Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) was born from a manufacturing need, but a modern ERP today includes accounting and financials, sales, product lifecycle management (PLM), customer relationship management (CRM), human resource management (HRM), and other core business systems. However, modern ERP systems have also become complicated and expensive, and a successful implementation often requires the business more conform to the ERP than vice versa. A new type of ERP is emerging, called Postmodern ERP. Postmodern ERPs are designed from the ground up to be simple and flexible, more capable of modelling a business than imposing conformity, and available to organizations of even modest requirements or means.
ERPNext is a postmodern ERP. Rushad and his team created not only an incredible open-source software application, but also an entire eco-system, including a community of users and independent consultants, a supportive peer-to-peer help forum, and a recent addition, the ERPNext Foundation for project stewardship.
I will be taking a somewhat chronological journey through ERPNext, from an engineering perspective. Starting with the engineering team creating a prototype, then continuing through general customer release, the journey continues with changes to enhance quality, satisfy new customer needs, and reduce cost.
I will be following the Swift Construction Company’s development of the Aircraft Wireless in this tutorial, documented in the Maestro project. Also this list will be updated with links to the tutorials as they are published.
I started with the virtual machine image provided by ERPNext.org, hosting the vm using VirtualBox on FreeBSD.
All the parts needed to build the initial Aircraft Wireless prototype will be created, including sub-assemblies with bills-of-materials (BOMs). Purchasing and supplier data will be entered for bought-in items, and appropriate documents will be submitted for custom or manufactured items. Revision levels will be used to assist in managing inevitable change.
#3. Purchasing using ERPNext (not yet published )
The parts needed to build a sub-assembly of the prototype (a custom inductor) will be purchased, received to stock, and paid for, with the development project bearing the costs. Initially, purchasing will be driven by the engineering project, then later by manufacturing scheduling after the Aircraft Wireless reaches production status.
#4. Manufacturing using ERPNext (not yet published )
Similar to the Purchasing tutorial, manufacturing will initially be driven by the engineering project, then later by manufacturing scheduling after the Aircraft Wireless reaches production status. Work orders will be created to manage work and collect cost.
#5. Managing projects using ERPNext (not yet published )
The concept of a project was first introduced in the Purchasing tutorial, when prototype costs were allocated to the Aircraft Wireless engineering project. Here project management will be explored further, including capturing time spent by engineering staff on the development project, and using Kanban project management (equivalent in many ways to the agile scrum process).
Other topics being considered include:
- Purchasing from a BOM using ERPNext.
- Managing Controlled Stock using ERPNext.
- CRM using ERPNext.
- Managing a Production ERPNext Site (keeping an ERPNext site up to date and QA considerations for business-critical software infrastructure systems).
- Receiving serialized stock items.
- Serialize certain non-serialized stock when received (serialized with either vendor or local serial number).
- Manufacture serialized stock in the form of sub-assemblies and final assemblies, using serialized and non-serialized stock.
- “Un-manufacture” serialized product to sub-assemblies, returning sub-assemblies to inventory following a QA re-verification process.
- Reporting serialized sub-assemblies included in a serialized product (current and historical).
Please leave a comment if any of these topics are relevant to you, or to suggest other topics of particular interest.