Odoo launches a new release of its open source ERP software that provides new features and enhancements
With more than five million users worldwide, Odoo’s open source ERP software provides an enterprise platform for any organization in any industry to run their business with greater efficiency. Between the Odoo native apps and thousands of Community apps, Odoo offers an integrated solution to fully automate processes and consolidate data using a single, modular solution. And every year, Odoo launches a new release of its software that provides new features and enhancements, including their most recent, Odoo version 14.
While this year’s release is not a significant departure from version 13, there are several noteworthy improvements. Perhaps the most significant change can be found in the website builder app, alongside improvements to the CRM and documents app. There are also substantial enhancements around stock and availability, specifically related to purchase inventory and manufacturing apps. A new data cleansing app provides first of its kind features around improving data quality. And the timesheets and barcode apps provide richer functionality to improve how your business operates.
Let’s take a deeper look at the top five improvements that might be of interest to you.
1. Website, CRM, and Documents
Odoo made a significant investment in its website builder application, which especially benefits building ecommerce sites faster and with greater ease. It provides a holistic system to design custom websites previously done with software like HTML, CSS, and JS. Focusing on having all the design components look good together, including things like using a consistent color palette, Odoo version 14 gives users more powerful tools to build better web experiences. They can easily compress pictures for image optimization, take advantage of a richer color palette, and select from an array of shapes and designs to make beautiful websites. And there’s a strong emphasis on performance—with the new app operating 3.4 times faster.
The CRM app features several usability improvements. A powerful new feature includes recurring revenue tracking, in addition to tracking one-time sales, which is essential if you sell subscriptions. You can track activities with a new column that shows each lead’s next steps. Moreover, an outlook native connector lets you link your email to your CRM contacts to enrich leads and add contacts, with full traceability in Odoo. And pivot tables have been rewritten in the new web framework, OWL, to perform 14x faster in exporting to a dynamic spreadsheet.
The documents app dramatically improves performance with different views of analysis and mass processing features. A major new feature includes creating a spreadsheet within Odoo, eliminating the need to switch between other platforms. You can pick a spreadsheet template and prepare plans, projections, and forecasts directly in Odoo. Improvements to the documents app include performing mass processing for document optical character recognition (OCR).
2. Inventory and stock management
Adjusting quantities and managing inventory and stock-outs is much easier in Odoo 14, with significant efforts made in maximizing replenishment and manufacturing efficiency. Enhancements to multiple apps help monitor stock availability and forecasts. You can also prioritize orders based on urgency by quickly accessing the raw material count required to fulfill an order.
Specifically, the purchase app focuses on ensuring better vendor on-time delivery. You can track activities and delivery data follow up with better control tools. You can set up “ask for confirmation” emails to vendors that result in a better forecast and help prevent running out of stock.
The inventory app supplies enhanced visibility on expected prior availability so you can view the forecast for stock levels. A new replenishment menu allows you to centralize replenishment actions; you can pick a replenishment route, such as manufacture or buy, to take action in solving out of stock problems. You can also view all replenishment needs. You can define a preferred route manually, for instance, if you want to manufacture or buy to meet unexpected demand.
In addition, the manufacturing app also provides better visibility into expected availability and the impact it has on manufacturing orders. You can generate manufacturing and work orders on the fly without a bill of materials. An availability column for inventory—stocks available, not available, and available by date—helps you clearly understand manufacturing needs, as a clickable icon takes you to a forecast report. And a star widget allows you to prioritize orders.
3. Data cleaning
Odoo 14 introduces a new data cleaning app, which removes duplicate data using a streamlined process to reduce data redundancy and improve your data’s overall quality. In previous versions of Odoo, users employed a multi-step approach to remove duplicate data, including exporting data, identifying duplicates, renaming, updating, and then filtering for deletion. Odoo 14 streamlines the entire process. By selecting the data cleaning icon available as you open Odoo, you save time and remove manual steps to remove all types of repeated data, from duplicate customer records to leads and more. The app also allows you to configure rules to detect and merge records based on a set of given criteria, which is a typical use case in CRM, where you want to deduplicate contact records.
Odoo timesheets have always allowed businesses to quickly record activities at the start of the day, during the day, or after finishing work tasks. And managers can immediately see who is working on what. New usability improvements to the timesheet app allow anyone to press a key to show letters that enable you to add minutes and automate entries automatically. Moreover, there’s a timer to start and stop tasks, as well as a hotkey for easy and fast access. It’s a significant improvement for service-based companies to record time.
The barcode app was completely rewritten to work offline and support all the picking flows supported by Odoo: two-step, three-step, batch transfers, even inventory adjustments. The app automatically syncs data when back online. All previous barcode app flows are supported, making it easier to do batch transfers, delivery operations, inventory adjustments, and more.
How OSI can help you upgrade
A few months have gone by since the Odoo 14 release, so most post-release issues have been resolved, making it a good time to start using it in production. Also, in a few months Odoo 12 will no longer have support, so companies using it should start planning to upgrade.
If you currently use a previous version of Odoo, let OSI consultants partner with you to upgrade to the latest release so you can take advantage of these and other new features. We will partner with you to find the best strategies for reaching those goals while developing and customizing an Odoo open source ERP platform to optimize their business processes for sustained growth.
About the author:
Daniel Reis is the Managing Director for Europe and Africa at Open Source Integrators (OSI). He is a long time contributor to the Odoo Community, and serves at the Board of the Odoo Community Association (OCA). He is also the author of reference Odoo books, such as the Odoo Development Essentials series.