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Buyers Guide: The Best ERP Software in Singapore

Why Indonesia and Singapore ?

Buyers Guide: The Best ERP Software in Singapore

Over the past few years, Singapore has experienced a steady incline in the manufacturing industry equaling close to $84 billion in 2021. Companies that operate in that space need the best ERP software to handle business automation, solid analytics, and reporting to help make strategic decisions.

Manufacturing companies looking to implement an ERP solution or upgrade their software may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of ERP options and vendors. Depending on your requirements, you may need more flexible software with added scalability or some other unique features. Whether your company is a single factory or a global enterprise with dozens of locations, there is a solution out there for you.

To make deciding on the best ERP software in Singapore easier, we have narrowed down the top contenders and provided details about what makes each solution stand out.

First, let's go over some basic information about ERP software, what it is, and why you need it.

What is ERP Software?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software automates many daily tasks, provides transparency between departments, and helps the entire team communicate more effectively while staying on the same page. The goal of ERP software in Singapore is to improve efficiency and productivity across the organization as a whole.

By connecting sales to inventory and purchasing ERP software helps you keep your finger on the pulse of the business and automate the reordering of parts when you need them. It can also take the guesswork out of your supply chain and workflows. When the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing the result can be cost overruns, wasted time and effort, and lost income. An ERP solution aims to solve these problems by bringing everything together in one place. 

Why Choose ERP Software?

Often a business will start out using standard business software, 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 good decisions that grow the business steadily in a healthy way.

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

Oracle NetSuite has remained an industry leader in the ERP software arena for many years. The software is cloud-based making it accessible from anywhere. Although the software was developed in 1998, Oracle didn't purchase it until 2016.

NetSuite includes modules to easily handle ERP functions, customer resource management (CRM), financials, and even e-commerce. The software is scalable to handle startups to large enterprises effortlessly. Some of the built-in features include:

  • HR Planning
  • Inventory Management
  • Financial Management (AR/AP/GL/CM)
  • Fixed Assets
  • Tax Planning
  • E-Commerce
  • Sales and Customer Service
  • Warehouse Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • HR & Payroll
  • Analytics & Reporting
  • AI-Driven Business Intelligence

The software easily integrates with many third-party solutions like Salesforce, Shopify, Magento and more to keep things organized in one place and redundant data entry at a minimum. In addition, NetSuite is very flexible and extensible and could easily be called one of the best ERP software applications in Singapore.

Threadgold Consulting makes switching to NetSuite easy by evaluating your situation based on role (CEO, CFO, controller, CIO), business type (startups to enterprise level companies), or your current software to make migrating quicker and easier. Some of the industries that benefit from using NetSuite are:

  • Advertising/Digital Marketing
  • Apparel/Footwear
  • Campus Stores
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Food and Beverage
  • Health and Beauty
  • Healthcare
  • IT Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Media and Publishing
  • Nonprofit
  • Professional Services
  • Restaurants and Hospitality
  • Retail
  • 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

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
  • Flexible
  • Scalable
  • Maintenance-Free
  • Fast Deployment
  • Automation
  • 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 S/4HANA

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:

  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Inventory
  • Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain
  • Sales
  • Service
  • R&D
  • 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

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

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
  • Commerce
  • Customer Engagement
  • Contracts and Warranties
  • Finance
  • Human Capital Management
  • IT Operations Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Procurement
  • Projects
  • 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 Your Company?

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. 

Learn More

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.