Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a crucial part of the business for the proper management of financial assets, situations, and for using the resources to tackle the challenges. For this purpose, most companies today use ERP software like Odoo to find intelligent data analytics, automate internal processes, and manage the infrastructure. Such systems are usually founded on database processing. 

While there are numerous ERP tools in the market, Odoo has gained popularity because of its ability to customize according to business purpose, a wide range of integrations, industry-specific modules, open-source, flexibility, and many other crucial factors.

The role of ERP software has become important today for business growth and success. It provides improved business analytics, better response to customer details, speeds up response times, saves costs, automates several manual & mundane tasks, and helps in implementing smart workflows. 

In this article, let’s understand what is ERP customization software, its benefits for different businesses, how to develop such software, development cost, and much more. 

What is ERP Software?

An ERP software is a tool for enterprise resource planning that helps businesses to handle and manage several processes & components. These include marketing, sales, human resources, inventory, finances, and much more. 

Businesses must choose an ERP software that can be customized as per the business requirements and strategies. This is when the software can be used in the most purposeful manner. 

A customizable ERP software can be modified to improve existing features, add new features and options, be configured to integrate third-party solutions, and be made more powerful by adding task management processes. 

The modern ERP tools come powered by the latest technologies and methodologies, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). These bring more innovation to the business processes & planning, while enabling business intelligence. 

What is Odoo?

Odoo is a leading platform for ERP and CRM that came into existence in 2005. It is a highly customizable software with several business-specific modules for eCommerce, sales and marketing, HRMS, customer relationship management, and much more. 

It has an app store that allows businesses to integrate and manage nearly 14,000 third-party applications and plugins. On the basis of requirements, the right apps can be integrated and used.

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An open-source platform, Odoo has numerous benefits. It is flexible, scalable, comes with ready-made apps, is easy-to-use, is up-to-date with the latest technological advancements, is highly modular, and can be easily integrated with more third-party apps. 

Odoo ERP is used by businesses across various industries, including manufacturing, distribution, retailing, marketing, training, consultancy, IT, accounting, and more.

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What are the Benefits of ERP Customization Software?

There are plenty of reasons to use ERP customization software for businesses. Below, we have listed the primary ones:

Business Intelligence (BI): When BI and ERP are brought together, it can do wonders for a business. Primarily, it will enhance the business predictions, save time for teams so that they can focus on important tasks, show historical insights, and predictive analytics, which will help in making better business decisions. 

Automation: Using modern technologies like AI, ML, and other automation techniques, ERP systems automate various business processes, including HR management, financial management, customer relationship management, and many more. 

Data-driven decisions: Businesses find real-time data analytics and intelligent insights that can be used to make better decisions faster. Data-driven decisions can help in speeding up business growth.

Read Also: How Can Artificial Intelligence Help Improving ERP System

Better collaboration: Since ERP software centralizes the data of an organization that can be used by the allowed employees, it improves the collaboration between teams. They don’t need to rely on separate databases for distinct departments. 

Improved customer experience: Most ERP systems come with CRM integration. Customizable ERP software can be integrated with a CRM platform of choice. It helps in improving the customer experience and satisfaction. 

Why Develop a Custom ERP Software?

A one-sizes-fits-all kind of ERP software doesn’t work for every company. There is a need for custom features and functionalities according to the business needs. Hence, the ERP customization software is in demand today. 

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Allied Market Research reports that the ERP market around the world is expected to reach $86K million by 2027, from around $39K million in 2019. It is a growth of 9.8% year of year during the forecast period 2020 to 2027. 

Over half of the IT decision makers consider ERP as an investment priority, along with customer relationship management. 

Nearly 50% of businesses have plans to adopt or upgrade their existing ERP systems. Many of them are looking for completely customized solutions. 

These are some important statistics showing the growth and importance of enterprise resource planning software for businesses of all sizes. Not every organization can build a dedicated ERP system for themselves because it requires heavy investment and is a complicated process. Upfront costs also discourage them from doing so. 

Therefore, they want to adopt a pre-built software that can allow them to customize every aspect as per the business requirements. It is a cost-effective option that can save them a lot of time, boost productivity of internal teams, help them enable better customer experience, and improve the management of business processes. 

How to Develop ERP Customization Software Like Odoo?

If you are looking to create a custom ERP software that can be customized according to the requirements of a business, then follow the steps mentioned below. It requires a consolidated strategy to develop such software. 

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Define Needs & Expectations

To start with, you should be clear about the expectations from the software, as well as what business needs it should fulfill for an organization. 

You need to understand that it will be a heavy investment idea and can’t be opted for just like that. Some businesses choose to have dedicated ERP software for their organization, whereas others develop it for other businesses. Regardless of the business model, you must make wise decisions right from the beginning. 

It would be great to have a discussion with the IT teams and stakeholders before you start executing the app development plan. The expectations and needs you set must be realistic and achievable. 

Do Market Research

Researching the market is crucial to understand what your target audience is looking for in a custom ERP software. What are their challenges? Who are the current top competitors in the market? How can you address the challenges while keeping in mind the competitors?

You will be able to find answers to all such questions when you do a thorough research of the market of your target audience. Businesses are choosy and selective when it comes to adopting a new ERP tool. You need to consider every single point a business can think of while onboarding such software. 

Choose Features & Integrations

After doing the market research, you will have a clear idea about the needs of your audience. Based on that, you should finalize the key features to add to the software, along with the popular integrations in demand. 

For instance, businesses want a unified view of the operational, financial, and business data. On that front, you should have all the essential integrations in place. 

Key features to include in an ERP system include reporting, data analysis, smart insights, business intelligence capabilities, accounting, financial management, CRM, sales & marketing capabilities, etc. 

In addition, you need to leave room for the clients to customize the software as per their requirements. They should be able to add more integrations, expand features, and make the most out of the software.

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Finalize Design & Components

Let’s move on to the technical section of the ERP customization software development. The first important step here is to explore the top competitor tools to understand their components and design. 

You need to create a full blueprint that shows how your ERP software will be designed and developed. Since this software will be used by various departments in an organization, it makes sense to have a meeting with other teams as well to know exactly what they expect in specific components. 

Document the processes and components suggested by the teams. Here, you can also learn about some more integrations and features to be added to the system. 

Use Right Platform & Technologies

Developing a robust enterprise resource planning app or software requires the use of the right tech stack, tools, and platforms. To ensure that your clients or your own teams get the best experience, the platforms, and technologies used for the development play a vital role. 

For instance, you can host your software or app on web hosting, cloud, or on a local server. Cloud is a scalable and more secure option as compared to other hosting solutions. 

In terms of programming language used, JavaScript is a universal language for front-end whereas Node.js is great for backend. You can opt for the language that you believe will be the best for your platform. 

In addition, the database can be relational or non-relational. For small businesses, SQL databases are good, but NoSQL and non-relational databases are good fit for complex infrastructures in large businesses. 

Begin Wireframing

Wireframing is the process of creating overviews of the elements in the product, forming the structure, and drawing sketches of expected designs. It will be done based on the needs of the users and businesses. 

The software you develop can be web-based or client/server-based. Web-based ERP systems will run in a browser, whereas the client-server-based ERP system will run locally on a network of desktops. 

At this stage, you also have to define the modules required in the application, such as CRM, finance management, HRMS, etc. Furthermore, define the timeframe to get the project completed so that the development lifecycle doesn’t get stretched unnecessarily. 

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Development & Testing

Do you have a team of in-house developers and QA testers to build the software or do you want to outsource it to an app development company?

If you are outsourcing it, then choose the best mobile app development team for your project. The company you choose should have expertise in developing such software and applications so that you get the final product as expected. 

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Once the development is done, it will go through a testing phase where the QA teams will find and fix the potential bugs and flaws. It will make the system work efficiently and seamlessly for users. While outsourcing it, lookout for a company that can handle both the development and testing of the software. 

Moreover, if you want your project to have the power of modern technologies like AI and ML, also ask whether they have experience in working on such technologies. 

Deployment and Release

Once the development and testing are done, it is time to deploy the software to make it available for users. It is the final stage where you can release it initially for selected businesses and ask them to try it. They can share the experience with you. If there are further enhancements to be made, keep the developers ready to do so. In case they are unable to customize it as per their needs, there will be further modifications required.  Before making it publicly available, these steps are vital for success. 

Custom ERP Software Development Cost

Coming to the final question: how much does it cost to develop an ERP customization software?

The final cost depends on a wide range of factors. These factors will be the complexity of the software, experience of the software development team, region of the app development company you choose, testing, maintenance, UI/UX design, tech stack, level of integrations and customizations, etc.

On average, the ERP software development cost will be somewhere between $200K to $250K. Some companies may promise a lower cost, but it would be better to trust a reliable company over cheaper options. 

Wrapping Up:

This was all about the development of a custom ERP software like Odoo. This is a critical software that requires proper planning, structure, coordination between different teams, and experienced dedicated developers for creating an excellent product. The most important thing that matters here is that the level of customization offered to businesses must be high so that they don’t get stuck anywhere. 

Have any queries related to enterprise resource planning software development? Write in the comments or connect with our team. 

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Arun Goyal

Managing Director @ Octal IT Solution, a prominent Mobile App Development Company offering cutting-edge iPhone App Development and Android App Development services to Startups, SMEs and Fortune-500 Companies.

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