An honest Odoo review with a NZ perspective.
What is Odoo?
Odoo is an open-source business management software that covers all the needs of small, medium and large businesses alike. This all-in-one business management software includes CRM, eCommerce, accounting, inventory, point of sale, document management and project management business applications. An impressive, flexible and affordable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that surpasses traditional ERP Software.
An ERP is the backbone of a business. ERP tools enable businesses to improve performance while simplifying operations because they allow for a streamlined workflow and eliminate a number of pain points in day-to-day operations. However, not all tools are created equal and if you’re implementing a system of such importance, it is critical that the solution is a good fit now but also has the ability to scale and grow over the next 15+ years.
| “What attracted me to Odoo is the simplicity of a really powerful and rich application. It's Cloud based so you can deploy it over Cloud. It also runs on a browser, you can deploy it on premise. If you think about how our phones operate today, all of us have got app based phones, like Android or Apple, everything is app based. Well, that's Odoo. Odoo is app based. If you want to download and install the help desk functionality, there's an app for it. Or if you want invoicing or sales management, there's a module or app for it." - Awie Van den Berg, Director of Enabling
Did you know, the average Manufacturer uses 10 different software applications to run their business? Many other industries follow suit as each department looks to employ technology to meet their needs. For small to medium sized businesses in particular, an all-in-one ERP system is often considered to be out of reach and unaffordable. However, integrating these software applications can be expensive, time consuming and inefficient. This is where Odoo has successfully swooped in. Positioning themselves with the business scope of the big players in the ERP market whilst delivering the ease of use that rivals your favourite business software app. Odoo ERP is just as suitable for large Manufacturers like Toyota as it is for Non-Profits and SME's. This is what makes Odoo the fast growing ERP system taking over the world, fast!
Odoo has over 7 million users globally. Yet in NZ, there are very few. Why?
Odoo is one of the fastest growing ERP systems in the world and just 3 to 4 years ago, was not known in the NZ market at all.
There are two main reasons for the low uptake of Odoo in NZ:
1. Odoo's Open Source, Belgium Origin
Open source software has never been a leader in the NZ market and most businesses are very much Windows based. It is evident that those countries where free/open source software is appealing are where so many of Odoo’s initial users come from. Along with dev offices in Belgium, the differing time zones made support difficult and slow.
The tide turned however, once Odoo set about becoming a fully commercialised offering by providing a formal release with a powerful sales and marketing engine. Backed up with full support and offices around the world, Odoo is burgeoning with users and quickly grew from 3 to 7 million users within a few years.
2. Localised Investment & Knowledge
Introducing an ERP system as an offering takes a lot of effort and expense. Hence there has been a lack of credible, experienced vendors in NZ with the ability to make the investment required to take Odoo to the nation as a viable ERP solution.
| “We have trained and built our resources up to where they are now” – Raju Pillai, Director of Enabling
Odoo was not localised for the specific needs of New Zealand businesses and therefore significant investment was first required to tailor this powerful ERP system to those needs. Enabling has since built countless localised functionalities that make Odoo an accessible, affordable and flexible ERP in NZ.
| “After selecting Odoo as our flagship product, Enabling entered the market with the product not as a side solution but as our primary company offering. This means we do Odoo differently. More professional, more focused.” – Andrew Telfer, Director of Enabling
And why is that of benefit to you?
Odoo is the perfect ERP for NZ businesses. Becoming an early adopter of Odoo in NZ provides a significant advantage to any industry by improving, automating and applying efficiencies to business processes whilst developing a single platform that will allow for rapid growth.
Odoo offers a full suite of ERP functionality that can be easily customised to fit the needs of any business. Such flexibility combined with affordability makes Odoo's software an ERP solution sought by small and medium sized companies experiencing growth.
One of the differentiators of the Odoo solution is that it offers an incredible range of modules and applications to give it its market-leading flexibility. Businesses can configure the Odoo system specifically to their requirements through its choice of modules.
A Single, Cost-Effective Modular Solution
What Customers Are Saying
Some of the benefits we hear our customers reflect about Odoo include:
- Using Odoo "Enabling helped us build a customised system for better control over and insight into our multi-faceted business. The previous system we used didn't do this for us."
- Having previously used SAP, Odoo is much better!
- Odoo is super convenient as a cloud-based solution.
- Odoo has been easy to extend.
- It has a wide feature set that can be configured to each specific department
- "Odoo is a fantastic all-in-one "integrated" accounting, sales, marketing and administration package that provides up to date and accurate information".
- We were using Xero in addition to running very complex and labour intensive spreadsheets to run our unique business. We knew we would need a flexible, easily customisable ERP software that could be tailored to our needs. Odoo has been that solution.
- Efficiency. Odoo Documents especially, has allowed our organisation to collaborate and access documents from anywhere, on any device.
- "Having come from an organisation that used NetSuite, I am blown away by the scope and simplicity of Odoo. It is far easier to use."
What’s important is that if you are looking for a new ERP solution, and especially one like Odoo, that you explore those aspects or features which will impact your specific circumstances and requirements.
7 Key Features Of Odoo
Open Source Model:What we love about Odoo is that its open source model allows it to stay relevant with the speed of light changes in the business performance world. Odoo was built and developed to follow the fast moving focus and needs of companies in growth mode. So, add new applications to enhance and support business performance as you need it, with ease!
Easily Customisable:Because Odoo is built on an open source platform, developers and programmers all over the world have access to the source code. This means that Odoo customisations can easily be built to suit the unique needs of your organisation, without exorbitant costs.
Wide Range Of Core Modules:The core modules in Odoo ERP include: Accounting, Project Management, MRP, POS, CRM, eCommerce, Reporting, Timesheets and Inventory Management.
API Friendly:Odoo’s other perk is that it is very API-friendly. This allows it to seamlessly integrate with other applications. Imagine connecting Odoo with everyday applications like Amazon, QuickBooks, WhatsApp, and about 16,000 other 3rd party apps.
Cost Effective:From a cost and usability perspective, it allows you to start small and basic, then add on more modules or apps as you need them, ensuring your ERP solution is efficiently bringing you the very best to your business.
Customer Support:Odoo’s customer support is legendary. It’s often the key difference between the best software vendors and the worst. Go to the Odoo website and score yourself a wide range of educational content and learning resources. It’s all free. A perfect starting point for those in your business who want to get their head around the Odoo solution and how it works.
Community:The open-source model for Odoo has additional benefits from a support standpoint. Open-source communities by nature are very generous with their time and help. There’s always several developer forums online that you can find. Reading through previous Q&A or asking new questions to the Odoo community is all part of the open-source experience, so you’re never alone.
User Friendly:Odoo has a modern and elegant technical design with usability that scales across all of their apps. Improvements are continuously and automatically applied to all apps, ensuring a top-notch, user-friendly design.
Top-Notch User Experience
Odoo Pricing. Is Odoo really free?
ERP solutions for small to midsized businesses come with a hefty price tag. This is not the case with Odoo. The modular architecture of the software has made it accessible and affordable for businesses of all sizes.
Odoo actually offers 1 app free, forever! The catch? The app will only remain free while you are using it as a stand-alone app. Take the Accounting Module as an example. If you selecting this module in Odoo's pricing calculator you will notice it also come with the invoicing app (they need each other in order to operate). No matter how many users you require, this app remains free! A perfect, fully functional Accounting software to get you started.
The catch? Well it's not really a catch and is to be expected but as soon as you add more, you will pay for the new app(s) as well as the original app you had previously used for free. This highlights an impressive achievement of Odoo that no other ERP software has been able to achieve. Odoo is affordable for start-ups and SME's! Beginning with just one module and growing or adding more as your business and needs change, is an affordable approach to implementing ERP for some businesses.
However, as businesses grow, so do the complexities and requirements to operate efficiently. While Odoo can be applied with a relatively basic budget, it is not a matter of just plug and play. Just like any comprehensive ERP system, it takes expertise to implement the right solution. There is a need to invest some budget into tailoring the software to your company’s needs, which is why working with an Odoo partner is recommended for a successful implemenation.
All in all, the modular architecture of Odoo allows faster implementation timeframes and lower total cost of ownership.
What are Odoo's downsides?
You only need to visit popular software review sites like Capterra to uncover bad Odoo reviews. Time and time again it is obvious that implementation success heavily relies on your choice of an Odoo Partner. Implementing software into a business is a great undertaking and should be carried out not just by developers who know Odoo well (like Odoo's team themselves) but with ERP consultants who have years of business analysis experience across multiple industry sectors. Combining the technological knowledge with the business know-how and localised experience in your country is a necessity for success. Look for a Gold Partner, with the most experience in your own country to save you the pain!
Odoo's customer service team is another factor which let's their ratings down. It is evident among the worst reviews that customer service is not attentive enough, even when a support pack is purchased. Again, Partners! You need a guaranteed and responsive support agreement in place to ensure you are never left high and dry before, during or after implementation.
Odoo does require complex configuration and setup. The initial learning curve is a steep one. However, due to the open source nature of Odoo, there are many developers out there (whether part of an internal team or external supplier) that believe they have the skills required to install the software (which can be simple). As complexities grow, issues compound and well, you wouldn't take your new Mercedes to a back yard mechanic, would you? Installation, configuration and setup need to be done right the first time by those who know the technology inside and out!
When we spoke to our current Odoo customers they told us another downside of their initial Odoo experience was a the perception of a complicated pricing model. Fortunately, there is a calculator tool on the Odoo site where you can get an estimate of the monthly charges for each app you add to the system which makes the pricing model much easier to comprehend.
Odoo Community vs Odoo Enterprise? What you need to know.
The Odoo Community version is a free, basic version of Odoo available from their website. This basic version remains free as it is completely open source and does not include many of the updated functionalities, modules and apps that the Enterprise edition does. In fact, downloading the community version is a great (and free) way to get a good feel for the software. However, when it comes to configuring and customising the software based on your specific needs, you're best to engage an experienced Odoo partner.
Odoo Enterprise is a paid, licensed and shared version that is more flexible to business functionalities. The Enterprise version offers functional support, frequent version upgrades and the ability to utilise and integrate any of the Odoo apps available across Finance, Sales, Websites, Inventory & MRP, HR and Marketing. A table view of the comparison of these Odoo Editions is available here. Again, working with a local Odoo Partner will ensure you have access to an accredited ERP consultant that will best guide you to the modules and apps that best enhance your business.
Should You Choose Odoo?
Odoo's open source platform has been a revelation. Skeptical at first, the entire Enabling team has developed a passion for the suite of business apps and their potential to see business grow, enabled by technology.
There’s never been an easier way to fully customise and automate business processes via one open source ERP solution. The business processes that an ERP system will manage can be incredibly complex, making that initial investment and steep learning curve a downside to any ERP system. The flexibility, cost efficiency and usability of Odoo makes it a great ERP solution that will cover your needs today while also ensuring your needs over the next 15 years can be planned for and met.
Based on implementations to date, customer feedback and decades of expertise in implementing and crafting ERP solutions for businesses across Australasia, Enabling recommends Odoo as the #1 ERP software solution.