Maker Pro: Tracking Manufacturing from Start to Finish with OpenERP

Originally posted on MAKE:

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If you’re a maker ready to scale up to commercial production, soon you’ll be asking questions about how to manage the process of sourcing parts, ordering raw materials, describing the fabrication process, and scheduling access to equipment.

Software tools that help you plan and operate your manufacturing business are often called “enterprise resource planning” systems, or ERP for short. ERP systems generally include tools for managing inventory, scheduling materials and resources for production, ordering new materials when needed, and accounting systems to keep track of your expenses and revenues.

ERP systems help you understand your material costs, compute what your inventory is worth, tally the actual costs of making your products, and ultimately help you plan your investment and production decisions so your business can thrive.

ERP systems have been around for several decades, but for much of that time they have been shockingly expensive, often in the millions of…

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