Software Development for Manufacturing Companies [A New Way to Get Ahead]


  • For manufacturing businesses with unique processes or a higher risk of targeted attacks, custom manufacturing software development is recommended. SaaS solutions, offering quicker and more cost-effective options with potential limitations in customization and data control, may be better suited for budget-conscious businesses.
  • As the most versatile operations management software, ERP systems are relied upon by 96% of emerging businesses excelling in their industries, with manufacturing companies being the primary users.
  • One of the most promising tech trends in manufacturing is the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is revolutionizing manufacturing by enabling real-time data exchange among machines, systems, and people.

In manufacturing, businesses constantly navigate the complexities of fine-tuning production lines, maintaining top-notch quality, and managing complex supply chains. Within this challenging journey, many view manufacturing software development as a solution that can transform each pain point into a newfound strength.

In this article, we use our experience to guide you through the process of software development for manufacturing companies and explore how it can help you streamline operations and enhance productivity.

We also urge you to reach out if you already have a development request: our team will help you find a solution that addresses your business's specific needs, as well as provide an estimate.

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Manufacturing software prototyped by Mind Studios’ design team

Types of manufacturing software

Manufacturing software doesn’t have a strict definition since it encompasses a broad range of applications. Depending on your business’s needs and goals, you can choose solutions for planning, executing, and managing production processes more efficiently. Here's a list of the most common solutions in industrial software development.

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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software Manufacturing ERP software helps businesses collect data from all departments, store this data in one place, and manage it to meet the needs of the company as a whole in real time. This type of software integrates processes like inventory management, accounting, human resources, and customer relationship management.
Manufacturing execution systems (MES) MES software provides tools to monitor, control, and optimize the manufacturing process in real time. It bridges the gap between planning and production, ensuring that production processes are executed as designed.
Computer-aided design (CAD) software CAD software allows engineers and designers to build and adjust detailed 3D or 2D models on a computer, providing tools to simulate and refine designs before actual production. As a result, users can create, test, and modify digital models before manufacturing, thus saving time and resources.
Supply chain management (SCM) software SCM software helps manufacturers manage and optimize their supply chain operations. It enables better coordination with suppliers, inventory management, and demand forecasting to ensure that production aligns with market needs.
Product lifecycle management (PLM) software PLM software manages a product's entire lifecycle, from engineering design to manufacturing and disposal. It integrates data, processes, business systems, and people in an extended enterprise, facilitating the information flow across the organization.
Quality management software (QMS) QMS provides tools for documenting quality standards, auditing processes, and tracking compliance. This allows manufacturers to maintain high-quality standards throughout the production process and ensure that the final products meet the required specifications.

ERP software as your go-to option

It’s no coincidence that we’ve put enterprise resource planning software first in the table above. It is often considered the most versatile type of operations management software. In fact, 96% of emerging businesses that excel in their respective industries rely on some form of ERP solution. It’s also worth noting that manufacturing companies are the top users of ERP solutions.

Thanks to their comprehensive nature, ERP systems can cover a wide range of functionalities essential for manufacturing operations, including inventory management, supply chain operations, production scheduling, customer relationship management, and financial management.

Ultimately, ERP software can integrate key aspects of the manufacturing process into a single, cohesive system, providing a unified view of the operations.

What can manufacturing companies do better with the help of ERP software?

While ERP software is a good start for manufacturing businesses, it can’t offer a significant competitive advantage on its own. But in combination with the Internet of Things (IoT), ERP systems can make a difference in industrial manufacturing software development.

Mind Studios has worked with both ERP systems and IoT integration, and we can confirm that it’s a pretty powerful combo in industries like logistics, construction, and, of course, manufacturing. If you want an expert consultation on how these solutions can benefit your business, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Most in-demand features of manufacturing software

With the variety of manufacturing businesses, covering all possible manufacturing software features in an article is an impossible task. Besides, unique business processes will need apps developed with a unique approach. Here, we’ve rounded up the features that the software design for manufacturing typically contains.

Tracking machinery and assets

Tracking machinery and assets

If your manufacturing business uses movable machinery — for example, if you’re involved in construction or delivery — a setup of sensors and a connected mobile app can help monitor the exact location of each piece of equipment, whether it’s left a site or is still on the territory.

The technology for building a tracking app for a manufacturing business is similar to the technology used when building an app like Uber for trucks. In this kind of app, a device’s location is determined using GPS and transferred to the vehicle owner’s and/or driver’s app to keep them informed as to where the asset is at any given moment.

Monitoring asset conditions

Software development in the manufacturing industry might also involve setting up a system that connects to a machine’s on-board computer and transmits data to an employee’s smartphone. This way an employee can know the machine’s fuel level, the time for which the engine has run or been idle, and the distance the machine has traveled. This information can be helpful for planning operations and preventing damage due to neglected maintenance.

For fixed assets such as factories, sensors can monitor equipment calibration and usage. This will not only help you keep up with maintenance but might come in handy for ensuring the quality of the end product: usually, faulty equipment calibration will result in a faulty product.

Predictive maintenance

This functionality is crucial in industrial software development if you want to save costs. By combining data from sensors with data about previous malfunctions and maintenance from an ERP system and applying artificial intelligence, a business owner, manager, or maintenance specialist can predict possible future malfunctions. This data can help business owners conduct preventive maintenance, thus saving money and avoiding downtime that would be spent on repairs.

Ensuring delivery conditions

When delivering fragile or perishable items, it’s important to maintain specific conditions in the truck.

For example, meat and fish should be delivered in refrigerators at a certain temperature to preserve quality. By setting up modern thermometers in trucks and using connected software, a driver can be alerted if the temperature is beyond the set threshold.

Monitoring inventory

When you go through the checkout at a store, the cashier scans each product with a barcode scanner to get its name and price. This same system can be used to track inventory — an employee can go over everything you have in a warehouse, scanning bar codes, QR codes, or some type of tracking chip. Data can then be sent either to a local server or a cloud and can be accessed from a connected app.

This greatly facilitates the whole tracking process, lessening the workload on employees (who no longer need to type information manually), reducing the number of possible mistakes (the human factor), and speeding up the overall process.

Furthermore, modern tracking chips can transmit their location on their own, without the need for an employee with a scanner.

Workforce monitoring

Workforce monitoring

The simplest example of this is the use of key cards by employees to enter premises. Key cards are programmed individually to let the system know which employee each card belongs to, what permissions the employee has, and when the employee has entered and exited the premises.

However, there’s another way to use software solutions for workforce tracking, and that is to improve workplace safety.

We have a number of trackers in our smartphones: pedometers, GPS receivers, gyroscopes, altimeters. Moreover, many of us use fitness trackers — wearable devices that measure our pulse at rest, during daily activities, and during workouts. Similar devices can be used in manufacturing plants to monitor employees’ health in order to avoid injuries due to work-related health hazards like falling, overheating or freezing, poison inhalation, and overexertion.

SaaS vs Custom software development for manufacturing

SaaS vs Custom software

The large demand for software to facilitate manufacturing processes has created an opportunity for two types of companies: custom software development companies and SaaS companies that license software to manufacturers.

There are pros and cons to both options, which we cover in the table below.

SaaS companies


  • Cost. Compared to custom software, SaaS solutions are more affordable, particularly for small companies or startups, including those in the manufacturing sector.
  • Immediate availability. Software from SaaS company is ready to use, and your company only needs to set everything up and teach employees how to use the software.


  • Data safety. One of the big risks of a SaaS system for many companies is data safety. Manufacturing companies often become targets of attacks with the goal of either obtaining financial data or espionage. By using a SaaS system, you lose control over some data that can be vital to your business. Although data safety has become one of the main points of focus for SaaS companies, a SaaS service is still an additional point of entry to access your business’s data.
  • Integration challenges. Ready-made solutions rarely can be customized to as fine a point as custom-made software to fit your particular business and niche. If your manufacturing company has unique processes, tweaking non-custom software to your business’s needs might prove a big challenge, if it’s possible at all. For this reason, a SaaS solution has every chance of becoming more expensive for your business than creating a custom solution from scratch.

Custom software development companies


  • Tailored solutions. Highly focused industrial software development makes for tailored products that fit your business model and processes to a T. A fitting product can improve business management and, in turn, enhance business processes.
  • Scalability. Custom software will not only be tailored to the particularities of your business but will be scalable to allow for your business’s growth and expansion.
  • Data safety. Custom solutions offer better data safety because they allow for tailored security measures that align precisely with a business's specific needs and vulnerabilities. Unlike SaaS solutions, custom software gives businesses direct control over their data security architecture, minimizing potential breaches.


  • Development cost. Custom software development for manufacturing companies can be quite expensive. Surely, you can cut costs by outsourcing to a development company with moderate hourly rates and prioritizing essential functionality. Yet this option will still likely be more expensive than a SaaS solution.
  • Time to launch. Depending on the type of software, it will take anywhere from a couple of months to a year to have a working mobile app and website.

Summing up, we recommend custom software development in the manufacturing industry for businesses with unique processes or those at higher risk of targeted attacks.

SaaS solutions may be more suitable for budget-conscious businesses, offering a quick and cost-effective option despite potential limitations in customization and data control.

Last but not least, our team at Mind Studios is always mindful of our clients’ resources. We try to find solutions that will benefit your business without exceeding the budget. If you would like to get an estimate for your project, reach out to our business development team.

Trends in manufacturing software development

Trends in Manufacturing Software Development

In addition to the systems we mentioned earlier, there are several tech trends worth exploring to up your industrial software development game.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)

AI in manufacturing enables machines to make decisions based on data analysis. The technology is especially helpful in predictive maintenance, quality control, and optimizing production processes.

As a subset of AI, machine learning is used to teach computers to learn from data, predict future trends, and improve processes without being directly programmed. For example, with the help of ML, manufacturing facilities can predict when machines might break down or find ways to make production more efficient.

Big Data Analytics

Big Data analytics involves processing vast amounts of data generated in manufacturing processes to find useful patterns and insights. For instance, by using Big Data to analyze information from sensors on the production line, manufacturers can identify inefficiencies in the manufacturing process. These can include excessive resource use, product quality variations, and machines' idle times.

By analyzing data from various sources, companies can optimize their supply chains and production schedules, thus reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT connects machines and devices in factories, allowing them to share data in real-time. This makes monitoring and adjusting production as needed easier, leading to smarter maintenance, energy use, and safety measures. You’ll learn more about this trend in the article's next section.


In manufacturing, blockchain helps track products from start to finish in a secure, transparent way. It ensures data integrity across the supply chain, thus reducing fraud risks and improving compliance. As a result, manufacturing companies can enhance trust among partners by keeping a clear record of transactions and product journeys.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing provides manufacturers with scalable and flexible computing resources, enabling them to store and manage data from anywhere. This technology supports the integration of various manufacturing applications on a centralized platform. Moreover, cloud solutions offer cost-effective ways to manage operations, improve collaboration, and speed up innovation by making it easier to work together across locations.

If you are looking for manufacturing software developers to consult you on which tech solutions suit your business, contact our team.

How does IoT work in manufacturing?

How IoT in manufacturing works

One of the most promising trends from the list is the Internet of Things (IoT). It is revolutionizing the manufacturing process by connecting machines, workpieces, systems, and people to the internet, enabling the collection and exchange of data in real-time.
Here's an overview of how it works in practice:

  1. Connecting everything. Machines, workpieces, systems, and people are linked to the internet, facilitating real-time data exchange;
  2. Sensor integration. Industrial IoT systems attach sensors to assets, such as machinery or transport vehicles to collect data on various parameters such as temperature, pressure, humidity, speed, efficiency, and location;
  3. Cloud storage. Collected data is securely stored in the cloud, ensuring it's always accessible for analysis and decision-making;
  4. Integration with other systems. IoT in the manufacturing industry integrates with systems like ERP, MES, and SCM for seamless information flow while also allowing workers and managers to engage with the IoT system via dashboards and apps for operational oversight;
  5. Data processing. Data from various sources within the factory is aggregated in a centralized system;
  6. Actionable insights. The system analyzes data, often using advanced analytics, AI, and ML, to provide actionable insights and recommendations, enabling informed decision-making and the automatic adjustment of processes in real time;
  7. Feedback loop. IoT devices collect and analyze data to continually refine algorithms, predict maintenance, and optimize production processes, enabling ongoing improvement.

The benefits of such systems for manufacturing businesses are pretty remarkable:

  • Employing sensors helps lower or even eliminate human errors, since a well-made sensor is capable of assessing most situations with more precision than humans and won’t forget to log results.
  • With data being transmitted continuously, business owners or anyone in charge can monitor relevant operations in real time. This enhances visibility and grants an opportunity to swiftly react to any changes or errors.
  • Automation allows employees to direct their time and attention to more important duties that can’t be completed by a machine, improving workers’ performance. Consequently, freeing workers’ time allows business owners to save money on labor.
  • Without relying on human employees, an automated or semi-automated production line manufactures items faster, shortening time-to-market and increasing output.
  • For work that poses some kind of danger to employees, wearable sensors connected to software via cloud services can help avoid injuries by monitoring vitals.
Read more: The Transformational Power of IoT In Supply Chain Management

Final thoughts

Manufacturing businesses can profit a lot from implementing software solutions into their operations. A major part of that profit will result from cutting costs by preventing losses and minimizing spending. Solutions built by skilled industrial manufacturing software developers can help you better organize your workforce, free employees’ time to tackle more important tasks, and prevent work-related illnesses and injuries.

But well-built customized industrial software solutions can also bring profit more directly, by assisting in product quality assurance, speeding up production, and enhancing manufacturing productivity on all fronts. All this combined provides your business with a strong competitive advantage.

At Mind Studios, we offer custom development, software reengineering, and consulting services, including in the industrial software development sector. If you have any questions on this topic, are looking for a software development partner, or would like to get an estimate of the cost to design and build software for your manufacturing business, we’ll be happy to help.

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