One of the top ERP influencers on YouTube, Eric Kimberling from Third Stage Consulting Group; released his annual top 10 ERP systems review this July, and named Microsoft Dynamics 365 ranks first as the Top ERP system for 2022. This is an improvement for Microsoft Dynamics 365 from last year, when Eric's company listed Dynamics 365 in the number 2 space, behind Netsuite.
As a reseller of Dynamics 365 Business Central for the discreet manufacturing vertical, we thought this was note worthy.
According to Eric, The top 10 ERP systems for 2022 are all cloud based solutions, and break down as follows.
Oracle Cloud ERP
SAP S/4 HANA
As resellers of Business Central, the fact that Dynamics 365 ranks first was pretty exciting. We listened to his video and made some notes:
No. 10 - Acumatica
This is a new entry in the 2022 list. Eric names it in their top 10 due to their focus on the manufacturing/distribution niche. Their pricing based on transaction volume is cited as another reason to look at it, as it can be very cost effective.
No. 9 - SalesForce/FinancialForce
This entry has dropped down a few ranks from the 2021 list. Although SalesForce is generally known as a CRM system, with the Force.com platform is now becoming more of an ERP system. The biggest challenge with the system is that adding on the modules required to expand the base product into a full ERP system can create a higher cost 0f ownership as maintenance of the integrations and overall IT costs can be high.
No. 8 - Odoo
Odoo is an open source ERP system that is new to the top 10 list. This made Eric's top 10 list for small business ERP previously, but has now reached the top 10 overall based on the continued growth of the system. Odoo is very flexible and module based. This can cause issues as maintaining an open source technology platform is not easily done by some inhouse IT departments.
No. 7 - Sage X3
Sage X3 also fell a few notches as compared to the 2021 list. This is primarily because it was surpassed by some new technologies. Good product for manufacturing and distribution, with good core financials. Unlike some of the products in the top 10, it's not as scalable for very large organizations, and has a somewhat less intuitive interface (ie: less modern).
No. 6 - Infor CloudSuite
Infor CloudSuite is not actually a single ERP - but rather is a group of Infor ERP that you can choose from. The upside of the suite is that Infor is well positioned to invest heavily in the products, and has a good selection of different products with strengths and weaknesses to choose from. The downside of Infor CloudSuite is the product lifecycle map. Infor has so many products, with varied degrees of investment in R&D and product lifecycle plans that a buyer has to be careful with it. It is also among the more expensive products on the list.
No. 5 - IFS
IFS has dropped from #4 to #5 since last year. This product is very focused on the industrial space (manufacturing, supply chain) and as such is very strong in those verticals. It would be higher on the list if it had a broader capability. The narrow focus is both it's strength and weakness. IFS has a limited reseller network today, but they are investing in growing that. One downside of IFS is that it is more costly than many of the other products on the list, and it is not as well known in North America as many of the other products (hence the investment in IFS implementation partners).
No. 4 - SAP S/4 HANA
SAP S/4 HANA has moved up a bit on the list compared to last year as the solution is maturing and that has improved it over the past year. The core financials and capabilities are very strong. The downside is that many of the non-core modules (manufacturing, distribution etc.) still require more time to mature and get stronger. SAP is also in the midst of acquiring solutions to add-on and build out the product, but these are still in the process of being integrated into the solution stack.
No. 3 - Oracle ERP Cloud
Oracle landed ahead of SAP in this list because the Oracle ERP Cloud is just a few steps more mature and flexible than the SAP S/4 HANA solution at this time. Even so, Oracle ERP Cloud is still trying to catch up to the legacy Oracle product regarding capabilities and modules. It is still not as complete an ERP as Oracle was in the past, just like SAP. For it's core capabilities - it remains a great choice.
No. 2 - Oracle Netsuite
Last year's number one is still in the top 2 of the products. The solution is the most mature cloud solution today, having been in the cloud since it's start. It is very good for the small to medium businesses. Downsides include the higher product cost compared to many other products, especially in the small and medium space where it started. A second trend that Eric cites as worrying is an increasing failure rate in implementations. Lastly, Netsuite is quite hard to customize compared to other products like Oracle ERP Cloud or Microsoft Dynamics 365.
No. 1 - Dynamics 365
This year Dynamics 365 ranks first over all in the list of top 10 ERP systems. Eric sites the choice between Business Central (the product Sabre sells) and Finance and Operations as two flexible choices that allow customers to "right size" the pick to their business needs. He also mentions that the user interface of a Microsoft product is familiar and easier for companies to learn, along with the extremely flexible and customizable nature of Dynamics 365. Of course, the ability to customize Dynamics 365 is both a blessing and a curse as it can lead to excessive "over customization."
Eric is absolutely correct that selecting the right Dynamics 365 implementation partner can make or break an implementation. Here are some things we believe you should watch out for.
Does the partner have a proven track record of success with the size of business similar to your own?
EG: If you are a 10 million dollar business with 40 employees and one part time IT person, does the partner you are talking to understand and have experience with smaller team implementations. You don't want to work with someone who expects your business to dedicate 4-5 full time IT/Business Analysists to the team.
Does the partner have experience in your industry?
EG: If you are a Job Shop manufacturing company, does the partner have lots of other Job Shop customers? Has the implementation team been working with manufacturing most of their career, or are they jumping from a law firm to a hospital to a school board and then to you as their latest implementation? You Do NOT want to be spending all your time explaining the basics of your business to them.
Does the partner guarantee their implementation?
EG: At Sabre, our training and implementation approach for Dynamics 365 is a fixed fee, with very well defined deliverables and a guaranteed price. If the partner you are working with is not giving you a firm proposal, be cautious about what you are getting.
Sabre are experts in implementing business central for Small and Medium manufacturing businesses in the discreet manufacturing space. We have written about small business for Business Central implementations as well as best practices for remote Microsoft ERP implementations. We offer Fixed Fee implementations for a number of different industry types - but we stick to what we know - and don't vary from those industries we are good at. Contact us today for help with your Business Central selection.
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