Here is our curated list of open-source ERP software to manage your business like a pro.
Running a family of four, I often see resources lying unused and wasting their life cycles. You can tolerate that at your home, but doing that with your business is never a good thing.
Most organizations combine micro-level disparate systems needing an alignment. That's precisely where Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) comes into the picture.
Now you can either self-host or go for cloud management. Self-hosting is more secure and generally an economical option. You can host software on your favorite cloud platform and have full control over customization, security, etc. But Cloud can be easy to back up and is aimed at non-tech savvy business owners.
So, let's start with the list and see what's there in the offer with these self-hosted Open-Source ERP Software.
Odoo provides a suite of applications to manage every aspect of your business. These individual applications are integrated and can be purchased separately.
- Blog, eCommerce, and eLearning platforms builders. Create forums & live chats to directly talk to your customers.
- CRM, quotation, and Point of Sale applications. Rental and subscription management.
- Finance Apps for accounting, invoicing, expenses, eSignatures, etc.
- Inventory and Manufacturing applications for product life-cycle, purchase, maintenance, quality management, etc.
- Manage recruitments, time-offs, appraisals, fleet management, etc.
- Marketing automation utilities like email marketing, SMS marketing, event, and survey management.
- Optimize projects, field services & customer service, appointments, and meetings.
- Team communication utility, VoIP, and IoT management.
- Odoo Studio to build mobile applications.
Odoo ERP comes in two formats: community and enterprise editions. The community version is free and open-source with limited features.
The best way is to start with the community edition and upgrade if need be. Notably, cloud hosting is free and costs the same as self-hosting subscriptions. However, extra costs do apply for allowing custom modules.
Alternatively, you can get Odoo hosting on Kamatera with one click.
Unlike Odoo, ERPNext has a free version that ships with all the modules. So that makes it a 100% free, open-source ERP software.
- Real-time accounting books giving key performance indicators. Income & expenses tracking, auto-invoicing, and multi-currency transaction management.
- Inventory, sales, suppliers, & customer tracking. Monitor shipments, order fulfillment, and manage multi-channel sales. Inbuilt marketing mechanisms like email campaigns.
- Manage employees and handle onboarding, appraisals, training, etc. Analyze manpower requirements, post job ads, and respond to the applicants.
- Monitor production cycles, material consumption, showcase capacity planning, handle subcontracts, etc.
- Integrate customer acquisitions from all channels. Distribute leads among your team and track each prospect's case to evaluate marketing strategies. Support for email marketing.
- Agile project management software for planning, tracking, and managing deadlines. Assign tasks and sync them with your employee's to-do list. Inbuilt chat application.
- Unified ticket management, service tracking, and reporting. Auto ticket distribution for faster resolutions. Create help articles to save time for complex issues.
- Asset management to oversee product lifecycle. Monitor asset location, present custodian, depreciation, warranty, transfer, etc.
- Website Builder for responsive mobile-friendly, SEO optimized blogs, eCommerce stores, forums, web-chats, social logins keys.
Except for the free versions, there are two paid tiers. The first one adds server monitoring, security updates, and an optional product warranty to the free one. And the enterprise edition has implementation consultation, functional and developer support as well.
Dolibarr extends the list of free and open-source ERP software. However, there is a paid version with extra features and a 15-day free trial.
- Manage customers, quotations, proposals, subscriptions, etc.
- Employee management, create expense reports, timesheets, and recruitment assistance.
- Website builder including eCommerce store and Point of Sales application.
- Product catalog with inventory management. Track shipments, create bills of materials, and material resources planning.
- Invoice creation, tracking, and payment management. Reconciliation support for finding errors or missed entries. Double-entry accounting to fast-track the process of creating an accounting ledger.
- Send email marketing campaigns and conduct surveys.
- Track individual projects revenue, business prospects, and create intervention records. Custom calendar to record events and assign resources to specific events.
- REST APIs to create, update or delete data. Link it with external eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, etc. Import/export of data via CSV or spreadsheets.
- A no-code/low code utility to build custom modules for developers.
There is also a DoliStore where you can purchase extra modules. Dolibarr Cloud has the flexibility to enable only the required features and an option to switch to a self-hosted solution.
Besides, the cloud version can be accessed from any platform. Dolibarr has data centers in France and a list of region-based suppliers.
Tryton is a completely free ERP software that can be tried without any installations.
- Take note of all transactions in the chart of accounts.
- Manage quotations and products.
- Oversee shipments, receipts, current stocks with location, etc.
- Calculate revenues and expenses by specific categories.
- Lead management and conversion.
- Quotation tracking and group orders.
- Track individual projects and their profitability.
- Subscription management and third-party integrations.
Tryton is run by a federation of companies scattered all over the globe. It has originated as a fork of Odoo (previously known as TinyERP).
As of this writing, Tryton doesn't have any paid version. But the biggest benefit is that there is no vendor lock-in: you can switch any time without any issues.
WebERP, as the name suggests, is a web application that you can use with just a browser.
- Quotation management and multiple order dispatch. Auto-pricing based on factors like sales type, currency. Automatic freight charge calculation depending upon shipping & delivery address.
- Invoicing and integration with every transaction in the stock records & general ledger. Custom sales analysis and export to pdf or spreadsheets. Unlimited accounts and custom shipping addresses and methods of dispatch.
- Inventory monitoring with unlimited warehouse locations and stock quantities. Automatic back ordering at invoicing or order cancelation. Full history of stock items movement. Dummy stocking for labor and services. Stock movements sync with invoices and credit notes. Flexibility to add unlimited user-defined categories to each inventory.
- Add as many bank accounts with preferred currency. Auto-transaction recording and reporting of outstanding payments/receipts. Online reconciliation statements based on transaction entries. Track unrealized gains/losses for foreign exchange differences.
- General ledger to manage balance sheets & profit/loss statements. Budget reporting and account inquiry for particular periods. User-definable account groups. Posting control by freezing past dates to avoid changes.
- Multi-level bill of materials with error tracking to avoid recursive BOMs. Work orders with multiple output items. Work order costing with support to automated weighted average cost and manual standard costing.
- Custom job-costing for select customers. Optional conversion into quotation and sales order. Purchase order asset addition. Fixed asset register based on addition, depreciation, disposals, etc., for a specified period.
WebERP is a free piece of open-source software. It has a few supported integrations like a POS windows application. Similarly, there is a Superb Mini Server, a Slackware-based Linux distribution compatible with WebERP.
- Workflow-based Accounting with support for multiple currencies. Role-based multi-entity access. Compatible with multiple general accounting plans (GAP). Asset management with auto-generation of amortization events as per asset life cycle. Future cash transaction planning.
- Unified activity view with all 3rd parties like clients, media, suppliers, etc. Event tracking and ticket management. Central document storage with support for major formats. Easy access to records and spreadsheet export.
- HR modules manage job posts, training, and position life cycle. Project and Inventory management applications. Manufacturing module to streamline procurement, sales, and complaints.
- eCommerce with high-performing shopping carts and subscription support. Custom pricing based on select factors. Multisite inventory with integrated PoS. Discounts for regular customers, social integrations, etc.
- Product data management to control parameters like selling & cost price, barcodes, dimensions, etc.
ERP5 is again a no-cost ERP software. There are detailed guides for implementation. However, you can always opt to avail services of the native developer–Nexedi.
Metasfresh is a feature-packed ERP software that has free self-hosting and premium cloud subscription as an alternative.
- Order import by EDI, spreadsheets, etc. Delivery-time calculation and order pickup by product or customer.
- Auto accounting of all consignments. Personalized invoice generation and scheduling.
- Programmed invoice payment capture and accounting. Customer payment recording in bank accounts/cash books
- Payment grouping based on customers. Match payments with bank statements.
- Custom dunning procedure for customers. Easy subcontracting directly from orders.
- Scheduling and sorting of incoming goods. Incoming goods invoice generation and verification.
- Dynamic payment orders based on due dates or buffer periods. Payment orders export in SEPA format.
As per Metasfresh, the ideal implementation is wholesale or a midsize company. The free option is self-supported, and cloud hosting comes with application support with a 7-day free trial.
There is also an option for advanced support, which is currently available in select countries via Metasfresh partners. There is a weekly automatic update system for all tiers.
Axelor ERP hardly leaves any aspect of your business management from their free and open-source ERP software.
- Auto-generation of entries from accounting documents. Real-time accounting reports like general ledger, discount slips, etc. Automatic tax management and custom tax calculations. Programmed credit transfers and SEPA direct debits. Bank reconciliation support.
- Axelor calendar showing CRM events, holidays, etc. Sync with external applications such as Google calendar. Project management with profit analysis, monitoring, and invoicing. Create and control customer and supplier contracts.
- Manage leads and customers. Track potential and present sales. Create business events like appointments, calls. Document management to create, download, classify and find business documents.
- Fleet management includes creation, assignment, life cycle monitoring. Oversee vehicle rental contracts, track maintenance, and fuel consumption.
- Auto/manual cash forecast creation, monitoring, and reporting. Helpdesk to create, assign, and track support tickets in addition to SLA management.
- Monitor employee contracts, prepare payrolls, voucher management, and create leave reports. Handle timesheets, acquisition, training, and evaluation.
- Manage invoices and supplier credit notes. Create and distribute mass invoices. Auto calculation and notification about invoice due dates. Financial performance reporting.
- Create and manage BOMs. Build production and manufacturing orders. Support for finite and infinite capacity planning. Integrated inventory management application.
- Design and send marketing campaigns. Link campaigns to prospects and customers. In-built messaging application to share invoices, quotes, etc.
- Project management and assignment to teams. Plan, group, and document different projects in a single place.
- Create, validate and finalize quotations to auto-build purchase orders. Generate receipts, schedule goods movement, and create control invoices. Send quotations to multiple suppliers.
- Build various quality control points and schedule monitoring. Problem notifications. Track each issue with resolution and the complete course of action.
- Sales management to generate and send quotations. Create vendor orders or plan manufacturing from sales orders. Auto-build delivery notes from sales orders.
- Stock management includes deliveries, receipts, and internal movements. Multi-warehouse tree bases inventory management with minimum stock rules.
- Schedule, prioritize, and assign tasks to teams.
Axelor also has an integrated low code/no-code platform to build custom applications. In addition, you can try a demo directly from your web browser.
While the free version has all the applications, cloud versions add some perks like regular updates, maintenance, and support.
- Double entry general ledger with support to multiple organizations, account hierarchies, and segmentation. Contracts, credits, and asset management with depreciation. Budget management, payment gateway support, and financial reporting. Integration with other ERP modules.
- Create BOMs, production & material resource planning. Job costing and manage raw material procurement. Equipment billing and manufacturing reports.
- Oversee job posts, applications, & interviews. Manage present positions with performance ratings. Create company hierarchy, control expenses, training & contracts.
- Support for multiple warehouses and inventory locations. Package and returns management. Build unlimited stores, & product catalogs. Create specific pricing rules. Integrated online and POS applications.
- Manage prospects and present customers. Sales forecast and email integration. Create support tickets. Email marketing. Quotations and order management.
OFBiz is completely free and has an online demo to try it out. Still, you can always avail yourself of 3rd-party cloud services to host OFBiz for you.
The real cost of implementing an ERP lies with the hosting and support. This is a tough lesson my previous employer learned the hard way and switched back. He was lucky as the organization was small, and there wasn't any vendor lock-in.
So, ensure a fluid roll-back policy before transitioning to any ERP software.
And while the free option seems tempting, implementation support and cloud hosting has proved a life savior in most cases.
Generally, an ERP software with separate individual applications is the best one to start with. Conclusively, go slow and be informed.
On a side note, check out the best Shipping APIs for your online business.
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