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OpenMFG 2.0: Postgres-powered ERP, now with CRM

Posted on 2006-11-07

OpenMFG, the leading provider of open source-based enterprise solutions for small manufacturers and distributors, today announced the long-awaited version 2.0 of its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Major enhancements include multi-currency capabilities, a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module, as well as significant new functionality in the solution's Manufacturing and Scheduling module.

OpenMFG's flagship product is an advanced ERP software solution built with open source components, such as Qt, the Linux operating system, the PostgreSQL database, and the OpenRPT report writer. Available OpenMFG modules include Inventory Management, Product Definition and Costing, Work Order Management, Manufacturing and Scheduling, Capacity Planning, Purchase Order Management, Sales Order Management, Shipping and Receiving, Project Management, Sales Analysis, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, a full General Ledger, and now, Customer Relationship Management.

According to Ned Lilly, chief executive officer at OpenMFG, this latest software release - actually the fifth major release of the software - enables the company to expand globally, horizontally and vertically. "To date, we have primarily focused on the United States market, but now with full multicurrency support, and a growing international community of partners and translators, we can compete worldwide," said Lilly. "The new CRM module, our most requested feature, is the beginning of some major new horizontal functionality across multiple industries. And the MPS and Buffer Management subsystems expand our leadership position in the manufacturing vertical."

Manufacturing Improvements

While earlier versions of OpenMFG had strong support for Material Requirements Planning (MRP), version 2.0 now features a full Master Production Schedule (MPS) and Forecast capability. MPS works in parallel with MRP, and enables high-level sales and operations planning by product or product family. As a result, companies can be more proactive and strategic in planning, particularly with regard to items with long lead times.

The M/S module has been further strengthened with the addition of OpenMFG Buffer Management. This new feature draws upon the Theory of Constraints model and lean manufacturing concepts to provide users with more flexibility and control over their manufacturing process. By defining "buffers" around time, inventory and capacity, Buffer Management provides companies with the flexibility to reprioritize and reorganize manufacturing to address production bottlenecks or accommodate unforeseen circumstances.


Also included in version 2.0 is a new CRM module with robust incident management functionality for tracking and managing customer communications and trouble tickets. Incident Management is fully integrated with a user-by-user "To Do" manager (also new in 2.0), as well as various existing OpenMFG functionality such as lot and serial number inventory history, detailed customer history and billing information, and visibility into the manufacturing schedule

Another often-requested feature is a truly universal address book that stores all contact information and addresses in one place for the entire system. Now an "Account" can be any or all of the following: prospect, customer, vendor, partner, or competitor. Accounts can have an unlimited number of sub-accounts, contacts, and addresses. And automated OpenMFG tools make the import of contact information from legacy CRM systems easier than ever.


With the addition of multi-currency capabilities in version 2.0, multi-national customers can now conduct their business in as many different currencies as they need. Currency rate conversion is maintained in the system, and any fluctuations (e.g. between order time and receipt of payment) are posted to a variance account in the general ledger. Prior to the release of version 2.0, OpenMFG customers in Canada, the U.K., and India have been actively testing and using this feature.

Under the company's innovative hybrid license, customers and partners have full access to the application source code, and any enhancements made to the product flow back to OpenMFG for review, quality testing, and possible incorporation into the baseline product. Over 90% of the new functionality in version 2.0 was either developed directly by a customer, or underwritten by a customer (with development by either a reseller partner or OpenMFG itself).

One Canadian customer, Pemla Inks of St. Leonard, Quebec, partnered with OpenMFG on both the multi-currency capabilities and CRM module. They also added functionality that supports a percentage-based Bill of Materials, crucial to companies in process flow manufacturing industries such as inks. Paul Tatham, Vice President of Operations at Pemla, noted, "OpenMFG's community-based development approach allowed us to secure a sophisticated ERP solution to replace a legacy, dysfunctional system. Pemla was looking for a product that could be deployed quickly at an affordable cost, and fit with our Linux migration plans. OpenMFG was the right solution." In addition to assisting Pemla in its implementation project, OpenMFG's local partner in Quebec, AS Plus Informatique, also contributed a French translation of the software; Pemla currently runs users in both English and French.

About OpenMFG

OpenMFG, LLC develops next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) software applications powered by open source software such as Linux, PostgreSQL, and Qt. OpenMFG products give companies visibility into costs, supply chains, processes, inventory and financial operations with a lower cost of ownership than competing products, and are sold to end-user customers through a global network of value added partners. For more information, please visit the company Web site at www.openmfg.com.

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