Top 10 Project Manufacturing ERP Systems in 2024

Top 10 Project Manufacturing ERP Systems In 2024

Project Manufacturing Companies: Project manufacturing, situated at the convergence of manufacturing, construction, and professional services, presents distinct challenges. While engineer-to-order setups may share similarities, pure project manufacturing entails highly specialized processes necessitating tailored workflows. These business models, often engaged in long-term deals, heavily emphasize estimation, quoting, and marketing automation. Industries falling within this realm include sign manufacturing, architectural firms, and environmental consulting with manufacturing components. Companies executing intricate projects without complex engineering, yet distinct from pure consulting firms, fall under the project manufacturing umbrella.

Project Manufacturing Business Processes: The project manufacturing process commences with an extensive sales cycle, often necessitating multiple site visits to finalize deals and initiate project fulfillment. Unlike engineering-intensive projects, these ventures typically involve specialized sales consultants rather than mechanical or electrical engineers. Resource allocation in project manufacturing mirrors consulting firms, with highly specialized personnel scheduled individually rather than in bulk. However, akin to traditional manufacturing setups, these organizations may also have less specialized resources that can be scheduled collectively.

Top 10 Project Manufacturing ERP Systems in 2024

Project Manufacturing ERP Needs: ERP systems tailored for project-manufacturing firms prioritize WBS-centric processes, bolstered by robust project manager workflows featuring approval flows. Strong project management capabilities include advanced features like revenue recognition and milestone billing. These systems seamlessly integrate various components such as engineering, manufacturing, service, and maintenance within the same project framework, eliminating the need for ad-hoc arrangements. Curious about the top project manufacturing ERP systems for 2024? Let’s delve into the details.

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  • Definition of a project manufacturing company. These companies in the project manufacturing ecosystem include manufacturers that are heavily project-based with WBS-focused workflows but may not be as involved with their engineering in a variety of industries, including architecture and engineering, event management, environmental services, sign manufacturing, and lighting companies. The list considers companies of all sizes in this ecosystem.
  • Overall market share/# of customers. The higher marketshare among project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing-centric SMBs, offering robust mobile-native capabilities atop the Salesforce platform. Most project manufacturing organizations are likely to be heavy users of Salesforce due to the longer sales cycle. They also might have their sales team involved during the operational phases due to the high-touch nature of these projects. The unified experience across sales and operations platforms provided by Rootstock would help project manufacturing organizations. Thus, ranking at #10 on our list of top project 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 project manufacturing 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 processes of project manufacturing organizations.
  3. WBS-centric manufacturing capabilities. The detailed WBS-centric manufacturing capabilities are essential for project manufacturing organizations, and not only financial activities but operational activities are equally critical.
  1. Finance and accounting. Rootstock’s core ERP capabilities are not as robust as those of other manufacturing ERP systems. Their accounting capabilities will be especially limited with revenue recognition and milestone billing.
  2. Reliance on third-party quality module. Depending upon the vertical that project manufacturing organizations might serve and based on the architectural requirements, several add-ons may be required. Rootstock’s reliance on third-party modules may cause communication challenges, posing 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.


While IQMS is more suitable for engineer-to-order and plastic-centric companies, it might be a fit for project manufacturing companies with the flavors of plastic or engineer-to-order business models. Although the core project manufacturing processes and integrations might not be as strong as a system designed for project manufacturing, the other processes are likely to be stronger for companies with slightly more diverse business models. Thus, contributing to its placement at #9 among project manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Strong for project manufacturing companies with the flavors of engineer-to-order and plastic manufacturing. Project manufacturing companies with diverse business models requiring plastic-centric as well as engineer-to-order capabilities would find DELMIAWorks compelling.
  2. Best for project manufacturing 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. Last-mile capabilities – The biggest benefit of DELMIAWorks is the last-mile capabilities that are built as part of the product, which would require substantial consulting effort on other platforms.
  1. Limited focus. The limited focus might be a challenge for project manufacturing companies diversifying their operations and being active with M&A cycles. 
  2. Limited ecosystem. The consulting base is extremely limited, with most resellers being CAD companies and 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 project manufacturing manufacturers, it’s not the best fit for companies requiring diverse mixed-mode manufacturing capabilities or companies with complex business models.

8. Acumatica

Acumatica is uniquely suitable for project manufacturing organizations with its robust project management capabilities, which are well integrated with revenue recognition and milestone billing processes. While Acumatica can support both financial milestones and operational tasks as part of its projects, the project management capabilities are not as detailed as WBS-centric processes. Thus, ranking at #8 among the top project manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Rich projects with embedded rich financial and procurement processes. Acumatica projects capture operational tasks along with financial milestones, following logical structure across the screens, making them highly scalable for project manufacturing companies.
  2. Support for rich CRM and estimation processes. Acumatica has strong support for CRM and estimation processes that would be friendlier for startups and modern teams expecting to be used to and expect cloud-native experience from their ERP systems.
  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 project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing companies aiming to streamline their inventory with an ERP.
  3. Multiple add-ons may be required for Project Manufacturing manufacturing. Requires several third-party add-ons, such as MES, PLM, and quality, posing integration and communication challenges.

7. Oracle Cloud ERP

Oracle Cloud ERP is uniquely positioned for project-centric manufacturing companies with a strong focus on project management and service-centric verticals. It’s especially strong in industries such as construction and the public sector, where they have last-mile capabilities,  generally requiring substantial consulting efforts on other platforms. It is also strong with its last-mile capabilities in verticals such as media and telecom manufacturing, where large telecom equipment needs to be manufactured along with the unique quoting and estimation processes of telecom industries. Thus, securing its rank at #7 on our list among the top project manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Robust finance capabilities for large, global project manufacturers. Capabilities include having five layers of GL restrictions, multiple layers of sub-ledgers, and book closing requirements across divisions, especially relevant for larger project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing integrations. The last-mile capabilities and specialized integrations are relevant to project manufacturing businesses that might require third-party ERP add-ons.
  2. It’s not necessarily a manufacturing solution. Oracle Cloud ERP’s concentration in manufacturing businesses is limited, making this vertical a lower priority for Oracle compared to service-centric organizations.
  3. Overwhelming for SMB project manufacturing manufacturers. The enterprise data model and financial layers might be overwhelming for SMB project manufacturers.


Targeting large global project manufacturing companies, its product model is capable of handling large project structures and supporting other manufacturing modes equally well, 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 the top project manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Enterprise product designed for project manufacturing centric companies. The item master, product model, and inventory are especially friendly for project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing businesses, such as CAD, PLM, configurator, etc, would require third-party ERP add-ons.

5. Infor CloudSuite LN

Infor CloudSuite LN is a comprehensive manufacturing ERP solution that combines the best of the most focused manufacturing solutions, especially project manufacturing managing large programs, including WBS-based workflows, as well as distribution-focused capabilities for their parts business. Besides being comprehensive, it also has project manufacturing-specific last-mile capabilities and pre-baked integrations such as PLM, CAD, CPQ, and more. Thus, securing its rank at the #5 position on our list of the top project manufacturing ERP systems.

  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 project manufacturing manufacturers exploring global financial and operational synergies. 
  2. Last-mile capabilities along with breadth of capabilities for diversified manufacturing business models. Project manufacturing verticals require deeper core 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 project 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 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.

4. IFS

Targeting larger project manufacturing organizations, IFS is a great solution for 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 #4 on our list of top project manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Unique program architecture tailored to track the costs of large project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing companies active with M&A cycles. 
  2. Limited ecosystem. Its presence and install base are still limited 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 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 project manufacturing enterprises.

3. Epicor Kinetic

Epicor Kinetic targets small-to-mid-size project manufacturing manufacturers specializing in industries with formal manufacturing processes and complex inventory needs, such as automotive, aerospace, metal, fabrication, and medical devices. Besides being equipped with strong mixed-mode manufacturing capabilities, it is also strong with WBS-centric processes, which are generally weaker in other similar smaller ERP systems. Thus, securing its rank at #3 among the top project 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. Project manufacturing 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 dynamics 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.

2. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a great fit for project manufacturing organizations with its strong focus on project manufacturing and less on core manufacturing processes. This is especially relevant for organizations that care for the operational side of project management than the manufacturing, engineering, or financial side of the project management. Microsoft Dynamics 365 BC might not be the best fit for companies that are strong in manufacturing with complicated BOMs and aim to manage their project manufacturing processes without requiring add-ons. Thus, ranking at #2 on this list of top project manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Designed for global companies. Natively supports global regions and localizations. Ideal fit for countries where other suite-centric solutions, Infor LN or Epicor, might not be present.
  2. Strong support for WBS-centric processes. Not only can it support financial milestones, but it can also support operational tasks and approval, which are critical for project manufacturing organizations.
  3. Marketplace and ecosystem. Augments core capabilities with a very vibrant marketplace, supporting diverse business models such as aerospace manufacturing or event management.
  1. Financial traceability and SOX compliance. It might not be the most Intuitive for finance leaders. The financial traceability may not be as intuitive as SAP for global, publicly traded service-centric companies.
  2. Technical focus and limited business consulting expertise in the Microsoft ecosystem. The ecosystem has technical companies but with limited business consulting experience, which might drive over-customization and overengineering of Microsoft products, ultimately leading to implementation failure.
  3. Limited Microsoft support for smaller partners. Unlike other ERP companies, Microsoft doesn’t offer any support or control to its smaller partners, leading to implementation issues because of the limited control over its channel.

1. 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 project manufacturing companies in these locations. Along with combining the depth in manufacturing, it also contains WBS-centric processes with approval flows necessary for project manufacturing companies that might equally deep operational side of the processes along with financial processes. Thus, securing the #1 spot among the top project manufacturing ERP systems.

  1. Richer core ERP capabilities for project manufacturing companies in the cloud. Compared to other solutions that might have superior layers for other service-centric verticals, such as Oracle Cloud ERP, MS Dynamics 365 F&O has a mature cloud version for project manufacturing companies.
  2. Best-of-breed products integrated at the database level. While Microsoft has best-of-breed ERP integration, such as CRM or field service, they might not be as directly relevant for project manufacturing companies but will be useful for project manufacturing 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 project manufacturing companies. The integration relevant for project manufacturing 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 AS9100, might require substantial consulting efforts.

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Project manufacturing distinguishes itself with intricate WBS-centric processes, differing from MRP or engineering-centric workflows. While MRP processes may play a role depending on manufacturing levels, they aren’t the primary focus. Instead, project management capabilities take precedence, offering robust features tailored to project-based operations, distinct from PSA-centric organizations. Choosing the right project manufacturing ERP system requires careful assessment of transactions and workflows. Selecting an unsuitable system could lead to implementation challenges. While this guide provides helpful insights, consulting an independent ERP consultant can significantly improve your implementation outcomes.


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