The following are excerpts from the book “Integrate your Logistic Processes with Odoo: Efficient Warehouse Management with Sales and Purchases integration,” by Els Van Vossel and Fabien Pinckaers, authors of the original work, July, 2011
The key to continued logistics success is effective Purchase, Sales & Warehouse Management. Odoo’s Purchase, Sales and Warehouse features are flexible and highly developed to assist you in managing all aspects of logistics, also in a multi-company environment.
Odoo can build a new breed of business applications, more modular, more customer-friendly, fully web-based, which others cannot due to the heritage of their legacy systems.
Odoo is a comprehensive suite of business applications including Sales, CRM, Project management, Warehouse management, Manufacturing, Financial management, and Human Resources, just to name a few. More than 1000 Odoo modules are available from the Odoo Apps market place.
Odoo allows you to set up advanced push and pull rules to manage complex routes in your warehouses. Purchase proposals and sales forecasts can easily be created from Odoo. In a few clicks, your sales person can transfer necessary information to the customer about the current and virtual stock. Accountants can have real-time stock valuation for all or selected products.
Let us start by configuring the different components we need. In the next sections, we will define:
Go to Administration > Users > Users and add the Useability / Multi Companies group to your user, to be able to use Odoo in a multi-company environment.
Three companies have to be defined. One mother company (Odoo) and two children (Odoo Belgium and Odoo France).
On the one hand, the two child companies will be used to support the flow of goods. On the other hand, the mother company will be used to aggregate the different information from Odoo France and Odoo Belgium.
Figure 7.2: Companies Structure
To view the companies’ structure, you have to add the group Usability/Multi Companies to your user.
Here are the different configurations for the mother and the child companies (for the child companies, do not forget to add a parent company):
Figure 7.3: Companies Conﬁguration
For each company, you have to define an accounting setting. To do this, go to the Accounting > Configuration > Financial Accounting > New Company Financial Setting.
Figure 7.4: Creating Charts of Accounts
Each of your companies can have its own speciﬁc Chart of Accounts.
The users are used to log in to the system and to give the appropriate access rights to each person. This concept is different from the employee who is created through the Human Resources module.
Each company needs a user to manage the different operations to complete the flow. You can create one user for each company, but do not forget to select the appropriate company in the Contact section of the User form after have added the company in the Companies tab.
Figure 7.5: Deﬁning Users part 1
Figure 7.6: Deﬁning Users part 2
In addition to the user, the companies need suppliers and customers. For Odoo France, you can define one customer who will order the product that will be defined later, and for Odoo Belgium, you can define one supplier who will deliver the product to the company.
The customers and suppliers go in the same object called Partners which can be classified in three ways: customer, supplier and customer and supplier. This has the advantage that you have to update address data only once.
Customer: log in with the user of Odoo France, then go to Sales > Address Book > Customers
Now that we have defined the different actors, we can define our product that will be stored in Belgium and proposed to sell in France. Go to Sales > Products > Products and create a new product with the following specifications:
In the Suppliers tab, you can select the supplier defined above. In the tab Logistical Flows,
Figure 7.7: Deﬁning Customers part 1
Figure 7.8: Deﬁning Customers part 2
Supplier: log in with the user of Odoo Belgium, then go to Purchases > Address Book > Suppliers
Figure 7.9: Deﬁning Suppliers part 1
Figure 7.10: Deﬁning Suppliers part 2
Figure 7.11: Deﬁning Products
We will deﬁne the different ﬂows in order to share the different objects between the companies. To order the product in Belgium from a sales order made in France, we will deﬁne a Pull ﬂow.
In our process, we have to create a pull ﬂow, because the process begins with a need from OpenERP France. OpenERP France needs some products ordered by the customers.
The ﬂow will go through our two child companies. The starting point is OpenERP Belgium that will supply OpenERP France that will supply the goods to the customer.
We can draw the process like this: Customer <– [OpenERP France] <– [OpenERP Belgium] <–Supplier
Figure 7.12: Pull Flow Deﬁnition
Managing the Storage
In our conﬁguration, we have to deﬁne the way in which we will store the products.
The stock will be managed by OpenERP Belgium that will share the products with the other companies. OpenERP France will manage the sales part for these products.
OpenERP France will “transfer” the sales order to OpenERP Belgium that will ship the goods to the customer.
By default, OpenERP creates some locations and warehouses for the ﬁrst company. As a consequence, we have to create the other warehouses and locations for our child companies. We will start by creating the warehouses, then we will deﬁne speciﬁc locations and we will ﬁnish by setting up the of shops.
In OpenERP, a warehouse represents your places of physical stock. A warehouse can be structured into several locations at multiple levels.
We have to create three new warehouses. One for OpenERP, one for OpenERP Belgium and one for OpenERP France.
Figure 7.13: Warehouses
Go to Warehouse > Conﬁguration > Warehouse Management > Warehouses and create the different warehouses according to the parameters shown in picture Warehouse Parameters.
Figure 7.14: Warehouse Parameters
Locations are used to manage all types of storage places, such as at the customer and production counterparts.
In order to store products, we will create one location for the two child companies. It will support the flow of goods between those companies.
Figure 7.15: Locations
Go to Warehouse > Configuration > Warehouse Management > Locations and create the different locations with the parameters defined in the picture Location Parameters.
Figure 7.16: Location Parameters
Odoo France needs a shop. The objective of this shop is to allow Odoo France to receive orders from customers and then send it to Odoo Belgium for the delivery of the products.
Go to Sales > Configuration > Sales > Shop to define a shop for Odoo France.
At this point, we have defined everything that we need, we can now execute the process. The following example will be structured as follows:
First, we will make a sales order for one unit of our product (Basic PC) in the company Odoo France for the customer NotSoTiny. Then this will be sent to the company Odoo Belgium that stocks the Basic PCs. An order of one unit will be sent to Odoo Belgium from Odoo France. Odoo will purchase the product from its supplier (in this case, Dell Belgium). Second, Odoo France will have to invoice the delivered quantities sent by Odoo Belgium to NotSoTiny.
At this point, you have to log in with a user of Odoo France in order to make a Sales Order coming from a customer of this company.
Figure 7.18: Deﬁning a Sales Order
You should not forget to set the correct parameters in the second tab Other Information to select the good shipping and picking policies. Here we select the Invoice From the Picking as Shipping Policy.
Confirm the Sales Order, then run the Scheduler (Warehouses > Schedulers > Compute Schedulers) and run the Procurement from each company (Odoo France, Odoo and Odoo Belgium).
At this time, a Purchase Order and a Delivery Order have been generated. The Purchase Order is in the Request For Quotation state and you have to convert it into a Purchase Order to confirm the purchase. The Delivery Order is in Not Available state because you have to buy the products before delivery.
Once the purchase order has been confirmed and the reception is completed, we can process the delivery order.
Figure 7.19: Purchase Order
Once the delivery order is processed, the products are sent to the customer and we can invoice the order from OpenERP France on the delivered quantities.
The delivery order will be processed from OpenERP Belgium. OpenERP Belgium is the company that manages the stock of products. This company is responsible for the delivery of the products to the ﬁnal customers. However, the invoicing process will be handled by OpenERP France, because it is the company that received the order from the customer.
Figure 7.20: Deliver the Products
From the user of Odoo France, we can create the invoice for the order (Sales > Invoicing > Lines to Invoice), then pass the invoice from the Draft state to the Open state. To finalize the invoicing process, you have to go to Accounting > Customers > Customers Invoices to execute the payment process.
Figure 7.21: Create the Invoice
Figure 7.22: Validate the Invoice
There is a way to turn the complexity of multi-company logistics into a simple, integrated process.
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Top 10 benefits to USA Odoo for Logistics:
About USA Odoo
As a top Odoo open source software integrator in the US, USA Odoo provides enterprise Odoo integration customers with a unique combination of open source business process consulting and turnkey implementation. As an Odoo Gold partner, we help your enterprise synchronize and integrate manufacturing as well as e-commerce, including the aggregation of processes and decentralized and/or independent systems. Our veteran team of Odoo ERP consultants works hands on with your team to help drive your ability to connect your organization end to end with accounting, customer, and big-data-driven centricity.
USA Odoo was created to provide Odoo-powered open source accounting, CRM, e-commerce platform, and logistic integration including real-time big data and business process improvements leading the way. Our Odoo open source software consultants work personally with each of our clients to analyze the challenges facing their operations, unleash the power of their data, and achieve their specific competitive advantage and ROI business goals.
For greater insight into the power of Odoo, read the entirety of “Integrate your Logistic Processes with Odoo: Efficient Warehouse Management with Sales and Purchases integration.”
Fabien Pickaers is CEO and Founder of Odoo SA, the world’s #1 business apps suite.
Els Van Vossel is the owner of Foxy Consulting bvba and works as a functional ERP consultant and a technical communicator.
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