11 Best Production Scheduling Software for Manufacturing Projects in 2024

ProjectManager

To deliver goods to market on time, manufacturing teams have to consider the supply chain, inventory management, resource planning and production planning, to name a few. Managing this juggling act requires production scheduling software that’s flexible and powerful.

The following is a list of the best production scheduling software in descending order. These 11 production scheduling software tools for manufacturing help you manage the production cycle, manufacturing operations, production capacity and much more. If you’re looking for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that can also manage your product scheduling, you’ve come to the right place. Before we list the best production scheduling software products, let’s define the term so we’re all on the same page.

What Is Production Scheduling Software?

Production scheduling software is a tool for manufacturers to help them plan and schedule production activities. It assists with resource utilization, managing the availability of raw materials, avoiding bottlenecks and more. There are many types of production scheduling software, from cloud-based to on-premise.

Production scheduling software is the most commonly used term to describe this type of software, but there are other terms that are used as well, such as production planning software, manufacturing scheduling software or production planning and scheduling software. Production scheduling software ensures that delays are minimized by streamlining tasks, creating effective production workflows and allocating and optimizing resources that lead to an efficient production schedule.

What Are the Best Production Scheduling Software Features?

The feature set may vary from one production scheduling solution to another and choosing the right software for you and your team depends on the industry you’re in as well as the methodologies you use to plan, schedule and manage your team’s work. Having said that, here are some key features you should look for when choosing production scheduling software.

  • Task & workflow management: In a nutshell, production scheduling is the process of creating a timeline for the execution of the tasks that are needed to manufacture a product. Tools like Gantt charts, kanban boards, to-do lists and calendars help production managers understand the order in which production tasks will be completed, what their due dates are, their completion status and who they’re assigned to.
  • Resource management: Allocating resources for the completion of production tasks is an important aspect of production scheduling. For this reason, production scheduling software should include features to facilitate the planning, scheduling and allocation of resources such as people, materials, equipment and machinery. Workload charts are an example of a feature that production scheduling software should include, as they help production managers split the amount of work to be done among employees.
  • Project management: The production process can be managed as a project as they share common elements such as timelines, resources, costs and stakeholders. Any production manager should be familiar with basic project management principles.
  • Cost tracking and budgeting: A production scheduling software should have features that allow production managers to keep track of the costs of each task. Features such as timesheets and cost dashboards allow them to measure their labor costs accurately throughout the production process.
  • Document management: There are several documents that are needed for managing the production process such as manufacturing orders, bills of materials, purchase orders and more. Choose production scheduling software with features such as unlimited file storage and file sharing.

11 Best Production Scheduling Software for Manufacturing

Now that we understand the meaning and scope of production scheduling software, let’s look at the top 11 options.

1. ProjectManagerProjectManager

ProjectManager is award-winning production scheduling software. It’s cloud-based, which means there’s minimal installation required. The software is well-designed with powerful scheduling features that place it at the top of our list for the best production scheduling software. Manufacturers will appreciate the full suite of tools for production planning and scheduling, managing and tracking production in real time. Plus, there’s a free 30-day trial so you can try out ProjectManager’s production scheduling features for yourself.

Manage Resources and Costs in Real Time

ProjectManager has powerful Gantt charts that are an essential tool for production scheduling. It links all four types of task dependencies to avoid costly production delays and bottlenecks. Both human and nonhuman resources and associated costs are captured in the Gantt chart as well. Once you’ve created a production schedule, the software allows you to set a baseline. This means you can now track the planned schedule against your actual schedule in real time to catch anomalies and reallocate resources to get you back on track.

Project management training video (9tjhryzghn)

Automate Production Workflows

Another plus is ProjectManager can create custom workflows that help move one activity into another and keep the production line moving. To further efficiency, there are automated workflows. You can add as many triggers as you want to automatically change the status, assignee and more.

Of course, quality control is an issue with automated workflows, but ProjectManager has added a task approval setting so that an authorized individual can inspect and approve the work before it moves forward in production. You can view the production workflow on kanban boards. ProjectManager has multiple project views so the schedule made on a Gantt chart reflects across all other views, such as the kanban, list, calendar, etc.

ProjectManager's kanban board
Dashboards for Tracking Production in Real Time

Tracking is key to production scheduling software. ProjectManager makes it easy to track all of your production projects in one place. Monitor budgets, progress, workload and more on one portfolio dashboard. Use filters to find just the data you need, and make sure all of your production schedules stay on track. No other software on this list offers such intuitive, yet powerful tracking features that work right out of the box.

Portfolio dashboard for tracking production schedules

Those are the features that make ProjectManager the best production scheduling software, but we didn’t even touch on how it excels at task management and risk management, including its real-time resource management and reporting features. Check out those and more by getting started with ProjectManager today for free.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Manufacturing Projects

ProjectManager Pros & Key Features

  • Workload charts for accurate resource utilization
  • Real-time dashboards and timesheets for cost and time tracking
  • Free 30-day trial
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS

ProjectManager Cons & Limitations

  • Doesn’t have built-in ERP tools, but integrates with Acumatica
  • Missing some manufacturing-specific features
  • Doesn’t have a free plan

ProjectManager Pricing

  • Team plan: $13/user/month
  • Business plan: $24/user/month
  • Enterprise plan: Contact sales

ProjectManager Reviews

  • G2 review: 4.4/5
  • Capterra review: 4.1/5

2. Monday.comMonday.com, one of the best production scheduling software

Monday.com promises to increase efficiency and accuracy while making it easier to manage internal and external orders. They have customized workflows that allow users to add and remove steps and add assignees. Workflows can be tailored to meet your production scheduling software requirements.

It allows users to manage all manufacturing processes in one place, adding visibility and notifications. There are features to track production processes, capture customer orders and requests, and even reporting tools and a variety of templates to help you get started.

Monday.com: Best Production Scheduling Software

Monday.com’s cost has been increasing and it’s getting to the point where it might no longer be worth the expense. Onboarding and training are difficult and customer support is distant. This gets worse the larger the project. Even the reporting features are limited. It’s really a task management tool and its automation, which is critical for production scheduling software, is confusing.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Collaboration

Monday.com Pros & Key Features

  • Easy-to-use task management boards
  • Workflow tools for manufacturing projects
  • Has a 14-day free trial
  • Has a mobile project management for Android and iOS

Monday.com Cons & Limitations

  • Limited project scheduling features, more geared towards task and workflow management
  • Cost-tracking features require a manual-intensive setup
  • Project dashboard features are limited

Monday.com Pricing

  • Basic: $8/user/month
  • Standard: $10/user/month
  • Pro: $16/user/month

Monday.com Reviews

  • G2 review: 4.7/5
  • Capterra review: 4.6/5

3. WrikeWrike, one of the best production scheduling software

Wrike isn’t necessarily the go-to tool for manufacturers; it’s more of a fit for marketers, digital agencies and professional services. However, it’s a simple, effective and collaborative project management solution that can help with certain aspects of production scheduling. Wrike has a project schedule template that can break down the larger production process into small actionable items. Then you can assign due dates and track progress. Additionally, you can use the built-in chat function, risk protection, and, in terms of production scheduling software, it monitors workloads and activities. It’s also easy to track progress, bill and invoice.

Wrike: Best Production Scheduling Software

However, Wrike has features, such as its Gantt chart, that aren’t intuitive. The kanban can only view tasks, not projects, and there’s no portfolio-level reporting for manufacturers who are running multiple projects. It mostly leans on its lists, but still requires a lot of time to understand how to use it as a production scheduling software. The automation features are poor, there aren’t many integrations and data and tasks can be hard to find.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Risk Protection

Wrike Pros & Key Features

  • Monitors workflows and activities
  • Helps track the progress of your team
  • Free 14-day trial
  • Mobile app available for Android and iOS

Wrike Cons & Limitations

  • The Gantt chart functionality is not ideal for production scheduling
  • Lack of resource management reports
  • Limited cost-tracking features

Wrike Pricing

  • Team plan: $9.80/user/month (2-user minimum)
  • Business plan: $24.80/user/month (5-user minimum)

Wrike Reviews

  • G2 review: 4.2/5
  • Capterra review: 4.3/5

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Master Production Schedule Template

Use this free Master Production Schedule Template for Excel to manage your projects better.

 

4. NetSuiteNetsuite, one of the best production scheduling software

NetSuite is production scheduling software with a task scheduler that has drag-and-drop scheduling capabilities. You can automatically schedule work orders as they’re created or when they reach a specific status. A manufacturing workbench is a single place to configure work, such as setting up runs, lag and hold time batch configuration, etc.

NetSuite: Best Production Scheduling Software

If you’re a manufacturer who makes products in batches, the tool has batch scheduling. A shop calendar defines when resources are available, but all this comes at a steep price that’s likely outside of what a manufacturer can afford to spend.

Not only is the pricing high, but it’s subject to change and that often happens just as you’re about to renew. For such complicated software, there’s little support. Of course, you can get additional support for an additional cost. If you want to customize reports, that’s not something that you can easily do. It might be all-in-one in terms of production scheduling software, but can you afford or even understand it?

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Scheduling Tasks

NetSuite Pros & Key Features

  • Batch-scheduling features
  • Manufacturing workbench configures work
  • Offers a free 14-day trial
  • Mobile app available for Android and iOS

NetSuite Cons & Limitations

  • Designed for large corporations with IT teams
  • Difficult to implement, steep learning curve which requires employee training
  • It’s an expensive software that requires add-ons to meet the specific requirements of organizations

NetSuite Pricing

  • Contact for quote (average $99/month)

NetSuite Reviews

  • G2 review: 4/5
  • Capterra review: 4.1/5

5. MRPeasyMRPeasy, one of the best production scheduling software

MRPeasy is production scheduling software with planning and procurement features. It’s built for small to mid-sized manufacturing companies and helps to allocate their resources. The software helps plan costs and production, with administration and bill features. It tracks serial numbers and works well with lean manufacturing.

MRPEasy: Best Production Scheduling Software

You can keep track of your customer information, including history and account purchases. It integrates with QuickBooks and Xero, with APIs for third-party applications. There are four pricing tiers, but there’s no free or even affordable option.

The problem is, if you buy the cheapest version of the software, you’ll only be able to do straightforward activities. Even some of those more expensive tools don’t live up to the price tag, such as limited customization on its dashboard, reporting and statistics. You can’t even print the statistic graph if you need it for a presentation.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Procurement

MRPeasy Pros & Key Features

  • Tracks customer information
  • Integrates with QuickBooks and Xero
  • Offers a free trial
  • Mobile app available for Android and iOS

MRPeasy Cons & Limitations

  • Only offers a calendar view for scheduling production processes
  • Relies on integrations, which means additional costs for a fully functional version of the software
  • Doesn’t have workload management tools

MRPeasy Pricing

  • Starter $49/user/month
  • Professional $69/user/month
  • Enterprise $99/user/month
  • Unlimited $149/user/month

MRPeasy Reviews

  • G2 review: 4.4/5
  • Capterra review: 4.5/5

6. Katana MRPKatana, one of the best production scheduling software

Katana MRP is production scheduling software that focuses on materials requirement planning for small and medium-sized manufacturers. It also has inventory management tools. It can automate workflows, prioritize orders and provide visibility into the availability of raw materials and finished goods.

Katana: Best Production Scheduling Software

Its dashboard provides a real-time picture of production. It has a shop floor control function that lets users see the manufacturing order and ingredient list for tasks. There’s a visual planning tool that allows you to view supplier prices.

But surprisingly, it doesn’t allow you to track shipping supplies. It’s also not the easiest software to learn how to use, plus you have to create ingredients for each product, which is time-consuming. There are a lot of features, but you’ll be paying top dollar for them. User permissions also need improvement.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Materials Requirement Planning

Katana Pros & Key Features

  • Automated workflows
  • Visibility into the availability of raw materials
  • Offers a free 14-day trial

Katana Cons & Limitations

  • Limited production planning and scheduling features
  • No workload management features
  • No project status, cost or health reports
  • No mobile app

Katana Pricing

  • Essential $99/user/month
  • Advanced $299/user/month
  • Professional $599/user/month
  • Enterprise, contact sales

Quick Facts

  • G2 review: 4.4/5
  • Capterra review: 4.7/5

7. Visual PlanningVisual Planning, one of the best production scheduling software

Visual Planning is production scheduling software for enterprise resource planning. It’s applicable to businesses of all sizes. Included are features for HR, inventory management, supply chain management, manufacturing and more.

Visual Planning: Best Production Scheduling Software

It has been used by defense and aerospace industries and has capabilities that include activity management, document management, collaboration, issue tracking, resource management and budgeting. The software is fairly easy to use but expensive.

It takes a long time to set up and isn’t viable for smaller manufacturing businesses. Users have complained about its look, which is old-fashioned and it doesn’t integrate with many third-party apps. There’s also a steep learning curve to get the full impact of the software.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Enterprise Resource Planning

Visual Planning Pros & Key Features

  • Flexible, customizable and easy to use
  • Drag-and-drop features
  • Has a mobile app available for Android and iOS

Visual Planning Cons & Limitations

  • Gantt charts and project calendars lack important features for both project management and production scheduling
  • Limited feature set compared to other software in this list
  • Doesn’t offer a free trial

Visual Planning Pricing

  • VP Go $15/user/month
  • VP Portal $35/user/month
  • VP Desk $55/user/month

Visual Planning Reviews

  • G2 review: 3.8/5
  • Capterra review: 4.7/5

8. Fishbowl InventoryFishbowl Inventory, one of the best production scheduling software

Fishbowl Inventory is flexible ERP software that provides users with visibility into warehouse and manufacturing workflows. It integrates with Xero, QuickBooks and Reckon Accounts. The software is essentially made up of two plans, one being Fishbowl Manufacturing, which is used for assembly, disassembly, repair, replacement and other jobs.

Fishbowl Inventory: Best Production Scheduling Software

Fishbowl Warehouse works to track inventory. It gives stock alerts, reordering, receiving and shipping goods data. This wide range of features is very costly. You have to buy both plans, which costs thousands of dollars.

The high up-front cost is painful enough, then there’s the limited customization. Even the touted shipping features aren’t all they should be. You’d think customer support would fill in these holes, but it’s unreliable. Plus, product costs are averaged from past purchases so there’s no first in, first out (FIFO) or last in, last out (LIFO) support.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Warehouse and Manufacturing Workflows

Fishbowl Inventory Pros & Key Features

  • Tracks inventory and gives stock alerts
  • Has maintenance capabilities
  • Offers a 14-day free trial
  • Mobile app available for Android and iOS

Fishbowl Inventory Cons & Limitations

  • Non-friendly user interface
  • Few production scheduling features
  • Not ideal for managing manufacturing projects

Fishbowl Inventory Pricing

  • Contact for quote (starting at $4,395)

Fishbowl Inventory Reviews

  • G2 review: 4/5
  • Capterra review: 4.1/5

9. InkSoftInkSoft, one of the best production scheduling software

InkSoft is a bit off the production scheduling software target of this list, but it’s included because the software bills itself as an all-in-one e-commerce platform for branded merchandise. Therefore, it might be part of the production schedule in terms of ordering and delivery of your product.

InkSoft: Best Production Scheduling Software

In that regard, it gives users tools to sell customer-branded merchandise and is marketed to print shops, apparel decorators and promotional product distributors. It’s desktop-only software, but it does have versions for Mac and Windows.

The software is really only viable for U.S. markets as it doesn’t support Canadian taxation rules and likely other countries’ regulations. It’s also difficult to use and users have complained that some features can be glitchy.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for E-commerce

InkSoft Pros & Key Features

  • Specifically designed for apparel manufacturers and other
  • Brands merchandise
  • Has desktop versions for Mac and Windows

InkSoft Cons & Limitations

  • No production scheduling features for manufacturing projects
  • No workload management tools
  • Ideal for apparel manufacturers, but not for other segments within the industry
  • No free trial
  • No mobile app

InkSoft Pricing

  • Contact for quote (starts at $299/month)

InkSoft Reviews

  • G2 review: Not enough reviews, fewer than 50
  • Capterra review: Not enough reviews, fewer than 50

10. QT9 ERPQT9ERP, one of the best production scheduling software

QT9 ERP is an automating business primarily for aerospace, food, manufacturing, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and plastics. It helps integrate data from multiple systems, locations, departments and employees. In terms of production scheduling software, you can automate your manufacturing, bill of materials and shop floor management.

Qt9 ERP: Best Production Scheduling Software

Inventory control helps you optimize your inventory. Purchasing management helps with planning, inspections, MRP and supplier management. This can lead to confusion for users and that’s understandable. This is complicated and overwhelming software.

That steep learning curve with an opaque pricing structure will alienate a lot of potential buyers. Then when they find out the price it’s not going to help sweeten the deal. Add to the difficulty of configuring custom reporting and many will pass.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Automating

QT9 ERP Pros & Key Features

  • Integrates data from multiple sources
  • Has shop floor management
  • Free 30-day trial

QT9 ERP Cons & Limitations

  • Steep learning curve
  • Confusing pricing structure
  • Custom reporting is difficult to configure
  • No mobile app

QT9 ERP Pricing

  • Contact for quote (starts at $299/month)

QT9 ERP Reviews

  • G2 review: Unavailable
  • Capterra review: Unavailable

11. M1 ERPM1 ERP, one of the best production scheduling software

M1 ERP is software for manufacturers that helps them connect business operations in one centralized system. You can share data from sales, inventory, scheduling, production, shipping and more. It’s used primarily at job shops, fabricators and manufacturers who do made-to-order and discrete work.

M1 ERP: Best Production Scheduling Software

For those who have to maintain regulatory compliance, the software is compliant with the international traffic in arms regulations (ITAR). That said, customers have complained about poor support.

It’s not user-friendly, with data buried and a lot of clicks and screens to get to it. There’s a quoting module, but it uses estimates, and you can only reconcile accounts on a monthly basis. It’s also difficult to find and correct any mistakes. There’s no customization so this might not be a good fit for everyone.

Verdict: Best Production Scheduling Software for Connecting Business Operations

M1 ERP Pros & Key Features

  • Shares data with sales, inventory, shipping and more
  • Has regulatory compliance
  • Offers a free trial

M1 ERP Cons & Limitations

  • Outdated user interface
  • The software is hard to navigate
  • Limited production scheduling features
  • No mobile app

M1 ERP Pricing

  • Contact for quote

M1 ERP Reviews

  • G2 review: 4.3/5
  • Capterra review: 3.8/5

Not Ready for Software? Try These Free Production Planning Templates

If you’re not ready to committ to a production scheduling software, don’t worry, we have plenty of free Excel templates to help you. These templates will help you organize your manufacturing processes, track progress and, of course, make a production schedule.

Production Schedule Template

This free production schedule template may not be as robust as production scheduling software, but it will help you organize your orders, inventory, ship dates and more. It’s an essential document for staying on top of your production cycle.

Production schedule template for Excel

Gantt Chart Template

This free Gantt chart template will help you organize your production schedule tasks in a linear, descending order. That way, you’ll be able to stay on top of any dependencies and always understand what needs to come next to get your production done on time for your customer. After all, a Gantt chart is an essential feature for any production scheduling software.

Gantt chart template for making a production schedule

Inventory Management Template

As you product products for your customers, obviously you’re going to have to stay on top of your inventory. This free inventory management template for Excel will help you stay fully stocked and avoid any outages during your production process. This one can even be paired with one of the above production scheduling software for a more comprehensive manufacturing management experience.

Inventory template for tracking inventory during the production process

Production Flowchart Template

Sometimes you need to just think big picture. Our free flowchart template is prefect for mapping out all the big, important steps in your production process. Once you get that settled, you can go deeper and really build a detailed production schedule. Again, this can be paired with any of the best production scheduling software we identified above. We hope these templates help you on your manufacturing journey!

flowchart template for mapping a production schedule

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ProjectManager is online production scheduling software that empowers everyone to plan, manage and track their production run in real time. It gives manufacturers automated and custom workload, task approval, filtered reports and much more. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.