Top 10 Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing ERP Systems

Top 10 Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing ERP Systems In 2024

Engineer-to-order Companies: Engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturing companies possess a distinctive blend of traits from various manufacturing models like project manufacturing and make-to-order. These entities are known for their intricate operations, spanning industries like equipment manufacturing, modular housing, or bridge construction. Distinguishing true ETO setups from construction-centric projects can be challenging due to overlaps. Despite these complexities, identifying an ETO company primarily hinges on its profound engineering focus.

Engineer-to-order Manufacturing Business Processes: The engineering process varies depending on the product type, often commencing with customer engineers providing initial drawings or specifications for desired machinery or equipment. However, these initial drawings typically require refinement through extensive collaboration between customer and vendor engineers until a satisfactory prototype and estimate are achieved. Additionally, the level of organizational maturity greatly influences the structure of Bills of Materials (BOMs). In nascent stages, companies may lack consolidated procurement and planning processes, resorting to project-specific ordering and planning. As such, selecting an appropriate ERP system hinges on the organization’s maturity level.

Top 10 Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing ERP systems

Engineer-to-order Manufacturing ERP Needs. Every ERP system operates within specific data model parameters. For instance, certain systems may necessitate revision numbers at the outset of a process. Without a formalized procedure for maintaining these numbers or adhering to engineering control processes, products requiring revision numbers may seem superfluous, leading to user adoption challenges. Alternatively, some products may not integrate engineering BOMs within the ERP system, presuming they will be housed in a CAD or PLM/PDM system. Failure to align engineering processes with SKU numbering or parts management can result in downstream BOM issues, necessitating ad-hoc solutions impacting the choice of an ERP system. So, which are the leading engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems for 2024?

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  • Definition of an engineer-to-order manufacturing company. These companies in the engineer-to-order ecosystem include manufacturers that are heavily engineering-focused in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, custom machinery, and industrial automation. The list considers companies of all sizes in this ecosystem.
  • Overall market share/# of customers. The higher marketshare among engineer-to-order companies drives higher rankings on this list.
  • Ownership/funding. The superior financial position of the ERP vendor leads to higher rankings on this list.
  • Quality of development. How modern is the tech stack? How aggressively is the ERP vendor pushing cloud-native functionality for this product? Is the roadmap officially announced? Or uncertain?
  • Community/Ecosystem. How vibrant is the community? Social media groups? In-person user groups? Forums?
  • Depth of native functionality. Last-mile functionality for specific industries natively built into the product?
  • Quality of publicly available product documentation. How well-documented is the product? Is the documentation available publicly? How updated is the demo content available on YouTube?
  • Product share and documented commitment. Is the product share reported separately in financial statements if the ERP vendor is public?
  • Ability to natively support diversified business models. How diverse is the product in supporting multiple business models in the same product?
  • Acquisition strategy aligned with the product: Any recent acquisitions to fill a specific hole for engineer-to-order industries? Any official announcements to integrate recently acquired capabilities?
  • User Reviews: How specific are the reviews about this product’s capabilities? How recent and frequent are the reviews?
  • Must be an ERP product: Edge products such as HCM, CRM, eCommerce, MES, or accounting solutions that are not fully integrated to support enterprise-wide capabilities are not qualified for this list.

10. Rootstock

Rootstock caters to engineer-to-order centric SMBs, offering robust mobile-native capabilities atop the Salesforce platform. It is particularly fit for smaller engineer-to-order companies that heavily use the Salesforce platform for their CRM and field service solutions. It might also fit as a subsidiary solution for some entities that might prefer a unified user experience across the enterprise. Thus, given these considerations, Rootstock ranks at #10 on our list of top engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Native integration with other salesforce products. Its strength Includes native integration with other Salesforce products such as Salesforce CRM and Field Service. This is especially beneficial for engineer-to-order companies with longer sales cycles already managing their sales and estimation processes on Salesforce.
  2. Mixed-mode manufacturing capabilities. While Rootstock might not have as comprehensive coverage for every manufacturing mode, it can support the make-to-order and make-to-stock needs of engineer-to-order organizations.
  3. WBS-centric manufacturing capabilities. Most engineered-to-order organizations also require WBS-centric capabilities for their operational project management needs, making these capabilities necessary for engineer-to-order organizations.
  1. Finance and accounting. Rootstock’s core ERP capabilities are not as robust as those of other manufacturing ERP systems. Their accounting capabilities are not as layered and scalable, requiring ad-hoc arrangements.
  2. Reliance on third-party quality module. Depending upon the vertical that engineer-to-order organizations might serve and based on the architectural requirements, quality processes could be extremely critical at every touch point, including production, procurement, return, and engineering. Rootstock’s reliance on third-party modules may cause communication challenges, posing ERP implementation risks.
  3. Smaller Ecosystem. The ecosystem is relatively small for rootstock, with less than 500 installations. This could pose a risk in finding talent for future support and customizations.

9. Oracle Cloud ERP

Oracle Cloud ERP is uniquely positioned for construction and telecom-centric engineer-to-order manufacturing companies. While they share similarities with traditional engineer-to-order manufacturing organizations, the estimation and quoting process could be completely different. While the BOMs could come across as being similar, they are uniquely different. Oracle Cloud ERP is also a superior fit for companies that might also have PSA-like processes for such organizations that might combine consulting with project manufacturing. Thus, securing its rank at #9 on our list of engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Robust finance capabilities for large, global Engineer-to-order manufacturers. Capabilities include having five layers of GL restrictions, multiple layers of sub-ledgers, and book closing requirements across divisions, especially relevant for larger Engineer-to-order businesses primarily interested in using Oracle Cloud ERP as a corporate financial ledger.
  2. Proven solution with large workloads. Large companies may process millions of GL entries per hour. These workloads may be even higher for engineer-to-order manufacturing companies, requiring them to decouple transactions as a single system might struggle to support, forcing them to best-of-breed architecture for such companies, an ideal fit for Oracle Cloud ERP.
  3. Ecosystem.  Oracle Cloud ERP has an ecosystem of experienced consultants who have the capabilities to handle the design and architecture of such complex enterprises.
  1. Limited last-mile capabilities and engineer-to-order integrations. The last-mile capabilities and specialized integrations relevant to engineer-to-order businesses might require third-party add-ons.
  2. It’s not necessarily a manufacturing solution. Oracle Cloud ERP’s concentration in engineer-to-order businesses is limited, making this vertical a lower priority for Oracle compared to service-centric organizations.
  3. Overwhelming for SMB engineer-to-order manufacturers. The enterprise data model and financial layers might be overwhelming for SMB engineer-to-order manufacturers.

8. Acumatica

Acumatica is uniquely suitable for engineer-to-order organizations with its robust BOMs, support for make-to-order and stock processes, and strong capabilities for projects. While Acumatica might be a great fit for smaller engineer-to-order projects, complex machinery may require program-level support where each project might be mapped to a line item at a quote level, requiring mature capabilities for engineer-to-order verticals. These capabilities will be required when consolidated costing at the program level, and reporting will be key. Thus, given its pros and cons, Acumatica ranks at #8 among the top engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Rich BOMs and scalable costing layers. Acumatica BOMs are highly organized and follow logical structure across the screens, making them highly scalable for engineer-to-order companies.
  2. Support for sub-assemblies and phantom. Acumatica has strong support for sub-assemblies, which is crucial for engineer-to-order BOMs, both for costing and scheduling. It also has strong support for phantoms, which is another huge plus, as most engineer-to-order verticals will have a substantial number of phantoms as part of their BOMs.
  3. Diverse capabilities to support the needs of multiple business models. The product can accommodate multiple business models in the same database, making it easier to explore synergies across different business models, including distribution, construction, and field services.
  1. Limited global capabilities. The current multi-entity functionality might be limiting for engineer-to-order companies with operationally connected offshore locations.
  2. Limited mature manufacturing capabilities. Advanced features such as allocation layers or kanban are not built natively as part of the product, making it challenging for large engineer-to-order companies aiming to streamline their inventory.
  3. Multiple add-ons may be required for engineer-to-order manufacturing. Requires several third-party add-ons, such as MES, PLM, and quality, posing integration and communication challenges.


Targeting large global engineer-to-order manufacturing companies, its product model is capable of handling most mixed-mode manufacturing, including product specifications and variants that are used not only for reporting but also for planning and transaction processing. SAP S/4 HANA excels in handling millions of transactions per hour, a requirement for companies on a Fortune 500 scale. Ideal for large publicly traded companies heavy on financial compliance and governance, it may not suit SMB manufacturing companies without internal IT maturity. SAP S/4 HANA enjoys a unique advantage for MRP-driven companies requiring enterprise-grade workloads intending to keep all of their entities in one database. Thus, ranking at #5 on this list of top engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Enterprise product designed for engineer-to-order centric companies. The item master, product model, and inventory are especially friendly for engineer-to-order businesses because of scalable and modular BOM and costing layers.
  2. The power of HANA to run global operations end-to-end in one system. Our simple test of HANA’s capabilities with 100K serialized goods receipt found it to be faster than most systems out there. SAP S/4 HANA could process it in under 22 seconds, while Oracle cloud ERP took more than 18 mins for the same test. This is especially friendly for large engineer-to-order businesses aiming to run their consolidated global MRP runs in one system.
  3. Financial governance and best-of-breed architecture. Financial traceability is built with each transaction, which makes the transactions and SOX governance flows highly traceable, especially friendly for publicly traded engineer-to-order companies. 
  1. Behind in cloud capabilities. While SAP has made tremendous advancements, the cloud version is still behind its on-prem variant.
  2. Too big for smaller engineer-to-order companies. Companies looking for a fully baked suite without internal IT capabilities will find it overwhelming.
  3. Limited last mile Capabilities and third-party pre-integrated options. The last-mile capabilities relevant for engineer-to-order businesses, such as CAD, PLM, configurator, etc, would require ERP third-party add-ons.

6. Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O

Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O excels in localizations where other focused solutions might not be available, providing only a few options for engineer-to-order companies. While Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O has a very rich product model to support complex engineer-to-order operations, it might not have a complete suite and integrated options as focused solutions, such as Epicor Kinetic or Infor LN, requiring third-party add-ons for these capabilities. Despite being limited with suite capabilities, it will be more suitable for diverse engineer-to-order operations or companies with uncertain business models because of M&A activity. Hence, securing the #6 spot among the top engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Richer core ERP capabilities for engineer-to-order companies in the cloud. Compared to other solutions that might have superior layers for other service-centric verticals, such as Oracle Cloud ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O has a mature cloud version for engineer-to-order companies.
  2. Best-of-breed products integrated at the database level. While Microsoft has best-of-breed integration, such as CRM or field service, they might not be as directly relevant for engineer-to-order companies but will be useful for engineer-to-order companies with diverse business models. 
  3. Powerful ecosystem and marketplace add-ons. Microsoft has a talent and consulting base in countries where finding talent may be a challenge. 
  1. Limited pre-baked integrations for engineer-to-order companies. The integration relevant for engineer-to-order companies such as PLM, CAD, MES, and configurator would require third-party add-ons, increasing communication and integration risks.
  2. Too big for smaller companies. The smaller companies would find it overwhelming with the configuration and approval flows built for large enterprises.
  3. Limited last mile capabilities. The last-mile functionality relevant to specific industry verticals, such as PPAP compliance or AS9100, might require substantial consulting efforts.

5. IFS

Targeting larger field service and MRO organizations, IFS is a great solution for larger engineer-to-order companies looking for best-of-breed field service and EAM capabilities atop corporate financial ledgers such as SAP or Oracle. It is also a great fit for companies managing large programs with very long lead times that might have constraints, such as finishing the complete value stream activity as part of the sales quote before starting on the new one, requiring complex relationships between sales quotes and programs that smaller systems might be able to support. Despite these considerations, IFS maintains its rank at #5 on our list of top engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Unique program architecture tailored to track the costs of large engineer-to-order programs. Unlike smaller ERP systems with a 1:1 relationship between a sales order and a project, IFS is designed to handle large programs where consolidated visibility would be critical without ad-hoc arrangements.
  2. Enterprise-grade field service and asset management capabilities. Especially suitable for engineer-to-order companies because of their need to maintain expensive assets with complex workflows and scheduling requirements for field services.
  3. Unique financial workflows to support complex engineer-to-order programs. Expensive MRO operations require unique workflows, such as closing transactions financially at the line level, which might not be possible with ERP systems not designed to handle such transactions.
  1. Limited focus. The limited focus might be a challenge for engineer-to-order companies active with M&A cycles. 
  2. Limited ecosystem. It has a limited presence and install base in North America compared to other solutions on this list.
  3. It is not the right fit for holding and private equity companies as a corporate ledger. While IFS can provide the best-of-breed ERP capabilities in a tier-two architecture or can act as one solution, IFS might not be the best fit to be used just as the corporate ledger for large engineer-to-order enterprises.

4. Infor CloudSuite Industrial (Syteline)

Infor CloudSuite Industrial (Syteline) targets SMB engineer-to-order firms with diverse SKUs and intricate subassemblies, offering a flexible BOM framework. While this flexibility aids from an engineering change control perspective, it can pose challenges for companies needing fluid subassembly structures without tight labor and operations coupling. Moreover, it’s less suitable for organizations with complex inventory needs, as inventory attributes are primarily for reporting, not planning. Despite its strong engineer-to-order features, its support for mixed-mode manufacturing, like project-centric operations, may lack depth. Therefore, placing it at #4 on our list of top engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Support for both informal and formal BOMs and engineering processes. Infor CSI BOMs don’t mandate a revision number, making it easier for companies with relatively unsophisticated data models and engineering processes to use without going through the painful formalization of SKUs and BOMs. 
  2. Detailed and scalable costing layers. The costing layers scale well, especially for verticals where material pricing may fluctuate, requiring frequent readjustments, such as industries dependent upon steel. 
  3. Field service integration with the core manufacturing processes.  Deep composable serviceable units are built as part of the core solution with complex assemblies and back-and-forth interactions of channels to service units in the field.
  1. Disconnected financial reporting experience. Unlike other products, the product does not embed financial reports and necessitates an external Excel interface, thus creating a patchy experience for users.
  2. Poor user experience and steep learning curve. While marketed as a cloud product, it has limited cloud capabilities, such as enterprise search and opening multiple tabs, making the experience non-intuitive.
  3. Weak ecosystem and third-party options. Similar to Epicor, Infor CSI takes the suite approach. So it might be harder to find integration with best-of-breed third-party apps.

3. Infor CloudSuite LN

Infor CloudSuite LN is a comprehensive manufacturing solution that combines the best of the most focused manufacturing solutions, especially engineer-to-order managing large programs, including WBS-based workflows, as well as distribution-focused capabilities for their parts business. Besides being comprehensive, it also has engineer-to-order-specific last-mile capabilities and pre-baked integrations such as PLM, CAD, CPQ, and more. Thus, securing its rank at the #3 position on our list of the top engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP solutions.

  1. Global operations. Infor LN is the only solution in the market that has sufficient layers of financial hierarchies and global trade compliance functionality pre-baked with products to support Engineer-to-order manufacturers exploring global financial and operational synergies. 
  2. Last-mile capabilities along with breadth of capabilities for diversified manufacturing business models. Engineer-to-order verticals require deeper core ERP capabilities such as milestone and progress billing, operational tracking of programs, and consolidated view of costs of large programs not just as a report but also as part of the operational workflow without having users leave their transactional screens.
  3. Best-of-breed integrations offered out-of-the-box. Most tools that make-to manufacturer would require, such as HCM, PLM, data lake, ERP, WMS, TMS, and advanced supply chain planning, are all pre-integrated with LN.
  1. Might not be the best fit as a corporate solution for holding and private equity companies. Holding companies as diverse as engineer-to-order manufacturing, construction, and professional services may not be able to keep all of their entities on one solution and database.
  2. Legacy UI and Experience. Infor LN is a legacy solution with limited cloud-native ERP capabilities such as universal search, mobile experience, etc.
  3. Weak Ecosystem and Marketplace. The consulting base and marketplaces are virtually non-existent for Infor LN.


IQMS is suitable for engineer-to-order companies because of its tight alignment and integration with SolidWORKS, which is heavily used with large mechanical equipment. Containing major components required for engineer-to-order companies as part of the suite, such as CAD, PLM etc, along with ERP, is a huge benefit for engineer-to-order companies limited on budget. IQMS would be an ideal fit for smaller engineer-to-order companies or for larger companies as a subsidiary-level system. Hence, contributing to its placement at #2 among engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. BOM structure is friendly for engineer-to-order companies. Engineer-to-order companies that are heavy on engineer collaboration, including collaboration with customers, would find DELMIAWorks to be compelling.
  2. Best for engineer-to-order companies on SolidWorks. With the same company as SolidWorks owning it, tighter and seamless ERP integration of both products, which are built and maintained by the same vendor, is a huge plus.
  3. Technology – This is probably the most legacy solution of all on this list, with no announcement if they plan to modernize the technology.
  1. Limited focus. The limited focus might be a challenge for engineer-to-order companies diversifying their operations and being active with M&A cycles. 
  2. Limited ecosystem. It has a limited consulting base with most resellers being CAD resellers, with limited experience in ERP implementation and cross-functional processes.
  3. It is not the right fit for holding and private equity companies as a corporate ledger. While a great subsidiary solution and a solution for pure-play engineer-to-order manufacturers, it may not suit companies requiring diverse mixed-mode manufacturing companies or companies with complex business models.

1. Epicor Kinetic

Epicor Kinetic targets small-to-mid-size engineer-to-order manufacturers specializing in industries with formal manufacturing processes and complex inventory needs, such as automotive, aerospace, metal, fabrication, and medical devices. It is also equally deep in project-centric operations and distribution processes, making it ideal for diverse engineer-to-order operations. Despite recent developments, Epicor Kinetic might not best suit companies with global financial operations and deep field service operations. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the best engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Strong for comapnies with formal manufacturing processes. Mandatory revision numbers and the BOMs driven by revision numbers would be especially appealing for formal engineering organizations familiar with similar formal structures.
  2. Strong with complex inventory needs. Companies that require multiple attributes that need to be part of the planning and MRP, such as metal, fastener, automotive, and aerospace, would find Epicor to be appealing.
  3. Microsoft look-and-feel. Epicor has a very similar look and feel to Microsoft ERP products, providing you with the same experience but with much deeper last-mile capabilities where other products might struggle.
  1. Global financial operations. Unlike larger products that might support more than three layers of financial hierarchies, such as corp, subsidiary, entity, and business units, the limited number of layers would operationally inefficient workarounds, such as using sub-accounts for such traceability.
  2. Embedded experience with field service and quality. Despite recent acquisitions, the field service capabilities are not as embedded and proven as some of the other products on this list.
  3. Weak ecosystem and marketplace. Epicor takes a suite approach to its products while selling directly to its customers. This limits the overall consulting and marketplace penetration.

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Engineer-to-order manufacturing stands out due to its intricate blend of make-to-order and project manufacturing, coupled with complexities like field service and configure-to-order processes. Unlike make-to-stock businesses, which face challenges primarily in supply chain planning and demand forecasting, engineer-to-order operations grapple with complexities in estimation, engineering, and procurement processes. Selecting the perfect engineer-to-order manufacturing ERP system particularly demands a thorough evaluation of transactions and workflows. Opting for an incompatible system might result in implementation hurdles. While this list offers valuable insights, seeking advice from an independent ERP consultant can greatly enhance your implementation success.


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