NetSuite vs Plex ERP | Cloud ERP Comparison
NetSuite vs Plex is an inevitable comparison that many businesses are bound to make if they are in the process of considering a move to the cloud — or transitioning their cloud software. NetSuite has established themselves as the largest cloud ERP in the world, and is currently experiencing unbridled growth. Plex has become the cloud ERP of choice for a lot of different manufacturing and distribution businesses, and is considered by many to be the innovative leader in the manufacturing space. So, in the battle of NetSuite vs Plex, which cloud ERP best fits which kinds of businesses? Let’s take a look at some of the factors at play.
Business Size — NetSuite vs Plex
While NetSuite and Plex ERP systems are often pitted against each other — likely because they are two of the most evolved and established cloud ERP’s — they do serve slightly different demographics. We’ll get in to which industries each fits best — and why — later on; however it’s important for businesses to understand the physical limitations of their enterprise software.
Between the two, both fit small and medium-sized enterprises very well. Both software systems can accommodate all the needs that businesses of this size require, and possess the ability to scale down so that they can adequately meet the needs of small businesses with large business needs. The biggest differentiation between the two physically is that Plex ERP can also accommodate large businesses. And, while there are some cases of NetSuite fitting into larger businesses, many of these have experienced serious difficulty scaling their business to the software.
Plex is likely the better fit for many large businesses that may be considering both; however investors will want to cross-reference with their industry below to ensure that the software truly fits. There are some large businesses Plex is not equipped for.
NetSuite vs Plex ERP Summary:
Both are strong fits for small or medium-sized businesses. Plex is a better fit for large businesses.
Industry Fit — NetSuite vs Plex
This is where the comparison really becomes an exercise in selecting the right tool for the right job. There is a pretty clear line that can be drawn between which cloud ERP fits best for different kinds of businesses. The split directly correlates to how the software itself is structured, and what modules and features are included in the packages.
NetSuite largely puts financials upfront in their software. This means businesses in the e-commerce, retail, and hospitality industries naturally will be drawn to some of it’s robust accounting and e-commerce features. When comparing NetSuite vs Plex in the financials department, NetSuite offers a tailored overall business fit for many; however most manufacturing businesses will find Plex to be a clear winner in this department for their business.
NetSuites financials are very flexible. That’s why the financials inside of NetSuite are such a great fit for retail industry and e-commerce businesses. These organizations rely on this functionality more than others, and are usually accustom to more complex financials. Netsuite also has some rather helpful business intelligence attributes embedded in their offering that supplement these financials well. Furthermore, the software makes it easy for multi-channel distributors to configure automated processes (possibly those that may need to integrate with someone like Amazon.com).
The largest issue with NetSuite is it is often marketed as an all-encompassing cloud ERP for a wide range of businesses; while the software itself is not really constructed in a way that supports every type of business. The aggressive salesforce employed by NetSuite has a bit of reputation for fitting round software into square-sized businesses. This is often what leads to some of the more negative reviews online. However, when aligned correctly, NetSuite fits certain businesses better than others; specifically those in the retail, e-commerce, financial, multi-channel consumer product distribution, and services industries.
Plex makes no bones about who their software is designed for. Up front they position their solution as the cloud manufacturing ERP system.
Plex offers a wide arrange of features and modules for manufacturers that are missing from NetSuites offering. Plex offers dynamic capabilities that can support supply chain, inventory, maintenance, manufacturing, and HR management that are must-have’s for manufacturing businesses making a move to the cloud. Plex is also the only ERP system with an embedded MES system. This allows businesses to connect all the smart machines and data on the shop floor with their Plex ERP system. This functionality offered by Plex is much more comprehensive and accommodating to those in the manufacturing space than NetSuite. In fact, it’s almost not event fair to compare them on this functionality alone.
Plex’s manufacturing module contains tools that give businesses better change control, quality management, and sampling abilities. These features, and more, make Plex one of the best solutions (cloud aside) on the market today for businesses with high volume or process manufacturing needs. NetSuite simply cannot compete with businesses that have these kinds of manufacturing, supply chain, or distribution needs. Plex also has embedded business intelligence; which has received great reviews from users.
NetSuite vs Plex Summary:
The industry fit comparison can probably be summarized best by highlighting that Plex is a better fit for manufacturers and distributors (and any business that does any form of high volume or process manufacturing); while NetSuite may be a better fit for e-commerce businesses, financial institutions, and retail industry organizations. This evaluation comes down to the software’s primary focus. For Netsuite, the focus is on financials and all-in-one provisioning. For Plex, the focus is really on the shop floor and how the software can specifically help manufacturers.
Mobility/ UX / Remote Access — NetSuite vs Plex
Since both NetSuite and Plex are both cloud-based ERP solutions, accessibility and mobility are largely better than most other ERP’s on the market (as others typically offer cloud and on-prem solutions). Both offer very nice interfaces for users. Both Plex and NetSuite recently launched brand new modern user interfaces that have been said to improve UX for both systems. Users that have navigated both systems typically come away feeling that Plex is slightly more intuitive than NetSuite; however there is a learning curve with both.
When it comes to mobility, Plex takes a slight edge over NetSuite. When comparing NetSuite vs Plex in terms of mobility, it really comes down to the greater number of options offered by Plex. While NetSuite has a well-built mobile website, Plex offers a mobile ready web presence, android app, and iOS app as well. This gives Plex users new ways to access the software, making it more comfortable for mobile users that may be more accustomed to application-based utilization.
Both systems offer dynamic and speedy web portal access; which is a major advantage of cloud-based software in general. If you have a fast internet connection both systems run very quickly and offer remote users an experience better than just about any other ERP software on the market.
NetSuite vs Plex Summary:
Both systems are very comparable in this department. Plex gets a slight edge in UX, and a slight edge in mobility; due to its diversity in availability.
Company Reputation — NetSuite vs Plex
NetSuite was founded in 1998, and is the largest cloud ERP provider in the world. NetSuite built a model that exploded among retail and growing e-commerce businesses, and used that as a launch pad to help them become a innovative driver in the cloud ERP movement.
Plex was founded in 2006, and is the fastest growing manufacturing cloud ERP in the world. Plex built their entire model on manufacturing in the cloud. They were adopted very early by an extremely high percentage of the auto manufacturing industry, and have since found large adoption among those with high volume of process manufacturing components to their business.
One clear area of differentiation when comparing NetSuite vs Plex is how they are viewed by their customers. Both have tremendous success stories across many different industries; however Plex really stands out when it comes to customer service and customer reviews. NetSuite sort of suffers a little bit from their high volume of growth. Their software is often implemented inside of organizations that don’t fit their cloud ERP very well, and their implementation teams largely focus on going live rather than aligning the software to the business. This has led to the normal complaints and rumblings that software vendors generally deal with, but they’ve also had to deal with several major lawsuits because of this as well.
Plex is likely the most positively reviewed ERP software in the world by customers. This can largely be attributed to two main factors.
- Plex doesn’t hide where they best fit, and is typically only implemented inside of businesses where they can be relatively well aligned
- Their attention to customer service is positioned up front internally. This seems like a marketing message from the company, but the truth is that reviews have revealed that customers are generally very happy with the support and help they receive from Plex.
Another factor in all of this are both NetSuite’s and Plex’s partner networks. This likely plays a role in many of the reviews, and is where any concerns in this area can likely be mitigated. NetSuite has a very large partner network that is extremely competitive. This leads to a lot of deals, and some sub par implementations (not necessarily the software’s fault). This risk can be mitigated by proper business process modeling on the front end.
Plex’s partner network is very small, and has been built largely around implementation and business process expertise. This is probably another reason why their software is so well reviewed. We often talk about how important the implementation process is, and having a partner network that supports that same message shows that Plex understands it too. This leads to more successful implementations across the board, and is likely also a contributing factor in why Plex receives such high marks from customers.
NetSuite vs Plex is formidable battle. Both systems are innovators in the marketplace, and are both growing at an extremely rapid pace. Their dual-popularity can directly be attributed to their visions of a cloud ERP system for their target markets.
Ultimately, it always comes down to selecting the right tool for the right job. What you’ll probably find is that most manufacturing businesses will be happier with a Plex solution; while those in e-commerce, retail, and financial organizations will likely be happier with something like NetSuite (although these are not definitive statements).
There are always other factors at play; however it’s important that businesses perform proper selection, and implementation practices in the beginning to mitigate project risks. To learn more about ERP implementation, or help in selecting between these two powerful pieces of software, contact our experts at Datix, or download our e-book below.