ERPGAP Blog / Lean Manufacturing
Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing

A drastic change in the manufacturing process to achieve better results

Markets are becoming increasingly competitive and to be part of them, companies need to be the more efficient or they will not survive long.

Manufacturing companies need to save time, costs and resources in order to compete, therefore, they need to pursue perfection and adopt a good methodology.

Today we will apply Lean Manufacturing into Odoo, but first we need to know what Lean Manufacturing is.

Lean Manufacturing is a Methodology that arrived in the West in the 80s and it’s used more and more in the modern business world. This approach is based in these 5 principles:

  1. Identify Value as Perceived by the Customer
  2. Identify the Value Stream
  3. Make the Value Flow through the Value Stream
  4. Pull the Value from the Value Stream
  5. Strive for Perfection

In this methodology it’s really important to reduce eight types of waste since they’re dynamic ways of saving or re-utilizing resources. The waste categories are:

  1. Defects
  2. Overproduction
  3. Waiting
  4. Non-used Talent
  5. Transportation
  6. Inventory
  7. Motion
  8. Extra processing

Lean Manufacturing has a wide range of tools and techniques. You can look here if you want a deeper knowledge of this topic.

To start implementing this methodology in the system we need to install some Apps:

  • Inventory
  • Manufacturing
  • Quality
  • PLM
  • Maintenance

You can also install Sales, Purchase and Accounting Apps to automate the process between the vendors and customers. Finally, use CRM and helpdesk to track all your clients and possible clients and help them out whenever needed.

Odoo - Apps


MRP stands for Material Requirements Planning. Here we will show you how to automate the inventory planning and controlling. There are different ways to do this and you can pick according to the type of products you sell.


Master Production Scheduler is a helpful feature that you can find in the Manufacture App. To use it you just need to enable it in the settings. This feature is extremely useful, since you can plan your production, taking into account your forecast demand.

Odoo - Planning

You need to fill the fields shown in the image below to add a product in MPS. These details are important to keep the right quantity of stock according to your needs. In this case you will always need to have five tables in stock and need at least two tables to start producing. At the most you can produce 100 over the time range configured before.

Odoo - Edit Production

After adding the products we want to control in the MPS, we can see an overall plan for the upcoming months. It takes into account the rules you provided before, but also the demand forecast that you also need to fill in manually.

Odoo - MPS

MPS is the best feature to automate procurements. You just need to click Replenish and it will create Purchase Orders or Manufacture Orders for the demand. It’s possible to change the Demand Forecast according to company needs and the numbering will automatically adjust.

In the image above you added two products:

  • Special Table: This is the finished product and is produced in your factory
  • Table Legs: That is a component of the Special Table which you buy from a vendor

In this case you just need to fill in the demand for the finished product, since the Leg is a component of the Table and you always need four Legs for each Table. The MPS calculates the Demand Forecast for the Leg according to the bill of materials.

Also, the colors in the cells are really helpful to understand whether you need to produce more, produced too much or have the right quantity. This feature is intuitive and can save you a lot of time optimizing your inventory levels.

Reordering Rules

The Reordering Rules are created in the product itself. These rules will tell the system if the virtual stock is the same or below the minimum quantity it needs to create a purchase Order to replenish the stock to the maximum quantity. This rule has a scheduler that runs every day to replenish but if you need to do it manually, click Run the Scheduler below the Save button.

For this rule to work, the product needs a vendor and its price to automatically create the request for quotation. This is an effective way to avoid shortages.

Odoo - Reordering Rules

Make to Order

Make to Order is the best option for products that you rarely sell or that take up a lot of space in the warehouse. Just check the box for MTO in Product Form. Now, when you have a Sale Order for this product the system will automatically generate a Purchase Order or a Manufacture Order, according to the other checked Route.

Odoo - Make to Order

MPS, Reordering Rules and MTO are efficient ways to optimize your inventory levels with less effort. The system can control everything for you, avoiding overproduction or unnecessary expenses in the warehouse.

Work Centers

You can use two ways of manufacturing. The one you pick depends on your company complexity. You can check which one fits your company the best in this article.

When creating the Work Center you can specify:

  • Working Hours
  • An Alternative Work Center in case this one is busy
  • Cost per Hour
  • Necessary Production Information
  • Equipment used in the Work Center.

The buttons on the right at the top will help you understand the performance of the work center.

Odoo - Work Center

To start manufacturing you need to create a routing for a product. This is how the system knows all the operations and all the steps you need to follow to produce the item. This product will need to pass through two work centers and will need 60 minutes in each to be completed.

From the routing we can see time analysis. It will report how much time was used to accomplish each MO using this routing, as well as how many changes (ECOs) this routing has.

The Button Steps is the most important one for production. This is because it shows a step-by-step list of all the quality checkpoints a product must pass during the work order.

Odoo - Work Order Odoo - Work Order 2

At Work Centers Overview you can easily find:

  • The Orders you need to do
  • Orders that are late
  • Whether the OEE is on target
Odoo - Work Center Overview

Now you just need to use a Manufacture Order to start the process. This MO was created automatically from MPS as we can see in Source field. You can click on the Work Orders button and it will take you to Work Orders Overview. It shows you in green which one is the first to go.

Odoo - Work Order Overview

Tables are the best tools to check out the work orders and see the steps one by one. Also, when you add work orders to launch, the view adapts so it’s practical to use tables to speed up workflow.

Odoo - Work Order 3

Work Order itself is built to help the worker in the workplace as much as possible. The system doesn’t even give space for doubt while doing your work:

  • If you’re unsure, it is easy to contact the Quality team to help.
  • The worker has access to an instruction PDF document, where he or she sees all the steps to finish the product.
  • Along the way, a worker also has quality control points to answer. For example, in the image below you need to take a picture. Alternatively, the system can also ask for a serial number of a used product or provide a warning to be careful during the process. This is how the system helps you maintain a high level of quality on all products.
Odoo - Special Table

If the operator faces some problem with the equipment, he or she can just click Maintenance Request and a form will pop up to fill in. It will be sent to the maintenance team. Since problems can stop the process this is valuable because it’s a fast way to ask for help. On the maintenance team’s side they will have all the information they need to act promptly and limit downtime.

From the view below you can also set a Quality Alert. It will also pop up a form to fill in with all relevant information to set a quality alert. It will be sent to a quality team that will work on it according to priority. At this point you can wait for the quality answer. As soon as you complete the form, the request will appear in their workplace. They can answer right away to assist, so it couldn’t be more functional.

Odoo - Special Table 2

It can be very useful if an IOT box scans the lot or measures angles, just to make the work easier and faster for the operator. At the end of the process it will ask to print the product labels. The labels have a standard template that you can ask us to change for a more company brand-friendly look.

The steps include ordering as well as the results. If some step was not done it is not possible to finish the process. Also, if some lot or SN is wrong, the system will notice and will not allow you to mark this order as done. The time is recorded to measure work center efficiency and all this information is only a click away. This makes for easier management.

Odoo - Special Table 3 Learn More


On the Quality dashboard you can create the necessary quality teams. It is easy to configure and it’s possible to associate an alias.

Odoo - Main Quality

The Manufacturing Department can trigger quality alerts directly from their workcenter panel. Once the request is created, the right person gets the information in real time. This fast communication will lower manufacturing downtime and improve your team’s efficiency.

Odoo - Main Quality 2

It is easy to organize quality alerts with the Kanban interface. You can create the stages to suit your company needs and drag & drop alerts through stages to report progress. Also use priority stars to focus on critical alerts.

Odoo - Quality Alerts

Use tags to categorize quality alerts and create rules to automate alerts or actions. Categorize by addressee, requestor and others.

Define quality control plans to trigger quality checks at specific inventory operations or manufacturing operations. To do this you just need to fill Quality Control Points. It can give instructions and send a message if it fails. t’s intuitive to create and easy to understand no matter what department has to check this point.

Odoo - Quality Control

In this module you can have access to all quality points, if they passed or failed and why. The reports are useful to understand where to improve and how to do it. The different views are great to ensure your resource adapts to your company needs. Communicating between different departments has never been this easy.

Odoo - Quality Checks


The Product Life Management module takes care of creating new products or improving existing ones. It works with ECO (Engineering Change Orders) documents, and this job is done by the engineers who will check if the products need the changes. They also study possible new products.

Odoo -  PLM Overview

The stages of the Kanban view are editable and can be used according to your company’s needs. Each stage can have different approvals or just comments by some nominated users. It is important to have this well defined to ensure a smooth workflow.

Odoo -  PLM Overview 2

After editing the different ECO stages, you can start creating them. That form has all the information you need to start the revision of the product. Here you define the type of change and where it should be applied. It can be on the product, BOM or/and routing.

The quality team could find a problem, for example in the routing, and need the engineering team to find the best solution. The entire process can have a specific finish date or you can request it to be done as soon as possible. In the example below you just need to replace the table top. That change needs to be done in the bill of materials. You can track all the changes, the documents needed and the different versions, in this case for BOM.

Odoo -  PLM Overview 3


There are two types of maintenance:

  • Corrective maintenance
  • Preventive maintenance

For a company, corrective maintenance means production has to stop for an unspecified time. Workers have to stop, machines have to stop and all workflows break. That results in high costs and waste of time. Because of this, companies should choose preventive maintenance whenever it’s possible. It saves a lot of money and improves efficiency. Of course, for that the level of equipment control has to be exceptional. That’s why equipment falls under maintenance scope.

Odoo - Equipments

It is here that equipment and tools are configured. You can find all relevant information about them, such as:

  • The vendor
  • Warranty expiration
  • Important preventive information
  • All maintenance orders
  • Where the tool is used
Odoo - Equipments 2 Odoo - Equipments 3 Odoo - Equipments 4

Having all this information available in the software helps many maintenance teams, not only to organize preventive orders but also to save time when looking for technical information.

Maintenance is divided into teams and inside each team you can see their requests. You can even see in which stage they are.

  • The Kanban view is a great tool to organize the jobs by status and have a better overview of the work
  • Calendar view is better if you need to know when the next preventive maintenance is scheduled
Odoo - Maintenance

Below is a request for maintenance. It can be triggered by a work order, most likely if an unexpected problem took place. It can also be created from the maintenance module. This form has all the necessary information to track the problem and is helpful for the team who will work on the maintenance task.

Odoo - New Maintenance

A lean process is endless. The company has to constantly improve and for that, you need to find where there is room to change and develop. You can also find exceptional reports that allow you to monitor and control all the processes such as finding breakpoints you need to upgrade.

sales crm video

You can also find the foremost indicators to measure performance, such as:

  • OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) Odoo - Cutting Station
  • MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure)
  • MTTR (Mean Time to Resolution)


For the last step of lean production, connect machines with software and workers, Odoo has the IOT box. It allows perfect synchronization between them and is easy and intuitive to use. It saves time, helping with tasks such as taking measurements or reading barcodes. It also increases worker productivity while lowering the risk of error.


Odoo Manufacturing Apps allow companies to be connected throughout all departments. This saves a lot of money, firstly because all the features you need are in the same software, so you don’t need to spend money on different software products for different purposes. Secondly, all departments can communicate in one place, so no information will be lost. This prevents costly mistakes.

You can find all the necessary resources to define processes, calculate metrics, analyze data and control every step of the way for continuous growth.

Going through this flow you were able to see that the main lean principles work in a cycle and there is always space for improvements. Take note: if you’ve identified something that would increase value to your company, let us know and we would be glad to develop it and make sure your company thrives.

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Odoo is a management software that fits all sizes. This software is for small, medium and large companies. Your company's information is all in one place. You don't have to go back and forth to check something. All apps have real-time access to your database.

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