Odoo ERP for Manufacturers: 5 Tips and Strategies

Odoo ERP for Manufacturers: 5 Tips and Strategies

At Blue Stingray, we specialize in custom Odoo ERP implementations for manufacturing operations. We’ve been doing it for a long time, and for lots of clients. Here’s just one example.  

About a decade ago, we helped a market-leading manufacturer migrate from a hodgepodge of business software to Odoo. That move replaced a half-dozen clunky applications with a single, streamlined system. 

Odoo covers all the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) tasks and more. It remains a unified system for the whole operation’s workflow, from inventory to project management to quotes and sales tracking. 

“Odoo has changed the way our business works,” the company’s CEO said. “And we definitely chose the right Odoo development team.” 

Read the rest of the success story.  

Since then, Blue Stingray has built custom Odoo implementations for many more manufacturers. We’ve helped industrial operations confront new challenges and employ new technologies, delivering the best that Odoo has to offer every step of the way.

Today, we’d like to share a bit of what we’ve learned from all our years with Odoo. Here are five tips that can help manufacturers get the most out of Odoo ERP, based on our considerable experience doing just that. 

 

5 Odoo ERP Tips for Manufacturers

Odoo is free to try. Why not experiment? Get Odoo here

If you run into any trouble, contact us for help. In the meantime, here are five ways to make Odoo work better for your manufacturing operation.  

 

1. Use the apps you need. Skip the ones you don’t. 

Modularity is Odoo’s key strength. This isn’t a huge, unwieldy application, full of features designed for other industries. It’s a series of integrated apps — any of which you can use or remove as you see fit. 

This architecture ensures a streamlined, user-friendly system, tailored just for your unique manufacturing operation. So which Odoo apps should you use? 

That depends on how you run your business, of course, but start with the Odoo Manufacturing App. This all-in-one platform includes: 

  • A material requirements planning (MRP) tool
  • A full manufacturing execution system (MES) 
  • Product lifecycle management (PLM) software
  • A quality assurance (QA) system
  • A shop floor app for workers
  • A maintenance system for machinery
  • Detailed reporting with strong visualizations

It’s everything you need to manage your manufacturing process. The Odoo Manufacturing app integrates seamlessly with dozens of official Odoo apps and thousands of third-party solutions, too. 

In short, you can use Odoo to handle manufacturing, finance, HR, sales, marketing, and every other corner of your business. Or you can stick to a handful of functions. It’s up to you.  

Related: Switching to Odoo ERP: Advantages and Considerations 

 

2. Set up alternatives for every workstation. 

The Odoo MRP solution models your manufacturing floor as a series of work centers. Each operation in your process requires unique equipment; you probably have it set up in a distinct location. You can set up each of these locations as a distinct work center within Odoo MRP. 

It’s easy to miss a powerful feature as you set up your work centers. The Work Center form allows you to designate “alternative work centers.” This capability can prevent manufacturing bottlenecks; if one workstation hits capacity, it will automatically assign work to the alternative.  

It only takes a moment to designate an alternative work center, and doing so can prevent considerable manufacturing delays. This video explains how it’s done.  

 

3. Install the Time Off app to remove bottlenecks.

Here’s another tip for preventing delays: Use Odoo’s Time Off app to model real-world availability for each of your work centers. 

Odoo Time Off lets you set availability for work centers. When a work center is unavailable, the system won’t assign work orders to that location. That keeps orders from piling up at an offline station. 

Use Time Off to designate time between shifts, or to take a station offline for equipment repairs. It’s easy to set up and removes a lot of headaches on the shop floor. Here’s a simple guide to Odoo’s Time Off app.   

 

4. Reduce work with ERP-native process automation.  

Odoo 17 includes strong process automation capabilities. Use them to reduce or eliminate time-consuming data entry. 

Boot up Odoo’s Developer Mode to set Automation Rules, which trigger predefined actions in specified scenarios. For example, you can set up an Automation Rule to: 

  • Send prompts to team members. You can automate task reminders based on upcoming deadlines, for example. 
  • Automate procurement tasks. For instance, you might set a rule to place an order when inventory reaches a certain threshold. 
  • Reduce data errors. Set fields to duplicate across documents to make data entry mistakes a thing of the past.  

Related: How Process Automation Works in Odoo

 

5. Get Odoo help from the experts. 

No list of tips or strategies can replace the work of experienced Odoo developers. Blue Stingray can help you migrate to Odoo without putting your whole business on hold. We’ll build a custom implementation that solves your unique challenges. If you can’t find an Odoo app to do what you need, we’ll design one from scratch. 

The Odoo experts at Blue Stingray are ready to support your migration; implement a whole new instance; or maintain your ERP for the long haul. We specialize in manufacturing operations, and have a proven track record of success in your industry. Contact us to learn more.   

“TAG Sports Gear was on a mission to find the right e-commerce platform that would help us reach an untapped online customer base. Blue Stingray was the answer! After the initial meeting, we knew Blue Stingray had the knowledge needed to help us create the exact e-commerce site we envisioned.”

— Robin Catiller, Operations Manager, TAG Sports Gear
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