- 1. ProjectManager.com — Best for manufacturing-specific features
- 2. ProofHub — Best for product launch and delivery tools
- 3. Netsuite OpenAir — Best for professional services automation
- 4. Project Insight — Best for ease of use and scalability
- 5. Optessa — Best for advanced production planning and scheduling
- 6. ProductDossier — Best for pre-configured business processes
- 7. Workzone — Best for built-in document management
- 8. FactoryFour — Best for a complete manufacturing execution system
- 9. monday.com — Best for a flexible workflow builder
- 10. Kintone — Best for creating custom business apps for any process
Having the right manufacturing project management software is vital to the efficiency of your operation and the productivity of your people. As a project manager in the manufacturing sector, I’m certain that you know just how much a slight miscommunication or miscalculation can affect your production.
Below, you’ll find my concise assessment of the best manufacturing project management software currently in the market. I’ve written a summary of each software product’s core features, my main reasons for including it in the list, and its pricing and trial information.
What is Manufacturing Project Management Software?
Manufacturing project management software is a digital tool that helps you plan, staff, execute, and monitor manufacturing projects from start to finish. These products are generally used by project managers and other team members in the manufacturing industry, keeping everyone aligned on a project’s goals, tasks, milestones, and timelines. Features like Kanban boards and Gantt charts allow you to track a project’s progress. Resource management tools like timesheets and drag-and-drop scheduling help you manage your team members.
ProjectManager is a user-friendly, web-based project management tool that’s tailored specifically for manufacturing teams.
Why I picked ProjectManager: I added this software to my list because it’s easy to use and offers all the essential project management features. It comes with a full suite of work view options, including Kanban boards, calendar views, list views, and Gantt charts. But what’s really great about it is that it’s designed with manufacturing teams in mind. For example, the supply chain management capabilities let you oversee project resources and ensure you have the raw materials needed. Workers can submit timesheets from the shop floor, and the software tracks workloads to ensure efficient resource allocation.
ProjectManager Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include its user-friendly workflow automation capabilities. You can set workflow descriptions, transitions, and approvals with a simple drop-down menu, and implement triggers and actions to complete your workflow. Permission access can also be configured to ensure only the right people can update statuses on each workflow. No coding is required, so you can quickly get your automated workflow up and running no matter your technical expertise.
Integrations include Slack, Trello, Jira, Microsoft Project, Office 365, Excel, and Exchange. You can also connect the software to a paid Zapier account to configure additional integrations.
- Highly customizable
- Detailed project planning and budgeting
- Easy to implement
- May be too complex for some teams Team plan is limited to 10 users
- May be too complex for some teams
ProofHub is a product management software that offers team collaboration, reporting, and accessibility features.
Why I picked ProofHub: This software is a good choice for product development teams that include proofing stages as part of their production process. You can plan your projects, assign tasks, and allocate resources through the platform, but the real reason I picked it is because of its launch and delivery capabilities. Concept launches and product launches can be managed, and the proofing tool allows team members to exchange feedback and notes on new products.
ProofHub Standout Features and Integrations
Some standout features include the level of detail you can go into when planning projects. You can set up project categories and assign specific project managers to each project. At the task level, you can create unique task IDs to differentiate one task from another, set dependencies between tasks, and add subtasks to break work down into smaller pieces. Employees get a daily agenda in the platform, and you can see a detailed history of completed tasks so no details slip through the cracks.
Integrations include Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and Dropbox. An API is also available for building custom integrations.
- Flat-rate pricing structure, unlimited users
- Good balance of simplicity and functionality
- Quick and easy setup
- No freemium version
- Lacks budgeting capabilities
NetSuite OpenAir is a cloud-based project management solution tailored for professional services automation (PSA).
Why I picked NetSuite OpenAir: This cloud-based suite can support the entire project delivery lifecycle, and provides a spreadsheet-style overview of projects in progress. In addition to project management, the software also has a robust set of features for professional service providers. Project budgeting, expense management, time and resource tracking, and advanced billing and invoicing are all included. You can also automate the billing process to alleviate the manual workload and mitigate human error.
NetSuite OpenAir Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include the platform’s built-in project status reporting capabilities. These updates help you see if your project is on track or at risk, monitor project expenses, and ensure important deadlines are met. The software also has project templates available to speed up planning. Templates include standardized delivery plans, tasks and other details.
Integrations include Microsoft Dynamics SCR, Microsoft Project, Outlook, and other Oracle and NetSuite products. Other integrations include Sage MAS, QuickBooks, Epicor, Accpac and Sage Pro (SBT), and Peachtree.
- Accessibility with mobile app
- Smart automation rules
- Comprehensive resource management
- Implementation fee for initial setup
- No free trial available
Project Insight is a project management software that centralizes all your projects, tasks, collaborative work, and workflows.
Why I picked Project Insight: One of the main reasons I picked this software for my list is just how user-friendly it is. The interface is really easy to use, but also adaptable and scalable enough to suit various types of projects, teams, and business models, regardless of complexity. You can easily plan and track your projects as well as your resource utilization, ensuring no one is over- or under-worked. It also has portfolio management capabilities like intelligent scheduling, capacity planning, time tracking, budgeting, and reporting tools.
Project Insight Standout Features and Integrations
The software’s standout features are all the pieces that make it so integrated with your broader IT ecosystem. Its out-of-the-box integrations, REST API, and automation capabilities are all tailored to provide exceptional connectivity with your other tools. You can aggregate work from your HR software, warehouse management solution, support management platform, DevOps tools, financial software, and your CRM. This makes your project management process and workflows more connected than ever.
Integrations include Jira, QuickBooks, Zendesk Support and Sell, Salesforce, Trello, Office 365, Google Drive, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Microsoft Project, and Azure DevOps, among others.
- Unlimited users with freemium plan
- Highly scalable and customizable
- User-friendly dashboards with clean visualizations
- Some users report glitches
- Configuration process can be cumbersome
Optessa is an advanced planning and scheduling platform that provides AI-driven solutions for production planning, production scheduling, and production sequencing.
Why I picked Optessa: This software is tailored for manufacturing companies with multiple plants and lines producing high-volume products. I included it on my list because of its features that help you manage your supply chain and optimize production costs, in addition to its robust project management capabilities. Its attribute-based planning and configurable constraint definitions can provide you with the kind of flexibility you need to model your production, supplier, and logistic limits.
Optessa Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include the software’s patented production sequencing algorithms. Sequencing rules for different assembly lines are plentiful and they can often vary, and these rules can help reduce production costs while maximizing the average assembly line speed. You can also set up automations for re-planning and re-scheduling processes as needed, based on specific events. This makes for real-time optimizations within your production processes.
Integrations include Microsoft Azure, SAP Analytics Cloud, Oracle APEX, Google Cloud, Microsoft SQL Server, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), among others.
- Comprehensive out-of-the-box functionality
- Excellent output quality with optimal scheduling
- Supports multiple penalty function types
- Runtimes can be long
- Doesn’t support instruction-independent quality metric
ProductDossier is a professional services automation (PSA) platform with enterprise-level, low-code tools to automate and digitize business processes, including project management.
Why I picked ProductDossier: I added this software to my list because of its pre-configured business process templates for various project workflows, and the built-in ‘business rule engine’ to customize as needed. These templates can even help you manage change requests from clients. In addition to these project management capabilities, the software offers opportunity and proposal management, time and leave management, quality and compliance, and product development tools.
ProductDossier Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features are mostly around the software’s built-in file management capabilities. It’s capable of both managing your files, but also digitizing your existing documents. Proposals, project charters, and other important documents can be collaborated on and prepared within the platform. You can search through your content library and copy content as needed.
Integrations include Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, QuickBooks, Tally, and Office 365, among others.
- GDPR and SOC compliant
- Well-suited to professional services teams and companies
- Highly configurable pre-configured business processes
- Comes with a learning curve
- No free trial available
Workzone is a robust project management platform. It also offers time tracking, task and resource management, customizable reporting, and document management functionalities.
Why I picked Workzone: This project management platform has all the essential features you’d expect. You can use Gantt charts for a high-level view of project progress and individual to-do lists to keep employees on task. But the platform’s built-in file management system is particularly noteworthy, which is why I’ve included it in my list. It comes with file versioning, commenting, and approval workflows. Documents can be exchanged and managed in the software’s secure environment, keeping project planning and collaboration on the same platform.
Workzone Standout Features and Integrations
One standout feature is the image markup tool included in the software’s file management module. On PDF and image files alike, users can add comments and images to collaborate and communicate on documents. Communications are all documented and stored, making version histories clear and comprehensive. You’ll have a full understanding of how, why, and when documents have been updated or revised.
Integrations include Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, Toggl, Jira, GitHub, Salesforce, Hubspot, Office 365, and QuickBooks Online, among others
- Unlimited training and support
- Comprehensive reports and analytics
- Lots of integrations available
- No free trial available
- No monthly billing option
FactoryFour is a cloud-based manufacturing execution system (MES) tailored for production scaling, tracking, and execution.
Why I picked FactoryFour: This software can be used to configure, capture, and analyze your business operations, including project management, but it also does a lot more than that. I added it to my list because of how it simplifies production planning. You can use the platform’s integrated capacity planning, prioritization, and even real-time production order tracking to inform how you manage your manufacturing processes. You can also set up standardized operating procedures to ensure things run smoothly and consistently.
FactoryFour also provides control to manufacturers, allowing them to enforce process compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) and keep track of every expected production event and unexpected incidents with traceability, simplifying the auditing process. The solution also optimizes order execution by providing tools that you can use to digitally monitor the progress of orders and the production KPIs. FactoryFour allows you to automate scheduling in real time, using configurable logic that is tailored to your production and distribution schedule changes.
FactoryFour Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include activity tracking, which helps you monitor production statuses and KPIs from a management dashboard. The dashboard is updated directly by operators and personnel on the production floor, providing visibility to those not on the floor. Another cool feature is how the software monitors unexpected events and incidents. This traceability helps you mitigate risks, correct errors, and simplifies your auditing process.
Integrations can be custom-built using the software’s API.
- Robust, comprehensive solution
- Industrial-grade data security and compliance
- Simple and strategic implementation experience
- No free trial or free version available
- Pricing details are not transparent
monday.com is a well-known work management platform that helps you manage your goals and objectives, projects and business workflows, and individual tasks.
Why I picked monday.com: I chose this platform because its workflow builder is highly flexible, and can be customized to suit various business processes. The software comes with multiple task and project views, and custom fields to set up your workflows in a way that truly reflects your processes. Workflows can also be automated, and there are ready-made templates available to get you started. All of this is done in a simple, intuitive drag-and-drop interface, making the platform friendly to non-technical users.
monday.com Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include the goals and strategy tools that help you maintain a high-level view of the broader objectives that projects are contributing to. You can establish company-wide goals, and build out action plans on how you’ll attain them. Projects and tasks can be linked directly to your goals. Another great feature is the ability to allocate resources based on capacity, and collaborative document management.
Integrations include Slack, Google Drive, DocuSign, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more. You can also connect to thousands of additional apps via Zapier.
- Wide range of monitoring capabilities
- Focus on easy scaling and collaboration
- Long list of integrations
- Gantt charts not available in lower-tier plans
- Pricing rubric is somewhat complex
Kintone is a workflow management software that can be customized to fit the needs of just about any production team, regardless of the size or complexity of their projects.
Why I picked Kintone: Kintone has a unique and interesting approach to manufacturing project management. It allows you to design and create no-code, customized business applications to manage various aspects of your operations. As such, the tool can be used for everything from project management to creating a customer database, managing equipment, running expense reports, collecting product feedback, and more. Its simple drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to build and automate unique workflows to suit your business needs.
Kintone Standout Features and Integrations
One standout feature is the large selection of elements you can add to your workflows. You can choose from dropdown menus, rich text fields, date fields, and number fields with built-in calculations to create your business processes. Another great feature is the platform’s project-tracking capabilities. You can filter and prioritize tasks based on various data fields when generating custom dashboard views and reports.
Integrations include QuickBooks, HubSpot, Salesforce, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Gmail, Slack, Outlook, Tableau, and Mailchimp. You can configure additional integrations with Zapier (available with the premium plan) or using the software’s API.
- Highly customizable
- Flexible pricing with special deals
- Easily generate data reports
- Limited storage with all plans
- No single-user plan
Best for manufacturing-specific features
30-day free trial
|From $16/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for product launch and delivery tools
14-day free trial
|From $50/month||Visit Website|
Best for professional services automation
|From $399 per user per month||Visit Website|
Best for ease of use and scalability
|From $3/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for advanced production planning and scheduling
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best for pre-configured business processes
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best for built-in document management
Offer free trials
|From $24/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for a complete manufacturing execution system
No free trial or free version is available
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best for a flexible workflow builder
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Visit Website|
Best for creating custom business apps for any process
30-day free trial
|From $24/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for a high level of customization
Best for small client-facing businesses and teams
Best for creating secure project databases
Best for low-code workflow automation
Best for data-driven project management
- Zoho Projects
Best for easy-to-use work allocation tools
Best for scheduling and time management
Selection Criteria for the Best Manufacturing Project Management Software
To build this top 10 list, I started with a wide range of manufacturing project management software for manufacturing with positive user ratings. I then narrowed it down by evaluating each platform based on the criteria I’ve outlined below. As I researched each tool, I also used my years of experience in project management to look for features that especially add value.
Here’s a summary of the main selection criteria I used to narrow down my list of the best project management software for manufacturing:
To make it onto my list, the software must have project management tools. That includes project planning, task management, and the ability to monitor progress. Gantt charts and Kanban boards are common, as are task lists, milestones, and timelines.
Beyond being a project management tools, here are some specific features I looked for in the software I evaluated:
- Resource planning tools: Resource allocation for both human and non-human resources, scheduling workers based on skills and capacity, and forecasting future needs.
- Automation tools: Automated workflows, automated production scheduling, task automation, automated data entry, etc.
- Financial management: Tools like invoicing, budget management, profitability estimates, and other ways to keep tabs on project financials.
- Business intelligence: Analytics and reporting tools to help you monitor productivity, profitability, and other core business metrics.
- Mobile app: The ability to access the platform from a mobile device makes for better adoption among on-premise workers.
I prioritized project management software that’s user-friendly with clear modules and navigation. Especially in the manufacturing industry, you don’t want a clunky user interface to threaten your production workflows or lead to costly missed steps or mistakes. Usability was a top consideration as I selected work management solutions for my list. I also kept an eye out for friendly features like customizable templates and drag-and-drop scheduling.
Many of these platforms integrate with other manufacturing software and SaaS tools. Common integrations include manufacturing execution systems (MES), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. APIs are also frequently available to build custom integrations. I’ve added lists of each software’s available integrations in my overviews.
The cost of project management software for manufacturing can vary. The platforms on this list range from as little as $3 per user per month to upwards of $50 per user per month. Some providers will also charge a flat rate per month, or have optional add-ons at an additional cost. I’ve added pricing information and information about free trials and free plans in my overviews and comparison chart.
Why should I use a manufacturing project management tool?
What other types of software do manufacturing companies use?
Manage Your Manufacturing Projects More Effectively
When it comes to software solutions, there’s no one-size-fits-all. That’s why it’s important to identify the key features that will most benefit your specific use case. With any luck, you found the perfect manufacturing project management software for your needs in my list! But if not, hopefully you have the information you need to make an informed decision with confidence.
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