Open Source ERP Solutions For Small Business
A software that an organization can use to manage day-to-day activities of a business like accounting, procurement, risk management, and compliance, project management, and supply chain operations is known as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). Also included with a complete ERP suite is enterprise performance management. It's a software that helps to plan, budget, predict and report on an organization's financial results. ERP's join together several different business processes and enables data to flow between them. ERP systems can eliminate data duplication and provide data integrity by collecting an organization's transactional data from several different sources. ERP systems are essential nowadays to manage businesses of all sizes and in all industries.
What to look for in an ERP system?
You need to find a system that suits your needs. So, more features don't always mean a better product. There is a very good possibility that your business needs will grow along with your company, so you need a flexible ERP system that can expand to meet your needs (like additional modules or support for plugins and add-ons). Most available ERP systems come in the form of web applications that you can download and install on your server. If you lack the skill or staff to maintain a system yourself, then check if a hosted version of the application is available. Lastly, make sure to get an application with good documentation and support (in the form of paid support or an active user community)
When looking for an effective ERP system, you don't have to spend millions of dollars on something like Oracle or SAP. There are a lot of open-source and free ERP options. We'll look at some of the best ones in this article.
Primarily designed for small and medium businesses, ERPNext is an open-source ERP solution that is presented as a series of apps. It is a system designed for people who are not that technical. It is very easy to set up. The whole process of entering business information is done through a setup wizard style. The system is clean, simple and user-friendly. The downside of such a simple system is that there is very little room to expand the ERP when the specific needs of the business need to be tackled. You need to tinker with the code to add more complex elements. When hosted online, ERPNext is free for five users. It is completely free for a business of any size when installed on your own servers.
It is a very popular ERP system that comes with everything an ERP solution needs like accounting, HR, CRM and inventory modules. For further expansion, Dolibarr has an app store (Dolistore). You can also build your own apps and add them to the system. Dolibarr gets consistent updates and has a very active user forum. It is also available in several languages. Dolibarr also supports cloud installations.
iDempiere requires the most setup among the other options in this list, but when it comes to open source options, it is the most robust. It provides almost about everything that an ERP system can. From warehouse management, product planning, payroll and on and on. Like most open-source programs, it relies heavily on community support for troubleshooting. You also have the option to hire specialists with experience on iDempiere.
Based on a modular system, Openbravo is a very retail-focused ERP. It has three versions. The free community edition is a stripped-down version of the more premium options. It has some of the necessary ERP stuff like financial and inventory management. The Professional and Enterprise editions come with more features but you have to pay for them. Support for Openbravo can be found outside of community forums, but they come at a cost.
MixERP is a free and open-source ERP system that is built on the ASP.net framework. You have to manage hosting and upgrading on the free version. You can have access to support if you decide to pay up 49 dollars per issue. It is a good balance between outsourcing and doing stuff yourself. The free version comes with inventory management, sales management, accounting, and HR tools . Manufacturing and payroll management options are only available on the paid version.
The ERP system we recommend the most is Odoo. Odoo is an easy to use business management software that helps you to run a business efficiently. With Odoo, you not only get an effective ERP system but a platform that will bring success to your business. Odoo's best feature is how it is a system of interconnected apps that can seamlessly integrate. Odoo has apps and modules that can cover everything from manufacturing, Websites, Marketing Automation, sales, accounting and much more. It is a complex piece of software that is very user-friendly. All modules have a single, simple interface. The apps are integrated so well that you can fully automate many of your business processes. When hosted online, Odoo provides one app for free for unlimited users. Additional apps can cost between 12 dollars a month to 72 dollars a month depending on the app. If you install and maintain Odoo yourself, then it is free! With a monthly fee, you can bolster your apps that can assist you to build a website, run a CRM, etc. Features like these help to keep a system from becoming bloated. The only disadvantage of using Odoo is that the number of free apps is limited. If you want to run it in house, then you'll need expert staff to handle things. Thankfully, it is not that expensive to add more apps! Odoo is a system that can grow along with your business, thanks to its scaled approach to features and users. Odoo currently has 4 million users.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Henry Chen