Odoo open source ERP software

In this article I will introduce Odoo open source ERP software set of software solutions. I will discuss the main responsibilities of any ERP software, and compare Odoo with proprietary ERP software.

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It is a software or a set of software solutions. It manages your company and is meant to replace workflows based on paperwork or e-mails. These workflows take place in the ERP instead. This allows for transparency, control, tracking, automatization and much more. At the same time it requires processes to run in alignment with the ERP software. It also requires master data and other data to be setup and maintained.

With the innovations and new technologies the ERP ensures the communication between the company and the other actors such as the suppliers and the customers.

There are two types of ERP, well open-source and proprietary which will be explained in below table.

Open-source ERPProprietary ERP
An open source ERP is a software package. It benefits from a community of contributors who bring lots of improvements quickly and frequently (sometimes more than one significant feature addition or improvement per month).

Open source ERP software is often free, but not always. In the same way, not all free ERP software is open source.

Additions, plug-ins, extensions, special modules etc. may very well come at a fee. The contributors to the open source ERP might be vedors of some of these additions. Contributors may also generate revenue from trainings, consulting etc.
Proprietary ERP software is created by a company specialized in designing and implementing software and computer systems.

Proprietary ERP software licenses are a form of contract in which the ERP software vendor permits a customer to use the ERP software. The license clarifies the permittable and forbidden use of the ERP software. The license also lists the obligations and responsibilities of the customer as well as the vendor.

Often the license fee represents 15% to 25% of the total investment required for ERP implementation projects.

Several open source ERP software solutions are available at the moment. This article focuses on Odoo open source ERP software.

The history of Odoo open source ERP software

Odoo open source ERP software was founded by Odoo SA on July 4, 2004. Back then it was launched under the name tiny-ERP. This was the official name until 2009. It was then renamed to open ERP. In 2014 it was renamed again, to Odoo.

Odoo open source ERP software

Odoo open source ERP software is compatible with Linux, Unix type, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.

Since its inception, Odoo SA has developed a new version every year with many new additions, until the stable version v15 is launched in October 2021.

Corporate functions in Odoo open source ERP software

Odoo open source ERP software bundles all business activities, processes, functions and data. In fact, I like to think about an ERP system like a puzzle. This puzzle is comprised of all the components that make up an enterprise.

The various functions integrated into Odoo open source ERP software

The ERP system covers corporate functions such as purchasing, sales, maintenance, project management, human resource management, recruitment, and so on. Below table provides an overview of the corporate functions connected by Odoo open source ERP software.

Odoo EPR moduleExemplary functionality / scope
Inventory managementDelivery notes
Inventory corrections
Multiple locations
Manufacturing, repairs
Receipt management
Stock transfers
Sales managementQuotations
Order management
Delivery and invoicing
Project management Resource allocation
Planning
Analysis and reporting
Alert management
Production managementProduction planning (master production schedule)
BOM creation and maintenance
Workshop / shopfloor management
Operations and routings
Asset maintenanceAutomated preventive maintenance
Maintenance requests
AccountingInvoicing 
Bank synchronization
Manage invoices & expenses
Easy reconciliation
Fleet managementFuel log entries
Monitor all vehicle contracts and receive alerts when they expire
Human resource managementStaffing and staffing requests
Application management
Leave requests and management
Purchase management RFQ and order tracking
Manage incoming products
Add supplier reference

Odoo open source ERP software tools for industry 4.0

As industry 4.0 brings a new wave of connected manufacturers and smart factories, Odoo open source ERP had to become comptabile. One development delivered in this context was “Odoo IoT Box”.

Odoo IoT Box aims at mapping operator work instructions to machines in manufacturing processes. These manufacturing processes must be maintained in the Odoo database.

The motivation behind Odoo IoT Box is to improve employee productivity and inventory maintenance efficiency. It also promises to deliver improved quality control, more informed decision making and a higer level of control over energy expenses.

Odoo IoT Box is available in version 12 of Odoo open source ERP software.

Comparison with alternative open ERP systems

According to “ERP open source white paper” , Odoo open source ERP software is the best open source ERP. The authors of that publication studied major existing open source ERP software solutions. They compared Openbravo, Odoo, Compiere, Neogia, and ERP5.

All of these ERP systems were compared based on the six criteria listed below.

Popularity:

  • Number and importance of customer references
  • Number and reputation of existing integrators
  • Citations in related press
  • Size of forum and mailing list
  • Bookmark of internet users

Dynamics:

  • Community dynamics around the open source solution

Technology:

  • Degree of code factorization
  • Maturity and coverage of web services
  • Modularity of the application
  • Absence of performance problems

Flexibility:

  • Modularity of the ERP platform
  • Efficiency of third-party development

Resources:

  • Ease of mobilizing resources

Scope :

  • Overall coverage of important business functions

The results of the comparison are shown in below rating table.

PopularityDynamicsTechnologyScopeFlexibility Resources
Odoo454554
Open bravo453434
Neogia434433
Compiére533434
ERP 5 424441

The rating is from 1 to 5. 1 represents the lowest (worst) score, and 5 means “excellent”.

Summary and concluding remarks

As I explained in one of my previous articles ERP software is a very important lever when making an enterprise more efficient.

Odoo open source ERP software is reliable, open source, and contains a sufficiently wide range of modules suitable for many enterprises. Default modules cover core business functions such as purchasing, sales, maintenance, manufacturing, etc.

Lastly, I have listed some links to some SCDA articles related to ERP systems below:

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