The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Batch Manufacturing Software

It’s hard to overstate the importance of choosing the right batch manufacturing software. With the right batch manufacturing software, manufacturers can automate repetitive tasks, track inventory, and monitor quality control metrics. They can also gain real-time data and analytics to identify bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions. On the other hand, we’ve heard many horror stories about failed implementations that have cost businesses millions of dollars to fix. 

If you have identified the need to replace your system, it may be because your software is no longer supported, your business has grown, and your current resources are unable to scale up to your new size. You are looking for a solution that provides additional functionality, manages your entire business operation, saves you money, and gives your staff remote and mobile access to the information they need. 

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of batch manufacturing software and help you know how to choose the best solution for your manufacturing business.

What is a Manufacturing ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to a modular software designed to integrate all the systems required for a business’s daily operations, such as inventory management, supply chain management, customer relationship management, payroll, human resources, purchasing, estimates and quotes, sales, product configuration, distribution, and shipping.

By interconnecting all these systems, ERP software can significantly enhance data and idea communication between departments and allow leaders to see how one area of the business may be affecting another. This improves overall business communication and decision-making.

Manufacturing ERP software is designed specifically to cater to the unique needs of manufacturers. It operates similarly to ERP software used in other sectors, by integrating multiple systems into a single platform. However, manufacturing ERPs tend to offer more advanced functionality in areas such as:

Cost estimation: for planning and improving products before full-scale production.
Manufacturing inventory management and purchasing: for efficient procurement of materials, minimizing waste, and planning production.
Machine maintenance management: for effective preventative maintenance.
Environment, health, and safety management: to minimize risks, prevent accidents, and ensure compliance with good manufacturing practices.

What to Consider When Choosing Batch Manufacturing Software

1. Senior-Level Involvement

To ensure the success of any project, it’s crucial to have the support and backing of senior management. Ideally, the project should be led by the senior management team or the board, making them accountable for its success. This also helps mitigate any potential issues or delays from the top.

With senior-level involvement, people throughout the organization are more likely to be dedicated and engaged with the project. This increases the chances of success, as the project is more likely to be completed on time, within budget, and with the desired outcomes.

2. Building a Cross-Company Project Team

The second step towards a successful system selection and deployment is building a cross-company project team. This team will lead the selection process and oversee the deployment of the new system. It’s essential to include stakeholders from key areas of the business to ensure the new system meets all business process needs, has full management approval, and user acceptance. This team should include at a minimum, the production manager, purchasing, and finance. 

The project team will set the ground rules for the project of choosing a new ERP, and having a cross-company team will mean that decisions are made objectively and collectively, bringing the necessary buy-in and a high level of cooperation from within the business.

3. Setting Clear Objectives

Once the project team is in place, the next step is to set clear objectives for the project. It’s essential to establish what business goals the new ERP system should meet and how it will achieve them. With a clear set of goals and objectives, you can track progress and ensure that the project is on course towards meeting its desired outcomes. Examples of objectives for a new ERP system may include:

Streamlining business processes
Centralizing the organization’s data
Managing cash flow
Gaining better financial insight into the business
Simplifying the supply chain process
Reducing stock levels and costs
Minimizing out-of-stock situations
Improving customer service
Providing full batch or lot traceability
Seamlessly linking commerce into financial systems
Delivering accurate real-time stock visibility
Improving the visibility of production data
Delivering quality control and compliance
Reducing delivery times
Automating key ordering and payment processes

Of course, it may not always be possible to set quantifiable objectives for every goal, but it’s essential to make it a chief consideration. Having quantifiable objectives makes it easier to measure the success of the project once the new system is up and running.

Even if you can’t put a figure on every objective, it’s still important to establish clear, specific goals. These goals can be measured in other ways, such as increased efficiency, improved productivity, or enhanced customer satisfaction.

4. Defining Exact Feature Requirements

Defining the feature requirements is a critical step in the process of choosing batch manufacturing software. It involves a detailed requirements-gathering process to determine the functionality that the software should have. 

To define the scope of the project, you need to create a clear list of requirements. This involves focusing on the business processes within your organisation and how they are best undertaken. It’s important to scope out how your business processes should be delivered, rather than simply detailing how things are currently done. This ensures that the new ERP system will meet the best way of doing things.

To get a full picture of the requirements, you need to speak to representatives from all areas of the business, including production, warehousing, operations, sales, and purchasing. It’s also important to take care not to miss out on any requirements. It may be more costly to add something in at the end of the project than to account for it and build it into the spec upfront. You may also want to undertake a gap analysis of your current applications versus the requirements to help identify the functionality you are missing.

5. Software Supplier Selection

When creating your long list of potential suppliers, it’s important to keep in mind your specific requirements and preferences. For example, you may want to work with a company that has experience in your industry, or that has a good reputation for customer support. You can also look at factors like company size, location, and pricing to help narrow down your list.

Once you have a list of potential suppliers, you can then reach out to potential suppliers. This will help you gather more information about each supplier and their offerings, such as their implementation process, support services, and pricing models.

After reviewing the responses to your RFI, you can then create a shortlist of two or three suppliers to invite for a more in-depth discussion. During these discussions, you can ask more detailed questions about their capabilities, experience, and approach to implementation. This will help you determine which supplier is the best fit for your needs and budget.

When preparing your RFI, it is essential to include questions that will help you learn more about each supplier’s general background and experience, such as how long they have been in business, the number of staff they employ, their turnover, and the technologies they offer. This information will help you assess each supplier’s stability and capability to deliver the project.

The RFI should also cover the supplier’s support cover, including the level of support they offer, whether it is 24/7 or more limited, and the type of access they provide for maintenance and help. Additionally, you should inquire about their experience, including the number of customers they have worked with, and ask for case studies, references, and testimonials.

Furthermore, it is essential to understand if the supplier has experience working with companies in your industry and if they actively target your industry in their sales literature and website. You should also perform financial due diligence and assess their training programs, software products, partnerships, and project planning and implementation methodologies.

By asking these questions, you can gain insight into the supplier’s capabilities, experience, and processes, and determine whether they are a good fit for your project. Additionally, the RFI process can help you shortlist suppliers and move on to the next stage of the selection process.

6. The ERP Demo

During the process of selecting an ERP system, the software demonstration is a critical step in the decision-making process. It allows potential buyers to see the system in action and get a better understanding of its capabilities and functionalities. It’s an opportunity to assess the system’s usability, user interface, and how it fits the specific requirements of your business.

To get the most out of the software demonstration, it’s important to prepare in advance. You should appoint a team from your project team to sit in on the demo and ensure that they each see every demo. You should also brief the suppliers on what you want to see from the demo and how long it should last.

During the demo, it’s important to focus on the key features that are most relevant to your business. You may not have time to view every single aspect of the software, so it’s best to prioritize the features that are most critical to your operations.

A useful tactic is to use a scorecard system to assess each demonstration. You should list and detail all the aspects that you want to see from the demos and score each aspect alongside your colleagues. This will help when it comes to discussing and assessing the demos later on.

7. The Decision: Choosing Your Manufacturing ERP

After your planning and evaluation process, the project team should allocate sufficient time to carefully and formally assess the proposals received from the shortlisted suppliers, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. Although it may be evident which supplier is the best fit at this stage, it is critical to ensure that all stakeholders agree to ensure their support for the project.

Once the decision is made, inform the unsuccessful suppliers and commence negotiations with the chosen supplier. The supplier will prepare a formal agreement, which both parties will sign along with any additional documents like a non-disclosure agreement. You can now proceed to develop the implementation project plan with your selected supplier and anticipate the successful deployment of your new software.

Other Considerations For Choosing Your ERP

It is important to ensure that the manufacturing ERP system is easy to use, especially since it will have a wide range of users from the shop floor to the top floor. The interface should be logically structured and intuitive, and the overall User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) should be carefully designed. 

A well-designed interface can result in increased employee satisfaction and productivity, as it promotes efficiency and ease of use for all users, regardless of their technical expertise or level within the organization. Additionally, having well-designed dashboards can provide clear and relevant insights into business operations, further promoting productivity and success.


In order to ensure that your ERP system can continue to support your business into the future, it’s important to make sure that it is “future-proofed”. This means that it should be flexible, open, and modular, with the ability to integrate with other systems and grow as your business grows.

One way to future-proof your system is to look for a modular system that can easily accept new functionality based on the latest manufacturing advances. Additionally, your system should be scalable, meaning that it can grow as your business grows without needing to be replaced entirely.

Integration is also a key consideration when future-proofing your system. Look for a system that can integrate with other systems, such as a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to enable equipment or use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to integrate with customers. This will ensure that your ERP system can continue to support your business as it evolves and grows over time.

Easy-to-Use Interface

It is important to ensure that the manufacturing ERP system is easy to use, especially since it will have a wide range of users from the shop floor to the top floor. The interface should be logically structured and intuitive, and the overall User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) should be carefully designed. 

A well-designed interface can result in increased employee satisfaction and productivity, as it promotes efficiency and ease of use for all users, regardless of their technical expertise or level within the organization. Additionally, having well-designed dashboards can provide clear and relevant insights into business operations, further promoting productivity and success.


Make sure to check the training and support services offered by the vendor. It is recommended to have a few key personnel from the organization trained by the vendor, who can later become internal trainers and support staff. This will enhance the training availability and complement the vendor’s efforts. A training schedule should be developed in collaboration with the vendor and the staff should be committed to attending the training sessions. Implementing a new system would be futile if no one knows how to use it, so proper training and support are crucial.

For example, here at Mar-Kov, we understand that implementing a new ERP system can be a complex and challenging process, which is why we have an expert implementation team to help guide you through every step of the process.

Our implementation team works closely with your project team to ensure that the software is configured to meet your specific business needs. They will also provide comprehensive training to your employees, so they feel confident using the new system. This includes hands-on training, user manuals, and ongoing support as needed.

We believe that the success of an ERP implementation project depends on the quality of the support and training provided, which is why we place a high priority on delivering exceptional service to our clients. With Mar-Kov, you can trust that you will receive the support you need to get up and running quickly and effectively.

Do You Need Accounting Software + an ERP?

Batch manufacturing software offers robust raw material inventory management, traceability, and production scheduling, while QuickBooks handles finance and accounting tasks. Relying only on QuickBooks often leads to overstocking, stockouts, and unreliable inventory fixes. 

Mar-Kov is designed to meet batch manufacturers’ unique needs and integrates with QuickBooks to optimize operations and financials. When researching batch manufacturing software, companies should focus on standard off-the-shelf options, consider their budget and ROI, assess current and future needs, and evaluate the provider’s implementation, training, and support offerings. They should also check reviews, book a demo, and consider factors such as cloud-based or on-premise deployment and available support options.

Is Traceability Important? Spoiler Alert: Yes!

Maintaining lot and traceability records, and performing recalls can be a difficult and time-consuming task when done on paper or through an excel system. This is particularly challenging in today’s regulatory environment, where the ability to perform quick and accurate recalls is crucial. Companies that have attempted to keep track of lot and traceability records on paper or through an excel system can relate to the daunting and time-consuming process involved in finding and tracking recalled products.

This process involves digging through multiple records, such as receiving, production, and shipping records to locate the recalled lot and determine the potentially impacted batches and customers. If lot numbers were not recorded on batches and shipments, the process becomes even more challenging and relies on making assumptions based on the range of dates the product was used and when it was produced and shipped to customers.

However, the good news is that using a system designed with traceability and recalls in mind can make this process painless and take less than 60 seconds. This is a seamless side-effect of keeping regular receiving, manufacturing, and shipping records with a traceability system. The timely record-keeping system designed for this purpose can make the task of maintaining lot and traceability records and performing recalls as effortless as can be.