Small businesses always have to be careful about the investments they make. In the manufacturing industry, it’s about having the right tools to complete the job. For small manufacturers, it can be difficult to decide between purchasing new machinery or making an investment in software. The software selection process is never an easy one and with so many options out there, it can be hard to narrow down the choices.

Most small manufacturers are likely to start off running their business using a basic accounting package like QuickBooks or Sage Peachtree. These are great resources for most small businesses but they have limited functionality for the manufacturing industry. As such, most manufacturers will want to upgrade to a more sophisticated program, but one that is still affordable.

Two solutions are particularly well-suited to handle small manufacturers with few employees (50 or less). These solutions are Fishbowl Inventory and MISys. Both of these products can be used as add-ons to QuickBooks to handle the manufacturing specific parts of the operation.

Fishbowl Inventory is one of the most popular add-on’s to QuickBooks in the world and is known for having a very user friendly interface. The software is great for small manufacturers because the business can grow without having to change software. The system can serve manufacturers that make between $1 million and $100 million in revenue. Manufactuers will have to install the software on site but they will be able to access it through their favorite web browser so it is easy to use.

MISys has been around since 1979 and is currently supporting the operations of more than seven thousand manufacturers. Like Fishbowl inventory, the system is compatible with QuickBooks as well as Sage accounting products such as Simply Accounting. The manufacturing package allows modules to be purchased individually so you can customize what your business needs to run successfully. This is a great benefit as it will keep manufacturers from purchasing shelfware, or software that is never used and just sits on the “shelf.”

For more information on these and a few other systems, take a look at Derek Singleton’s article Small Business Manufacturing Software | 5 Affordable Options.

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