What Is An ERP?
Building Your Business Using Odoo's Tools
4 November, 2022 by
What Is An ERP?
Cory Speaker

Whether you own a small 1 person business or a sprawling empire, you're going to be using some sort of software or system or even collection of systems to manage all of the moving parts. Your inventory, procurement, sales, scheduling, accounting: the list can go on and on. Enter ERPs, or Enterprise Resource Planning. 

In the past, ERPs were most often a single program. One would handle your finances and that's it. Another would keep your planning on track and nothing else. In today's world, ERPs are capable of doing so much more, track and organize all aspects of a business, and maybe most importantly, be fully integrated across each of those aspects. This is important in that having all of your operations, inventory, accounting, manufacturing, all of the respective data is in one place and will improve efficiency, visibility, and forecasting to make your business a success.

So how do you know when it is time to pull your company away from the past and into this fully connected future? To follow in Elsa's icy footsteps and just let it go? When you are limited by your current system's capabilities, when you are stuck importing and exporting information to and from different systems because they do not "speak" to each other, or when business is slipping due to out dated management systems, it's time to jump to a new ERP.

One of the biggest things to accept is that letting go of the safe systems you are used to will then give you the freedom to explore what other systems have to offer. Too many times a business is scared to jump into something unknown, scared that cost of changing systems will be too high, or scared of losing the workflows and processes they have in place already. That's ok! Things change and you should be, you need to be, willing to change with them. A quote I once came across said "Change is automatic, progress is not." If you want your business to grow, to thrive, to progress, you need to embrace change.

So let's address a couple of those fears: Cost and losing legacy systems. 

First is cost and one of the biggest selling points in using Odoo. Odoo allows you to build things out by jumping head first with a total implementation, or, starting small and adding pieces as you go. If you want to just manage your sales and purchases in Odoo, no problem. If you then want to add warehouse inventory and product procurement to your system, download the apps and you are on your way so that if a sale requires more stock than you have on hand, that sale order can look at your inventory and determine if a product needs manufactured, purchased, or even dropshipped from a vendor. And configuration allows that sale order to kick off a purchase or manufacturing order depending upon the needs to fulfill the order. From there you can sprinkle in accounting and have all customer invoices and vendor bills automatically be in one spot to help keep your books up to date. You can add planning to schedule workers, or payroll to pay those employees and have that information flow into the accounting application as well. Start small, start cheap, and grow from there. 

Next, losing legacy information. Most modern ERPs should work with whatever system you have in place. At least with Odoo, I can speak firsthand and say that data from old systems can be exported and then imported into Odoo so that your product catalog, your customer and vendor contact lists, your sales and purchase history, can all be carried over. Nothing lost, plenty gained. Once that data is carried over, it's time to grow! (Author's note: Do you know how hard it is to find an image to depict "legacy?" It's kind of tough to convey in a picture, hence the above.)

If you and your business are considering a new ERP, consider Odoo. You can even go to their website, odoo.com/trial for a free trial. So play around, see how it feels, looks, functions. After that, contact us to get your project moving!

What Is An ERP?
Cory Speaker 4 November, 2022
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