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.
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 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 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 module||Exemplary functionality / scope|
|Inventory management||Delivery notes|
Delivery and invoicing
|Project management||Resource allocation|
Analysis and reporting
|Production management||Production planning (master production schedule)|
BOM creation and maintenance
Workshop / shopfloor management
Operations and routings
|Asset maintenance||Automated preventive maintenance|
Manage invoices & expenses
|Fleet management||Fuel log entries|
Monitor all vehicle contracts and receive alerts when they expire
|Human resource management||Staffing and staffing requests|
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.
- 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
- Community dynamics around the open source solution
- Degree of code factorization
- Maturity and coverage of web services
- Modularity of the application
- Absence of performance problems
- Modularity of the ERP platform
- Efficiency of third-party development
- Ease of mobilizing resources
- Overall coverage of important business functions
The results of the comparison are shown in below rating table.
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:
Graduate of a research master’s in Quantitative Economics, specializing in transport and logistics science with competence in Cplex, Ampl, and Julia.
Higher technician in mechanical engineering, specializing in industrial maintenance
Multi-skilled logistics manager, passionate with software and new trends in CMMS, CAPM, and ERP