StartProto vs. ProShop ERP: Comparing Manufacturing ERPs

In the realm of Manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), StartProto & ProShop ERP emerge as 2 formidable contenders

In the realm of Manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), StartProto & ProShop ERP emerge as 2 formidable contenders

StartProto vs. ProShop for Manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

For owners comparing machine shop management software, or even trying to decide which platform to use for the first time, the list will often include ProShop ERP and StartProto. Many job shop environments have moved to these manufacturing ERP systems in the last few years due to their industry-specific advantages.

If you’re wondering what the differences are between StartProto and ProShop ERP for running your own shop floor, boosting your top line, and seamlessly connecting your tech stack, production line, real-time data, and inventory management in one cloud manufacturing platform, we put together this no-nonsense overview.

What Is StartProto? 💻

StartProto is a comprehensive, self-serve manufacturing cloud ERP designed specifically for the needs of machine shops, job shops, and small manufacturers. Its modern interface, approachable nature, and self-guided walkthroughs make navigating and getting started easy.

The platform enables manufacturers to build, trace, and manage various aspects of their operations, including:

  • Routers
  • Documentation
  • Physical machine parts
  • Time
  • Materials
  • Inventory
  • Schedules
  • Orders
  • And more

StartProto's value proposition lies in simplifying daily tasks, organizing resources, and improving customer relationships through timely quotes and job status updates. It offers manufacturers an online and transparent pricing model, a self-serve and user-friendly interface for easy adoption, and next-generation collaborative features.

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StartProto Key Advantages

1) Online and Transparent Pricing Model

StartProto offers an online and transparent model that is available for you to view on their pricing page: This model has been made to ensure that customers clearly understand the costs associated with StartProto’s services. In addition to transparent pricing, StartProto strives to provide clients with the highest level of customer service, with a team that’s always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your software or services.

2) Self-Serving and User-Friendly Interface for Easy Adoption

StartProto's self-serve and user-friendly interface has been designed to make it easy for businesses of any size to adopt a manufacturing ERP system. The platform streamlines the manufacturing process by automating key tasks like order management, inventory tracking, and supply chain management.

Due to its high ease-of-use, StartProto helps businesses achieve greater visibility into their manufacturing operations, identify bottlenecks, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their performance. 

In addition to providing a comprehensive suite of tools for managing their manufacturing processes, StartProto also offers a range of support services to help businesses get up and running with the system quickly. StartProto is committed to helping businesses succeed with its cloud-based manufacturing ERP software from onboarding to training.

3) Next-Generation Collaborative Features

StartProto's next-generation collaborative features are designed to improve teamwork and productivity in machine shops. These features include tracking work-in-progress status and adding comments to individual items such as orders, processes, and parts, directly from the corresponding bill of materials (BOM) pages.

By providing a centralized location for tracking and commenting, these features make it easier for team members to stay up-to-date on project progress and collaborate effectively, reducing the risk of errors and miscommunications.

Additionally, the new features offer improved transparency and accountability in machine shop management software, ensuring that everyone involved in the project can access the same information and contribute to its success. With StartProto's next-generation collaborative features, machine shop software teams can work more efficiently and effectively, delivering higher-quality products in less time.

Interested in trying StartProto today, for free? Sign up now and get started in minutes.

StartProto Disadvantages

1) User Experience is StartProto's Main Focus

StartProto's ease of use may be one of its most attractive features, as it allows even those who possess little to no technical knowledge to quickly and efficiently create their desired prototypes. However, it is important to note that while the tool may be easy to use, it still requires an investment of time and effort to set up during onboarding; a digital tool is only as good as the information you put into it. It’s also designed for ease-of-use in the shop, but doesn’t necessarily cover all related business functions such as back-office accounting (although it has integrations for common tools like Quickbooks and Zapier).

2) StartProto's Self-Serve Model

The StartProto self-serve model is a new approach to onboarding new users. With this model, you will not be required to pay for someone to handhold you through the process. Instead, you will have the freedom to reach out for additional support should you need it. This approach ensures that you are in control of the support you receive, and that you are not paying for services that you may not need. However, this might not be the right fit for all businesses. The self-serve model encourages users to take a more active role in the onboarding process, which can lead to a deeper understanding of the product and its features. By empowering users this way, StartProto intends to create a more engaged and knowledgeable user base, ultimately benefiting everyone involved. Still, this will require a time investment on the part of the team taking on the software.

3) Startproto Is a Young Company

Compared to more well known legacy ERP software for manufacturing, StartProto is a young company that has only been around for several years. However, this does not mean that it is not capable of innovation. On the contrary, its youth can actually be an advantage as it allows for a fresh perspective and the ability to adapt more quickly to changing markets and technologies.

Additionally, the company's smaller size means it is more agile and can make decisions faster than larger, more bureaucratic organizations. This can translate into a competitive advantage and enable StartProto to stay ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and market disruption.

Therefore, despite its youth, StartProto has significant potential to impact its industry and pave the way for others to follow.

What Is ProShop? 💻

The ProShop manufacturing ERP is a legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that aims to help a company's processes. The software is designed to help companies manage their finances, inventory, and supply chain more efficiently and provide them with tools to track and analyze their performance.

ProShop ERP software offers a range of features, including project management, quality control, and customer relationship management, to help companies stay organized and work more collaboratively with their teams.

Overall, the ProShop ERP for manufacturing companies is a comprehensive business solution system that can help companies of all sizes achieve greater success and growth over the long term.

ProShop Key Advantages

1) 20+Years On the Market

With over 20 years of experience, ProShops has weathered many changes in the market and has consistently adapted to meet the needs of its customers. Over the years, the company has built a reputation for excellence and reliability, and its customers have come to trust and rely on its expertise.

Additionally, ProShops has a team of highly skilled professionals committed to providing its clients the best possible service. With their extensive knowledge and expertise, they can offer customized solutions that meet each customer's unique needs.

In the end, ProShops' long history of success and its commitment to customer satisfaction make it a top choice for many manufacturers, companies and businesses looking for a reliable and experienced purchasing partner in the industry.

2) ProShop ERP Excels at the Nitty-Gritty Manufacturing Details

ProShop ERP software tools are effective for managing the many very complex manufacturing details that go into producing products. This can be an important fit for large-scale manufacturers who have an enormous number of products and processes, perhaps with multi-stage fabrication, to record and pass between departments. 

Whether you're working to ensure that every component of your products is manufactured to the highest possible standards or you're focused on streamlining your production process to maximize efficiency and minimize costs, ProShop ERP likely has a check box for it. Best for a large corporation, ProShop is the ideal choice if you need an ERP for manufacturing operations of scale and support in achieving your large business goals.

3) ProShop Uses a Traditional Sales Model

ProShop is known for creating a comprehensive sales experience that takes the customer through a long process of discovery to identify needs and requirements.

While this can seem daunting, the benefit is that the customer gains a deeper understanding of their needs and is better positioned to purchase the right product or service.

Additionally, ProShop's pricing structure is designed to be flexible and customized to meet each customer's unique needs. This can sometimes result in pricing that may seem less transparent at first, but ultimately leads to a more tailored and personalized solution that meets the customer's needs.

With ProShop, customers can rest assured that they are receiving a top-quality shipping product or shipping service that is customized to their specific shipping needs.

ProShop ERP Disadvantages

1) ProShop Has API Limitations

The API limitations of ProShop can be seen as a disadvantage when compared to most modern software solutions. In today's world, APIs play a critical role in enabling software applications to interact with each other seamlessly.

The ability to integrate with third-party tools and platforms through APIs is essential for businesses seeking to optimize their operations, reduce manual work, and increase efficiency. Modern ERP systems for manufacturing offer open APIs that allow users to access all the data and functionality they need to build custom integrations that meet their unique needs.

By contrast, ProShop's API limitations can significantly restrict the ability of users to integrate their manufacturing ERP system with other tools and platforms, limiting their ability to leverage the full potential of their data and applications. This could be a disadvantage that may impact the overall efficiency and effectiveness of a business's operations.

2) Legacy Manufacturing ERP = Poor Phone/Mobile Experience

ProShop's mobile experience may benefit from further development. While the current phone experience is functional, there is room for improvement to provide a more seamless and user-friendly experience. This could include optimizing the mobile layout, implementing improved navigation, and enhancing the checkout process to increase conversion rates.

By investing in mobile shop optimization software, ProShop can better meet the needs of its customers who prefer to shop on-the-go and stay ahead of the competition in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

3) Complicated & Time-Intensive Shop Implementation

ProShop is a highly sophisticated manufacturing ERP software that requires extensive planning, design, and development before fully implementing it into your shop. This planning process involves thoroughly analyzing your current business processes and understanding your long-term goals and objectives.

Once the planning phase is complete, the team of expert developers will begin designing and building a custom ProShop solution tailored to your specific needs. This process can take several months to complete, as they work diligently to ensure that every aspect of your new system is fully tested and ready for deployment.

However, the end result is a powerful and flexible shop management software system that will help you streamline your operations, increase your efficiency, and ultimately drive growth and profitability for your business.

Comparing ERP Systems: StartProto and ProShop 🔄

When it comes to choosing between StartProto and ProShop, there are a few main takeaways, and both options also come with their own unique set of strengths and drawbacks:


  • StartProto may be the better ERP system for manufacturing if you're looking for an intuitive, user-friendly interface that makes it easy to get started with your project.
  • Additionally, StartProto offers transparent pricing and a range of next-generation collaborative features that can help streamline your manufacturing process and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
  • StartProto's self-serve model can be either a blessing or a frustration, depending on perspective. While it makes it easy to get started on your own, it can also be limiting if you're looking for more personalized support. 
  • Additionally, some users have reported that StartProto's interface can be too focused on ease-of-use and simplicity, leading to a lack of customization options.


  • On the other hand, the ProShop ERP system may be best for larger manufacturers who need a comprehensive system for complex manufacturing operations and that includes accounting functions.
  • ProShop brings over 20 years of manufacturing experience to the table. The company’s proven track record of success and team of experts is always on hand to provide guidance and support whenever you need it.
  • Some users have cited ProShop's API limitations and lack of mobile optimization as key drawbacks. However, it's worth noting that ProShop's team is constantly working to improve their platform and address these issues.
  • The less transparent sales process and time-intensive shop implementation process can also be drawbacks that may turn away shop owners.

ProShop ERP and StartProto for Machine Shops

Both ProShop ERP and StartProto offer paperless solutions to manufacturing problems. Overall, the best ERP for manufacturing will ultimately depend on your specific needs and preferences.

ProShop ERP offers project management, quality control, and customer relationship management software to help companies stay organized and work more collaboratively with their teams at a large enterprise level. Companies can also manage their finances, inventory, and supply chain more efficiently and provide tools to track and analyze their performance.

StartProto, on the other hand, offers a comprehensive, self-serve cloud manufacturing ERP designed specifically for small and midsized shops in the manufacturing industry.

startproto machine shop management software, example of usage

It is important for manufacturers to carefully consider their specific needs and budget before making a decision on which system to implement. Take the time to evaluate your options carefully, and don't be afraid to reach out to each company directly if you have any questions or concerns.


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