Every business is different. Different processes, various methods, different people. So it makes sense that enterprise resource software (ERP) platforms include customization options for you to craft a perfect fit.
However, the degree to which you can customize the ERP depends on which one you choose. Some ERPs take a one-size-fits-all approach, while others let you change almost anything you could want to change.
Odoo takes the latter approach. The ability to modify Odoo is why many companies choose it. But when do you stop adjusting Odoo to ensure it doesn’t become too much of a good thing?
As we’ll explore in the article, some factors affect that answer, including the size of your business, industry, and timeline. But there’s always a point where customization becomes counter-productive.
Why You Shouldn’t Use the Default Odoo
To start with, we’re not intending to discourage you from customizing Odoo. On the contrary, customizing Odoo is a great way to make the software suit your needs and business goals. Customization allows businesses to stand out from their competitors, and it also provides personalized service for customers.
In addition, the Odoo default configuration has some limitations. For example, it does not allow you to customize your tax rates and VAT rates. It also does not provide any data security and data privacy features, such as the ability to restrict access to selected users or anonymous/unauthenticated requests.
The modules shipped with Odoo are designed to apply within specific constraints: they include a default set of permissions that are not intended for general usage.
All this to say, you shouldn’t expect to be able to use Odoo right out of the box. There will always be a base level of customization required to ensure you’re only using the modules your business needs.
The Benefits of Customizing Odoo
As open-source software, Odoo has thousands of plugins and modifications that can revolutionize the way you do business. Even some of the smaller solutions can remove irritants.
There are pages on pages of requests for help customizing specific elements of Odoo. And most likely, you’ll run into problems that you need to tailor the software for.
These are some of the pros of investing the time into customizing Odoo:
- Customizing Odoo will allow you to have a more tailored experience, potentially increasing efficiency and profits for your business.
- It gives you more control over the software, which can be helpful for specific needs related to your industry.
- You will be able to take fuller advantage of automation, freeing you from mundane tasks to focus on more important things.
- You can benefit from the open-source nature of Odoo by using community-made plugins.
What’s Wrong with Developing a Customized Odoo?
So obviously, there’s a strong case for Odoo customization. But when it comes to enterprise software, customization can be a double-edged sword. Customizing the software can lead to inefficiencies in the workplace and increased ownership costs.
Here are some downsides to customizing Odoo.
- Customizing Odoo can be time-consuming and complex, leading to errors that must be fixed before launching an app or website.
- Customization may require new modules to be written, which requires developers with a specific skill set.
- There’s more potential for bugs and malfunction, requiring dedicated IT employees.
If you’ve ever worked with a complex piece of software, you know the pain of getting things just how you like them, only to suddenly not be able even to open the program. This catastrophe is usually followed by hours of uninstalling and reinstalling and checking and unchecking preferences.
This doesn’t even take software updates into account, which can render half of your modifications useless in one fell swoop.
In short, heavy customization is essentially a gamble.
What You Should Keep in Mind with Odoo Customization
There are pros and cons on both sides and a sliding scale of answers to whether it is good or bad to do heavy customization. So when you’re deciding how much to customize Odoo, there are a few things to consider.
1. Your IT capabilities
Companies with IT departments are generally better positioned to consider extensive revisions to Odoo. An in-house team will be able to respond to emergencies. Smaller companies who outsource their IT work should focus on getting a stable version of Odoo up and running since outages can be costly. Of course, organizations of all sizes can benefit from working directly with an Odoo partner company that operates as an extension of your IT team.
2. Your industry
As software that can accommodate a plethora of widely varying industries, it’s natural that Odoo will be a better fit for some than others.
Some industries will find that Odoo already caters to most of their needs. For instance, manufacturing is a heavy hitter and has quite a few modules specifically made for it. But smaller, more niche companies may find they need more fiddling to get a good fit.
3. Your budget and timeline
In a perfect world, you would be able to spend an infinite amount of time getting an ideal fit for your company. But in reality, there are always budget constraints and time to factor in.
If you intend to do heavy customization, you should expect the process to take quite a bit longer and for there to be a certain number of bugs in the system. Therefore, you’ll want to add time and money into your budget to prepare for the unexpected.
Getting an ERP is a game-changer for businesses. Customization is a big reason for that since it allows you to realize the software’s potential fully. Odoo fully recognizes this and so provides robust customization options.
However, it’s a fine line between tailoring software and wasting time, energy, and money. So businesses have to assess their situation to decide how much tinkering is right for them.
If you’re unsure how best to customize Odoo for your business, Confianz can help! We can walk you through every step of Odoo ERP implementation to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ERP. Get in touch with us today to get started!