Beyond accounting... other connections needed

When starting a new OFN chapter, or a new hub, we need to find the good admin tools to operate our businesses.
Especially, appart from what already does the OFN platform, we need, depending on our business model of course:

As a chapter/instance manager:

  • to collect membership fees: can or not be linked to the use or OFN. In Norway it’s not linked, anyone can be a member and support the non-profit which is running OFN. To do that we need to know who are our members and be able to send single or batch invoices (without having to send them one by one), so we need a system to generate and send invoices.
  • to collect the fees from the hubs using OFN: again, depending on our business model, it can be a fix price, or a commission on sales, or a mix of both. For that we need to know from OFN who are the users, if they are members or not (in Norway the users who are members pay only the 2% commission on sales, if you are not member you have a fix amount per month on top) so it needs to be connected somehow to the members management, and we need to know each month what hub has sold for how much and generate and send an invoice to the hub, check if they have paid, etc.

As a hub manager:

  • to send an invoice to the buyer with the details of the products ordered (legal requirement) > this can’t be done today through OFN (in development to connect with Xero, but Xero doesn’t seem adapted to Norway yet)
  • to do the legal bookkeeping & accounting, so each time I send an invoice or pay a supplier, I need to enter that in an accounting system. That would be awesome if that could be integrated, of course.
  • to be able to manage the relationships with my buyers and other stakeholders.

Connection with accounting… but why not an ERP? Or a global connecting tool like Zapier?

I saw the recent discussions on Xero, but it doesn’t seem that Xero covers the Norwegian specificity yet, as no one is using it here (the local equivalent is called Fiken).

But more broadly, there is another need that is not covered yet by OFN, which is about contact management (CRM) and I’m wondering if that would be possible to connect OFN with an open source ERP like Odoo for example (ex OpenERP), so that when someone order through a hub, a new contact is created in the CRM, the products from Spree can be synchronized with the products in Odoo and the invoices automatically generated and sent by email to the buyers through Odoo, and info can be updated in the contact entry that this person has ordered that day and invoice attached (for which you can also manage tags for the different type of contacts you have, members or not, new buyers, etc.)
It seems that Spree and Odoo may be intergated with one another… Or maybe it’s not yet developed, I’m not sure (http://odoo-connector.com/index.html?highlight=spree, https://www.odoo.com/fr_FR/forum/help-1/question/openerp-spree-connector-41034)

Or else, would it be possible to “connect” OFN with any system using for example Zapier (https://zapier.com/zapbook/, it can connect with Spree: https://www.marketingtechblog.com/zapier-workflows/), which by the way can connect with Xero also… That could for example be a way to connect OFN with a CRM on one side and an accounting system on another side (if no ERP integration).

Finding the balance between mutualization & independance

I think the hubs should be free to keep their existing systems and export datas from OFN or connect them through Zapier for example to “automatize” the export/import of datas. But for some hubs, and new hubs starting, that can be a great value added to propose a package including all what is needed to administrate your hub. And I was wondering if connecting OFN with an open source ERP could be something to think about…

“The Odoo Integration is an officially supported Integration provided by Spree Commerce. It is hosted on our infrastructure but as a Wombat customer, you always have the option to fork the source code and host a modified version yourself. Full source code is available on Github https://github.com/wombat/openerp_integration

Wombat is actually the Spree’s integration platform for storefronts that need to connect to key systems such as accounting, ERP, and fulfillment.
“Even though Wombat is a paid product, we haven’t forgotten our open source roots. All of the Wombat integrations are open source, which means that you can use your own customized integrations with Wombat, even if our out-of-the-box-hosted integrations don’t work for you. We have set up a brand new Github organization dedicated to open sourcing these integrations.” (https://spreecommerce.com/blog/spree-commerce-wombat)

@openfoodnetwork I’m curious about if there has already been discussion about that, didn’t find anything in the documentation… Raaaaa, I wish I had a technical background sometimes… :wink:

Yes it would be great to link OFN with Odoo, zapier and / or wombat. We think it’s quite a big job, and would love it if someone got started on it. I’ve had a bit of a play with wombat, but not enough to really see how much work we’d need to do

The report generation for Xero was just first cab off the rank because it is most commonly requested for us re. being able to import and create the invoices. I suspect that once we have the xero reports it won’t be that difficult to actually just adjust them in excel to fit the import template for whatever system you are using.

RE. the stuff about OFN Norway invoicing hubs and members separately, we are going to have a crack at an internal module to handle some of this - - I’m just about to attempt outline / notes under Business model configuration so look forward to continuing the discussion on that one there . .

Also, you’ll see that I’ve changed the category of this post to feature sub-category ‘wishlist’ - for all the things we want but aren’t particularly close to having!

@olemd, maybe you will be interested by this discussion, as we talked about this connexion between the platform and the invoicing/accounting/contact management :slight_smile:

Certainly interested, just a tad strapped for time still. Integrations are non-trivial but interesting.

I see this was a long time ago - and I’m wondering if anyone has done done further work on integration with other accounting packages (besides zero). Quickbooks is popular here for example. Are all the hub managers who use accounting packages other than zero doing ‘manual’ invoicing? Or has there been some development on this that I’m not aware of?

We are investigating what we need to hook up to standards in the Nordic Region as well.
@tschumilas I wonder if the new reports will enable that to be easier? or potentially the work that @woakes070048 is planning on integrating:

OFN ERPNext intergration
OFN Mautic integration
OFN integration with a last mile logistics software to support a community for delivering the food to a neighborhood.
A integration for farmers to trade with one another. It could really be anything. Seeds, hay, grain, tractors, equipment.

@tschumilas @CynthiaReynolds the ERPNext integration is coming along and my hope is it will be ready for the by the end of the summer. Let my know what else you guys would like to see. I have never run a food hub or coop so it can only be as good as the way I would run one and the clients that we are currently working with.

We have at least one Aussie user keen to have a Quickbooks integration.

We have another Aussie user wanting Quickbooks…

@woakes070048 i’m starting to work with Erpnext (using Dokos in France to respect legal issues) to manage accounting . Did you finally get any integration between Openfood and erpnext ? Thanks a lot.