Blue Stingray Releases 10th Custom App in Odoo Store

Blue Stingray 3rd Party Apps for Odoo

One of the strengths of Odoo is its flexibility, and the platform’s app store contains hundreds of valuable add-ons. Blue Stingray is a regular contributor to the Odoo store, and we recently released our tenth custom app.

Our apps allow users to request customer geolocations, customize branding, tax customers by zip code, and perform other essential functions. As our team continues to find ways to enhance Odoo’s functionality, we’ll continue to publish; be sure to stop by our Odoo store page to check out our work.

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Setup Reminders in Odoo Tasks with Blue Stingray’s Newest App

Create Reminders in Odoo Tasks

You can now setup reminders in Odoo tasks for yourself (or others) with Blue Stingray’s newest app Project Reminders. Download or learn more here.

Blue Stingray Project Reminders Odoo view

 

Features:

  • Reminders can be for yourself or others.
  • They can be setup to run once or periodically.
  • Send an end date or let them run forever.
  • Works in both Community and Enterprise editions of Odoo.
  • Relies on Reminders by Blue Stingray

Setup Email Reminders in Odoo with Blue Stingray’s Newest App

Set email reminders in odoo

Learn how to remind yourself (or others) with Reminders from Blue Stingray.
Download or learn more here.

Features:

  • Reminders can be for yourself or others.
  • They can be setup to run once or periodically.
  • Send an end date or let them run forever.
  • Works in both Community and Enterprise editions of Odoo.

 

How Odoo’s API Allows for Incredible Versatility in Any Application

On its own, Odoo is a powerful ERP, e-commerce, CRM, and CMS platform, capable of optimizing a business’ data management and improving workflows almost single-handedly.  Continue reading “How Odoo’s API Allows for Incredible Versatility in Any Application”

Manage Your Inventory Better with Blue Stingray’s Line Reservations App for Odoo

blueline reservation odoo app

Line Reservations

Manage your inventory better.

multi destination odoo app

Decide where inventory is put or picked on a per line basis. You are no longer required to have separate purchase orders for different destinations & one sales order can have different sources. This app works for both Community and Enterprise editions of Odoo and is available for download here.

Customize Your Odoo Color Palette with Blue Stingray’s Newest App

Odoo Custom Branding App

Use our web interface to set the colors of your Odoo instance with Blue Stingray’s Custom Odoo Branding App.

With different colors for different companies, you’ll never get confused about which company you’re currently logged into.


  

Why Open Source Makes Sense (And Dollars) For Businesses

Open Source Solutions


Not long ago, the concept of powerful open-source software seemed like a pipe dream.

From database management systems to website platforms, “open source” came with a trade-off; opting for open source software inevitably meant sacrificing functionality or usability. “Open source” was often code for “cheap,” and price was the one big advantage that open source platforms could claim.

To create truly customized software, Fortune 100 companies built their own software development teams, creating proprietary tools that could provide key features essential for day-to-day operations.

In other words, in order to build truly customized software, you needed a huge budget and perfect planning. Even then, there weren’t any guarantees.


Thankfully, that’s no longer the case.


business fiscal planningA 2015 report from ZDNet suggested that 
78 percent of companies run open source software. These days, that might be a low estimate.

WordPress, an open source content management system, now powers 25 percent of the sites on the internet. WooCommerce and Magento, two open e-commerce platforms, make up a combined 47 percent of all e-stores (and that’s just two of the many open e-commerce solutions available). Odoo, a powerful open source CRM and ERP solution, has attracted major companies like Toyota, Hyundai, and Danone.

So, why is open source so attractive? For starters:

  • Security – There’s a myth that “open source” means “easy target” to hackers. That simply isn’t the case; platforms like Magento issue security updates as frequently or more frequently as closed-source solutions, and community patches can provide an additional means of closing vulnerabilities.
    Additionally, making code open may allow users to find and report vulnerabilities more effectively, resulting in better overall security.
  • Usability – Solutions like Odoo and Magento can be easily implemented into a business’s day-to-day processes, once properly customized, with a very small learning curve. Personalized user interfaces and custom add-on features can provide a much more intuitive experience than one-size-fits-all proprietary software.
  • Flexibility – The biggest advantage of open source is the flexibility; it’s the primary reason that developers decide to release their code to the public, and with modern platforms, the possibilities are basically unlimited.
    Open source ecommerce platforms like Magento support an incredible array of community add-ons, which complement the core solution to provide customized features for different industries. WordPress has a plugin catalog with at least 29,000 distinct plugins. Odoo’s rapidly growing app store allows for unprecedented integration with other programs, allowing businesses to add powerful new features in seconds.
  • Power – Because the source code is open to the public, these apps have thriving communities. Rather than hiring an entire team of developers, businesses can contract the services of a highly skilled development team to create customized software on a budget. 
    Essentially, each popular open source program has thousands (or in some cases, millions) of developers working on adding new features, eliminating bugs, and refining core functions. No proprietary program can compete.

Every business is different, and every business needs true customization in order to enjoy these benefits. That’s why any company that utilizes open source tools also needs a competent development team.

Blue Stingray builds on top of open source platforms, leveraging years of development experience with our knowledge of Magento, Odoo, and other solutions. The result is clean, customized software that improves business production at every step. Contact us today to learn more.

Why Toyota Group Chose Odoo As Its ERP Solution

Toyota ERP Odoo Solution

For major logistics and material handling operations, efficiency is everything.

When a business operates a distribution network on an international scale, every second counts. Every workflow has to be optimized. Every change has to be carefully implemented, or the results can be catastrophic.

In these operations, a functional enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity for staying competitive and collecting vital data for important business decisions. ERP software must be highly customizable, powerful, and easy to implement.

That’s a tall order, given that many ERP software packages are built as a one-size-fits-all solution. For companies like Toyota Industries Corporation, major ERPs had a considerable flaw: they couldn’t quickly add new features to adjust to the corporation’s rapidly changing needs.

“In our very ‘aggressive’ market we couldn’t take risks with very big investments,” said Cyril Cottet, IT/IS Manager at Toyota Material Handling, in an interview with Odoo. “We needed very quick return on investments and a traditional ERP was definitely not a good solution for us.”

Odoo responsive view marketing
Odoo’s Advantage Over Other ERP Solutions

Toyota Material Handling in France required an ERP solution, and after evaluating the enterprise-level options on the market, they chose Odoo. Incredibly, they were able to implement the software in only six months.

The big difference between Odoo and other ERPs? Odoo allows third-party app developers to offer new functionality for Odoo users through a growing development community.

Traditional ERPs couldn’t offer this advantage; while some enterprise ERP software suites allow feature development, they’re not open source, so new features are necessarily more limited. More importantly, developing those additional features would take time—something that was in short supply for Toyota Material Handling, as they needed to quickly integrate a new system in order to maintain efficiency at their facilities.

By choosing Odoo, Toyota Material Handling could focus on customizing the ERP’s platform for their business’s unique features. They could supplement Odoo’s core functionality with apps from the community, developing new features on an as-needed basis. Toyota could also integrate Odoo with their legacy systems, dramatically reducing the learning curve for employees.

Odoo ERP pipeline viewThe result was an ERP that was just as powerful and flexible as a proprietary tool—but since it relied on Odoo, it was much more flexible and much less expensive.

“Now all the orders from bookings to invoicing are linked with our accounting system, with our shipment management system, with our manufacturing system here in France and in Japan,” Cottet said, “…so there has been a lot of integration in just a couple of months. Between September and end of March, this was done very quickly.”

Ultimately, it was Odoo’s open design that won Toyota Material Handling over. Cottet says that Toyota’s best IT asset is people, and Odoo allows them to use these assets in an optimal manner. There’s also the user experience; Cottet describes the application as “quite ergonomic,” an apt description for Odoo’s intuitive interface.

At Blue Stingray, we know that Odoo’s power is in its flexibility. Large international operations certainly benefit, but so do smaller manufacturers, regardless of industry, workforce size, or other factors.

To get a truly optimized workflow, collect accurate company data, and ensure streamlined communications between different departments, a customized ERP is absolutely essential, and Odoo provides a near-perfect platform for delivering that customization. We recommend checking out Cottet’s full interview for a fascinating look at how Odoo works in large manufacturing applications.

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.