Odoo is disrupting the ERP community by jumping into IoT (Internet of Things) technology. The new Odoo IoT module turns the software into an out-of-the-box solution with IoT integration.
Additionally, the IoT box, designed to connect gadgets to the core platform, extends the reach of ERP software to an even wider audience and with increasing capabilities. With this innovation, Odoo is poised to accelerate its market acquisition of mid-size enterprises and also help smaller businesses get on board.
In this blog, we’ll explain what the Internet of Things is, how Odoo IoT and the Odoo IoT box enable you to use it, and what additional services Bista Solutions offers so you shine above your competition.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of things refers to the network of everyday objects (cars, refrigerators, watches, etc.) being used to improve our day-to-day lives and business processes. In contrast to objects such as computer, tablets, and phones, we’d never normally associate these items with an internet connection. Nevertheless, when granted that capability along with sensors and other tools to capture information, such objects create many advantages. These include the:
- Reduction of human labor
- Generation of insights from data collection
- Automation of functions based on data inputs
For an enterprise to gain these benefits, they need to collect and store the data somewhere it can be used functionally. The ERP system is the best solution since it is the centralized platform the business uses for its activities. With the right data connected to the right processes, companies can take advantage of the Internet of things, and the Odoo IoT module accomplishes just this.
Odoo IoT: What It Is, How It Works, and How You Can Use It
Odoo IoT is Odoo’s latest module, released with Version 12. It allows you to make functional use of IoT devices to enhance your business. But first of course, you have to connect those devices to your ERP system. That’s where the IoT Box comes in.
Odoo IoT Box:
The Odoo IoT Box is a small box, with a Raspberry Pi in it, that makes it easier for you to connect IoT devices to Odoo.
Connecting devices to an ERP system is often difficult. Many of the devices in question will not have an internet connection, and even if they do, they will not automatically integrate with your ERP. The IoT Box solves this by serving as a middle point between your devices and your Odoo ERP system.
The IoT Box connects to Odoo through an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. Odoo detects the boxes, and you can easily configure them through your browser.
As for the devices, the IoT box allows for multiple input connections, such as USB, Bluetooth, HDMI, and Wi-Fi. This way, whatever connection the device has, you can likely connect it.
Of course, if your specific device does not meet these formats, you can contact Odoo or an Odoo partner to develop the driver for your needs.
Odoo IoT Module:
Once you have your IoT devices connected to your system, Odoo really starts to shine. After all, Odoo is a suite of interconnected applications. And just like the rest of its applications, the Odoo IoT module works hand-in-hand with its other modules, so that you can easily incorporate your IoT devices into your business processes.
One example of this is lean manufacturing. Odoo IoT allows you to integrate machines and tools into your manufacturing processes and reduce labor significantly. For example, during quality control, you may want to take a measurement with a caliper, take a picture with a camera, or perhaps use another tool. With the Odoo IoT integration, when you reach the appropriate step, you can take the relevant action with your tool, and the measurement/image will automatically be entered/stored within your ERP.
Odoo makes this really easy to configure. For the examples above, once your devices are connected to your IoT Box, all you have to do is go into the module in question to set it up. In this case, you go to the Quality module, select the process, find the particular step concerned, and then select the dropdown for “Device.” You select the device associated with that step and save.
Another example Odoo gives is if you want to use a foot switch during your manufacturing process to move to the next step. To configure in this case, you go to the Manufacturing module, go into the Settings for a particular work order, click on “IoT triggers”, select the foot switch as the device, and add in the action corresponding to the ‘Next Step.’
Both of these are examples of IoT integration being used to reduce human labor. But other benefits can be attained with further customization.
Customization with Bista Solutions
Even if your proposed IoT integration is not an out-of-the-box capability for Odoo IoT, Bista Solutions can create and customize a solution for Odoo that meets your needs. After all, the Internet of things is broader than just the manufacturing/quality control examples given above. It also applies to sensors, cars, home devices, and more.
Maybe your products need repairs periodically, and you want to prevent them from going bad. One solution is to embed sensors in the device that communicate when the product is nearing the repair date. With the proper ERP integration, you can generate automatic repair notifications, and repair the product before anything goes wrong.
Maybe, instead, you want to automate inventory refills. You can lay out sensors in your store or warehouse that communicate how many items are on the shelves. When those items reach a certain minimum, they trigger a notification in your ERP system and automate inventory replenishment.
Here are some other IoT applications Bista can help with:
- Agriculture, e.g. temperature, rainfall, soil data collection
- Healthcare, e.g. remote health monitoring
- Home automation
- Infrastructure, e.g. automated repairs
- Retail, e.g. store location services
- Transportation, e.g. asset location monitoring
When integrated with Odoo ERP, these can automate services and generate insights for better decision-making. The possibilities are endless.
Bista is one of the top Odoo partners and best Odoo Partner for North America 2018. If you’d like to implement Odoo and Odoo IoT for your business, get in touch. You can reach us using our contact form or at +1 (404)-631-6219.