When it comes to shopping for job shop software, you owe it to yourself and your company to hear what others are saying about the many options out there. There are some helpful third-party sites that I’ll address in future blog articles, but for now allow me to focus on the Software Advice, and author Derek Singleton’s Manufacturing Software BuyerView 2013, an overview of manufacturing software buyer motivations.
Software Advice is a good place to start to find purchase options and read independent reviews of the industry’s leading software solutions for job shops and contract manufacturers.
Singleton, one of the many researcher/editors who comprise the business information clearinghouse that is Software Advice, compiled the buyers’ report and has created a handy online guide for buyers of manufacturing software. Whether you’re involved on the front-end of a software purchase decision or negotiating the final contract, you might find these tools helpful. The buyers’ report, software listings and ratings, recommendations and reviews are presented in an easy-to-follow format.
So many manufacturing software options for job shops
With, at my last count, dozens of job shop/manufacturing software providers out there, not every software solution is right for every shop. Singleton’s Software Advice column uses a friendly rating system to show their subscribed vendors. Then it points shoppers to a personal consultation where a member of the SA team discovers customer requirements and then plays matchmaker to determine a good fit with software providers.
In addition to the Manufacturing Software BuyerView 2013 report, Derek and his staff have compiled a comprehensive buyers’ guide to help job shop owners get their arms around the manufacturing software purchase decision-making process. The Software Advice buyer’s guide offers up some great advice, including:
- Prioritize your software requirements
- Narrow your vendors to a short list
- Evaluate live demos
- Verify reference
- Review software license agreements
Apples to apples. Dollars and cents.
Because it’s not always easy to sift through all the capabilities and many features available from one supplier to the next, part of Derek’s website includes access to a manufacturing software price comparison tool. This helps you calculate a side-by-side comparison of total cost of ownership for each system you consider by factoring in the costs of software, support, hardware, etc.
And if you’re interested in another industry or category, Software Advice also offers specific software guides for MRP, manufacturing execution and accounting, production planning and scheduling, inventory management, quality management, supply chain management, supplier relationship management, human resources, customer management. Software Advice also serves non-job shop industries such as aerospace, apparel, chemical, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, engineer-to-order, process and discrete manufacturing.
Understand that while Singleton and his colleagues of industry analysts present this website and others with a commitment to researching their categories with diligence and objectivity, Software Advice is third-party lead-qualification service. As such, it marries software customers’ need for info with software providers’ – like Shoptech’s E2 – desire to generate demand. What’s more, the service Software Advice provides is free to software buyers. When SA makes a good match between a buyer and software vendor, it receives compensation from the software vendor.
Remember, while it’s still very important to perform your due diligence and contact individual software vendors and their customers themselves, check out Software Advice if you’re just starting out on your quest for job shop software or need that second opinion as you narrow your choices.