Who is using iDempiere in the world?

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Jianfeng Wang

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Mar 17, 2016, 10:29:33 PM3/17/16
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Hi All,

Just curious, which enterprises are using iDempiere in the world? Do they face lots of development in terms of current iDempiere functionality? Why do they choose iDempiere? Do they build a huge team to support this ERP?

I learned this tiny ERP a couple weeks ago, installed and ran on my Ubuntu server. It looks good to me, but I don't see too much flexibility there, so wondering if an enterprise implements that, will there be lots of development? Anyone has such experience, would you please share?

Thanks,
Jianfeng

redhuan d. oon

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Mar 18, 2016, 12:30:13 AM3/18/16
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You calling this a 'tiny ERP' will make it an overkill for tiny needs. This is for large and complex ERP users. The BOSSIE Award gives a good idea http://www.infoworld.com/article/2982622/open-source-tools/bossie-awards-2015-the-best-open-source-applications.html#slide4
1. Its writeup described it for larger setups so that is the market target.
2. It advises that for smaller companies to look at Odoo and XTuple the other award winners.
3. It described iDempiere as a well maintained offshoot of ADempiere, thus its history has users that are from Compiere days since 1999 until 2006 (ADempiere) thru 2012 (iDempiere) until now.
4. It advises to have good team support for integration.
To have won the award speaks a lot of its popularity and competitiveness but stick to the advice of large market segment. Since it is large, the resources also likewise has to be substantial. So to answer your question it depends on who you are implementing this at. If small, it is overkill and big risk and waste. If large, it is suitable but uses big resources of experts, and implementors.
Just my 2 euro dollars.

Jianfeng Wang

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Mar 18, 2016, 1:56:16 AM3/18/16
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Hi Red1,

Thanks for your reply. What do you mean by big risk if a small company implements that? What risks will they have?

Thanks,
Jianfeng

在 2016年3月18日星期五 UTC+8下午12:30:13,redhuan d. oon写道:

redhuan d. oon

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Mar 18, 2016, 2:40:17 AM3/18/16
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The risks are higher costs because you are applying a larger app to a smaller user. Just like buying a bigger 4WD to go to a market when a Daihatsu will do. As the BOSSIE analysis said, ' iDempiere’s feature-rich tools and complexity impose a steep learning curve'. Either you spend more time (cost) in learning or you pay for an expert (cost).

For the benefit of other users with similar questions, I can add that there is another cost most users are not aware due to the freedom to download such apps. They assume it is easy at first sight.
There is the cost of debugging issues and support. You can read from the issues here from all types of users, be they DIY or implementers. Been an open community forum, you can read and compare.
So to make it worthwhile, it is best to have a large expensive user to justify the cost. This is the basic idea most experts have when they choose the right app for the right case.
Even if you are a large user, an ERP app is not a one ready size fits all. Your use case should be a specialised vertical needing lots of changes and iDempiere has many parts to fit or change to fit.

Having said that, once you mastered iDempiere it becomes your best software toolset in the world. I made a nice tool to build a fast demo in a minute instead of hours. http://youtu.be/9P03uuOIMWI But this proves that all these years it took me much longer time to do such things. For newbies it can be more.

Jianfeng Wang

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Mar 18, 2016, 4:00:23 AM3/18/16
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Hi Red1,

Thanks for your reply.

Thanks,
Jianfeng

在 2016年3月18日星期五 UTC+8下午2:40:17,redhuan d. oon写道:

Antoni Ten Monrós

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Mar 18, 2016, 5:03:22 AM3/18/16
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On Friday, March 18, 2016 at 9:00:23 AM UTC+1, Jianfeng Wang wrote:
Hi Red1,

Thanks for your reply.

Thanks,
Jianfeng

I speak here as the (only) IT guy in a SME. I think that my experiences will give you some perspective. The decision to implement ADempiere was taken by management (I'm migrating to iDempiere), to replace a very expensive custom job from before I joined the company. 

The company I work with is basically an importer, manufacturer and supplier of precision mechanical transmission gearboxes. The kind of parts that go into machine tools that do precision work. It's a company that has some rather unusual needs for an ERP system:

  • Number of users: 1-3. Users are expected to handle everything (no dedicated sales/warehouse/supply/etc guys)
  • HUGE number of possible products: since there's no standardization in the world of servomotors, each product will need to have to be customized to fit our customer's choice of servomotor. This means that - each product will have nearly unlimited variants, and a new order will most likely require adding a new product, with all the overhead that includes. (It's possible to alleviate the pain by using attributes to handle part of this variation. This, however, comes with it's own set of challenges.) Most of these products will be used exactly once, unless the customer decides to order more, but it's unlikely that other customers will ask for the same exact configuration.
  • Low or no stock levels: Since products are heavily customized, maintaining stock levels is not viable. They are built just in time by our suppliers, or partially assembled parts might be bought, from one supplier and others might be machined locally. MRP is a pipe dream.
  • (Light) Manufacturing required: Some of our designs are assembled here instead of built to order by our suppliers. Sometimes, products are bought and customized here instead of fully assembled at the factories where we outsource manufacturing. Sometimes products bought for an operation that didn't pan out are disassembled and used for parts for other products.
  • Accounting is outsourced: Accounting is handled by a different company that deals with all the intricacies of our tax system. As such, accounting is not handled bu the ERP, and even if it's necessary for other parts to work, users don't want to input the necessary data for even a mock accounting scheme to work.
  • Company is ISO9001 certified, and standard procedures mandates by the certification predate ERP use in the company. As such, the workflows that must exist (and the paperwork that must be produced) is not optimal for automated handling. The solution is to "fake it out" ex post facto and produce the necessary paperwork so ISO 9001 audits show that we still comply to the certified processes and workflows.
  • Very informal handling of the sales process: Offers are first negotiated outside the system, and only after the initial negotiation, entered into the system. The reason for this is that this negotiation is mostly a matter of gathering requirements, that, as in the software engineering world, are often not provided straight away, mischaracterized by the customer, or just plain erroneous. As such, if they were entered in the system, they would require creating products in the system that would never ever be sold.
In our case, iDempiere is really overkill. It produces great overheads. It requires complex training of the users and onsite support. However, alternatives are found lacking in some of the areas above. Built to order software would probably serve us better, except that management doesn't understand the sunk costs fallacy. 

Now, not everything is hopeless. iDempiere is really extensible, and now that I had to delve in it's innards, it provides a solid foundation for adding built to order processes. However, one must be careful not to dig oneself in a hole by doing so, and cut oneself from future updates and bugfixes. Modifications should be decoupled from the core, modifications to core tables are be verboten. Changes to built in processes are not recommended, and building parallel processes that do what the existing processes do, but slightly differently should be done with utmost care, because it can be a maintenance nightmare.

IMHO one problem that is also a great strength with the *piere family of ERPs is that metadata is mixed with data. This lets you change the system structure from inside the system, and allows to do rapid prototyping, but results in both problematic maintenance and upgrades if you alter the core database too much. It also suffers from the inner platform effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner-platform_effect) because of this, in that in order to maintain as much database independence as possible, and to abstract as much database operation as possible, it replicates many of the features of a database management system.

Oh, and please, remember that as an open source product, strength comes by sharing your work with others. Try to get your generally applicable changes upstreamed. Avoid doing private forks. In my case, the changes required are so unique that they're hard to decouple from the base assumptions of the company I work for, but I still try to submit as much as possible (and as much as I'm allowed - problem being that management doesn't seem to understand that sharing the maintenance burden with others by sharing your work is quite cost effective, even if it means that you must overengineer your solutions so they work in cases more general than the one that our company specifically needs). 

Jianfeng Wang

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Mar 18, 2016, 5:14:49 AM3/18/16
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Hi Antoni,

Thanks for your sharing. That really helps me to understand the situation. How many of you are maintaining/supporting iDempiere?

Thanks,
Jianfeng

在 2016年3月18日星期五 UTC+8下午5:03:22,Antoni Ten Monrós写道:

Antoni Ten Monrós

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Mar 18, 2016, 5:34:46 AM3/18/16
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On Friday, March 18, 2016 at 10:14:49 AM UTC+1, Jianfeng Wang wrote:
Hi Antoni,

Thanks for your sharing. That really helps me to understand the situation. How many of you are maintaining/supporting iDempiere?

Thanks,
Jianfeng

In my company? just me. In this community?  A great many.

My advice is that you seriously consider the overhead using an ERP system will have, and see if it's cost-effective. ERPs designed for SMEs have reduced features but often lesser overhead. ERPs for large companies typically have greater overheads but allow you to handle volumes that are unmanageable otherwise. The thing is, neither paring down a "large company ERP" nor scaling up a "SME ERP" is easy, and no ERP will perfectly fit your use cases.

Carlos Antonio Ruiz Gómez

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Mar 18, 2016, 7:00:11 AM3/18/16
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2¢ from here

In the workshops we have discussed the idea to make iDempiere more suitable for small, or even tiny companies.

Thomas collected some of the ideas from workshop 2014 at this wiki page:

Ideally, we would like to have an iDempiere distro with most of the stuff required to start already preinstalled and configured, shortened windows, and straighter processes.

IMHO, that would be a killer, but, is something that probably is not easy to get contributed - maybe a topic to sponsor with the funds?

Regards,

Carlos Ruiz
Message has been deleted

Krutika Dave

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Jun 1, 2017, 1:49:10 PM6/1/17
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 Hello ! Yes, there are organizations who use it and I work at one of them.
   Actually, it's a very good option for an ERP product. There are times that we find it less flexible, and then, we can add our own patches to something that we think it should have. IDempiere is opensource. Once,  I had a problem in getting value in context when it was the same field in the first tab and the second tab, so at that time, I used a patch. And for multi-selection in IDempiere, we have added some custom classes. But overall, it's a very complex ERP option but once You are used to develop your stories into it to meet the requirements, it's really a good option. As said by Redhuan, it requires a good team support for integration. Only large clients can look for it.

Zeeshan Hasan

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Jun 2, 2017, 4:35:41 AM6/2/17
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We offer both Idempiere and Odoo implementation services.
If there are more than 10 users or manufacturing is required, we recommend Idempiere.
Bigger companies have complex needs and need a solution that can handle complexity. That's what Idempiere offers.

Victor Suárez

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Jun 2, 2017, 5:45:11 PM6/2/17
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Hi Red 1. 
Do you think that a person who dominates idempiere can implement idempiere in large and small clients?  I think so.

redhuan d. oon

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Jun 4, 2017, 2:31:57 AM6/4/17
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After many years here, i suspect most users are actually 'partial' users i.e. they do not use *piere 100% thru-out. We can see from the type of feedback or lack of feedback in deep end performance.

But such prospects will be using an overkill, as the type of learning curve or consultant needed is expensive to find. Yes such experts can use the Ferarri to get to the market easily but either they are wasting their time or they cannot find a good highway to use the Ferarri. It is marketing question more than a competency one.

Carlos Antonio Ruiz Gomez

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Jun 4, 2017, 1:40:52 PM6/4/17
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Hi Redhuan, that reasoning is not taking into account the cost of changing.

I mean, when you learn to drive a car you basically learned to drive most of them.  So, if you buy a fiat you can change to a porsche later without too much suffering.

Is not the case about changing an ERP, once your company learns how to drive an ERP is really hard to change it, usually it means a re-implementation with the added issue that you need to keep access to your history, so I've seen companies with access to 3 legacy systems plus the working ERP.

IMHO, in this case the cost of a potential future change must be considered in the equation.

As we have discussed this in some conferences and workshops, the solution could be to make a tailored version that minimize implementation time, something like a pre-configured for small business, I still haven't seen such version, but we have most of the foundations to do it, some were discussed and documented here: http://wiki.idempiere.org/en/IDempiere_light

Regards,

Carlos Ruiz
--

redhuan d. oon

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Jun 4, 2017, 3:55:56 PM6/4/17
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Hi Carlos,
That is a different issue. I was responding to a question of fit to either skills or project.

About cost of change, yes indeed your point is illuminating yet descriptive of another problem which i have a different approach:
1. Cost of change jumps to impossible when you touch the core.

But then your logic though is true cannot be tenable in the long run - having multiple versions of a single ERP environment. Sooner or later the BOD will put up the agenda, "Budget for new ERP".

And i do not think a simpler iDempiere fulfils big ERP scenario we happened to be judging on. Even if someone adopts it and still having the core change approach, wouldn't they also be looking a further variants of the same ERP as you described? Its a vicious cycle of a problem.

Fkr Arif

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Jan 5, 2021, 8:33:55 PMJan 5
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Short version

Is iDempiere really not suitable for SME? What is your recommendation other than Odoo and ERPNext?

Longer version

I am looking for an onsite ERP software (installed in a local network) for a small company where I am the only IT person and the users will not be more than 3. I've looked at Odoo but it's not fully open source and the accounting module is not available in CE. I've tried ERPNext but it doesn't work when (external) internet connection is not available.

I thought iDempiere was the choice because (1) it's open source (2) it's community driven (3) it can be installed onsite (4) official docker image is available (5) it works offline (with local network only). However after reading this thread, it makes me to re-think :D. Could you please help me to decide?

Thanks in advance.

Orlando Curieles

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Jan 5, 2021, 8:42:46 PMJan 5
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Hi, We have small customers running IDempiere - of course you need learn a lot but is the best choice.

 Best Regards.
    Orlando

Heng Sin Low

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Jan 5, 2021, 8:44:27 PMJan 5
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The only way to find out is to list down your key requirements and try it out yourself.

and the community is always available here to help if you runs into any roadblocks.

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pvander...@askey.nl

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Jan 6, 2021, 3:10:49 AMJan 6
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Hi Fkr Arif,
I am the owner and CEO of a small company with five people staff. I have been looking for an suitable open source ERP for many years. Twenty years ago I already tried Compiere, the ancestor of Adempiere, which is the ancestor of iDempiere.  I never really implemented the system, because in those days it would hardly run on the hardware that we had (or could afford). I also had a look at other flavors like Openbravo and Vienna Advantage, but I did not get the impression that they were there for the community.
Five, six years ago I decided to go for Odoo (version 7, later 8), the last full open source version before they decided to start bringing options/updates for paying customers only. It became a disaster. Even with their paid support a lot of things were not working or could not be fixed and also the upgrade to version 8 (that would solve everything) was a nightmare. It has cost me a fortune in time and money.
Last year I had gathered enough courage again to take a new step and try iDempiere. For the same reasons that you described. From the very beginning I got the impression that iDempiere would prove to be mature, community driven and real open source.
Although I am not an IT guy and have not been educated in computers or languages, I can recommend iDempiere. I simply have learned the few things I know by playing and using computers over the past 40 years. Implementing an ERP means "a very steep learning curve" (you'll probably know), but in this case I can promise you it is worth the effort. Again I have chosen to buy some professional support for the things I find too difficult and to speed up some parts of the implementation, but in the meantime we are working with iDempiere. Since six months with our own service tools (with extra custom tables in iDempiere) and since six days we officially run our accounting, stocks etc on it. I cannot say enough how happy I am with iDempiere so far. Not in the least because everything seems to be possible, everything works or can be made to work. In short, a relief, after years of living in a straitjacket. Every day I learn more and get more exited and I fully understand that there is so much more for me to discover in this ocean of possibilities.
I think you have found what you are looking for.
Best regards,
Pieter

Op woensdag 6 januari 2021 om 02:44:27 UTC+1 schreef hengsin:

Andres Lopez Andrade

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Jan 6, 2021, 2:04:33 PMJan 6
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Hi, I've been working with SAP since 2003 as ABAP consultant, then in 2011 I started my business with ADempiere and since 2015 with iDempiere, I also worked with Odoo but that was hell, I have more than 30 implementations in different types of companies, from neighborhood stores to retail industries, leather, footwear and textiles.

What I've learned over the years, is that the culture of the company is important, those who are organized, use defined processes and accept change, have good results, the informal ones, migrate systems every year and spend money without measure.

iDempiere is a mature ERP, it can be parameterized easily, so that it works without problem in a warehouse with 1 employee or in a production company with 400 users.

--
AL

Norbert Bede

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Jan 6, 2021, 2:50:49 PMJan 6
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Hi,

@Andres, your words are really true. 

@We are using idempiere as multitenant cloud deployment. We have some small customers, up to 5-10 users, as @Andreas wrote above, if you are organized then it is a good opportunity. For me, freedom is especially important. 

We have also some more complex projects in the automotive industry/supply chain (JIT and JIS process up to 1-minute sequencing frequency 24/7 6 days in a week),  retail, e-commerce, mobile pos. 
The system is fully customizable, you can make small changes yourself, but also the complex solutions. For example. we are implementing now a complex WCS system https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn33xz58WC0 calculate, move pallets across 3000 and 2 levels, and visualize operations in the angular frontend, communicate trough REST API.

Still, build ERP in the company is a long term project, need to follow/lead business processes. 
Hope I help you answer your question.

nb

Fikrul Arif

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Jan 7, 2021, 10:11:32 PMJan 7
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Thank you for sharing your experiences, your story is very helpful for me. Glad to have a responsive and active community. I conclude that (CMIIW) iDempiere is also suitable for companies with few users, especially if much customization is needed, but it has a steep learning curve.

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