabilities to support online sales
-Customizable dashboards and workflows to meet the unique needs of your business
By choosing Oracle NetSuite, businesses can benefit from a comprehensive and flexible ERP solution that is designed to meet their evolving needs. Whether you are a startup or a large enterprise, Oracle NetSuite provides the tools and capabilities you need to drive growth and success.
NetSuite for Singapore include the following modules:
- HR Planning
- Inventory Management
- Financial Management (AR/AP/GL/CM)
- Fixed Assets
- Tax Planning
- Sales and Customer Service
- Warehouse Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Marketing Automation
- HR & Payroll
- Analytics & Reporting
- AI-Driven Business Intelligence
NetSuite's open API architecture allows it to easily integrate with other 3rd party software applications such as Salesforce, Magento, and Shopify, among others. This integration helps eliminate manual data entry and ensures that important business data is up-to-date and accurate, providing a single source of truth for all departments.
For example, integrating NetSuite with Salesforce can help streamline your sales process by automating the flow of data between your sales and financial systems. This allows sales representatives to quickly access customer information and order history, while also ensuring that financial data is accurate and up-to-date.
Integrating NetSuite with Magento or Shopify can help businesses manage their e-commerce operations more efficiently. This integration allows businesses to manage their online store, product catalog, and orders from a single platform, while also providing real-time visibility into sales, inventory, and order status.
Threadgold Consulting can help simplify the migration process to NetSuite, allowing companies to focus on what they do best - growing their business. By evaluating your company's specific needs and goals, Threadgold Consulting can provide a seamless and effective transition to the best ERP software solution in the market.
Some of the industries that benefit from using NetSuite are:
- Advertising/Digital Marketing
- Campus Stores
- Financial Services
- Food and Beverage
- Health and Beauty
- IT Services
- Media and Publishing
- Professional Services
- Restaurants and Hospitality
- Software and Technology
- Transportation and Logistics
- Wholesale Distribution
Oracle NetSuite was one of the first cloud-based ERP providers and has set the standard for others to follow. Because the software offers so many options and you can customize it to meet your company's needs, be sure you partner with a NetSuite Solution Provider to help you get the most out of your implementation. Pricing for Oracle NetSuite starts at $1,800/month (SGD). You may also choose to add additional modules for enhanced functionality.
SAP ERP is another cloud solution consolidating many business processes into one system. SAP stands for system application and product. Some of the features of SAP ERP are:
- Machine Learning and AI
- Advanced Analytics
- Frequent Updates via the Cloud
- Fast Deployment
- Real-Time Reporting
SAP has been providing ERP solutions for 40 years. The software is secure and flexible enough to handle small companies or those with up to 200,000 employees. SAP offers 3 cloud-based ERP products to address different companies sizes/complexities.
SAP was designed using a standard methodology, which does not work well for some companies that are doing things differently. Customization can be tricky and time-consuming to get what you need from SAP ERP. In addition, customers complain about security issues with user permissions, user interface, complexity, and glitches within the system. SAP ERP is also costly to implement and maintain. It also takes quite a bit longer to migrate to than other ERP systems.
SAP offers various ERP solutions designed for specific applications and industries. S/4HANA is another of SAP's offerings intended for any type of company that wants real-time data and sophisticated AI-enabled analytics to help make critical business decisions. The system is a cloud-based modular ERP software designed for many specific industries and provides proven workflows to get it right. Companies can use S/4HANA to stay compliant with key regulations, and the system is protected by embedded cybersecurity. To use SAP S/4HANA, you put together a collection of modules that fit your needs. Some of your options include:
- Supply Chain
- Asset Management
- Sustainability Functions
The downside to S/4HANA is that it is extremely expensive to implement, maintain, and support. You also need a very high-level IT department to migrate and maintain the system. Additionally, any customization of the software is a heavy lift. Some users find the interface overwhelming and would like to see it simplified, especially the process of integrating new modules.
SAP Business by Design (ByD)
Yet another SAP offering is Business ByDesign which is geared toward SMBs in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, and service industries. This particular ERP software leans towards automation, distribution, and e-commerce features. One of its best features is inventory management, which handles multiple warehouses easily. ByD also contains features to handle the business's sales, factory, and financial aspects.
Some of the negatives of this software are that it does not support payroll processing, and customers complain about slow responses for support. In addition, integrating third-party solutions can be fussy, and the licensing could be better.
SAP Business One
SAP Business One is a well-known ERP software package used by various industries. B1 was designed for SMB sized manufacturing and distribution companies and works well for those looking to make the leap from QuickBooks and Fishbowl to a completely integrated ERP. Small and medium-sized companies use SAP B1 to run operations, make informed decisions, and automate routine tasks. The system is highly configurable, which means a long and complex implementation.
Business One handles all aspects of your operations, including financials, purchasing, inventory, sales, operations, project management, and customer relationships and can be deployed both on-premises or in the cloud-based or both for a hybrid approach. So for customers looking for flexibility in deployment models B1 might be a good solution to entertain.
Customers dislike that there are so many modules and would prefer they be combined into fewer. Some clients would like support for Mac OS. Plus, B1 does not handle many HR functions or payroll; you must add third-party options for those functions. The interface is somewhat dated, difficult to navigate, and can slow down when sifting through large data sets. Because it is designed more acutely for small businesses, it lacks functionality for larger enterprises but comes at an attractive price point starting around ~$100/user for the subscription version and ~$1,600/user user for the perpetual software version.
Microsoft Dynamics Business Central
Microsoft recently rebranded and retooled Nav to launch Dynamics Business Central. MS Dynamics is highly customizable/modular, but users feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. As you would expect, Microsoft Dynamics seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft products, but it does not play as well with third-party apps. Microsoft offers three different deployment options for their ERP solution, SaaS, PaaS, or on-premises.
For manufacturing companies that might utilize the supply chain module, you can monitor and manage the entire product development, packaging, and distribution lifecycle. Some of the highlights are planning, production, inventory, warehouse, and transportation to improve the productivity and efficiency of your entire operation. In addition, many modules include real-time reporting and analytics for instant feedback and quick decision-making.
The software is scalable but really geared towards larger organizations, and Microsoft updates it frequently. Licensing for Business Central is complex because it offers various different types of licensing such as full user, device, activity, and team licenses. On top of the licensing, you will also have to pay for implementation, maintenance, and support. Pricing depends on the modules you choose and the partner you select to provide your Business Central implementation.
Customers complain that the interface feels "old-fashioned," and existing Dynamics customers coming from a legacy product don't have a simple migration path but will likely require a reimplementation of 365 BC. Additionally, the stock HR module doesn't handle customized payroll requirements well. Although it is supported in many countries, some companies with unsupported locations find it challenging to stay connected. High-volume users would like to see better reporting functionality and custom reporting. Other complaints include clunky navigation, complicated, and very expensive to implement.
Workday ERP system was developed in 2006 and initially only supported HR. Later it was expanded to include ERP functionality with the ability to handle forecasting, inventory, financials, supply planning, automation, project management, and business intelligence.
Workday's strength still lies in managing human resources and financial aspects. The system is not ideal for manufacturing companies, but other types of businesses enjoy its simple interface and usability. It does have some helpful modules that work well for planning purposes. Some users have had difficulty with multi-currency issues. Pricing usually falls between $100,000 - $250,000; however, you must contact Workday for a firm quote.
Although customers enjoy the simple interface, navigation can be tricky, and difficult to find things quickly. Messaging within the system appears to be finicky. Many consumers would like to see it modernized and the workflows improved.
IFS is a European company that makes ERP software for the manufacturing industry as well as aerospace, defense, utilities and energy, telecommunications, and engineering. Over the years, it has gained some traction in other countries. It works best for large complex organizations that do a lot with Field Service Management and Enterprise Asset Management.
The system is cloud-based, like most ERP solutions. It is easy to use and scalable. The company offers industry-specific packages that mainly support product manufacturing and service companies. Some of the features include:
- Asset Lifecycle Management
- Aviation Maintenance
- Customer Engagement
- Contracts and Warranties
- Human Capital Management
- IT Operations Management
- Supply Chain
A few downsides to IFS are that some customers say that the functionality of the system does not work as promised. Customers also find the ecosystem of partners to be very small compared to larger ERP vendors, making it difficult to find reputable and reliable professional services. In addition, the interface is challenging, and the search feature returns unreliable data. Customers also suggest that IFS boost its training materials including videos to help transition new customers to the system.
What is the Best ERP Software for Businesses in Singapore?
When evaluating the best ERP software in Singapore or anywhere else in the world, you must consider many factors. Some things to keep in mind are:
Timing - If you are considering switching ERP systems, give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Often implementations can take several weeks or several months, depending on the system you choose. Start your search six months to a year before making the change. Consult professionals on what you need to do to make it a smooth transition and prepare your records and people.
Needs/Requirements - Your company type and industry will heavily influence your decision on which ERP solution is best for you. For example, if you run a manufacturing company, look for software that leans into all the nuances of your business and supplies you with a complete solution.
Pricing - Pricing is always a consideration and will vary based on the size of your company, the modules required for your system, and the solution provider you choose to work with. Keep in mind that most ERP systems, even though's designed for SMB's will come with a hefty price tag for both the licenses and the services, make sure you work with a high qualify consulting firm like Threadgold to ensure you are getting the highest ROI on your ERP investment.
Maintenance/Support Options - You will need ongoing maintenance and support after you implement your system. Although you can get this through the software vendor, often, you'll get better support and quicker responses from a reseller with whom you have established a working relationship.
Staffing - Do you have the staff on hand with the proper knowledge to handle a migration to new software? Some of these solutions require substantial IT expertise to keep it running and optimized.
Get Everyone on Board – A critical aspect when moving to new ERP software is executive and staff buy-in. You must get everyone on board and well-trained on the new system, so there are no major problems going forward. A good reseller will provide you with options to train everyone and keep them motivated to use the new system.
Evaluate the Business Benefits - Before making any significant changes like new software, evaluate its effect on your business. What will your ROI look like when you are done? A knowledgeable ERP solution provider can help you with a complete evaluation and determine the best ERP software in Singapore for you and how to experience a successful migration.
The best ERP solution will be the one that meets your business needs, checks off all your boxes, and fits within your budget.
Implementing a new ERP system is no small challenge. Rely on the experts at Threadgold Consulting, who have been helping Singapore based clients find and choose the right ERP solution for your business. We have on-staff professionals from several disciplines that are eager to learn about your business and help you evaluate the best ERP solution for your organization.
Call us today to learn more about how we can help you choose, implement, and maintain your ERP software.