Automotive ERP: key functionality, integrations & software options

Automotive ERP: key functionality, integrations & software options

February 8, 2024

Konstantin Pilkevich

by Konstantin Pilkevich,

Head of Itransition's ERP Center of Excellence

Automotive ERP is specialized enterprise resource planning software used to automate and streamline the management of day-to-day business activities such as procurement, production planning, bill of materials, quality control, inventory, finance, and accounting. Having solid expertise in enterprise software development, Itransition helps companies from the automotive industry to implement and upgrade ERP solutions and thus optimize production and inventory processes, enhance quality control, and reduce costs.

About Itransition

10+  years in ERP services

50+ completed projects of different scales across industries

Hands-on expertise in delivering custom, platform-based, and hybrid ERP solutions

An Odoo Silver Partner

A NetSuite Solution Provider

Looking for an ERP technology partner to digitalize and streamline core business processes?

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Our automotive ERP expertise in action

ERP system for a repair and maintenance service company


faster work order management

Our team implemented an Odoo-based ERP solution to help the customer reduce the time for purchase order approval, automate manual tasks, and accelerate work order management.

An Odoo-based fleet management system


of manual tasks automated

Itransition built an ERP system that allowed the customer to reduce operational expenses twice and increase client satisfaction due to operations transparency.

Essential features for automotive ERP software

Automotive ERP software is built with different functional modules. To help bring qualitative changes in business, our automotive software developers tailor the functionality of each particular ERP automotive solution to the requirements and desired capabilities of each company by implementing the following functional modules:

Customer order management

Gaining control over the order orchestration process by:
  • Getting visibility into end-to-end order execution workflow from order inception to fulfillment, multichannel order aggregation
  • Order status tracking
  • Automated order creation and approval
  • Order pick, pack, and ship planning and scheduling
  • Order issue tracking
  • Order refund/return/exchange processing

Procurement management

Reducing purchase order lifecycle times and invoice processing while improving spend control by:
  • Achieving transparency of all procurement-related processes
  • Automatic purchase orders creation
  • Invoice matching and routing
  • Spend tracking
  • Procurement planning

Supplier management

Maintaining the quality of products and preventing supply chain disruptions by:
  • Getting an overview of suppliers’ KPIs
  • Assessing and identifying best-performing suppliers
  • Tracking suppliers’ contracts
  • Monitoring financial health of suppliers

Supply chain & inventory management

Guaranteeing customer order fulfillment, reducing shipment turnaround times, and avoiding costly inventory surplus by:
  • Tracking inventory of raw materials, components, and finished goods across the supply chain, between multiple warehouses or production facilities
  • Getting and overview of warehouse and logistics operations
  • Getting automated alerts and notifications in case of disruptions
  • Leveraging analytics capabilities for planning inventory stock levels, inventory allocation, labor demand, shipment frequency and routes

Production management

Getting complete visibility and control over production processes to deliver high-quality automotive products and meet regulatory standards by automating:
  • Bill of materials management
  • Material requirements planning (MRP)
  • Master production scheduling
  • Product lifecycle management
  • Quality control monitoring

Field service management

Streamlining every step of field service operations by:
  • Automatic work order task creation, assignments and scheduling
  • Monitoring work order progress
  • Getting automated notifications and alerts (new tasks, change requests, looming deadlines)
  • Inventory management automation
  • Field workers' performance monitoring and assessment
  • Invoicing and payments management automation
  • Budgeting and job costing automation
  • Mobile capabilities support

Financial management & accounting

Improving the productivity of the financial department, enhancing financial data accuracy, and driving considerable cost savings by eliminating manual efforts across the company’s finance-related tasks, including:
  • Invoicing and payroll
  • Financial statements generation
  • Financial planning and budgeting
  • Revenue management
  • Expenses management
  • Tax, financial risk and compliance management

Human resources management

Increasing the efficiency of personnel management and employee lifecycle management while minimizing employee retention by:
  • Storing employee data in a central database
  • Automating payroll, time, and attendance management
  • Tasks and activities management
  • Employee performance evaluation
  • Recruitment and onboarding automation
  • Employee health and safety monitoring
  • Employee training management
  • Competence management
  • Corporate policies management

Document management

Reducing time and errors rooting from manual data entry and facilitating corporate data and documents access anywhere and anytime with:
  • A centralized database of all corporate documents (contracts, plans, policies, etc.)
  • Document indexing
  • Document search
  • Versioning
  • Template-based document generation
  • Access control management
  • Audit trail
  • File locking

Reporting & analytics

Enabling analytics insights into all business processes of a company:
  • KPIs and performance metrics
  • Automated data management (data integration, processing, quality management, storage)
  • Support for various analytics types (descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive)
  • Real-time analytics
  • Scheduled and ad-hoc reporting capabilities
  • Custom reports and dashboards
  • Self-service analytics querying
  • Embedded reporting
  • Mobile reporting

Key integrations for an automotive ERP

To ensure accessibility, reliability, and accuracy of information across the organization with no duplication of effort and manual data entry, we set up integrations between automotive ERP systems and other corporate systems via APIs, third-party solutions, custom code, or a middle layer. Among the most common integrations are:

Key integrations
BI software + ERP
Customer relationship management (CRM) software + ERP
to deliver all-rounded customer-related data across departments for enhanced customer experience, customer service improvement, and marketing campaign automation.
Human capital management (HCM) software + ERP
to optimize and manage the workforce in synchronized alignment with overall processes and objectives (optimize staff schedules, identify skill gaps, optimize recruitment activities, devise performance management/employee engagement practices, etc.).
Manufacturing execution system (MES) + ERP
to combine customer, sales, order processing, finance, and purchasing data with production scheduling, machine throughput, quality management, and other production process data. This integration helps to quickly orchestrate work orders, fine-tune production processes in response to the demand and enable agile manufacturing.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software + ERP
to automate communication via a streamlined real-time data exchange between vendors and customers.
Enterprise asset management (EAM) software + ERP
to allocate fixed assets according to the set work order priorities, discover how asset management practices influence corporate financials, and plan asset procurement and disposal for asset-intensive companies using complex equipment across multiple locations.
Business intelligence (BI) software + ERP
to combine ERP data with other data sources. This integration gives employees advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, forecasting, and what-if scenario modeling.

Top ERP software systems for the automotive industry

Odoo is an open-source, scalable, and flexible ERP solution that can meet the needs of automotive manufacturers, auto repair companies, and car dealers.
Key features
  • Fleet management
  • Inventory management
  • Invoicing
  • Purchase management
  • Sales management
  • Manufacturing management
  • Production quality management
  • Warehouse management
  • Repairs management
  • Human resources management
  • Project planning and controlling
  • Procurement and subcontractor management
  • Contact management
  • Land acquisition and development
  • Accounting and finance
  • CRM and estimation
  • Equipment and fleet management
Best for
  • Small companies
  • Mid-sized companies
  • Challenging to scale and maintain
Oracle Netsuite is a cloud-native ERP suite that automotive companies can use to automate and streamline core business processes and workflows. 
Key features
  • Finance management and accounting
  • Service and marketing automation
  • Human resource management
  • Billing
  • Asset management
  • CRM
  • Sales order management
  • Opportunity management
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Revenue recognition
  • Financial analytics
  • Reporting
Best for
  • Companies of all sizes
  • Price hikes in the long run
Acumatica offers a complete ERP suite for companies across industries, including automotive aftermarket distributors and manufacturing companies, to be deployed in the cloud or on-premises.
Key features
  • Bill of materials and routing
  • Production management
  • Material requirements planning
  • Advanced planning and scheduling
  • Manufacturing management
  • Product configurator
  • Inventory management
  • Sales order management
  • Purchase order management
  • Financial management
  • Project accounting
  • Customer management
  • Service management
Best for
  • Small companies
  • Mid-sized companies
  • A steep learning curve
  • Complicated pricing


Epicor offers a range of products to meet the needs of the automotive aftermarket, automotive part manufacturing, automotive service and repair companies, and commercial vehicle parts distributors.
Key features
  • Inventory management
  • Product configurator
  • Supply chain management
  • Manufacturing management
  • Retail management
  • Financial management and accounting
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Special ordering
  • Business analytics and intelligence
  • Multiple deployment options
Best for
  • Small organization
  • Mid-sized organizations
  • A still emerging reseller network
  • Complex implementation and customization


Plex is a cloud ERP solution primarily focused on companies in the automotive industry.
Key features
  • Product quality planning
  • Production part approval process
  • Failure mode and effects analysis
  • Measurement system analysis
  • Material management
  • Logistics evaluation
  • Industry compliance
  • Electronic data interchange (EDI) support
  • Lean manufacturing support
  • Manufacturing intelligence
  • Enterprise accounting and consolidation
  • Financial management
  • Human capital management
  • Suppliers and purchasing management
Best for
  • Mid-sized companies
  • May require third-party integrations for global localization capabilities

Infor CloudSuite

Historically focused on manufacturing, Infor offers an industry-specific cloud-based ERP suite for customers in multiple verticals, including automotive: automotive suppliers, tire suppliers, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), specialty vehicles, after-market parts and services.
Key features
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Product control
  • EDI support
  • Billing and costing
  • Financial and accounting
  • CRM and customer service
  • Multi-site, multi-logistics inventory planning
  • End-to-end project management
  • Supply chain management
  • Field service
Best for
  • Companies of all sizes
  • It’s challenging to choose and piece together solutions to meet your needs
  • Costs of the solution


QAD offers a portfolio of ERP solutions primarily targeted at manufacturing companies across industry verticals, including ERP systems for automotive businesses.
Key features
  • Supplier relationship management
  • Invoicing
  • EDI support
  • Trade management
  • Supply chain planning
  • Demand planning
  • Transportation management
  • Asset management
  • Customer service
  • Quality management
Best for
  • Mid-sized organizations
  • Large organizations
  • Lack of native human capital management functionality
  • Embedded analytics capabilities

ERP software selection: factors to consider

To narrow down the options and create a shortlist of ERP providers, we consider the following high-level evaluation criteria:

the ability of an ERP software solution to adapt to the changing business requirements (e.g., the ability to migrate to the cloud, advanced analytics capabilities or any other capabilities as an add-on option).
how quickly you can grow and scale up standardization across the entire organization (e.g., the increase in the number of users doesn’t affect its performance, flexible pricing options for enterprises).
how easy it is to adopt software (customization capabilities, deployment speed, maintenance support).
how well the software can integrate with third-party systems and how open its architecture is.
Ease of use
how easy the software is to use and learn (e.g., intuitive user interface, self-service capabilities, embedded capabilities).
Deployment model
cloud or on-premises deployment (some automotive companies must store sensitive data on-premises).
Prioritized functional requirements
how well the ERP software suits your specific business requirements (e.g., production management, financials and accounting, advanced reporting).
Industry focus
unique capabilities you need due to operating in the automotive industry.

Itransition’s ERP services

Itransition provides advisory support and implementation assistance to automotive companies, helping ensure the success of their ERP implementation project:

  • Analysis of business needs and technology environment
  • ERP strategy creation and roadmapping
  • ERP solution architecture design
  • ERP implementation support
  • ERP software selection

    Our end-to-end implementation services can include all or some of the following activities:

      Automotive ERP implementation roadmap we follow


      Business analysis

      Our consultants start with assessing your business processes and existing infrastructure to define the requirements and outline the functional scope of the ERP solution.


      Design & tech selection

      Based on the findings from the analysis step, our experts conceptualize the ERP solution, define the integration scope, and draw up the optimal technology stack.


      Project planning

      The next step is planning the ERP implementation by outlining project timeframes, key phases, deliverables, resources, change management, and budget.


      Customization/ development

      Using the scope defined earlier, the development team starts the customization or custom ERP development and then proceeds to ERP integration.


      Quality assurance

      We set up and run comprehensive QA processes to check the ERP system for malfunctions, UI/UX bugs, security flaws, and data quality issues.


      Deployment & handover

      We deploy ERP to the production environment and perform data migration to move corporate data to the ERP platform. Then we perform user training and onboarding.


      Post-launch support

      After the ERP software goes live, our team supports platform infrastructure and users and manages performance issues, troubleshoots bugs, and fine-tunes data flows if the need arises.

      Business impact of automotive ERP solutions

      Production cost reduction

      ERP enables the implementation of lean manufacturing and supply chains, reducing production costs. The ERP solution optimizes resources, removes costly operational redundancies, improves lead times, and reduces waste.

      Inventory optimization

      Automotive ERP system synchronizes inventory with production requirements and customer demand to avoid excess inventory or inventory stock-outs. It helps to eliminate high holding costs, manufacturing process disruptions, or customer resentment.

      Improved data access & analytics

      ERP database consolidates data across the departments, streamlining the information flow and its sharing within the company. It boosts collaboration, ensures secure data access, and facilitates analytics and reporting.

      Task automation

      Enterprise resource planning automates data management for expense tracking, inventory control, payroll calculations, financial planning, and forecasting.

      Simplified compliance

      ERP enables complete traceability through the value chain and automates reporting. Simplified submission of reports to the relevant regulatory bodies facilitates compliance with government regulations and standards.

      Better quality control

      ERP grants access to real-time production and process monitoring data to provide a 360-degree view of the shop floor. It helps to identify occurring issues and resolve them in real-time to ensure high-quality standards and increase the safety and durability of the manufactured vehicles.

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      Automotive ERP: implementation challenges we help solve

      Resistance to change

      Even if employees seem excited about the upcoming changes, a new software interface, redefined business processes, new job roles and responsibilities can cause fear, resistance to change, and sabotaging. To mitigate change management risks, we carefully evaluate and address employees’ resistance to change before it becomes disruptive.

      Lack of software flexibility

      Even the best-of-breed software doesn’t necessarily have the capabilities you are looking for. We help define the missing capabilities and work out how to efficiently cover this gap most (e.g., via product customization, custom integrations, etc.).

      Total cost of ownership

      ERP implementation implies some hidden costs that are hard to anticipate. To help you minimize project risks, we factor in such indirect expenses as the cost of work of professional ERP consultants, new hires for the IT department, or outsourcing a third-party vendor for regular maintenance, software updates, and security patching.

      Data security and data quality issues

      Consolidation of corporate-wide information in a unified data storage poses certain risks connected to data quality and data security. To balance data accessibility and safety without compromising data consistency and credibility, we set up and refine robust data governance and security policies and practices.

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