We needed a solution that would allow us to forecast for materials, with a lead time of up to 16 weeks and help us take control of our manufacturing costs. xTuple has proven to be a valuable tool for all areas of the company.
Next: About Us, Part 2
The Birth of OpenMFG
The pieces of the system called "OpenMFG" came together as they were put into production at a live customer site, a business deliberately chosen, larger than most of our other customers, with multiple locations. Their operation had elements of both process flow and discrete manufacturing. OpenMFG was written to be as generic as possible, adhering tightly to APICS-standard definitions and processes. And we put our heads down and kept writing code.
We had no doubt that OpenMFG software would be well received by small manufacturers. Moreover, we also believed there was a terrific opportunity to form real partnerships with value-added resellers (VARs) servicing manufacturing customers - accounting and consulting firms, software developers and systems integrators. They were hungry for more powerful, flexible and affordable solutions to offer their own customers - and manufacturing VARs, like their counterparts in other industries, were tired of being taken for granted by other software vendors.
In fact, the VARs themselves (and the more technical end-users in larger manufacturing sites) might actually be in a position to contribute to the development of the software. After all, who knew the requirements better than the people who actually implement the system? We were big believers in the power of collaborative software development - and we saw OpenMFG as not just a full-featured ERP/MRP product, but also as a possible framework for a larger effort.
For over five years, the company and the product focused nearly exclusively on manufacturing. Our primary goal was to build a lasting, sustainable business around a product to which people could literally entrust their business. There is nothing more mission-critical than ERP software, and we - like many others - had absorbed the painful lessons of the dot-com boom and bust of the late 90s. We developed a hyrbid business model and approach to licensing our product that allowed us to experiment with open source, while not exposing our young company (and customers) to too much risk.
The initial business model leveraged the power of open source in two ways - by building on top of open source pieces such as PostgreSQL - and by sharing the OpenMFG source code with a growing community of partners and customers. Any member of that community could sponsor new development, fix bugs or contribute new code themselves. And many did. So, we built a profitable business around a conservative business model that we felt would support the development of OpenMFG from a promising childhood into the next stage of growth and expansion.
The Launch of xTuple
The new era arrived in the summer of 2007. With the launch of the fully open source PostBooks application and the renaming of the company as xTuple, we deepened our commitment to our customers, partners and the larger open source community; expressly broadened the scope of our ambition; and along the way, ushered in a new day for business management software.
We believe the time for questioning open source is over. There is no longer any doubt - if there ever was - that collaborative development by global communities with shared interests is simply a better way to make software. For us, it is pragmatic. We have seen the growing power of open source, as the phenomenon has worked its way "up the stack" of information technology - from operating systems, to programming tools, web servers, databases, reporting tools and now - we can confidently say - business applications.
Over the past several years, xTuple has grown steadily - as a company, a product, and yes, as an open source community. We regularly rank as one of the most active projects in the world on the SourceForge and Ohloh open source portals. And our community of ERP, accounting and CRM professionals is unparalleled.
- Greatest Hits, Volume One (2004-2008) - In celebration of continuing growth and the release of xTuple ERP's third product, Standard Edition, the first collection of "greatest hits" represents "13 Classic Enhancements by the Original Customers" - this tongue-in-cheek compilation highlighted the extraordinary value of xTuple's open source approach to the historically challenging questions of ERP implementation
- Greatest Hits, Volume Two (2008-2012) - Representing the company’s second chapter of life, xTuple's second "best of" or "greatest hits" album is a collection of the most well-regarded and highest-rated features — developed in partnership with an engaged global customer and community base.
- Track the history of our Mobile Web app development
Let us show you how to put this Collective Brainpower to work for you. Whether you are a small business ready to move up to your first ERP system, an enterprise customer looking to revamp your existing systems with modern, open tools or an individual consultant looking for a new challenge, xTuple can help.
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