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Pros & Cons of Odoo: Analysis of a Leading ERP Software

Category: B2B News
What are the pros and cons of Odoo?

The pros of Odoo come from its modular design, high flexibility, cost-free Community version, and open-source code, upon which volunteer technology experts share in its continuous development. As a non-proprietary system, however, it typically requires some learning curve and elaborate installation.

If there’s such as a thing as a modern-day panacea for businesses, then enterprise resource planning (ERP) software would be it. One of the most widely-used ERP platforms in the market is Odoo, made clear by having 4 million business users worldwide. If you’re searching for a new ERP or an upgrade for your existing system, Odoo could likely be a good candidate.

To ascertain if that is the case, let’s check out the pros and cons of Odoo. We’ll focus on the features essential to an ERP solution—pricing, sales enhancement, services incorporation, automation and streamlining, website creation, accounting, apps integration, etc. You may also want to look out for other factors that might be crucial to your decision: regular updates, vendor support, and scalability among others.

odoo pros and cons

Implementing an ERP system by itself is a crucial decision for your business—because doing it improperly might do your business more harm than good. Hence, it helps to be aware of how other businesses successfully deploy ERP technologies, especially within your sector or industry. 

For instance, according to a recent survey among technology experts, more businesses are shifting from using on-premise ERP platforms and use software-as-a-service ERP tools. Likewise, companies are increasingly integrating their ERP solutions with other core systems like CRM, PLM, SCM, etc., which means it’s high time to initiate steps to also integrate other business applications as this has been proven to be advantageous. These emerging trends support the continuing evolution, now involving a significant number of companies, towards the digital transformation of their business operations, which place ERP as among the most critical technologies.

As these changes continue to transform how businesses should be operated in today’s digital marketplace, the challenge now is knowing what is the right ERP platform for you. With so many things to factor in such as features, flexibility, suitability, integration with existing apps, and, especially pricing, picking the right one is never an easy feat.

If there’s one thing working in your favor, it is that most ERP solutions offer an avenue for you to try their products first before you purchase a new one or make an upgrade. With this option at hand, you can better ascertain if Odoo fits your specific requirements or not. Before heading that way, let’s proceed with the Odoo pros and cons review to set you off in the right direction.

Overview of Odoo

ERP software Odoo is a widely-used open-source ERP platform trusted by several millions of business users across the world in making their operations better, their employees more empowered to perform their jobs, and their customers more engaged and satisfied in their product/service offerings. This comprehensive solution—composed of over 30 core modules plus supplementary apps—should help effectively manage diverse, complex business applications from a single location.

In comparison to other similar solutions, Odoo is truly a comprehensive software application–it can handle a wide array of business requirements that include accounting, inventory, marketing, sales, CRM, billing, manufacturing, eCommerce, warehouse, project management, and a whole lot more. This tool can seamlessly integrate all these processes to enhance a company’s overall efficiency.

Compared to other open-source ERP applications, Odoo is one of the fastest developing platforms, thanks to its thousands of developers that form its community. It uses Python as its development language, while its database runs on postgreSQL.

Also, unlike other ERP platforms that are typically more on the pricey side, this open-source solution can prove to be very convenient for businesses operating on tight budgets. You can readily access an Odoo license without any cost, and then better allocate your technology budget to support customization. You can download Odoo for free from its company website.

Odoo Features Screencapture

Odoo main features.

This comprehensive ERP software suite is known for its user-friendliness and its extensive array of innovative applications that further boost its overall performance. It is also highly compatible with any type of business operations or work settings.

Key Odoo Features:

  1. Website Edition
  2. CRM
  3. Accounting
  4. MRP
  5. eSignature
  6. E-Commerce
  7. Point of Sale
  8. Sales Management
  9. Automated Invoicing
  10. Marketing
  1. Inventory Management
  2. Project Management
  3. Leave Management
  4. Automated Calendar
  5. Automated Stock Update
  6. Timesheets
  7. Extensive Integrations
  8. Customer Support
  9. Reporting
  10. Customization

We’ve conducted an in-depth analysis of this ERP software to prepare an evidence-based review of the pros and cons of Odoo, focusing on its main features, its positives, and some drawbacks. After reading this objective software review, you’ll surely be able to have a clearer picture if Odoo is the ERP solution that your business needs. Of course, like most SaaS apps, you can first test-drive Odoo to have first-hand knowledge of how it actually functions in addressing your day-to-day tasks and operations prior to making that buying decision.

Odoo Pros & Cons

Overall Features & Pricing

Odoo is an ERP platform that is made exactly how businesses need an ERP to be–a robust, integrated platform that addresses the needs of the modern business enterprise. It is available in three different variants including an enterprise version, an online model, and the community, open-source version.

Overall, this ERP system is a cost-effective option as Odoo is constantly updated app allows you to exchange other BPM tools in the first place itself. An API-friendly platform, Odoo supports a wide array of integration with other apps such as Whatsapp, QuickBooks, Google Maps, eBay, and Amazon.com. 

Odoo can be deployed can be achieved in three different ways, which users can implement on their own. First, is Odoo’s popular free Community plan, which already offers numerous features to support most ERP requirements. Second is through its Success Packs, which is highly suggested for businesses with 50 users and below. The third approach is through the help of Odoo partner, which is best for companies with over 50 users.

Success Packs are premium service packages managed by a dedicated ERP consultant. An Odoo project manager is assigned to a company during implementation to evaluate its specific needs and format the included Odoo tools based on their requirements. Success Pack pricing vary extensively. New customers typically use simple Odoo tools, and this pack starts at US$2,700 for the 25-hour Basic plan. Those requiring more advanced features such as customizations and data import can opt for the 200-hour Pro plan at US$18,750.

Sales Improvement

Odoo CRM dashboard

Odoo CRM dashboard showing pipeline management.

This group of features includes Odoo’s tools like Sales, CRM, and POS. Its Sales tools are designed to help businesses sell faster by using electronic signatures in sales documents, communicate faster, and boost revenues through upselling. Its CRM tool allows businesses to make precise sales forecasts, utilize actionable data for smarter decision-making, design customized dashboards to generate real-time snapshots of business performance, etc.

Odoo’s POS is user-friendly and can be set-up within minutes to allow businesses quickly sell. It is also compatible with any type of device and users can it use it either online or offline.

Overall, these features should help businesses automate most business processes to allow managers and employees to focus more on enhancing customer relationships and boosting revenues. Since these tools are designed in large part by a large community of technology experts and other user volunteers, they should address real needs better.

However, while Odoo is meant to be a user-friendly tool, there remains a continuing challenge to reduce its steep learning curve. Perhaps a few more software upgrades will finally address this software weakness.

Services Integration

This set of tools covers Odoo Project, Timesheet, and Helpdesk. Designed with an intuitive visual information system, the Odoo Project and Timesheet tools can help businesses set up, plan, schedule, and evaluate team performance and project achievements. These can also make sound forecasts for any project and operational resource requirements. Odoo’s project management tool enables users to streamline and integrate workplace systems and even improve worker productivity and team collaboration.

Odoo Helpdesk dashboard

A sample Odoo helpdesk dashboard.

Odoo’s Helpdesk features a well-designed UI that makes this tool efficient in helping business users prioritize and solve customer tickets more efficiently. The collective documentation for these services integration tools, however, do need constant improvement.

Aside from not being centralized, documentation remains to be scattered in various locations, such as Odoo Community and GitHub, including YouTube. Expect Odoo, however, to resolve this slight drawback once it manages to organize its training portal better. Once it does, it would allow it to reach out to those who most require training and guidance.

Operations Streamlining

Odoo’s Inventory, MRP, and Purchasing tools are all meant to help businesses streamline their operations. It also helps them improve their inventory and warehousing proficiency. Odoo completely integrates these three features to allow businesses to make accurate planning based on actual manufacturing data.

They also generate real-time worksheets and quality notifications that help employees make live adjustments in their jobs. These support quality outcomes and individual skills. For managers, they can easily capture operational and workforce data in real-time using any gadgets, thanks to its API integration.

Odoo uses a smart double entry inventory system to better organize any warehouse operations. These could include implementing a more efficient stocking system and other related business processes. This system does not use any stock input, output or any change. Instead, it involves stock movement from one location to another.

You can monitor each stock movement throughout the entire manufacturing cycle. You can even trace product serials or lots downstream or upstream from anywhere without in your supply chain.

Some user reviews, however, indicate that they encountered some difficulty using this platform, which suggests that it may not be suitable particularly for developing medium- to large-scale web projects, although it is likely that some guidance or close coordination with Odoo’s consultants or project managers could easily help in preventing this.

Business Website Creation

This platform’s offers one of the best website builder tools and eCommerce solution among today’s top open-source ERP suites. Odoo’s website builder is easy-to-use and mobile-optimized. With a robust drag and drop feature, you can easily build a web on your own. You can then integrate new features as your business expands, including eCommerce, company blog, events, new job postings, etc. You can also readily personalize your website to suit your brand and style.

Odoo Web Creation dashboard

Odoo Web Creation dashboard.

Oddo’s integrated eCommerce platform is helpful in better maintaining a business’ sales and inventory, such as through its automated stock adjustment and reporting features. This ERP’s dedicated customer portals come in handy to keep customer information neat and systematic using order tracking and claims. This also allows business clients to view pending shipments and to download delivery orders and invoices from one location.

Many expert and user reviews typically indicate that Odoo is resource-intensive, which is why while its website builder and related tools are always highly-rated, the vendor needs to make further enhancements in keeping Odoo-created website use lesser resources, which makes it difficult to scale this area as a business grows.

Finance Management

Businesses would appreciate how the Odoo’s Finance and Accounting tools allow them to save time and resources. For instance, its Bank Synchronization feature allows users to have their bank statements automatically synced with their bank; it also lets users import important financial records. 

The professional invoices that Odoo’s smart invoicing and billing solution creates are also quite good. This tool also helps better track payments, manage recurring bills, and make efficient expense forecasts. Another notable feature is its Smart Reconciliation tool, which enables users to effortlessly reconcile financial records. You can even automate up to 95% of all your reconciliation processes to further boost productivity and save more time.

Odoo Accounting dashboard

An Odoo Accounting dashboard showing invoice analysis.

Again, since Odoo regularly releases new versions, due to its thousands of expert community members and over a thousand development partners across countries, business users typically undergo some period of adjustments when using newly upgraded versions.

Marketing Reach Expansion

The Marketing Automation and Email Marketing features of this ERP suite are also quite good. With Odoo, users can create automatic and targeted marketing campaigns. They can automate workflows and segment prospects to deliver the right message to the correct prospect in a timely manner.

Users can also design advanced marketing workflows that focus on good prospects. This allows them to effectively nurture these promising leads through their sales funnel. Odoo also offers one of today’s finest email marketing tools, which is also user-friendly, which enables marketers–even the non-techy, novice ones–to create powerful marketing emails using a few drag and drops.

Odoo’s capability to help business users expand their marketing scope is unquestionable, given these robust set of features. However, watch out for issues with the release of new versions. Slight changes in the data structure, for example, may result in confusion among users. Still, the vendor sends timely and clear guidelines whenever they release upgrades. This should help users transition to the new version.

Customization & Development

Odoo API Firebase dashboard1

An Odoo API integration using Firebase.

In Odoo’s Studio and Odoo.sh., businesses can easily customize their operational processes. They also become active partners in further developing this ERP’s open source system. 

Our experts find these tools quite impressive, both in their UI and features. However, a number of business users tend to encounter considerable difficulties in maneuvering through its controls. This indicates that only trained developers/users would be able to competently integrate and customize these applications. Aware of this, Odoo is improving fast in this area.

How to best know if Odoo suits your business requirements

In summary, the pros of Odoo discussed above show why millions of businesses worldwide choose it over the others. For an open-source app, it gives competitions a run for their money. Some minor issues naturally spring from such arrangement of course, as noted above.

Despite these areas for improvement, Odoo remains to be an ideal option. This is especially true for SMBs searching for a budget ERP platform with an option for expansion later. Overall, it does offer, indubitably, a win-win solution for businesses of any size, in any industry or sector.

If you feel you want to know more about the other top software tools in this category, we recommended that you explore the features and tools of the other leading ERP software solutions before you decide to purchase one.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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