4) Configuration of modules

Let’s move on to the next milestone during installation – the re-configuration of existing modules.

We will review the most important and most popular configuration options for each main module. This does not mean, however, that all other options are unimportant. But the number of configurations, meanings, and possible combinations is too comprehensive to discuss all of them without exceeding the scope of this blog.

CRM

If you take a closer look at the process, you will notice the use of „Leads,“ which is an important extension. Creating leads is a sort of pre-qualification. In other words, the retrieval of inquiries to an info mail address, contact forms via the website, or the import of unqualified addresses. If this feature is activated, an additional option is available once you configure an incoming mail address. Besides, Odoo will later show you the separate menu item „Prospects,“ which you can use to revise, pre-qualify them, and convert them into “Opportunities.”

Sales

“Sales” is the first module with a very extensive configuration. Fortunately, there are some very informative options or categories that will unlock additional features. However, we will only discuss the most important ones below.

Variants

This feature activates Odoo’s Variant Management Module. But you should be careful here: just because your employees talk a lot about variants, it does not necessarily mean you have a “variant issue.” You should ask yourself, why should I activate this option at all?

To answer that, we need to have a look at the purpose of this function. Let us see what is going on behind the scenes:

Activated or not, the creation of products in Odoo is basically separated into two models, product template and product. However, only the product is linked to all related documents, not the product template. On the surface, the menu implies that a product is created, but technically, the user only creates a template. In turn, this will lead to the actual creation of a product.

The transition itself is so smooth that it is hard to see the difference, even if no variants are activated and although the data structure is already available. In other words, variants are ordered, sold, delivered, and invoiced even without the activation of the variant module.

Once you activate variants, the structure becomes visible and easy to configure, so you may define attributes and values that are then used to create products. In addition, products are named automatically.

The integration of the Ecommerce Module is another crucial factor. Here, only the product templates are on display and not the individual variants per product. Otherwise, a user would be flooded with a multitude of features while searching for a particular product. Once he has found the product, he can view all details and conveniently select the desired variant.

Conclusion

In summary, variants help with product maintenance and the actual product search. But this feature is not really necessary, either. If products, for example, are administered via an external PIM (if there are only a few variants and there is no shop available), you should consider carefully before activating it, since the feature will only make your system more complicated. In Odoo, Export and Import are potent tools that easily allow for mass updates and maintenance in external lists.

As we have already wanted to make clear in some of our previous blogs, there is one basic principle that especially applies to IT: Less is more!! The system will remain more stable and provide better control.

  • Stability

    To determine the right set-up to ensure stability as well as efficiency during productive operation.

  • Training

    The key to this is, of course, to take the system to the user, which can only be achieved through training. To be able to do this, however, one has to become acquainted with the customer’s internal application scenarios and their procedures.

  • Research

    To minimize risk, it is far better to do your research beforehand rather than start discussing things afterward.

Unit of Measure

We have discussed this particular feature in previous blogs and the first part of this series of blogs. You should only activate it if a translation exists between different purchasing units regarding sales. It is not necessary to display individual units.

Price lists

This is another quite powerful feature in Odoo. As far as I am aware, there is no installation that did not require its set-up. However, that does not necessarily mean that there isn’t one somewhere. In a nutshell, the feature is about adjusting a product’s standard sales prices for customers or distribution channels. The function is available in two varieties. One shows a somewhat simpler display and maintenance where you can enter products and their respective prices. You are also able to adjust validity periods. The more extended version allows you to create pricing rules that have to be met before a price, a discount, or a formula for price calculation is applied.

Since I have started working with Odoo, which is to say since 2007 (when Odoo still was known as TinyERP 4.2), this function has been available and for many years only in the „Advanced Version“ (as it is called today). The simplified version has only been introduced together with the eCommerce Module. Basically, the calculation and complexity are always the same, but – depending on the selected option – it is presented in a more straightforward or more complicated way.

And since I am used to it after all these years, I feel at home in the Advanced Version and keep installing it.

In combination with the multi-currency option in the Finance Module, price lists will take over the control of the currency for the customer. However, you can also define rules that allow the setting of a fixed price. You can use it, for example, to determine an amount in another currency to avoid strange values due to the current exchange rate, to allow the setting of a discount rate, or to combine discounts, surcharges, and rounding up or down.

Product groups, major products (we have used their technical term „product templates“ above), and variants that are may now be combined with the ordered quantity and a validity period.

The feature may also be used quite conveniently to set up „general pricing conditions regarding the customer,“ regardless of whether it is a trading company, a manufacturer, or a service provider.

Customer Addresses

In general, it is possible to create or maintain subordinate addresses or contact persons for companies or contacts, and to differentiate between invoicing or delivery addresses. But when you create an offer or an order, you do not have much control over this process, since there is only one field „customer“ on display, while alternate addresses are loaded and used only in the background.

It is more comfortable by far to live without this feature if you only have one deviating invoicing or delivery address, or only a deviating invoicing address without a delivery address, because the customer is a service provider and the delivery address may have been entered in the commentary field in the offer. Otherwise, it should be activated by all means.

Sales Warnings

This feature is a small function with a significant impact. Customers often ask how a delivery stop could be initiated. The answer to this question is: with this feature!

Using it, you can enter a „Warning“ or „Blocking“ message. In the first option, a pop-up window with a pre-formulated text appears as soon as an offer is created for this customer. If you select a blocking message, another pre-configured text appears, but you are not allowed to enter an offer.

This function may also be activated for purchasing, deliveries, invoices, and products.