Looking to save money on an ERP? These free ERP software might work for you.
Yes you can get a working ERP for free!
Those three Open Source ERP software have a stable platform that can achieve quite a lot. Some of them have been there for a long time and have prestigious clients, especially Odoo and OpenBravo.
Most of them offer *almost* a complete version of their ERP for free. You can use it, modify it, add modules, customize the interface or adapt the software any way you want. Is it always the right choice?
Not really, but let’s say you need an ERP to manage your sales, purchases and products, those free ERP software could be a smart choice.
If you have a simple process!
The thing with free ERP software is that they are good if you have simple needs, but once you start using them to manage your more complex processes, it can get quite complex quickly and you’ll need to customize and adapt the software to your needs. This is the case with any ERP, open source or proprietary, but free ERP systems tend to be more expensive to integrate to your business model.
For example, I would say that Odoo would be a smart choice for a small company that needs basics sales, purchases and products management. The need for configuration would be limited and it would probably answer 70 to 80% of the needs out of the box.
Two editions for Free ERP software
Most Open Source ERP offer two editions: the free and paid versions of the software.
- The free edition – also called community edition – usually offers fewer functionalities and you need to install it on one of your servers.
- The paid version usually comes with a little more features and it comes with the support you could need during the implementation of your ERP.
Basically, with the free version you are on your own. Make sure that if you choose to use that version, you have a resource that knows about business software and helps you through the first phases of the ERP implementation.
Read this page on Open Source ERP system to know more about the cost, advantages and disadvantages of free ERP software.
Odoo is the most popular free ERP system right now. They offer a wide range of applications to manage most of your business process.
Odoo has a very nice user interface and it’s rather easy to use. If you need an ERP to solve a small business – or departmental – need, Odoo could be the answer.
For its warehouse management system, it is quite good but you will need to pay a consultant to configure the software for you. Odoo will probably need quite a lot of customization to fit your business model and it gets pretty complex once you start scaling up the project.
You can either install the community – free- edition on one of your servers or use their cloud version free for up to 2 users.
Open Bravo is the main competitor of Odoo. They have a similar business model, where you can get the community edition on one of your server for free. That means that you can use and customize Open Bravo anyway you want.
They have a solid platform and quite a good reputation. The interface is clean and you can also customize the software with your own developers.
While less popular than Odoo, I recommend you take a look. Its internal processes are different than Odoo, so it might fit your business better.
ERP Next is an open source ERP software with a simple and lean user interface that has most of the modules a business would require: CRM, stock management, production, sales, purchase orders, etc.
They have the lowest pricing per user of its competitor: less than 5$ per user per month. As with Odoo and Open Bravo, the self-hosted version is completely free.
I’d say that ERP Next would be great for a small business that needs common modules like purchasing, products and sales.
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