MUFI Rating & Risk – OpenERP

MUFI Rating & Risk – OpenERP

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: OpenERP (Select For Vendor Profile)


OpenERP is the most significant open source ERP vendor. As would be expected OpenERP is very well priced. Open source ERP has a tremendous upside in that it is inexpensive to customize. It can be purchased at no cost, which is something quite desirable if one is interested in customizing the application, or it can be run as is through using their SaaS delivery method. In this case, there is a per user per month charge. Although when customization is required, it will no longer be feasible to use the SaaS-based delivery mechanism of the software, and instead the software and data will need to be migrated to one of the implementing company’s servers.

Application Detail

When is an ERP system not an ERP system? When it is an open source ERP system. This is a problem with the definition of ERP. The large and even midsized ERP vendors both offer a type of software, as well as engage in specific business practices that are designed to benefit the ERP vendor, but not its customers. OpenERP is an open source ERP application that does not employ any of the problematic business practices of the large to medium ERP vendors. It follows an open system approach and does not try to steer customers into purchasing other non-ERP software from OpenERP.

OpenERP Product-1

OpenERP offers a 15-day free trial. Here I am setting up a product. All of OpenERP’s transactions allow you do in and add the master data (such as a product), which is something that ordinarily cannot be done in the ERP systems that I am used to using. This applies to all the master data that I checked, so anything from product data to financial data.


I was able to create a bill of materials in OpenERP very easily. The bill of materials screen is quite easy to use. However, I would recommend using a system like Arena Solutions to perform the bill of materials maintenance and then bring in the BOM into OpenERP.

OpenERP Manufacuring Order-1

We are now creating a manufacturing order with the finished good product and bill of materials – and raw materials – that I just previously created. Again, while we can create a manufacturing order in OpenERP, we would prefer to create the order in the advanced planning system, and then have the manufacturing orders brought over into OpenERP. This is for some reasons, which have already been explained. Even in cases where the manufacturing/production order is created manually, it is preferable to make the adjustment in the actual production planning system.

OpenERP Scheduled Production Order-1

 Now we can view the manufacturing order that we just created.

OpenERP Account Receivable

Unlike Fishbowl, OpenERP has its financial system. Although not a person with a finance background, we found it very easy to use. Above we have created accounts receivable account called “Standard Account Receivable.” As you can see, we had any number of accounts to choose from.

In testing OpenERP, many of the actions we performed would have required some specialized training in SAP ERP.

OpenERP along with ERPNext are two of the most accessible ERP systems to implement. Neither of the systems deployed by the major consulting companies, which allows the applications to go live quickly and much of the consulting hours is remote and intermittent greatly reducing the costs.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

OpenERP has many of the same features of ERPNext, except it is not as easy to implement and user adoption is a bit more challenging.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

The only specific challenge to implementing OpenERP that stands out is OpenERP’s somewhat limited functionality. This can be a problem if buyers think that OpenERP is less than it is. But on the other hand, different from many other ERP software vendors, OpenERP does not have a team of salespeople over-promising functionality to buyers. Therefore, as long as some time is spent with the OpenERP trial it should be quite apparent what OpenERP can and cannot do.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Small and Medium ERP software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for OpenERP.

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