Tablet Triumph: MagTarget’s Seamless Transition to Odoo

Location/Region: Milpitas, CA

Industry: Corporate-grade hardware

Apps implemented: Discuss, Calendar, Knowledge, Contacts, CRM, Sales, Dashboards, Point of Sale, Accounting, Documents, Helpdesk, Website, eLearning, Email Marketing, Surveys, Purchase, Inventory, Manufacturing, Quality, Barcode, Repairs, PLM, Sign, Employees, Attendances, Live Chat, IoT, Link Tracker

Hosting type (On-premise or Odoo online):

In the busy kitchen of a popular restaurant, with hungry and eager customers awaiting their meals, the equipment that’s used to make meal service run smoothly is critical to the success of the business. Specifically, the efficiency of information transmission, such as food orders, is of the utmost importance. Nowadays, many restaurants use tablets and smart devices to transfer tickets instantly from the dining room floor to the kitchen. A modern kitchen set-up may include multiple tablets set up at various workstations to assist workflow. MagTarget, founded in 2015, manufactures and sells tablet enclosures that keep these devices charged and ready to use at all times.

While MagTarget is now best known for its tablet mounting solutions in the restaurant arena, the company got its start in the corporate office setting, particularly ones with large numbers of meeting rooms. Before the pandemic hit, the business focused on a product that held a tablet in front of every meeting room, with an LED light that indicated with a red or green color whether or not the room was occupied. However, when COVID happened in 2020, the company was hit hard, as meeting rooms and in-office settings diminished to almost zero. MagTarget survived, pivoting to the restaurant industry where it remains focused today.

Now, a restaurant that uses MagTarget’s products may have as many as 20 tablets in one kitchen, and use the company’s mounting hardware to display and charge their devices. Before using a combination of tablets and MagTarget’s enclosures, a restaurant kitchen may have used an old, clunky, heavy-duty computer that required multiple power cords and space to operate. With MagTarget’s holders and a tablet, the system is lightweight, easier to adjust, and can be connected to data using a single Ethernet cable rather than relying on spotty WiFi.

With a change in direction and growing success, MagTarget needed its own upgrade in the name of business management software, eventually finding the right fit with Odoo.

MagTarget’s digital dilemma prior to Odoo’s integration

Prior to Odoo’s fully integrated software, MagTarget was using a variety of miscellaneous applications to manage its workflows. Jean-Michel Thiers, CEO of MagTarget, says that the main issue the company faced with its previous system was the disconnect between all of the various applications. In particular, the business struggled with limited inventory capabilities and the lack of communication between its sales and inventory applications:

It happened countless times where somebody entered the order in another app, and there was a typo, or they entered it wrong, or they were looking at the wrong sales order. And then you end up shipping the wrong thing to the customer and then people get upset. So it was stuff like that. It wasn’t all the time, but it happened often enough that we knew it wasn't the most optimal solution.

MagTarget began growing to the point where Jean-Michel recognized it needed better software to help manage the business. When evaluating options, he was specifically drawn to Odoo due to its open-source, cloud-based nature. The CEO explained that it was an appeal not to have to take care of maintaining the server. “It’s a huge deal,” he said. Furthermore, Jean-Michel knows CEOs at other companies within the industry who use larger ERP software such as SAP. He explains what those CEOs have shared regarding their experiences with these types of larger software:

Doing any kind of modification is, first, expensive, but even without thinking about cost, doing any of those projects becomes a big deal. It’s not easy to do.

With these factors in mind, Jean-Michel felt confident that Odoo was the solution that would best meet his business’ needs.

Whisking up success with Odoo’s business insight

Jean-Michel and MagTarget learned a lot during their Odoo implementation. He explained that the process was initially challenging since he (and he suspects many other business owners as well) was used to doing things a certain way, and tried to tweak Odoo to adapt to the company’s old methods:

There were some rocky things at the beginning. People get upset because they're not used to doing it that way, and then it gets better… in the end, for the value it added, it’s worth it. You get that bump, and then you get past it, and everybody’s on the same page— I don't know [now] how we did it before without Odoo.

MagTarget is now very happy with Odoo, utilizing its integration to make its day-to-day workflows more efficient. The company started with Odoo online, and is now using Jean-Michel explains that the inventory issues they faced with their old system are now obsolete with Odoo Inventory:

Now we can easily see what’s forecasted. We have [a] quote, and with Odoo it's pretty straightforward– if we have an order for 200 units of something and we don't have enough, you know right away.

Another, more big-picture benefit of Odoo has been Jean-Michel’s ability to access the software from anywhere due to its cloud-based nature:

The fact that it’s through your browser is kind of a big deal. We could be at a trade show, I’m on my phone to look up a customer order or customer contact info, and it’s all right there. It's easy. And simply in the warehouse. I think the fact that it’s a web app, I could even be traveling overseas, I can easily log in from anywhere and have access to all the data. It’s pretty powerful. So I think that aspect, and then the fact that it got faster and faster [with every version].

A feature that Jean-Michel didn’t anticipate being such a big help is having the Odoo IoT box. He explains that automatic label printing is a “big deal,” saving employees a lot of time that they didn’t even realize they were wasting previously. But Jean-Michel’s favorite application is probably Dashboards, giving him the overarching viewpoint that is critical in his job as CEO. He specifically appreciates how the dashboards can be manipulated to show the most relevant information that he needs at any given moment:

That’s something we have on the production side where we have a dashboard with all the running orders. It's very easy to customize it to whatever you want. So if a particular area of the business needs that information, then we can easily add it to the dashboard, and we have a screen that displays all that information live, which is kind of cool… it does give you the capabilities, you can have all the pertinent information live, and then you know they’re live. It's cool. It helps.

Jean-Michel is excited about all of the untapped potential that Odoo’s software promises, with many features and applications he anticipates growing into as his business flourishes. But perhaps what he is most excited about is actually what his company is doing with Odoo to create a new Odoo application:

We are working on an Odoo App to control the light color on our meeting room scheduling tablet enclosures. So they match the room status when customers are running the new (v17) Odoo Meeting Rooms App on their tablets. The App should be available as a free download on the Odoo App store by this summer!

Having defeated the challenges that the pandemic brought, MagTarget continues to pursue the growing opportunities in their industry. Together with Odoo’s integrated software, Jean-Michel now enjoys the promise of efficiency and insight into his operations that was missing before, and looks forward to a bright and scaling future for his business.

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