Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software are tools that act as a centralized database supporting the processes of a business to optimize its operational workflows and integrate them.
It may contain modules for project management, procurement, inventory management, or risk management (among many others), and integrates these processes into one software accessible across organizations.
This allows companies to gain unique, data-driven insights that can help streamline processes, improve efficiency, and thus drive and support further growth, productivity, and revenues.
Simply put, ERP solutions are the bedrock on which your business is built, which is why it is of paramount importance to select one that is appropriate for your organization’s needs and goals – one that instantly fits like a glove, and one that can effectively scale and grow along with your company in the coming years.
There’s no shortage of ERP solutions out in the market, each with their unique value proposition. But before you invest in an ERP solution, you’ll want to ensure that you take your business needs into consideration, and perform an assessment of what it exactly needs from ERP solutions providers.
There is one ERP solution that is turning heads in the industry, however; and that solution is called Odoo.
And, as we will discuss, Odoo has made a strong case for itself for being one of the best enterprise resource planning software solutions out in the market today – one that we will be tackling in further detail.
We’re going to show you why Odoo is the best management tool on the planet based on a comprehensive discussion about the product.
What is Odoo & Why It is The Best Management Tool?
Odoo is an enterprise resource planning software that comprises an integrated suite of modules that runs the gamut from customer relationship management (CRM), financial management, billing, project management, warehouse and inventory management, manufacturing, and purchasing.
Their goal is to provide businesses the intelligence they need as well as the agility to scale and optimize their operations based on the insights that Odoo derives and puts together.
Odoo used to be known as OpenERP and is available either via the cloud or on-premise. It’s fully open-source, which makes it fully customizable. This also allows developers to tailor the source code exactly to your business needs while possessing the compatibility with payment processing and shipping systems – regardless of business size.
Founded in 2005
Branch offices located all around the world
What are the Key Features of Odoo?
Odoo ERP was created to cater to address the ever-changing requirements and focus of growing businesses, meaning you can simply just add modules or applications depending on what your business needs, when your business needs it.
Here are some of the primary modules that Odoo offers:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP)
- Point of Sale
- Project Management
- Inventory Management
Odoo is extremely flexible, supporting a plethora of APIs with seamless integration. This includes messaging apps such as WhatsApp, accounting software such as Quickbooks, payment processors such as Paypal, and over 15,000 third-party apps that you can easily access via its app store at a drop of a hat. There’s an app for every business process you can think of.
This flexibility, partnered with Odoo’s modular system, allows companies to start with the most important tools to support their growth, and then add modules on an as-needed basis. Odoo’s model makes it easy for businesses to scale and position them for further growth.
That said, Odoo is a robust ERP solution that is developed to address every requirement of today’s businesses that is available in three different iterations – an enterprise version, an online version, and the free, community version.
What Makes Odoo Different from Other ERP Solutions?
Odoo’s comprehensive set of apps are designed to work synergistically, and provide organizations opportunities to streamline and automate business processes, while providing detailed tracking that is centralized and can be accessed anywhere, any place, at any time.
The most important thing that sets Odoo apart from other ERP solutions, as you will see, is the fact that it is fully open-source, which allows it to harness the expertise of countless developers and technical experts to create apps practically out of thin air, allowing businesses to drill down on exactly what they need.
Simply put, Odoo offers a superior technical framework and platform that provides a usability experience that is second to none. And that is what it’s all about – the ability to constantly and quickly evolve to the rapid changes that businesses encounter on the way to growth.
Odoo in Detail
Odoo is available in three different iterations. Odoo offers a free Community plan, which already has more than enough features that should be able to support most small to medium-sized enterprise requirements.
Next, Odoo offers Success Packs, recommended for businesses that work with less than 50 users. These are premium packages that are handled by an on-call consultant to evaluate their client’s needs, to which the consultant then formats Odoo accordingly.
Last, but certainly not the last, Odoo also offers a variant for companies of over 50 users, which is called Odoo Partner. It’s the same concept, only scaled for enterprise clients.
This is what Odoo offers its users in more detail:
Odoo offers businesses the opportunity to sell their products much faster, and increase revenues via upselling. Additionally, its robust CRM tool helps its users make detailed forecasts based on relevant data so that better decisions are made. Odoo also provides customizable dashboards so users can paint an accurate picture of how the business is performing. Furthermore, Odoo’s POS is easy to set up, and can be used for online or offline sales.
This comprises Odoo’s project management tools – in particular, Odoo Project, Timesheet, and Helpdesk. These tools are used to assess team performance and project management from start to finish. Forecasting resource requirements is a breeze, leading to better productivity and collaboration across the board. Helpdesk, on the other hand, is a well-designed ticketing tool that makes prioritizing and addressing customer concerns capably.
Odoo possesses a suite of tools that are meant to consolidate, simplify, and optimize their operations. This includes Odoo Inventory, MRP, and Purchasing. It’s a full suite inventory and warehousing module that helps organizations plan based on actionable data pertaining to their manufacturing functions.
Odoo is noted for having one of the better built-in site-building tools for businesses that want to expand their online footprint as well as for those who want to start selling online. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping website elements on Odoo’s website builder – even for business owners who have little knowledge about building one from scratch. It’s also optimized for mobile viewing. The same is true for its eCommerce platform, which provides clients the ability to track pending shipments and manage orders with ease and simplicity.
This is Odoo’s bread and butter. Its Finance and Accounting suite helps companies save their resources and provide better integration with their respective financial institutions. Financial performance can be tracked via this suite, as well as payments, bills, and expense forecasts. Auditing of financial statements is made easy with its Smart Reconciliation tool, which can help boost productivity.
Odoo also offers a capable suite of marketing automation tools that help businesses create marketing campaigns. They allow businesses to automate marketing business processes and ensure that your brand messages are received by your target audience in time and on target.
Odoo allows businesses to customize their processes with its Studio and Odoo.sh tools. Advanced users, therefore, become partners with Odoo with their input on business processes for continuous improvement not just of their operations, but also Odoo itself as an ERP solution.
That’s a summary of what Odoo brings to the table in terms of its functionality. Odoo is, however, NOT a perfect solution – it does have its share of limitations too. Now that we have a better grasp of what Odoo is and what it can do for your business, let’s take a closer look at its pros and cons.
What are the Pros of Using Odoo?
Listed below are the most salient pros that Odoo has in spades, which we have discussed earlier in great detail. Here they are as follows:
- Simple, easy to use interface for cloud and on-premise.
- Ease of deployment and implementation.
- Seamless integration between apps and modules.
- Maximum scalability and customizability due to open-source nature.
- Competitive pricing plans that are relatively inexpensive.
What are the Cons of Using Odoo?
- Steep learning curve. Odoo, for all its strengths, can be difficult to learn and use for those who are less knowledgeable about ERP systems.
- Lack of backward compatibility. This is an important aspect of ERP solution design that competitors like SAP focus on. Every time a new Odoo version is released, its users need to perform wholesale data migration, which can be tedious.
- Presence of bugs. The leading ERP solutions take pride in having little to no showstoppers like bugs. Odoo, as it is relatively new, is not as comprehensive as others are in this field, and will take time before it reaches the coveted bug-free status that established providers possess. Things are moving fast in this regard, however, and it’s all just a matter of time.
- Customer service. While Odoo offers customer support for paying customers with functional and bug-fixing support for its standard features via email, as well as a wealth of training and educational material on its website, it isn’t a 24/7 thing. Also, Odoo doesn’t have a hotline to call in case of service disruptions or technical issues, as opposed to some of the other more established providers. Customer support is available only in English via email.
- Documentation. As Odoo is open-source, the way it is documented is rather disorganized. Its documentation is dispersed among various platforms. Documentation, for instance, can be found in Odoo Community, YouTube, and GitHub, which is a slight drawback as opposed to other systems that have all their documentation centralized and documented in an easy-to-access manner.
Conclusion: Is Odoo Worth It?
Odoo is used by over 4 million users. It’s an advanced, open-source ERP solution that has already proven its worth, quality, and generally bug-free nature. Coupled with a network of partnerships with the industry’s leading names, Odoo is a strong option that makes managing your enterprise resources easily and as accurately as it possibly can, thanks to its open-source nature.
Small to medium-sized enterprises as well as startups that are struggling to keep their finances and project management together can’t do better than trying Odoo out, which is a more economical alternative to other ERP solutions. Plus, its module-based focus makes it easy for companies to easily adapt to their changing needs – something of paramount importance and consideration for decision-makers.
Everything your business needs to achieve efficiency, quality, and productivity – and in turn, profitability – can be fully managed by Odoo itself.
The supreme adaptability of Odoo is what makes it, in our opinion, one of the best management tools on the planet, if not the best in its category, especially for startups and SMEs that have lesser resources to invest heavily on an ERP solution. You just can’t go wrong with Odoo when it comes to providing a fully bespoke enterprise resource planning solution.
Granted, Odoo was developed to be intuitive and user-friendly – but the biggest knock on it is its learning curve for users who are inexperienced or new to handling ERP solutions. Odoo is, however, actively working to reduce this.
In the end, the final decision should be determined on what your business is, and what it wants to achieve – but in our view, there isn’t an open-source ERP solution out there that holds a candle to what Odoo is capable of doing to manage your enterprise resource planning.