Posts Tagged ‘Fabien Pinckaers’

OpenERP Partners – Getting revenues from existing customers

February 13, 2011 Leave a comment
Polish OpenERP screenshot

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Well, just wanted to share I reply I posted in the OpenERP forum. This discussion was started by Fabien Pinckaers and it is an interesting one. It is how to get more revenue from existing customers. You can also read the presentation “OpenERP Partners – Getting revenues from existing customers”. I found the discussion quite interesting and I wanted to share my reply (which is below).

Just found this discussion and I wanted to share my thoughts on this. First, I would like to make clear where I stand now. My partners and I are starting a new software company and right now we are in the stage of being incorporated. We will be a formal company in one or two months. We are not OpenERP partners yet for the reason of not being a company yet (you could think of us as a bunch of software developers working together). We intend to become partners when we are incorporated as a company.

Why are we thinking of becoming partners? Basically because we intend to use the OpenERP software and we understand good software does not happen in a vacuum and people who develop it should be encouraged to continue its development. We intend to make money of OpenERP so we will devote a percentage of our income to its founding (we had a discussion with our partners on whether to become partners or donate a percentage of the money we make in each implementation, but we are leaning towards being partners)

OK, this is what I wanted to share. The best way to make money with OpenERP is with existing customers. From time to time we will make more money with new implementations, but on the long run we will make more money with an existing customer base. Plus, they allow you build a sustainable business.

What is the best way to increase this incremental revenue? Find new ways of either reducing costs or boosting sales. OpenERP (IMHO) is not about a technical proposition but a business proposition, which will allow business reduce its expenses or increase its revenues. How will this software do that? By understanding the customer business and its competitive environment. There is no secret to this. By understanding how the client makes or saves money, we will be able to propose new functionalities or projects that will allow us more money with the customer.

For example, we have a client who will soon implement OpenERP. Why is this client thinking of OpenERP? Because if it is well implemented it will reduce the stock, and the customer is thinking of reducing its stock in millions (OK, pesos, but still millions!!!). What the client needs is to reduce the expenses associated with inventory. The customer is thinking of implementing the stock, mrp and purchase modules.

But after implementing those modules, the customer will need to improve its forecast system. Why? Because the first step in inventory optimization is having a good forecast. And we will need to develop a forecast module for forecasting the demand of thousands of products. That will be a profitable second project (and we will be glad to share that module with the community). And after the forecast improvement module, we will need to implement the CRM module.

That is a good example of how aligning the OpenERP implementation with the business initiatives or business needs boosts the partner revenues. Our customer is not the people in IT (in two of our customers the IT department is only one guy doing whatever it takes to keep the computers and servers running). It’s the people in production, accounting, sales and marketing. It is understanding how to increase sales for the customer, or reduce its costs. Understanding this makes the OpenERP an easier sell (not easy, but much easier). And alleviates the pressure on the team.

A last thought, I think understanding the customer business will create the need for additional modules or applications. Such as Activity Based Costing module, Markdown management module, Revenue management module and so on. I think implementing these modules will generate very  interesting revenue opportunities for partners as well.

Well, just wanted to share my thoughts. Have a great Sunday!

OpenERP for Retail and Industrial Management book review

January 24, 2011 8 comments
A Picture of a eBook

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I bought the book on Amazon. You might wonder why should I purchase the book when I can download the e-book which is free? Well, two reasons. The first reason is I do enjoy reading printed books. I don’t think reading books on tablets matches my experience reading a paper book. The other reason is convenience, I can take it anywhere and read it on subways, trains, whereever.

The book is written by Fabien Pinckaers, who started the OpenERP project. This is a very good reason for reading this book. You get to understand the system from the point of view of the person who developed the system. You get to know how the system is supposed to work, which saves you a lot of time.

The first chapter covers the Installation of OpenERP. Covers Windows and Linux. You can skip this chapter since you will find more updated information on the documentation section of the OpenERP website or the community forums.

The second chapter is a Guided Tour. You can skip the chapter but I suggest against it, since it not only covers the user interface and its usage, but also covers third-party add-ons with lots of functionality that are really handy. For instance, I got to know the product_expiry product which is really handy for products that have an expiration date.

The third chapter covers a real case. It is a very simple case, but helps you understand how the system works. Actually, it is the first thing you need to know when you are taking your first steps in OpenERP. The chapter guides you on the different steps of buying products from suppliers, stocking those products in the warehouse and selling them to your customers. It’s OpenERP 101.

 The fourth chapter covers sales management. From sales quotations, packaging, alerts, invoicing, deliveries and price management (including rebates). Does not cover the financial management of sales, CRM nor analytical accounts. They are covered in the e-book version of the book.

The fifth chapter covers Purchasing. It’s a short and concise book on how to create purchase orders, quotations, receipt notes and invoices from suppliers. It is a good read before reading the next chapter.

Stock Management. Covers the product creating, and the warehouse management, involving the operations for entering and delivering products to/from your warehouses. Also covers the stock valuation and traceability, which is becoming critical in the logistics operation.

Manufacturing is the next chapter. Starts with the Bill of Materials and guides you from there. From BoM you create production orders, which are covered in detail, to the different routings available for the different products. This introduces you to WorkCenters and the different operations involved in the manufacture of your product. This might be the most important chapter in the book and has many examples of its operation.

The last three chapters; Process, System administration and configuration, and Methodology. If you work with OpenERP you should read these chapters, but you should complement it with further reading, for instance the memento presentations available on Slideshare.

Well, to finish this post, I highly recommend this book. And after reading the book you should read the e-book, which has additional chapters on CRM and Analytic Accounts (for example). It is not a definite guide, but it is an excellent first step on OpenERP.