23/11/2022 ElanWave

How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Software Development Partner?

Choosing a partner company for manufacturing software development shouldn’t be taken lightly, as there are several types of manufacturing systems. The system you opt for depends primarily on what and how you manufacture it, as there are four dominant systems.
Firstly, there are continuous manufacturing systems that are essentially what you think of when you say manufacturing. The products move along the assembly line and workers man the stations along the way.

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Companies that aren’t interested in large investments in manufacturing prefer an intermittent manufacturing system that allows them to simultaneously produce multiple identical items.

Then there is the flexible manufacturing system, in which several automated machines (robots, really) produce large quantities of products over a relatively short time span.

Finally, we have the custom manufacturing system used for specific product lines. The custom system is the very opposite of the mass production system, as great detail is given to each product, usually handcrafted and thus unique. 

Making a list of requirements 

Now that you know the broader type of your manufacturing system, you are ready to team up with a software development company. During your initial meeting, you need to come forward with a list of clear requirements, sorted in the chart below:

Getting the Work

Executing the Work

Managing the Business

Optimizing the Team



Daily Reports

Goals / Scorecards


Time Entry

Job Costing



Material Tracking

Resource Planning

Exception Reporting

Work Orders

Shop Data Collection



Customer Updates

WIP Tracking



What can be done with custom manufacturing software?

Having discussed the requirement you have, the folks from the software development company will explain to you what to expect from their solution. Just to have a rough idea of what to expect, here are six aspects in which your IT partner can help.

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Management software for ordering and inventory

Once you partner up with a software provider, they will streamline your orders and make the inventory more efficient through a comprehensive management system.

Enhanced producing planning and reporting

After you start applying innovative production planning and reporting solutions, you will basically overhaul every stage of production, from capacity planning to scheduling.

Predicting maintenance costs

Importing historical and performance data into the right program enables the creation of AI models that can predict future costs, thus reducing maintenance, even in the short run.

Analysis of your customers’ shopping habits 

AI-based apps will improve customer services by documenting how customers interact with products and services. Based on this analysis, you can custom-tailor the manufacturing process to provide a personalized experience.

Products become truly smart

Speaking of AI-based models, they can be used to create smart products that constantly develop thanks to historical data analysis.

Integrating API into manufacturing solutions

When companies don’t want to build a solution from scratch, they can turn to integrating third-party API into manufacturing solutions. Some notable examples of such integration are data modeling, reporting software, and data mining.

Which business functions should a software solution improve?

Now that you know how to tweak custom management software, the final step before choosing a software development company to partner up with is to know exactly which business functions the software solution will improve.

Improving the manufacturing process

From automating daily processes to improving business communication, a reliable software solution should ultimately enable manufacturers to fulfill a wide range of customer needs.

By accessing real-time data, the manufacturer will be able to manage their resources better, thus optimizing cost and improving planning without jeopardizing customer satisfaction.

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Unburdening the HR folks

Moreover, automation allows companies to better manage human resources, as “chores” like hiring and payroll become integrated in the software development solution.

As the result, the HR department will have more time to deal with attracting and retaining talent, helping the company grow in the long run.

Automated inventorying

You would be surprised by the number of companies that still track warehouse inventory by hand. An all-encompassing software solution can solve this issue in an instant, as entering information becomes automated through the use of IoT, business intelligence, and various dashboards. Needless to say, this saves the company money, workforce, and time.  

Seamless product development

As we have seen already, a custom manufacturing system heavily relies on originality, which sometimes falls through the cracks of the fine weaving of the company’s structure.

This can be enhanced through a software solution that ensures seamless communication between designers and the production facility, for example. 

Smart factories

Speaking of production facilities, small batches related to custom management systems inevitably decrease production efficiency.

However, once a smart software solution is implemented, the setup cost decreases, as limited editions of products become as cost-efficient as mass-produced items. 

4 essential steps to building successful custom manufacturing software

Now that you know what are the requirements, area of use, and business functions of a successful custom manufacturing software, it’s time to chart out a path to it. Here are the 4 steps you’ll take together with the software development company:

1. Researching the market 

Performing market research should precede software development to get a better picture of the demand for the software, i.e. what functions are needed to outperform the competition. When done correctly, the software company will have clear user requirements to work with.

2. Identifying tech stack

The programmers’ next step will be to identify the tech stack for the particular software solution you require. Essentially, this is the combo of technologies needed for building and running the application/program. 

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3. Designing the software itself

Before they are ready to present you with the final product, your software development partner will first create user interfaces, which will help the end-user develop a feel of the new application.

4. Developing the software

The final stage of manufacturing software development is frontend and backend work, as well as thorough testing before it gets deployed on the main network. 


From driving optimal performance to accelerating operational impact, manufacturing software presents an integral section of any modern business. Since few companies can afford to develop it in-house, finding the right manufacturing software development partner is paramount and should be approached with utmost care.


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