Greenwood Fence and Odoo: Building from the Ground Up

Location/Region: Elmhurst, IL

Industry: Wholesale/Fences

Apps implemented: CRM, Sales, Dashboards, Accounting, Documents, Project, Timesheets, Field Service, Planning, Website, Social Marketing, Email Marketing, Surveys, Purchase, Inventory, Manufacturing, Sign, Employees, Attendance, Time Off

Number of users: 7

Company size: 10

Hosting type (On-premise or Odoo online): Odoo SaaS

A house with a white picket fence— it’s part of the American Dream. For years, this image comes to mind when people think about the stereotypical American home. While this still rings true for many Americans, modern depictions may look a little different… at least, Greenwood Fence surely hopes so. 

Greenwood Fence sells luxury, eco-friendly fences, gates, and wall cladding for the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors– selling 90% B2B and 10% B2C. Their products are DIY, user-friendly, and come with detailed manuals, making it simple for contractors and direct customers alike to build. Based in Elmhurst, Illinois, the company began with the founders cold-calling customers and going door-to-door to sell their products. As they made their business known in the community over the past 4 years, Greenwood Fence has expanded from two to ten employees and continues to flourish, with 100% growth year after year.

Greenwood Fence is gearing up to introduce a second-tier fence product with different board inserts, as well as a new sleek, modular gate system into their product line. They are excited because these additional products mean the opportunity to break into big box retailers and online distributors, expanding their client base from coast to coast. Together, the continuing growth and success have created the need for a software system to help manage their company. Insert, Odoo!

The struggles of manual data tracking

The company of Greenwood Fence was truly built from the ground up. From its start in 2019 until last year, the company had operated the way many young, small businesses do– manually. They used pen and paper, excel, and file cabinets to keep track of information, leaving a lot of room for human error, inaccurate information, and a multitude of other problems due to inefficiency. As the company grew, they had reached their limit with the way they were operating. Greenwood Fence recognized these pain points and hired Stephanie, who works in operations, to find a new, more efficient solution. 

As Stephanie herself puts it, their system before was unsustainable. She remembers thinking, “It takes forever to do orders, it takes forever to do purchases, it takes forever to locate information, and there's no centralized system.”

She began to explore several different options, one of which was Netsuite. However, after speaking with one of their representatives, she felt as though their hefty price tag and large-scale operation weren’t the perfect fit for a smaller company such as Greenwood Fence. They decided not to purchase Netsuite and continued to research alternative ERP software that would better suit their needs. 

Finding a connection with Odoo

Soon after, Greenwood Fence came across a promising option: Odoo. The information and YouTube videos they found online, and meeting with Account Manager Adam Marrs made them feel confident that Odoo was the right choice for their business. They signed up and began the journey of migrating over their information.

Since Greenwood had been doing everything manually to that point, they had to build their Odoo database entirely from scratch. Stephanie admits that this was a daunting task, saying, “It was not anything to do with Odoo. Odoo was so seamless and so wonderful–  there's a function for everything we needed and then some.” Rather, the challenges came with prepping their data to be transferred over to Odoo– things such as counting inventory and knowing down to the penny what their cash flow statements were. Stephanie emphasized that the difficulties of these tasks were eased by the overwhelming support and help provided by their Business Systems Analyst, Augustine Rodriguez. He was “sharp as a tack and quick as a whip, and he was just really phenomenal.” She notes that there was rarely a question she asked that he didn’t know the answer to. Augustine and the entire Odoo team helped Greenwood Fence every step of the way, leading to a successful implementation of the software into their business.

Even when unexpected challenges came their way - such as discovering a bug in their database - Stephanie says that Augustine “produced a solution, and it's like we never had a problem in the first place. Even his problem-solving skills were just so on the money every time.” She goes on to say that every Odoo team member she’s worked with has been pleasant, patient, kind, knowledgeable, and genuine. “It was really just a good choice that we made. The best, really.”

Greenwood Fence was particularly drawn to Odoo given that it was an open-source ERP. Stephanie says that the software was extremely straightforward to learn, with a clean and user-friendly interface. “The way Odoo flows and keeps a logical account of everywhere you’ve been, where you’re going, how to prompt your next move… it made it extremely user-friendly.” Given that their employees were used to manual data keeping, the more intuitive the new software, the better. In no time, their employees were comfortable using Odoo in their day-to-day business practices.

Greenwood Fence’s composite fencing in “Cedar”

Life with Odoo

As any business owner knows, being able to see your company from a 360, overarching viewpoint is critical. This includes pulling specific metrics and operational information at any given time. Before using Odoo, not having these insights was one of Greenwood Fence’s biggest pain points.

“Every [piece of] knowledge we had of our company was kind of like an average - we knew about how much, we knew about how little, we knew about what the percentages were, and Odoo has given us such a wonderful opportunity to exact all of that information to then be exact in how we’re running our business.”

The reporting features in Odoo particularly made a huge difference, such as the pivot table function. Stephanie loves how she can manipulate the table to display the specific data she needs, whether that’s what they’re selling the most of, which salesperson is selling the most, or the time period when their sales are the highest. “It’s really amazing that Odoo gives you the ability to look so, so micro into your business, and then two clicks back out and you’re in the macro.” This ability, in particular, is something they were missing in their old way of tracking data.

In general, Stephanie says perhaps the biggest benefit they’ve noticed since implementing Odoo is that their workflow takes half the amount of time it used to. They spend significantly less time entering data and information, and more time away from their computers doing the actual work, such as meeting with clients in person. From file folders and sticky notes to now a fully functioning ERP software solution, implementing Odoo has made a huge impact in the daily efficiency of their company.

“Looking at where we started and how backwards we were running our company versus now with Odoo– I can’t believe the company was even running beforehand.”

One of the things Greenwood Fence has always prioritized in their business is how their professionalism comes across to their customers. The sales team in particular greatly appreciates the quotation features in the Sales application. Stephanie says the ability to create and send out quotes that are “gorgeous” and have “clean-cut templates” with all of the correct information, such as pricing, “has been really important to us in terms of branding, credibility, legitimacy, and professionalism.” From sales calls to closing deals, Odoo has expedited and polished all of the steps along the company’s workflow.

After using Odoo for about a year, Stephanie and the employees of Greenwood Fence have seen firsthand the benefits of such an intuitive system. When asked what she would say to a fellow business debating whether or not to implement Odoo, she simply said, “I would ask them what their concerns are, and probably before they could even get out their concerns, I would say, ‘Don’t worry, Odoo already has the answer for you’.”

Greenwood Fence’s composite fencing in “Charcoal”


At the end of the day, the best business software for a company is the one that makes their day-to-day workflow easier. For Greenwood Fence, the solution was Odoo. From the error-prone and painstaking task of manually tracking data, to switching over to an all-in-one ERP solution such as Odoo, Greenwood Fence has experienced every step of the journey that is starting a successful company. As they continue to grow, Stephanie is confident that Odoo is ready to grow alongside them.

“I really can’t say enough positive things about my experience and I really, genuinely mean it.”
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