How Toyota Uses Odoo After Just 6 Months of Integration

Country: France 
Industry:   Automotive/Material Handling 

Apps Implemented: CRM, Sales, Purchase, Manufacturing, Inventory, Accounting 
Implementing PartnerSmile 

Toyota Material Handling France is a member of the Toyota Industries Corporation, which operates in 5 regions in the material handling industry. The company mainly focuses on manufacturing and selling forklifts throughout Europe, with their specialty being electric and IC-powered counterbalanced trucks under the Toyota brand. They also provide technical solutions and support, with 735 Toyota certified technicians available at an average of 25 km from any location. 

In addition to their own production within Europe, the company also imports trucks from Japan, China and the US. Thus, depending on customer requests, some of the trucks can also be modified in their France office. 


A Quicker Return on Investment

A couple of years before implementing Odoo, Toyota Material Handling, underwent some big organizational changes in their group. The aim was to restructure their operations in order to properly manage their distribution network and supplier units in Europe: one in Sweden, one in Italy and one in France.

Before Odoo they had built in a custom-made solution for the configuration of their highly customizable trucks; these trucks are custom designed by their customers and represent nearly 40% of the business. The problem they were faced with was that behind the scenes, the factory in Italy was not equipped with an adequate solution to go through all the necessary steps to:

  • properly acknowledge and take care of the orders received

  • organize the production or purchase of the right trucks from the right business unit abroad, and subsequently organize shipment and invoice the customers

As their previous solution was also used as the configurator, it meant that changing one part of the solution meant taking down the entire old system and replacing it with something else. Therefore, they did some research and found that they had two possibilities; to replace the old solution with a new custom-made solution or replace it with an out-of-the-box solution. 

Toyota Material Handling didn't have an ERP in place, so that was one possibility they explored, but as they are in an "aggressive" market they couldn't afford to take risks with very big investments. They needed a quick return on investment and a traditional ERP proved not to be the best solution for their requirements. That left them with a simple choice; to build their own system or to choose a cheaper solution - and the only solution that was able to pass the test was Odoo. For many more reasons, Toyota Material Handling decided to go with Odoo, with the official partner, Smile. 

The Scope of the Odoo Implementation

Even though their initial focus was on Sales, the scope of solution that was implemented was much bigger than that;

  • First they needed Odoo Sales in order to manage their orders. As soon as an order is placed by a customer, they need to make sure that the corresponding products are available, and for that they need Odoo Inventory

  • Next was managing the procurement. They have two flows for that;

    • On one hand they have products that are manufactured in-house and for that they use Odoo Manufacturing.

    • They have also some products that are imported from their factories in Japan, US and China, and for that they use Odoo Purchase.

  • Odoo Accounting was added in order to be able to invoice their customers directly from Odoo

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"There has been a lot of integration in just a couple of months between September and end of March, this was done very quickly."

Cyril Cottet, IT/IS Manager

Benefits of a Fast, Reliable and Open Solution 

The Odoo solution was implemented very quickly, and after 6 months of integration Toyota was already using it. They were certain that they'd save a lot in maintenance costs of the new IT solutions, since they'd been maintaining an in-house solution and now they had an official solution. Furthermore, they knew they could count on valuable features being released with every new updated version of Odoo, which could easily be integrated, creating additional value for their users. 

One of the most important factors to Toyota was timing. They were not sure they could have made the changes they wanted in time if it wasn't for Odoo. Odoo offered a solution that could be implemented fast and pleasing management with a good and reliable solution that the company was able to count on in a few months. The main benefit for Toyota was the short implementation time, even for a complex project, they were ready within a few months.

At the time of implementation it was on the information system side that they perceived the biggest value of Odoo, because for them it's an extensible platform where they will build their entire information system. The plan is to eventually replace everything with Odoo, if possible, to run their operations solely with Odoo. It was also important for Toyota to have a solution where they could leverage their best assets in IT, which is their people. They have people within the company who are good in software development and have technical skills. The company appreciates having a system that can deliver new added value due to the open nature of the software. With little training Toyota's people can also develop new features that benefit the company.

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