ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, i.e., planning of all the available resources to gain maximum profit and sales for the organisation. In this sense, an ERP software is capable of providing a core access point to the business organisation to update relevant information, operations, and processes of the business. ERP software is responsible for integrating different departments of a business like purchasing, planning, retail, sales, inventory, supply chain, marketing and finance.
Benefits of Using Free and Open Source ERP software
Some of the giant companies like Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft have already developed enterprise-level ERP software that are great for large MNC’s. The installation, implementation, networking, hardware and maintenance costs of such enterprise-based ERP software are so high that it almost becomes impossible for the SME’s to incur such heavy costs. There are, however, some of the best ERP software that are free to use and get the job done efficiently.
Best Free and Open Source ERP software
Odoo is not just a single software but a collection of various tools that would help you to run the business smoothly. It includes all the necessary tools, like accounting, CRM, payroll, etc., that any business requires nowadays and enriches them with a variation of POS, ERP, and E-commerce functions to deliver a precise solution.
Odoo is available in two different versions – Community and Enterprise. The community version is open source and free to use, while the Enterprise version is Saas-based and chargeable on a monthly or annual basis.
List of features provided by Odoo:
- Sales: CRM, Point of Sale (PoS), Subscriptions
- Marketing: Marketing Automation, Email Marketing, Events, Survey
- Finance: Accounting, Invoicing, Expenses
- Operations: Inventory, Timesheets, Project, Purchase, Helpdesk
- Human Resources: Recruitment, Employees, Fleet, Leaves, Appraisal
- Manufacturing: MRP, PLM, Equipment, Quality
- Web tools: Website Builder, eCommerce, Blogs, Forum, Slides, Live Chat, Appointments
One of the most beneficial facts of using Odoo Enterprise version is that the users can choose the desired services from the large package and pay only for what they are using. Such kind of flexibility is not available on other enterprise ERP software.
Just like the Odoo, Dolibarr is also a collection of various ERP and CRM tools, although the list of features is somewhat limited in comparison. Even the fact that, while opting for the paid services, you can choose to pay only for the services you would be using, rather than paying for the entire package, remains the same.
Dolibarr is available in three different versions. You can use it as a standalone application, install on a shared or dedicated server or opt for SaaS version.
ERPNext is an intuitive and comprehensive open source ERP software for startups and small businesses. You can use it with ease on your smartphone as every tool on this software is available on the screen in the form of app icons. You just have to click on the icons and it will take you to the respective tool. It is most suitable for the managers who are not that much into technology and love the effortless way of handling every situation.
It is also great for the average joe to do simple tasks of ERP management. It provides a step-by-step wizard style user interface. However, there are some drawbacks of such type of interface as well, for example, it is not suitable for complex enterprise ERP solutions.
ERPNext is free to download and install to use individually. It is also free up to 5 users when hosted online, or totally free when installed on personal servers. If you are looking for some of the best ERP software, ERPNext must be on your list.
iDempiere combines CRM and SCM (Supply Chain Management) with ERP. It is a suitable option if your business has already been scaled up. iDempiere can handle complex management up to a great extent. Moreover, with iDempiere, you also get an active community support.
These are some of the best ERP software that are available for free if you choose to use them on your own server. Most of them are also equipped with CRM tools, which means you do not need to hunt for a free CRM software separately. Choosing the right ERP software can be a headache, but being clear about your requirements can make your task easy up to a great extent.