3 Best Free and Open Source ERP Software

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These free and open source ERP tools will help you integrate and manage your business processes in a cost-effective manner.

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Solving complicated problems for your business doesn’t mean you have to splash out on a thousand-dollar enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Big vendors like Oracle and SAP may dominate the market, but there are free and open source ERP tools that can help get your business in shape with little to know monetary investment.

Before we dive in, a word of advice: putting an ERP in place can be a headache. Implementations can go over budget, take too long, or may not deliver on the plan and just end up making businesses miserable.

Don’t fall prey to those challenges. Clarity into the business problem, a clear goal, and a clear plan is the recipe for ERP success. Even a free and open source ERP costs your business time, and time is money.

But can ERP software offer the features you need at almost no procurement cost? The answer is yes. To identify the right free and open source ERP tools, you need to ensure they offer core ERP software features; good ratings by other users is the next thing to look out for.

This guide combines these two parameters to bring you the three best options on the market. Each of the three tools included in this article has a minimum user rating of four (out of five) on Capterra’s software directory over the past year. You can find our full methodology for selecting these products here.

Here are our top picks (listed in alphabetical order).

3 Best Free and Open Source ERP Software

3 best free and open source ERP software

1. Bitrix24

Rating: (4.0/5 out of 400+ reviews)

Bitrix24 is a free online ERP solution that works for businesses of all sizes. It includes apps for customer relationship management (CRM), project management, task management, employee management, document management, and human resource (HR) management. In addition to the cloud version, Bitrix24 has an on-premise version with open source code access that you can install on your server.

Integrations in Bitrix24

Integrations in Bitrix24 (Source)

Pros

Cons

Reviewers find Bitrix24 helpful in managing multiple operations of their business. They like that all modules are organized in one place, which makes it easier for people with minimal tech expertise to work efficiently. They also say that modules offered by third-party vendors integrate and work well with Bitrix24. A few users mention that the tool is not that responsive and can slow down at times. Others also say its technical support takes a long time to respond.

Product Information

Cost to upgrade: $55.20 per month
Review breakdown: During 2018-2019, 73% of user reviews came from small businesses (fewer than 200 employees), 11% from midsize businesses (201 to 1,000 employees), and 17% from large businesses (more than 1,000 employees). The top reporting industries were sports, retail, and marketing and advertising.

2. ERPNext

Rating: (4.6/5 out of 60+ reviews)

ERPNext is an open source ERP tool with capabilities such as HR and payroll management, CRM, inventory management, accounting, project management, and stock management. The solution works well for businesses of all sizes. The software is available in both cloud-based and on-premise options.

Accounting in ERPNext

Accounting in ERPNext (Source)

Pros

Cons

Capterra reviewers are impressed by ERPNext’s ease of use, high configurability, and short setup time. They also like its open source community for being active, vibrant, and fast, which results in constant improvements to the software. A few users mention that the tool’s documentation is not job- or use-case driven and hence gets quite technical at times. Users also say it doesn’t integrate with their banking software.

Product Information

Cost to upgrade: $10 per user per month or $110 yearly
Review breakdown: During 2018-2019, 89% of user reviews came from small businesses (fewer than 200 employees), 5% from midsize businesses (201 to 1,000 employees), and 5% from large businesses (more than 1,000 employees). Top reporting industries were printing; information technology and services; and health, wellness, and fitness.

3. Odoo

Rating: (4.2/5 out of 330+ reviews)

Odoo is an open source ERP tool that offers capabilities such as CRM, HR, accounting, sales, document management, inventory management, invoicing, project management, point of sale, and marketing automation. The software is available in both cloud-based and on-premise options.

Pipeline analysis in CRM app in Odoo

Pipeline analysis in CRM app in Odoo (Source)

Pros

Cons

Capterra reviewers find Odoo to be highly customizable and easy to use. Users specifically like the tool’s ability to manage workloads and projects—especially its time management. They also like its integration with various third-party apps. A few users mention that its reporting feature lacks in-depth analytics. Some also feel it’s difficult to learn and maintain without a dedicated IT team.

Product Information

Cost to upgrade: $6 per user per month
Review breakdown: During 2018-2019, 83% of user reviews came from small businesses (fewer than 200 employees), 10% from midsize businesses (201 to 1,000 employees), and 7% from large businesses (more than 1,000 employees). Top industries were telecommunications, sports, and retail.

Which free and open source ERP software should you implement?

After you’ve gone through the above listed three products, the next step is to decide which ERP tool you should actually choose. Consider the following steps in order to select the best free and open source ERP tool for your business:

  • Compare usage limits in the free plan: Eliminate tools that don’t meet your needs in terms of data storage or the number of free users.
  • Calculate upgrade cost: Decide on an annual budget for ERP tool and eliminate the tools that exceed it. Ensure that the upgrade plan has all the required features.
  • Read user reviews: Read users reviews on Capterra to assess the relevance of ERP tools in your line of business.

If you currently use or have used a free ERP tool that worked well for you, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

For more information related to ERP software, you can also read the following resources:


Methodology

Products considered for this article must be free. We classified a product as free if:

  • It offers a free, standalone version of the software.
  • It is not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product version after a limited amount of time.

Selection criteria

The products that met the above criteria were then evaluated against our ERP software definition: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software helps organizations track information across all departments and business functions, from accounting to human resources to sales and beyond, and leverages a shared database to provide a single “source of truth” across modules.

This check verified the basic ERP software capabilities and appropriateness for the category. A product was classified as ERP software if it contained the core features—financial management and integrated business operations—and at least half of the common features—data collection and analysis, HR management, inventory management, supply chain management, manufacturing planning, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, and warehouse management.

Software that met this market definition also needed a minimum of 10 reviews published on the ERP software category page between September 23, 2018 and September 23, 2019. During the same period, the products’ rating also had to be higher than four (out of five).

*Note: Listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Capterra or its affiliates. Reviews data was used to determine the target business size of the product.

Looking for Enterprise Resource Planning software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Enterprise Resource Planning software solutions.

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Comments

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Hi,
Good Information. But I had a small question. Is any risk involved that the software?

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No Metasfresh on this list ? I have only good experiences with those guys.

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Hi, Does some one have the experience on VIENNA Advantage. How many modules does it have and dues it have excel import & export. Can it be viewed or updated at remote locations through internet connectivity. And does the data remains locally or at some remote server.

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