Manufacturing businesses use materials requirement planning (MRP) to make sure that materials and components are available when needed. MRP software enables businesses to improve their productivity by increasing manufacturing efficiency, labor productivity, and overall customer satisfaction.
Table of contents
- What is Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) Software?
- Best MRP Software
- Types of MRP Software
- Essential MRP Software Features
What is Materials Requirement Planning Software?
Materials requirement planning (MRP) software is one of the earliest computerized systems to feature integrated software technology. Its purpose is to create the list of requirements, component parts, and raw materials needed to produce a finished product within an established schedule. It considers customer demand for a product, the requirements to meet it, and a list or bill of materials (BOM) needed to manufacture the product. Other important information tracked includes current inventory levels and the product’s master production schedule.
As technology improves, MRP software has also grown to include information feedback loops and the needs of other business assets such as marketing, sales, finance, accounting, engineering, and human resources. This has created next-generation MRP software that incorporates manufacturing resource planning (MRP II) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, as well as overlapping solutions like advanced planning and scheduling (APS), and supply chain management (SCM) systems. But the underlying purpose remains: to help users determine what, how much, and by when are these materials needed.
Best MRP Software
The best MRP software enables companies to meet manufacturing production demands and improve overall plant or shop productivity. Here is a list of top MRP solutions that can help users deliver on customer demands for their products, control inventories, and respond to market changes in an efficient and cost-effective way.
SAP S/4HANA offers both on-premise and cloud MRP solutions. The products deliver enhanced, comprehensive, and simplified user experiences that enable manufacturing collaboration. It includes digital manufacturing capabilities and real-time analytics for better decision-making. The MRP software extends the S/4HANA core with advanced planning and scheduling functionality for comprehensive end-to-end planning and integrated scheduling.
In particular, the S/4HANA Cloud includes MRP and planning features that enable users to plan complete manufacturing operations, from material requirements to inventory. Users can adjust plans based on real-time information coming from stores, suppliers, or shop floors. The software supports complex assembly processes, covering material requirements, production, and capacity planning. Other features include bill of materials generation, routing, factory layout, machine models, and optimization of production operations and materials flow.
- User-friendly interface
- Seamless integration with SAP and third-party apps
- Comprehensive features
- Complex customization
- Pricing is on the high side
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers manufacturing software solutions that help drive innovation, optimize operations, and deepen customer relationships. Connected systems and data enable companies to anticipate change and minimize disruptions. Users can plan production and distribution in near real-time with in-memory services and AI-powered demand forecasting.
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management allows users to predict and overcome disruptions to meet customer demand and stay profitable. The platform covers material requirement planning functionality by enabling users to perform continuous planning in near real-time, gain improved demand forecasting, eliminate stock-out situations, optimize stock allocations, and collaborate in real time across sales, marketing, and operations using Microsoft Teams to streamline planning.
- Advanced warehousing features
- Unified data and workflows
- Integration with Microsoft 365 apps
- Complex customization
- Requires training of users
Infor offers solutions for industries such as manufacturing, distribution, consumer, energy, healthcare, public sector, service, and hospitality. The system has industrial ERP systems like M3, LN, and Syteline to help companies obtain improved financial control, decision-making, workforce productivity, streamlined processes, and end-to-end supply chain visibility.
Infor planning and forecasting solutions allow users to respond to changes and reconcile scheduling in real time. It synchronizes production with demand and lets users align supply and demand across product lines. Other features include data series modeling, predictive and prescriptive analytics, integrated business planning, demand planning, and supply planning.
- All-in-one solution
- Performance optimization
- Integrated best practices
- Complex functionality and terminology
- Users wish for more modular feature design rather than integrating different products
IFS offers MRP, SCM, and ERP software, as well as manufacturing and other industry-specific solutions in a cloud platform. Users can plan, manage, and optimize critical asset availability, service delivery, and workforce productivity in a single platform. It connects systems and data that allow users to take action faster.
IFS enables users to optimize short-term planning and scheduling so companies are more agile in managing shifts in supply chain availability. It provides information and calculations on production requirements based on customer demand so users gain more predictability and control over costs. Embedded intelligence in MRP systems allows companies to have a reliable solution that produces consistent and trustworthy forecasts.
- Document and report generation
- Flexibility and customizations
- Option for both cloud and on-premise deployment
- Limited online documentations
- Slow search
Odoo MRP is one of the modules of Odoo ERP platform. Its MRP or Manufacturing module is an integrated MRP, quality, maintenance, and PLM solution that brings together all the needed functionality in one system. Users can accurately plan based on real manufacturing time measures. They can display worksheets and quality alerts to workers during operation.
Odoo Manufacturing can automatically capture real-time shop floor information directly from equipment using its API. Some of its features are order management including barcode reading, BOM management, planning and scheduling, work center capacity, optional routing, version changes, product lifecycle management, document management, quality checks and alerts, and maintenance calendar. It also integrates with other Odoo modules like inventory, purchasing, financial, and sales, among others.
- Multi-level BOM management
- ERP integration
- Ease of setup
- Unavailable serial number range assignment
- UI needs a refresh
Syspro is an ERP business software that specializes in the manufacturing and distribution sectors. It provides solutions, processes, and tools to assist users in managing company data and gain insights. It offers industry-specific solutions for specific sectors, including automotive and accessories, industrial machinery and equipment, food and beverage, and fabricated metal, among others.
Syspro offers both on-premise and cloud solutions. Its cloud ERP software includes AI and machine learning features to provide rich insights and identify trends and anomalies. It has supplier and customer portals for enhanced collaboration. Hosted on a secure Azure platform, the software has built-in data protection, backup, and replication. Other features include out-of-the-box capabilities, personalization, and accessibility from any device, anywhere.
- Search and custom views
- Simple exporting to Excel
- Responsive customer support
- Limited advanced scheduling
- Occasional slow report generation
DELMIAWorks, formerly IQMS, is a manufacturing ERP system tailored to a factory environment. It helps streamline processes across the supply chain. It provides end-to-end visibility and control by combining materials requirement planning, manufacturing execution systems, and ERP to improve business.
DELMIAWorks MRP is fully integrated into its ERP solution. It provides time-phased planning windows for purchasing and production. Advanced planning capabilities include automated raw material ordering, hard and soft allocation, ideal vs existing analysis, and minimum-maximum planning. It also has features for labor capacity planning, auxiliary equipment planning, machine and work center capacity planning, and rough-cut capacity planning.
- Advanced features like clash analysis, ergonomic evaluation, and MBOM
- Integration options
- Visual tracking of processes
- Complex infrastructure
- Pricing is at the higher end
Acumatica Cloud ERP is a platform that helps rapidly growing companies meet their own and their customers’ needs. It integrates with many tools and systems. Its UI and cross-module workflows improve efficiency and collaboration. Its manufacturing management system provides users real-time insights and full control of productions and financials through various applications like MRP, BOM routing, production management, order management, and warehouse management system, among others.
Acumatica MRP enables companies to synchronize material requirements with production schedules. Users can generate manufacturing and purchasing plans based on forecasts and actual customer demands to optimize inventory availability. Features include recommended actions and exception messages, master production schedule, sales forecasts, detailed MRP screens, and critical materials.
- Document generation
- Demand identification
- Intuitive design
- Hard-coded modules lack easy customization
- Weak project management integration
Katana is a manufacturing ERP solution that gives users greater visibility and control of all moving requirements and parts of their business. It provides live inventory management to track and optimize inventory movements. The software integrates with e-commerce platforms to prevent stock-outs and keep products moving.
Katana lets users manage production, scheduling, and resources in a single real-time master planning application. It has real-time inventory tracking, raw material and product allocation automation for sales order fulfillment. Other features include shop floor-level operations tracking and control, B2B and e-commerce order management, and end-to-end traceability of batches, materials, and expiry dates.
- E-commerce integration
- Inventory data import/export
- Responsive support
- Users wish for integrated CRM functionality
- Limited timeline or calendar options
Brahmin Solutions is an MRP and inventory solution ideal for small and midsize enterprises. It helps streamline operations and meet customer needs for business success. Real-time inventory management provide users stock visibility and control with re-order point setup. It also integrates with e-commerce platforms to send users real-time updates across channels.
Brahmin Solutions provides production, scheduling, and resource planning in one place. Users can keep track of demand and adjust production schedules for optimal operations and efficiency. It also has a shop floor app, order management, replenishment and vendor management, and complete traceability for tracking batches, lots, and expiry dates.
- Order tracking
- Ease of use
- Responsive support team
- QuickBooks integration issues
- Search and reporting features need improvements
Types of MRP Software
MRP software is essential in manufacturing and retail businesses where planning and scheduling activities are intensive. As complex business demands and processes continue to evolve, four different types of integrated MRP software have emerged.
Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II/ MRP 2)
Manufacturing resource planning software goes beyond the inventory of raw materials and components. MRP 2 encompasses all the capabilities of the original MRP but also helps the manufacturer optimizes acquisition, storage, and deployment of all resources, including raw materials, components, production equipment, personnel, and spare parts. It relies on the concept of dependent demand to calculate and update materials needed based on actual orders and order forecasts.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP software has extended the capabilities of MRPs by offering more functionality and integration. ERP has also expanded to industries beyond manufacturing, integrating a wide area of back-office functions. Users can manage enterprise-wide resources, from the shop floor to finance, HR, and sales. Also, information sharing between the central database and different departments is simpler and easier.
Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS)
Advanced planning and scheduling software enables manufacturers to respond quickly to unexpected changes and still satisfy customer demands with shorter lead times. Unlike MRP which creates plans item-by-item from the bottom up, an APS system creates plans on a demand-by-demand basis. It analyzes and calculates achievable production schedules while considering multiple constraints like materials shortages.
Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Supply chain management software enables users to manage multiple business processes in the supply chain. It integrates manufacturing activities with logistics. Users are able to manage the flow of information between buyers, suppliers, production, warehouse, and logistics. SCM software helps a company produce and deliver a product with maximum profit and minimum costs or investments.
Essential MRP Software Features
An MRP allows shops, production plants, and businesses to order and organize the materials they require for production. Here are must-have features to look for in an MRP software solution.
BOM planning and purchasing – Allows the planning, sourcing, and procurement of listed materials needed and their quantities to supply the incoming demand.
Inventory tracking – Provides an accurate end-to-end tracking and control of stock records, management across multiple warehouses, and automatic notification upon reaching set minimum and maximum points.
ion scheduling – Management of production and lead times, while determining required resources and available labor.
Demand forecasting – Demand forecasting enables users to determine type and quantities of materials that help avoid potential inventory issues.
Integration – Lets users connect with e-commerce, accounting, payment providers, and logistic systems to provide updated information and traceability.