ERP solution for repair and maintenance
Based in the US, our customer offers repair and maintenance services for industrial automation systems. The company works with recognized brands, such as Allen Bradley, Siemens, Mitsubishi, etc.
The customer’s teams were distributed across three locations, with each team using their own solutions independently of each other. Because the solutions were outdated, employees had to manage various enterprise processes manually, which was the major reason for operational slowdown and the declining quality of provided services.
To automate their multiple business processes, including work order management, inventory management, and quoting, as well as unify disparate software in use, the customer opted for developing a centralized web-based ERP system for aerospace. They wanted the solution to be deployed in the cloud in order to ensure its scalability and longevity.
The customer chose Itransition to implement the project, owing to our experience in ERP implementation consulting and in-depth understanding of custom and platform-based ERP systems.
Our business analysts and solution architects worked with the customer’s team to define the technological stack and finalize the project requirements.
Initially, the customer planned to develop the system from scratch. We analyzed the project scope and suggested to use an out-of-the-box solution, as it would address nearly 70% of the requirements if configured and customized. Besides, utilizing an off-the-shelf ERP system would ensure faster deployment and lower costs associated with the development and post-launch maintenance.
Together with the customer, we decided to implement an Odoo ERP system. The native features of Odoo would cover 75% of the customer’s requirements, and could be further customized to meet specific business goals.
One of the major challenges for Itransition’s team was to consolidate data from the customer’s heterogeneous legacy systems and migrate it to the new ERP solution while ensuring data integrity.
The customer’s teams were using the Paradox system integrated with Salesforce, which was altogether an outdated solution, unable to cope with their expanding business processes. Our team replaced Paradox, migrated the customer’s data to Odoo, and performed bidirectional synchronization between Salesforce and Odoo, ensuring no duplicates.
For the migration to go smoothly, we built an Odoo integration module for transferring data to a PostgreSQL database used in Odoo development. This allowed Itransition to access the customer’s data with no need to involve the customer’s team and transfer data without additional manual reviews.
We delivered an Odoo-based ERP system that comprises multiple modules, including:
- Work order management
- Inventory management
- Quoting and cost management
- Procurement management
- Task queue and approval
- Automated reporting
Business process management
Initially, the customer used physical task boards marked simply with stickers, which made daily workflows a pain to manage and often ended up with information lost.
We automated business process management with web-based Agile boards and tasks. We offered to divide the customer’s processes into projects, such as Warranty, Repair, Outsource, etc. Each project now has its own set of tasks to be assigned to certain employees. Task statuses change automatically as the task is moved through the defined workflow stages.
These tools helped the customer automate their business processes and start managing them in one centralized hub. It also allowed analyzing employees’ workload and productivity.
We delivered a set of customizations and configurations to align the out-of-the-box Odoo platform with the customer’s business specifics.
The customer worked with a large database containing new and refurbished parts on sale or to be repaired. Each part was to be registered depending on its condition, ranging from new to nonfunctioning. The customer needed to quickly access the data about all the products present in the warehouse, including their condition and price.
To facilitate warehouse management, we customized the off-the-shelf Odoo features for users to create product versions and manage products with different attributes, such as size, color, purpose, etc.
We developed a custom algorithm for creating a basic set of product versions, such as new, refurb, and scrap, and synchronized the algorithm with connected services, including rush repair, warranty repair, scrapping unrepaired parts, and more.
This version-based product management brought benefits in two ways. First, it facilitated warehouse management, as employees could quickly find any item in storage and look up its information. Second, it simplified procurement management, as employees could now order necessary parts when required, relying on the warehouse inventory.
Additionally, our team configured the multiple purchase order approval workflow. Depending on the reason for placing a purchase order, the latter might require multiple business users’ approvals. According to the workflow, a purchase order is considered approved only when all the required users approve it.
We also implemented a client portal with a restricted access managed by the customer’s administration team. There, clients can view the status of their orders and track progress in real time. Clients added to the portal by the admins can receive email notifications on their orders, for example, when the job is delayed or a quote is sent.
Technologies & tools
We customized the Odoo ERP system using Python, an Odoo-based web framework, and a PostgreSQL database. To reduce downtime and speed up the project delivery, we separated the development and testing environments.
To automate testing, our team leveraged the pytest framework: it can run simultaneous tests, has a simple syntax, and requires no boilerplates.
We integrated the ERP with Salesforce to enable two-way synchronization with the customer’s data records. Another tool, TaxCloud, was integrated for the customer’s managers to calculate sales tax variations for every US state, city, and federal jurisdiction, in real time.
To ensure stable, predictable and repeatable delivery on the project, we applied continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) practices with ongoing code review and quality assurance. The CI/CD approach guaranteed quick software releases with excellent code quality.
We customized and deployed an Odoo ERP system that replaced our customer’s disparate outdated system and streamlined their business processes. The new ERP showed the following improvements:
- Manual work reduced by 90%
- Purchase order approval time reduced by 50%
- Work order management accelerated by 100%