Capacity Planning Software

In the most basic terms, capacity planning systems help companies compare production loads with available capacity within a specific time frame. The process of planning for capacity helps avoid bottlenecks in production, which can impact the entire supply chain. With data about required materials, equipment availability and man hours and costs, the software is able to spread out production needs across available machine capacity in order to meet demand, on time.

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Showing 1 - 20 of 283 products
Showing 1 - 20 of 283 products

abas ERP

abas Business Software serves mid-market manufacturers in the Assemble-to-Order, Make-to-Order and Engineer-to-Order environment. abas ERP supports over 2,700 manufacturers and distributors and boasts a retention rate of 93%. ...Read more

4.01 (43 reviews)

1 recommendations

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S2K Enterprise

VAI’s is an independent software developer and the author of S2K Enterprise, an award winning cloud-based ERP solution utilized by customers operating across the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail, and service sectors, ...Read more

4.25 (8 reviews)

1 recommendations

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Jobscope is a cloud-based manufacturing solution that helps aerospace, electronics, industrial machinery, metals, automotive and high technology companies in enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions. Key modules of the solutio...Read more

4.33 (3 reviews)

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ShopVue is an on-premise shop floor control solution designed for job-centric discrete manufacturing businesses. It offers labor tracking production planning, machine monitoring, component control and time and attendance tracking ...Read more

4.13 (12 reviews)

1 recommendations

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IFS Applications

IFS Applications is an extensive software system that serves the needs of large and medium-sized manufacturers with order-driven and mixed-mode management tools and full integration capabilities....Read more

3.76 (25 reviews)

2 recommendations

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Deacom, an ECI Software Solution, is a comprehensive ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platform with a rich set of capabilities and extensibility designed for growing manufacturing and distribution businesses. All functionality s...Read more

3.63 (8 reviews)

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Decision Builder

Decision Builder ERP Software, with installations for businesses in over 60 different vertical markets in North America, primarily serves the diverse business needs of manufacturing distribution, and service providers....Read more

0.00 (1 reviews)

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Infor LN

From large, global, multi-site manufacturing enterprises to smaller, single-site organizations, Infor LN has capabilities designed to meet discrete manufacturers' needs. Infor LN is available on premise or in the cloud as CloudSui...Read more

3.91 (22 reviews)

1 recommendations

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BatchMaster ERP

BatchMaster Software offers process manufacturing software solutions for the food, chemical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Users can run the manufacturing application with QuickBooks, Sage 100&300, Microsoft Dynamic...Read more

4.80 (5 reviews)

2 recommendations

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Dynamics 365 Business Central

Supporting specialized functionality for distribution, manufacturing, government, and other industries, Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a highly customizable system that benefits from numerous partner-developed vertical extensions....Read more

3.78 (99 reviews)

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Software pricing tips

Read our Capacity Planning Software Buyers Guide

Subscription models

  • Per employee/per month: This model allows you to pay a monthly fee for each of your employees.
  • Per user/per month: Users pay a monthly fee for users—normally administrative users—rather than all employees.

Perpetual license

  • This involves paying an upfront sum for the license to own the software and use it indefinitely.
  • This is the more traditional model and is most common with on-premise applications and with larger businesses.

Rated best value for money

SCP 4.0

Companies adopting SCP 4.0 have reported up to 65% inventory reductions and annual savings over $2 million. This vendor managed inventory and demand planning solution provides great suggestions to keep inventory on target....Read more

4.39 (9 reviews)

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Expandable ERP

Expandable by Expandable Software, Inc. is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution designed for manufacturers of all sizes. It offers material requirement planning, production planning, accounting, business intelligence and...Read more

4.78 (23 reviews)

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Manufacturing & SFC

Transform your extensive manufacturing processes into easily accessible, efficient procedures. Geneva Systems offers GBMS-MRP & Manufacturing Execution software. bar code-based solution that enables you to electronically and ef...Read more

0.00 (1 reviews)

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E-Z-MRP is a manufacturing software solution for make-to-stock, make-to-order and batch process manufacturers. The system is used by a variety of manufacturers including automotive, aerospace, metals, electronics, industrial machi...Read more

4.00 (1 reviews)

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Made2Manage ERP

Aptean Industrial Manufacturing is designed for manufacturers in job shops and dynamic "to-order" and mixed-mode environments. It's suitable for SMB manufacturers in industries like industrial equipment, electronics and fabricated...Read more

3.42 (66 reviews)

7 recommendations

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With an integrated system that includes ERP, financials, commerce, inventory management, HR, PSA, supply chain management, CRM and more – NetSuite enables fast-growing businesses across all industries to work more effectively by a...Read more

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103 recommendations

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ECI M1 is a subscription-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, available on-premise or via the cloud, that automates financials, inventory, production, sales/quoting and production planning. The solution is suitable for...Read more

3.68 (66 reviews)

27 recommendations

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PRIMS or "Product Recipe Ingredient Management System" is recipe management software for programmable logic controller-based ingredient batching systems. It offers recipe management, batch management, inventory control, lot tracki...Read more

0.00 (1 reviews)

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ERP123 offers small and midsize manufacturers and distributors an ERP solution that automates and integrates business operations. This software allows the user to the organize their MRP, inventory management, picking and shipping,...Read more

4.50 (6 reviews)

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PBS Accounting

PBS Accounting is robust professional level accounting software that fits a wide range of businesses and grows with your company. The CashPoint version acts as back end accounting for multiple industry specific applications, inclu...Read more

4.52 (31 reviews)

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Popular Capacity Planning Software Comparisons

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 14, 2022

A wide variety of businesses must grapple with capacity management. Leaders can't simply drop a massive workload on employees and expect to meet a deadline without considering dozens of factors.

In manufacturing production, labor hours, raw materials, tools and equipment, storage and other resources must be carefully assessed before work even begins. All of these moving parts make up capacity—a critical element for production efficiency.

Software can assist companies in applying the complex algorithms to disparate aspects of production operations to meet demand seamlessly. This buyer's guide is designed to help you learn more about the capabilities of capacity planning systems.

We'll cover:

What Is Capacity Planning and Management Software?
Common Functionality of Capacity Planning and Management Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits of Capacity Planning and Management Software

What Is Capacity Planning and Management Software?

In the most basic terms, capacity planning systems help companies compare production loads with available capacity within a specific time frame. The process of planning for capacity helps avoid bottlenecks in production, which can impact the entire supply chain.

With data about required materials, equipment availability and man hours and costs, the software is able to spread out production needs across available machine capacity in order to meet demand, on time.

Capacity planning in Infor Visual ERP

Capacity planning in Infor Visual ERP

There are some important terms related to capacity planning:

  • Infinite vs. finite capacity planning. These are the foundational concepts of capacity planning—infinite capacity assumes no limits on resources needed to produce enough units to meet demand. However, finite capacity factors in the constraints involved in real-world production situations.

    For example, planners may know that a particular machine on a production line is only available for a maximum of, say, 10 hours during a normal shift. This is one kind of limitation that impacts capacity planning.

    Thus, capacity planning software helps by scheduling around real-time constraints and other conditions that can impact production, instead of simply planning based on a baseline capacity level.
  • Production load leveling. Demand isn't always constant for manufacturers. In the case of fluctuating demand, it's necessary to maintain a smooth production workflow, which may include shifting capacity to "level" production across a few days instead of packing it all into one, or by expanding capacity by adding extra shifts or utilizing external capacity to meet demand (by using another manufacturing plant, for example).


Common Functionality of Capacity Planning and Management Software

These systems only have a few individual components, but each one provides useful insights about how to arrange your available capacity to meet production goals. These features often include:

Calendar production view As orders come in, the system can place work into a schedule, and planners can view and edit schedules by dragging and dropping items on a calendar-style workflow chart.

Users can also set priority levels for work orders and assign the total capacity available each day.
Finite capacity management As mentioned above, this functionality allows the system to factor in other planned work schedules, inventory, man hours, material levels and other factors to optimize production plans.
Real-time capacity planning Users can make on-the-fly changes to work order schedules or priorities if problems occur during production, instead of resetting the entire plan.
Scenario testing and modeling Capacity planning tools can help users test unfavorable supply chain scenarios by entering various values to optimize contingency plans.
Reporting As a system is used over time, it collects loads of valuable data. Reporting tools can arrange and visualize that data so managers can identify trends in production and address issues.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Any software purchase comes with several considerations and questions to ask. Identifying the type of buyer you are helps answer many of those. Below are some of the most common buyer types:

ERP suite buyer. Enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) are complex platforms to assist manufacturers (and a wide variety of other types of businesses) by integrating data from all departments to gain a holistic view of operations. This software takes into account the many seemingly unrelated factors that can impact production schedules.

Many modern ERP systems offer capacity planning functionality, and use the wealth of collected data to predict potential issues in production that could impact capacity decisions.

MES buyer. Similarly, stand-alone manufacturing execution systems (MESs) typically offer a capacity planning component. Where an ERP gathers and analyzes information about an entire organization, an MES is hyper specific to that company's manufacturing process—maintaining production assets, dispatching production plans and improving quality of the finished product.

Since this type of software is so particular to the manufacturing type, it's often purchased by itself to integrate with an existing ERP. If you're buying an MES, you likely have the capacity planning functionality you need.

Make-to-order manufacturer. These types of companies begin production only after receiving a work order, so capacity planning is more crucial for these organizations than for those that continuously produce units.

In these situations, manufacturers have a short window to plan for capacity, but software can assist with leveling the load and factoring in other available resources necessary to meet production deadlines.

Benefits of Capacity Planning and Management Software

We've talked about the key benefit of automating the complex issue of capacity planning, but the software also offers some complementary benefits:

  • Optimize the use of assets. Especially for manufacturing plants with a variety of asset types, or different versions of the same type of asset, a capacity planning system can help prioritize jobs. This can lower production costs by shifting jobs to equipment that is less expensive to operate depending on the type and time frame of manufacturing.
  • Spot production bottlenecks. During capacity planning, the software can help identify specific assets or processes causing slowdowns or inefficiencies. The system's recommendations for prioritizing or spreading out work may reveal these bottlenecks.
  • Boost the useful life of assets. Because capacity planning helps level the workload, the tasks aren't placed solely on one or two machines, so assets and equipment are likely to operate a good condition for longer.


Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.