Manufacturing Information Systems assist companies in creating artificial intelligence that simply cannot be acquired through other methods. These multi-use systems are integral to many industries, including fashion, manufacturing, printing, packaging, hotel and hospitality, construction, transportation, and more. Let’s review the basics of MIS and then discuss the top 10 software products on the market.


What is MIS?

Manufacturing Information Systems are powerful software platforms capable of tracking the progress of raw materials into finished goods. An integrated MIS enables the control of multiple variables—from inputs to support services, to machines, and personnel—in real time so that management both on the ground and in head offices can optimize production and eliminate inefficiencies. These systems do the essential work of providing key decision makers the information they need to facilitate the smooth functioning of operations and to enhance productivity. So how can MIS help your company?


The Benefits of MIS

The number of ways in which MIS can assist your company is virtually unlimited. These information management systems are highly adaptable to industry and user needs, so the ways in which MIS may serve your particular industry are varied.

Benefits of MIS implementation might include:

  • Streamlined product production
  • Reduced costs, waste, and re-work
  • Increased efficiency in set-up times
  • Assessment of correct order priority
  • Assignment and reassignment of inventory as necessary
  • Evaluation of optimal times to turn machines on and off
  • Scheduling and rescheduling equipment
  • Embedding best practices
  • Improving reaction time within the supply change management process
  • Making and measuring parts
  • Assigning personnel
  • Moving inventory from one workstation to another
  • Managing suppliers
  • Embedding lean and six sigma thinking into your manufacturing process
  • Improving efficiency
  • Increasing transparency in record-keeping processes
  • Audit preparation
  • Increasing total output


Comparing The 10 Best Manufacturing Information Systems

While MIS affords companies multiple benefits, the right system for each company will depend on your company’s specific needs. We have gathered the top 10 MIS options and a summary of their pros and cons.

1. E2 Shop System
Pros: Designed specifically for job shops and make-to-order manufacturers

  • User friendly and easy to use
  • Ability to enter information on the fly

Cons: Some reports give too much information

  • Reports need more options to customize the experience
  • Does not include project management, HR management, or distribution management

Cost (one time): $4,995

2. Arena PLM
Pros: Enables engineering and manufacturing teams to extend their supply chains

  • Simplifies billing of materials
  • Solution for companies of all sizes
  • Balance of flexibility and control
  • HIPAA compliant

Cons: Offers limited reporting

  • Works only for specific needs in a specific industry

Cost: $79/per person/per month on average + annual subscription

3. EnterpriseIQ MES
Pros: User friendly

  • Real time makes it easy to manage what’s going on at any given moment
  • Traceability

Cons: BOM architecture is limited

  • Limited report options

Cost: Yearly maintenance contract and monthly fee based on number of users and industry

4. Fishbowl Manufacturing Software
Pros: Excellent customer support

  • Simple, intuitive software

Cons: Limited capabilities

  • Limited flexibility

Cost: $4,395 (one time)

5. Exact JobBOSS Software
Pros: Easy to learn

  • Flexible database

Cons: Allows users to delete data which can affect audit trails

  • Reports could be more complex

Cost: Numerous subscription models depending on modules chosen; starts at $70 per month

6. Datacor Chempax Software
Pros: Can handle a wide range of information

  • Can export to Excel
  • Ability to copy orders
  • Specific to the chemical industry

Cons: Reporting can be difficult to learn

  • Sales reports are limited
  • Specific to the chemical industry

Cost: $4,000 per user (one time)

7. Global Shop Solutions One-System ERP
Pros: All-inclusive

  • Includes payroll and accounting functions
  • Flexible product

Cons: Interface is confusing

  • Hard to learn
  • Too many capabilities

Cost: Varies based on users/industry/modules chosen

8. abas ERP
Pros: Can watch flow of purchase order

  • Excellent search capabilities
  • Easy to link to other databases

Cons: Source coding is in German

  • Training modules are confusing
  • You can’t void, delete, or make corrections after posting

Price: $50,000 (one time)

9. ECi M1
Pros: Very intuitive

  • Allows companies to tweak many features to their specific needs
  • Integrates well with other programs

Cons: Slow performance

  • Initial data conversion can be tricky
  • Scrap tracking is difficult

Price: $10,000 – $250,000 depending on version (one time)

10. QT9 Quality Management
Pros: Custom configuration is simple

  • Offers excellent traceability
  • Adjustable pricing structure

Cons: Vendor management system lacks functionality

  • Excessive emails
  • Training modules are inflexible

Price: $1,200 (one time)


MIS vs. Document Management Software

At this stage, you may be left wondering: How does MIS differ from Document Management Software (DMS)? While these systems are not the same, they offer business solutions that, when used together, can streamline operations.

MIS tracks multiple variables to furnish decision makers with the information needed to manage production and operations. However, MIS does not offer a centralized means for company employees to access and organize that information. Document Management Software, on the other hand, does precisely that. DMS focuses on allowing companies to securely save and share documents, either directly to a company’s servers or to a Cloud. This means that DMS can offers users the ability to save and remotely access MIS reports as well as the parts that come together to create the reports. When the two systems are used in tandem, DMS allows users to securely access, share, and organize crucial data compiled by an MIS.

Want to learn more about the ways in which DMS can assist you? Fill out the form on this page.