In this report, we’ll define and compare ERP and MRP software, so you can determine which tool is right for your business.
What’s the difference between ERP software and MRP software? While the names sound similar, their real-life applications differ significantly. In this report, we’ll look at what makes these two software types unique, and similar, to help you determine which tool is best suited for your business needs.
What is ERP software?
ERP software, aka enterprise resource planning software, is a tool that helps companies track information across all departments and business functions.
It’s used across a variety of industries—manufacturing, retail, distributors, wholesalers—to integrate operations into a single shared database. By offering a single information source across departments, ERP software helps businesses increase efficiency and improve decision making.
What is MRP software?
MRP software, aka materials requirements planning software, is used to process orders and manage the flow of materials, parts, and components according to production schedules and bills of material.
This tool is used specifically by manufacturers seeking to manage and automate the production process through all phases, from sourcing to distribution.
What do they have in common?
ERP software can help virtually any type of business, while MRP software is unique to those in the manufacturing sector. Despite this distinction, the two software types do have some common functionality, including:
- Production scheduling (aka manufacturing planning). Assign jobs to specific machinery based on available capacity, current workload, and other factors.
- Inventory management (aka inventory control, parts management). Track inventory to maintain a balanced level of product supply and avoid overstock or product outage.
- Supply chain management. Plan and optimize supply chain transactions to meet customer demand, maintain appropriate levels of inventory, and reduce production costs.
- Warehouse management. Track day-to-day warehouse activity, locate stock, and process incoming materials.
- Reporting (aka business intelligence, data analysis, data collection). Collect and analyze operations data to help identify trends, forecast demand, and inform business decisions.
ERP software features
Some defining features of ERP software include:
- Integrated business operations. Streamline applications into a single unified system, providing a “source of truth” across modules.
- Financial management (aka core financials, core accounting). Record, process, and organize financial transactions such as general ledgers, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and fixed asset tracking.
- HR management (aka human capital management, workforce management). Automate core HR functions such as personnel tracking and benefits administration, as well as strategic HR activities such as talent management, employee evaluation, and learning management.
- Customer relationship management (aka sales, client management). Organize contacts, manage leads, and execute other sales-specific processes.
- Project management. Manage independent projects by creating plans, schedules, resource assignments, budgets, and estimates.
MRP software features
Notable MRP software features include:
- Bills of material (aka BOM). View all the materials, components, subassemblies, spare parts, and processes necessary to produce your product.
- Order management (aka order receiving, order sent). Automate, manage, and edit incoming order details from customers and vendors.
- Quoting (aka CPQ). Generate accurate quotes for more competitive job bidding.
Which tool is right for you?
Need a platform that consolidates disparate processes into a single integrated system? ERP software is your solution. Looking for a tool designed specifically for manufacturers? MRP software offers everything you need to produce and sell your products.
The question now is: Which specific tool is right for your business? To start your search, head over to our ERP software or MRP software pages. There you’ll find a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.
With so many software options to choose from, it might be helpful to narrow your search to only the most popular and highest-rated solutions. In that case, check out our Capterra Top 20 reports for the top ERP software and MRP software, based on an analysis of thousands of user reviews.
5 products top-rated in ERP and MRP software
These 5 products, listed in alphabetical order, are among the top-rated in both categories: