Metabolic engineering has been playing increasingly important roles in developing microbial cell factories for the production of various chemicals and materials to achieve sustainable chemical industry. Nowadays, many tools and strategies are available for performing systems metabolic engineering that allows systems-level metabolic engineering in more sophisticated and diverse ways by adopting rapidly advancing methodologies and tools of systems biology, synthetic biology and evolutionary engineering. As an outcome, development of more efficient microbial cell factories has become possible. Here, we review recent advances in systems metabolic engineering tools and strategies together with accompanying application examples. In addition, we describe how these tools and strategies work together in simultaneous and synergistic ways to develop novel microbial cell factories.