The marketplace for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms is maturing on a daily basis, getting more and more crowded with excellent software tools for a variety of use cases, verticals, deployment methods and budgets. Traditional ERP providers continue to offer Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) capabilities that have remained staples to the market since widespread adoption of ERP software began more than a decade ago. However, disruptive newcomers and evolving customer trends are bringing new technologies to the table so that organizations can take full advantage of data.
There are large providers we refer to as ‘mega-vendors’, like Infor, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. There are also the lesser-known innovators with interesting products that play in niche areas, such as IQMS, Workday, Workwise Software and Acumatica. In an attempt to assist you with what can become a daunting task of selecting the right product, we’ve provided you with the top free, open source ERP options that can help get your business in shape.
If you find this helpful, be sure to check out our ERP Buyer’s Guide, which features key capabilities to look for before purchasing, steps to take before implementing the ERP tool, a comprehensive overview of the market, and full, one page profiles of the top ERP vendors, including our “Bottom Line” analysis.
Odoo’s distinction is that the whole system revolves around a collection of apps. The software has apps to cover everything from warehousing, manufacturing, and sales channels, to timesheets, websites, and purchasing. Odoo offers one application for free for unlimited users when hosted online, and adding additional apps will typically run you from $12/month-$72/month depending on the app. However, if you install and maintain the software in house, Odoo is totally free.
iDempiere is a full-fledged ERP, with everything from invoicing to POS integration to warehouse management to forecasting. The software provides just about everything an ERP could, including product planning, warehouse management, and payroll, among many others. While iDempiere is open source, installing an ERP is never truly free. iDempiere, like most open source programs, relies on community support for troubleshooting. Businesses may also call in specialists with experience in iDempiere.
Designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), ERPNext is presented as a series of apps. It has been recognized as one of the world’s best open source ERP and is backed by the not-for-profit ERPNext Foundation. ERPNext’s user-friendliness means that it’s easy to set up, using simple forms to enter information about your business and walking you through the whole process in typical setup wizard style. ERPNext is free for five users when hosted online, or free for any size business when installed on your own servers.
Dolibarr ERP & CRM is a modern and easy to use software package to manage your business. It comes with everything an ERP needs, including accounting, CRM, HR, and inventory modules. If you want to expand functionality into the weird or incredibly specialized, Dolibarr offers apps through its Dolistore—you can also just build your own, if you’re so inclined. Dolibarr ERP is a great option for businesses with in-house tech teams and those that want to be a part of a bigger ERP community.
PostBooks is the free and open source core of xTuple’s full-featured ERP and includes accounting, sales, customer and supplier management, inventory control and light manufacturing. Built for flexibility, xTuple can run in the cloud or on a local server and offers multi-platform support for Windows, Mac, Linux. xTuple is flexible enough for a range of businesses and industries of any size, especially manufacturers in make-to-order, make-to-stock and mixed-mode and industrial and consumer wholesale distributors. The free version also makes add-ons available such as a real-time business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce / Sales & Service Customer Web Portal.
MixERP is a blend of minimalist design and powerful ERP apps and modules designed for small businesses. It is free and open source, built on the ASP.net framework. In its free iteration, you manage hosting and upgrading, but you’ll have access to support for $49 per issue. It’s a nice mix between do-it-yourself and complete outsourcing. The free version comes with it all, including inventory management, sales management, accounting, and HR tools to keep your business running smoothly, however, it does lack manufacturing and payroll management options.
Metasfresh is a friendly-fork of ADempiere 3.54 with all the advantages of open source software development, enhanced by a variety of features for the wholesale and fresh produce sector, with services such as quality assurance, training, warranties and planning reliability for customers. With an unlimited number of users, metasfresh is royalty-free and can be installed for and used by as many users as you need.
webERP is a complete web based accounting and business management system that requires only a web-browser and pdf reader to use. It has a wide range of features suitable for many businesses particularly distributed businesses in wholesale, distribution and manufacturing. When combined with a 3rd party interactive desktop Point Of Sale system it can also form the hub of a dispersed multi-branch retail management system. A fully integrated webSHOP is also available as a 3rd party add-on. webERP is as an open-source application and is available as a free download to use.
Looking for more? Download our ERP buyers guide for free and compare the top-24 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide includes four key capabilities to look for in an ERP solution, plus five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask the software provider before purchasing. It’s the perfect resource for anyone looking to find right ERP for their business/organization.
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