When first getting started, many chemical and process manufacturing companies choose single-purpose accounting software, such as Quickbooks, to manage orders, sales, inventory, purchasing and invoicing. When they inevitably grow beyond these means, they simply add on additional, stand-alone products.
However, this quickly becomes a problem when those systems aren’t integrated, as quantities, sales, orders and inventory can quickly become inaccurate and outdated if each system isn’t updated at the same time. If your company is considering using Quickbooks, why not invest instead in software that can grow along with you?
In this post, we’ll compare Quickbooks vs. Datacor for managing accounting and business operations. We’ll cover:
This checklist provides an overview of the differences between Datacor ERP and Quickbooks, which we’ll cover in depth below:
|Integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM)||Yes||No|
|Industry-Specific Business intelligence||Yes||No|
|Billing and invoicing||Yes||Yes|
|Material requirements planning (MRP)||Yes||No|
|Supply chain management||Yes||No|
|Lot control and traceability||Yes||No|
|Multiple warehouse management||Yes||No|
|Plant preventive maintenance||Yes||No|
|Safety data sheet (SDS) and certificate of analysis (COA) creation and management||Yes||No|
|Chemical and gas industry compliance and reporting||Yes||No|
|Batch manufacturing records (BMRs)||Yes||No|
|Integrated development, support, implementation, and consulting||Yes||No|
Quickbooks is an affordable accounting alternative for small and midsize companies. But with this price point comes limited functionality, and larger companies will likely find it lacking.
Quickbooks is stand-alone software built specifically for accounting and bookkeeping. It was not designed to meet all of your company’s business needs — especially the unique needs of chemical and process manufacturers.
Put simply, this kind of single-purpose software can’t address the needs of growing SMBs. To scale along with your business, you need an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system: a robust, integrated software suite that can perform a wide range of complex functions.
ERP systems provide the essential foundation for today’s business operations, especially with COVID-19 closures and limitations in place. As companies grow, their software needs to be able to grow along with them in terms of complexity, offering advanced features for planning, ordering, purchasing and manufacturing at scale; meeting regulatory requirements; and data analysis and reporting.
Integrated software helps users get up and running quicker, since there’s only one system to learn. It also provides real-time information across the organization to increase accuracy and efficiency.
Here are some of the warning signs that indicate your company is ready for an upgrade:
Duplicate data. Data-entry duplication is a key indicator that it’s time to upgrade. When you have multiple software systems that need to be individually updated, it introduces human error, slows productivity and impacts the bottom line.
Need for additional features. Growing companies need more than the basic functionality Quickbooks can provide. As single-purpose software, Quickbooks can only handle accounting capabilities, and offers no specialized features to meet the unique needs of chemical companies.
Trouble meeting reporting requirements. Quickbooks offers limited reporting capabilities, and users often have to manually create reports. This may cause your company to become incompliant with government regulations, which can result in fines, delays and difficulty making business decisions.
While Quickbooks is singularly focused on financials, integrated ERP software can help your business:
If your chemical business is finding Quickbooks limiting, it may be time to switch to an ERP. In addition to accounting functionality, ERP systems offer a robust set of interconnected modules for managing all aspects of your business.
Datacor ERP goes even further, offering specialized functionality for the chemical and process manufacturing sector. With over 30 years of industry expertise and 800 customers worldwide, the Datacor team provides tools and support to help growing chemical companies better serve their customers, stay compliant and operate more efficiently.
When looking at Datacor ERP vs. Quickbooks, there is a clear difference in functionality. Not only does Datacor offer robust ERP capabilities, it also comes with features designed specifically for the chemical and process manufacturing industry.
In addition to accounting and financial management tools, Datacor offers interconnected modules for:
Datacor was designed with the needs of companies like yours in mind. Here are a few highlights of Datacor ERP vs Quickbooks for chemical manufacturers and distributors:
Manage inventory across multiple facilities. While Quickbooks limits users to a single location, Datacor allows you to manage inventory across multiple warehouses. Datacor also offers lot control, enabling full traceability. This includes:
Quickbooks doesn’t offer any of these features, so all of these inventory management tasks would have to be done manually, taking valuable time and effort on behalf of employees.
Barcoding and bin location control. Wireless barcoding allows you to update inventory from anywhere, across multiple locations and in real time, so all workers, teams and departments always have the most up-to-the-minute information. Location control allows users to not only track the lot number, but find where an ingredient or product is stored in the warehouse.
Datacor ERP supports all of these features, while Quickbooks does not. That means everything has to be updated and tracked separately and by hand, which can result in inaccurate quantities, orders, purchases and sales.
Customer-specific pricing and profiles. In the chemical industry, pricing is negotiated on a per-customer basis. While Quickbooks only supports one list of prices for everybody, Datacor allows you to set customer-specific pricing and save it to separate profiles, simplifying and streamlining sales and ordering and preventing costly errors to you or your customers.
Manufacturing and MRP. Quickbooks is designed for kitting: putting multiple items together and selling them in a bundle. But chemical and process manufacturing is more complicated than that. Datacor ERP supports recipe and formula management, batch manufacturing and routing capabilities. Orders trigger automatic updates across all your software systems, increasing accuracy and efficiency, while Quickbooks requires double data entry.
Return and deposit tracking. Datacor ERP allows you to track returns and deposits for reusable containers, which are often used to sell and ship products to customers. Quickbooks doesn’t support this functionality.
Quality control and performance tracking. With Datacor, you can manage testing, set specifications and create COAs. You can also ensure quality and accuracy with automatic unit of measure conversions, whereas Quickbooks only supports single-unit operations. You can even track required training and corrective actions for employees, ensuring quality up and down the chain.
Plant preventative maintenance. Manufacturing relies on specialized equipment that must be cleaned and serviced regularly. Track and manage maintenance to keep operations running smoothly with specialized functionality Quickbooks simply doesn’t support.
Regulatory compliance. Datacor ERP offers tools for staying compliant with government regulations, protecting both your company and your customers — none of which are available in Quickbooks. Specialized features enable you to create, send and track COAs and safety data sheets (SDSs) and complete and submit necessary reports quickly and easily.
Even though Quickbooks is accounting software, there are still some areas where this system falls short, as compared to Datacor. Here are a few of the accounting features for Datacor ERP vs. Quickbooks:
No audit controls. Quickbooks doesn’t allow you to close and lock down monthly financials. That means changes can be made to a past month’s data at any time. If your company has an audit, you need to be able to track and document any changes. Datacor ERP offers full audit controls, including security and permissions settings for users, features and modules.
No mobile manufacturing controls. Many manufacturing operations are handled remotely: for example, tracking and updating quantities as ingredients are used in the lab, or managing shipping and receiving from the warehouse.
Without mobile barcoding capabilities, Quickbooks can’t support these functions, meaning bills of lading, COAs, SDSs and inventory must all be tracked in a separate document or app and then updated across systems. Datacor syncs all of these functions across modules automatically, keeping you up-to-date and saving hours of time when getting orders out the door.
No landed costs. A crucial element of manufacturing and distributing is the ability to add and track landed costs, such as freight and insurance, on incoming material orders. Quickbooks will only allow you to track the cost of the material itself — what is known as fixed-cost tracking — without these additional, landed costs factored in.
For growing chemical manufacturers and distributors, it’s well worth the investment to get a software system that supports and enhances your daily operations and keeps customers satisfied. See how Datacor ERP goes above and beyond what Quickbooks can offer, sign up for a personalized demo.
Datacor offers products and services designed specifically for process manufacturers and chemical distributors. Contact us to learn more about our products and services. Call us now at (973) 822-1551 or fill out the form to the right.