Midwest Manufacturing Software: Why It Makes A Difference (And How Odoo Helps)

In the American Midwest, manufacturing is big business.

In fact, it’s the largest sector of the American economy, making up about 36 percent of the United States gross domestic product in 2015.

Data from the National Association of Manufacturers shows that Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois are national leaders in manufacturing, and Indiana added an astounding 19,700 manufacturing jobs from January of 2014 to April of 2015. That’s good news for the industrial sector (and even better news for the Midwest).

But while the manufacturing industry is growing, it’s also becoming more competitive. Companies that adapt new technologies—particularly software—gain a major advantage, but change sometimes comes slow to established manufacturers, particularly when using software for planning, sales, accounting, and other applications. The good news is that, when properly implemented, software tools are especially effective at improving workflow, optimizing efficiency, and increasing sales.

There’s just one problem, and it’s a big one: optimization. Standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems promote a one-size-fits-all solution for manufacturing businesses, regardless of product, workflow, or other variables. That means that while massive software platforms might provide almost everything that a business needs, it also provides hundreds of unnecessary features, which bog down productivity.

Software that isn’t optimized for a manufacturer’s distinct workflow quickly falls flat. Many of the most common tools also have trouble porting information between platforms, so manufacturers end up with separate ERPs, CRMs (Customer Resource Management), and Material Requirements Planning (MRP).

Even if the software is ultimately well designed, employees don’t know how to use it, managers hate it, and eventually, it falls out of use, dismissed as a failed experiment.  For businesses that invest heavily in their management software, this is frustrating, to say the least. Large ERPs can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.

industrial manufacturing ERP CRM Odoo

Using Odoo as Midwest Manufacturing Software

At Blue Stingray, we’ve worked with dozens of planning and management platforms. We’ve come to a simple conclusion: Odoo is ideal as a manufacturing ERP, as its open source suite of tools provides limitless options for customization. Major businesses like Hyundai, Toyota, and Jack In The Box use Odoo for its powerful feature set, but given its versatility, the platform’s also an excellent choice for small companies, industrial manufacturers, and everything in between.

Odoo can function as an MRP, CRM, and ERP, automating many employee tasks and greatly improving workflow. From sales leads to accounting, billing, and project management, Odoo has dozens of applications, customizable for each manufacturer, which directly translates to a quick return on investment. For users, it’s simple and intuitive. For managers, it’s incredibly powerful.

The platform’s main advantage is its support of “modules,” dedicated apps designed to handle different tasks. When customized by a capable Odoo development team, these modules conform to a manufacturer’s existing workflow (rather than attempting to force workers to change their established processes).

Implementing a Better Midwest Manufacturing Software Solution with Blue Stingray

industrial manufacturing ERP CRM OdooThe Blue Stingray team has provided Odoo services for the Midwest branches of major manufacturers, and we’ve seen firsthand how the ERP saves money and improves efficiency at every conceivable level.

In each case, we start by understanding every aspect of production, sales, accounting, customer relationship management, and any other application our client wants to improve through Odoo. We study all of our clients’ current systems, even out-of-date software platforms, to find out how the workflow could be easily improved by a better ERP solution.

We then work with existing Odoo apps and create new modules as needed, transforming the core software suite to meet the client’s needs. Our work doesn’t end with implementation; through onsite visits, frequent follow-up, and additional updates, we fine-tune the software while making sure that every employee feels comfortable with its functionality. Typically, this is one of the easier parts of our job, as Odoo is designed to be usable from Day 1.

For Midwest manufacturing businesses, the right ERP software provides enormous advantages. Given the growth of the industry, we expect software management and planning software to play a larger role at many manufacturing facilities over the next decade. Odoo is the perfect solution—and Blue Stingray is the ideal Odoo partner for bringing the platform to your business.

New Odoo Apps from Blue Stingray

custom odoo apps
Blue Stingray is hard at work creating new Odoo apps and has already released two custom apps this month. By installing these apps you can allow zero amount payments as well as apply and manage credit holds within your Odoo instance. Both apps are now available for download in the Odoo App store.