Business software supporting essential quality control – Sydney Morning Herald

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This was published 1 year ago
As the developers of a new model of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to be used in self-driving cars, innovative Australian company Baraja wanted to ensure the tech they use for the business each day was just as robust.
“To drive safely and comfortably, self-driving cars need the best eyesight possible, and that's what we deliver with LiDAR,” says founder and CEO Federico Collarte. “Self-driving cars use many types of sensors, such as cameras, radar and GPS. LiDAR is the jewel in the crown because it can see the world around it both day and night, accurately measuring the distance to every point around the vehicle.
Baraja founder and CEO Federico Collarte (third from left) has a vision for self-driving cars.Credit: Supplied.
“That allows drivers to take evasive action, safely change lanes or come to a stop in case of an emergency. We are the key enabling sensor for self-driving cars, but part of a much larger system,” he adds.
Collarte explains Baraja relies on business management software specialists Odoo to help manage a range of functions including enterprise resource planning and manufacturing resource planning to ensure quality management, manufacturing and planning are under control.
“As Odoo is built on an open source platform, it allows us to configure it to our specific needs. We're designing a product and we're also designing the machine that builds that product. Odoo’s ERP system is the machine that allows us to build the machine,” he explains.
Odoo’s finance, quality control and manufacturing modules also sit behind Baraja’s operations. Collarte says having all these functions in one place helps supports manufacturing excellence.
For instance, having access to good inventory management through the manufacturing module allows the business to properly control bills of materials and bills of process, which are like the ingredients that go into the manufacturing process and the instructions on how to manufacture.
This, in turn, allows the business to maintain quality control and its ISO 9001 quality management certification, which is critical in a highly technical business such as Baraja.
“Odoo makes it much easier to demonstrate compliance to achieve certification during the annual auditing process,” Collarte explains. This helps Baraja engage with its customers, the world’s largest car manufacturers and technology companies, which, given the nature of Baraja’s business, are just as focused on quality as it is.
“Before COVID, they used to fly to Australia to do their own quality and manufacturing audit of what we do. Odoo allows us to very clearly demonstrate our quality controls. It’s one of our biggest selling points.
“We're not yet using the full suite of apps. But one of the other reasons I like Odoo is because I know they are there when we need them. We will be able to plug into the human resources and web support modules when we need to, which will support our growth.”
Odoo’s solution aims to streamline business processes digitally.Credit: Supplied.
While Odoo is an exceptional business management tool for highly technical firms such as Baraja, it’s also the ideal solution for any business that would benefit from digitising operations.
Asia-Pacific director Matts Fievez explains the first step is to evaluate the processes that sit behind the business from the bottom up. “Start by making an assessment of what’s limiting the company or slowing it down. The decision makers need to have a serious conversation with business leads to see what obstacles they face in their daily tasks.”
Fievez says common challenges Odoo can solve include sub-standard reporting systems, as well as communication and collaboration among and between teams. Additionally, given the breadth of its functionality, implementing Odoo reduces the need for businesses to rely on multiple pieces of software.
“Too many businesses adapt a dozen different software systems to manage their processes. They might have a customer relationship management tool and a separate project management tool.
Odoo’s Matts Fievez says a digital transformation rewards with greater efficiencies. Credit: Supplied.
“If it’s a manufacturing business, it might have software to keep track of bills of materials, work centres and assembly lines and a separate system to keep track of inventory and SKUs. Then it might have another tool to manage marketing for mass mailing and a different piece of accounting software.
“Businesses that are set up like this are held back because there is little or no communication between different software systems. It all adds up to huge inefficiencies.”
By contrast, Odoo includes all these modules, which easily talk to each other, allowing the business to operate much more effectively, saving time and reducing frustrations within teams.
Fievez’s advice to businesses considering embarking on a digital transformation project is to understand the process can be complex and take time, so it’s important to have the right mindset.
“Top management needs to be on board and ensure employees are involved. That’s the best way to implement new ways of working. It's about being open minded and willing to adapt to change. Then you will be amazed at the results you will achieve.”
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