Organizing with an ERP System


With so many tasks to juggle in a company, the first thing we prioritize the most is organization. It’s not just about running the business smoothly; it’s also about maintaining peace of mind. When things are organized, the mind feels much more relaxed. We can easily identify and focus on the work at hand, saving time that would otherwise be spent searching for things or dealing with trivial matters. Organizing goes beyond just sorting files and stuff; it’s also about organizing processes so that everyone involved can spend quality time on their tasks. There’s no one-size-fits-all template for organizing, so we’re continuously finding and refining our own methods, making improvements day by day.

ERP System

An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is a software platform that helps businesses integrate and manage their core processes. Starting with the basic tools of ERP software, we can establish a solid foundation. As we grow, we can easily utilize more tools to meet our needs. These tools help us work more efficiently and manage different parts of the business better. Once we have all the tools we need, we can automate our work processes, saving time and effort in the future. So, ERP system starts simple and grows with the organization, making things easier and more efficient along the way.

Thanks to open-source software, we also have budget-friendly options available to get started, ensuring that we can implement an ERP system that meets our needs without breaking the bank.

Choosing ERPNext

Proprietary ERP system is costly. Even if it starts cheap, it will cost more when additional tools or users are needed. There is a valid reason for this, as it is a complex software, and when support is needed, it must be redeemed at a cost. The budget-friendly alternatives are open source. We narrowed down our choices to two alternatives: Odoo and ERPNext. Both operate on different business models. While ERPNext can start without support at the lowest price, Odoo starts with minimal support and costs more. We decided to give ERPNext a try.

Hosting on Frappe Cloud

Frappe Cloud provides a very easy-to-deploy ERPNext instance. I wanted to test its robustness, so I pushed it to its limits by performing frequent upgrades, moving sites, and executing multiple simultaneous operations during deployment. It broke so badly that even the support team could not reinstate the instance. However, the test was informative enough to proceed, as there was trial support available, and they were responsive enough to provide recommendations within a day. These were good reasons to understand that it’s not a simple system to be messed with. One needs to be careful when deploying and making customizations. Once up and running, it operates super fast.

Experience So-far

Adjusting with the Interface

The ERPNext interface, although easy-to-use, requires more clicks as there is no default Tree-View in the navigation. However, it didn’t take long to adjust to it. Now, we are fully accustomed to it. The default view has a lot of modules, from manufacturing to CRM, covering almost everything required to organize any type of company. Not everything was necessary and can be hidden. The good thing about the interface is that it is minimal, and sorting and filtering of each visible column are available at the top of the list by default, which is useful in many cases. It’s a well-designed interface and really nicely thought out.

Started with Project Module

In the early days of our company, the workload was overwhelming, with too much to do and not enough time. Drawing on my experience in software engineering project management, I knew how to manage the work better. We needed to organize tasks, so we started with the Project module. It’s now been a couple of months since we’ve been working consistently, steadily adding and completing new tasks.

With a somewhat complicated configuration we are even able share the project view with our clients and they can view the work. ERPNext doesn’t provide a feature to share the project view with customers, but we are able to customize it. We will also recommend to ERPNext that they consider adding this feature by default.

With the project module, our productivity increased drastically, giving us enough bandwidth for more work. Working from late mornings to early evenings only, we are able to spend the rest of the time and weekends with family.

Accounting Module

Just to try it out, I experimented with the Accounting module and found it to be quite good, offering a lot of features for an accountant. It’s customizable enough to serve as primary accounting software, although we’re not currently using it as such because our accountant provides access to Zoho books. We’ll try it later.

One issue I came across was international invoice creation in other software. The invoice creation feature in ERPNext is flexible enough to generate international invoices in USD, which other software often has more limitations on or requires premium subscriptions. For instance, with Zoho, a higher-priced version would be required for USD invoice creation. is good for creating invoices but currently can’t hide the IFSC. ERPNext, on the other hand, is flexible enough to do so. Additionally, it is highly scalable, handling transactions worth around a billion at Zerodha.

CRM Module

We simultaneously started using the CRM module. Like every other module, it had a small learning curve to understand the workflow, but it didn’t take very long. There are many features that we haven’t yet utilized, but we have a good track of our customers and prospects. Additionally, there is a full-fledged Frappe CRM available for free to Frappe Cloud users, but we haven’t used it yet.

Apps on the Marketplace

There are tons of applications available that work within the Frappe Sites, and many integrate with ERPNext. It’s a full-fledged ecosystem, not just ERP software. These Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings seem to be of high quality as well as open source.

I tried using the new Print Designer in ERPNext, but it’s in beta and buggy. Since it’s open source, continuous development is ongoing, and new apps or fixes are available with the newer versions.

Some of the very large Frappe applications are also available for free with a Frappe Cloud subscription. For example, there is a full-fledged Human Resource System - Frappe HR , and it’s free for any Frappe subscription. Although we haven’t used it yet, so we can’t share our experience.


Every software has issues, and ERPNext is no exception. The notification emails need fixes; sometimes, it sends multiple emails, and sometimes it fails. Although an error log is available.

There’s a bit of a learning curve as modules are interlinked and sometimes appear to be duplicated. For example, the Contact and Addresses are at multiple places.

The Appointment feature doesn’t sync with the default Google Calendar; it creates a new one.

But then we can report issues as its open source and it will get fixed eventually.


When self-hosted, ERPNext is free. No other Software as a Service (SaaS) beats Frappe Cloud and the hosted applications for pricing. In fact, I don’t see any software available anywhere with such competitive pricing for its features. It starts as low as just INR 820 + GST per month (as of May 2024) for unlimited users with limited but sufficient bandwidth. For higher bandwidth and support, the pricing is also very low.

Interesting Fact

ERPNext was started by Rushabh Mehta in 2006 in Mumbai for his family business. It was made open source in 2010. Its popularity soared after it was hosted on Github in 2011. Zerodha used it for their HR processes in its early stages in 2016 and customized it to fit their needs. Now Zerodha, a unicorn, sponsors ERPNext.

ERPNext alternatives

  • Premium Solutions: SAP, Microsoft Dynamics 365, etc for high budget, these are customized by professionals. When high scalability and precised customization is required, then such ERPs becomes important.
  • Economic options: Zoho One, Odoo, etc for economic budget, the customization is limited though. Zoho is more user-friendly but costlier than Odoo. Odoo could be more customizable since open-source.

Do we recommend?

Yes, absolutely. We recommend both ERPNext and Frappe Cloud. Only once in these 3-4 months we faced a small issue of slowing down. The issue was resolved with just logging off and re-logging in. It is rock solid and stable. And of course, ERPNext and Frappe Applications are customizable to the core, down to the source code, and can be self-hosted. They can be integrated with many existing applications, and the community is continuously working on them. They can handle very large companies with a large number of users as well.

With Frappe partners at respective pricing, support for deployment, customization and training is available in many countries.

It is worth referring. A trial is also available. Click here! to sign up if interested.

And most importantly - An ERP system will definitely help organize and improve productivity, but its still upon the human how to use it. Even the best ERPs can get messed up, if not used properly. Happy Organizing :).