Information Systems have played an increasingly visible role over the past several years in improving the competitiveness of business. They are more than just tools for handling repetitive tasks; they will guide and advance all of a company’s daily activities. Integrated Management Software is today very often a key source of significant competitive advantage.

Some may look at the Business Application market as a mature market dominated by a few large key players, with no new business opportunities.

This would be ignoring the market reality. So many customers are frustrated by their experience with existing vendors; so many companies around the world need to have access to business applications, but cannot afford them.

OpenERP believes that business applications should not be a luxury. That any company, anywhere in the world, should be able to afford the best tools to professionally expand business. That is one of the reasons why OpenERP needs to break the existing rules of the ERPs and the Business Applications market.

Customers should use their budget smartly and invest in customizing the application to their specific needs, rather than paying expensive license fees. OpenERP is committed to the Open Source Business Model precisely because Open Source allows for this. Open Source is a disruptive model, as it creates more value for the customers.

For decades, customers have developed applications which remained specific to their own needs, and in the end proved extremely expensive to maintain. Open Source means that customers can benefit from past developments of other companies. Also by contributing to the evolution of the software, the users will enjoy the guarantee that their development will be included in future versions of the software. One of the major advantages is that such a Community brings a wealth of new functionality.

Open Source also allows us to engage with our customers differently. Since there is no licensing cost, any potential customer can download, test and use the software. OpenERP has no need for an expensive sales force to promote the product. OpenERP just needs to make the best product and make it available to customers.

Open Source allows for many barriers in this industry to be broken. The software is available to many companies who could otherwise not afford expensive business applications license fees. The OpenERP solution allows customers to use their money smartly and tailor the software to their individual needs. OpenERP leverages from its customer base to enrich the software and finally eradicate any lock-in to allow customers to use and even drop the software freely.

OpenERP can build a new breed of business applications, more modular, more customer-friendly, fully web-based, which others cannot due to the heritage of their legacy systems.

OpenERP is a comprehensive suite of business applications including Sales, CRM, Project management, Warehouse management, Manufacturing, Financial management, and Human Resources, just to name a few. More than 1000 OpenERP modules are available from the OpenERP Apps market place (

The key to continued logistics success is effective Purchase, Sales, Warehouse & Manufacturing Management, and these are precisely the main topics of the book you are reading. OpenERP’s Purchase, Sales, Warehouse & Manufacturing features are flexible and highly developed to assist you in managing all aspects of manufacturing.

OpenERP allows you to create bills of materials and use properties allowing your salespeople to easily select what they need to sell. Purchase proposals and sales forecasts can easily be created from OpenERP. In a few clicks, your sales person can transfer necessary information to the customer about the current and virtual stock.

In part One, Configuring your OpenERP we will show you how to set up an OpenERP database. A step-by-step approach will guide you through a complete workflow to discover OpenERP’s features.

Part Two, Advanced Features in Purchase Quotation Management, guides you from price request to purchase proposal and order, and goods receipt. Several advanced purchase features will also be explained.

Part Three, Managing your Warehouse, explains the principles of OpenERP’s double-entry stock management. The book will provide you with ways to manage inventories, both on a physical and a financial level. Upstream and Downstream traceability and extensive reporting will be discussed as well.

Part Four, Defining your Master Data, guides you the manufacturing process, explaining several advanced features.

Part Five, On Site installation, explains the basic steps to install OpenERP on site. Both Linux and Windows installations will be described.

To manage your manufacturing, you do not need all the elements described in this book. But we find it very important to include an integrated flow, from the first quotation to the final billing of the suppliers including all the steps: quotation, order, receiving goods, inventory, manufacturing and billing. In some examples, we will also talk about the sales part, although advanced sales features will not be included in this book.

Fabien Pinckaers was only eighteen years old when he started his first company. Today, over ten years later, he has founded and managed several new technology companies, all based on Free / Open Source software.

He originated Tiny ERP, now OpenERP, and is the director of two companies including OpenERP S.A., the editor of OpenERP. In a few years time, he has grown the Tiny group from one to sixty-five employees without loans or external fund-raising, and while making a profit.

He has also developed several large scale projects, such as, which became the leader in the art market in Belgium. Even today people sell more art works there than on

He is also the founder of the LUG (Linux User Group) of Louvain-la-Neuve, and of several free projects like OpenReport, OpenStuff and Tiny Report. Educated as a civil engineer (polytechnic), he has won several IT prizes in Europe such as Wired and l’Inscene.

A fierce defender of free software in the enterprise, he is in constant demand as a conference speaker and he is the author of numerous articles dealing with free software in the management of the enterprise.

Follow Fabien on his blog or on twitter fpopenerp.

Els Van Vossel always had a dedication to both written and spoken word. Clear and explicit communication is crucial.

Educated as a Professional Translator in Antwerp, she worked as an independent translator on the localization of major ERP software. Els acquired ERP knowledge and decided to start working as a functional ERP consultant and a Technical Communicator for ERP software.

As such, the world of OpenSource software became more and more attractive. She started working with OpenERP software in her free time and doing so, Els really wanted to meet Fabien Pinckaers to share thoughts about documentation strategy. Now Els is reviewing and writing the OpenERP Books.

Being an author of several Software Manuals, she finds it exciting to work on the OpenERP documentation and continuously take it to a higher level. Please note that this is a hell of a job, but Els finds great pleasure in doing it!

Follow Els on her blog or on twitter elsvanvossel.

From Els Van Vossel

Thank you Fabien, for offering me the opportunity to work with OpenERP. I thank all OpenERP team members for their support and understanding. My special thanks to my family who encouraged me to write this book.

From Fabien Pinckaers

I address my thanks to all of the team at OpenERP for their hard work in preparing, translating and re-reading the book in its various forms. My particular thanks to Laurence Henrion and my family for supporting me throughout all this effort.


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