xTuple's Collective Brainpower Blog

September 24, 2017

Thanks to everyone who has filled out our Human Resources and Payroll survey on how you manage your company's staffing. We've had a nice mix so far of our commercial customers, users of our free and open source ERP version PostBooks®, and more than a few people who aren't either but are testing the software. (Hopefully, they're planning to join the xTuple customer community soon!)

You...

September 22, 2017

What do enterprise resource planning (ERP) and aviation have in common? As many of you with whom I have worked know, I am an active instrument rated private pilot. I frequently offer up this information when introducing myself in the hopes of encountering other pilots with whom I can share endless hours of hangar stories. And, it also tells me something about that person. To be a good pilot means much more than simply developing the skills to control the airplane. It means subscribing to and embracing a culture, processes and procedures that govern how you prepare for, conduct and learn from every flight. Over the years I've often drawn on the discipline that aviation requires and applied this to the work I do in ERP.

September 12, 2017

Anil Cherian of SDG Consulting Inc. co-hosts a half-day technology event on September 22, 2017 — the xTuple Roadshow — featuring a case study presented by Good-Lite Company. Located in Elgin, Illinois, Good-Lite traces its roots back to 1930, manufacturing the finest line of hand-held screening/testing equipment and charts ensuring a lifetime of good sight. The company will share how xTuple solutions helped them grow their business by meeting customer demand more efficiently.

August 30, 2017

Being a die-hard Star Wars fan, I totally appreciated the reference used by manufacturing technology industry veteran Greg Jones in a recent article he wrote.

In his article (shared with permission in its entirety below), Greg quotes a study on the troublesome skills gap in U.S. manufacturing, sponsored by The Manufacturing Institute — the authority on the attraction, qualification,...

August 18, 2017

In this issue: deep-dive product news about the latest release — version 4.11, a chance to help drive future product development and win a $100 gift card, ways to use training credits, xTupleCommerce at DrupalCon Baltimore show recap, partner news, and a special invitation to xTuple's Manufacturing Day℠ Meetup.

August 17, 2017

xTuple is excited to announce the major release of xTuple ERP+CRM version 4.11.0. Read on to learn more about some of the specific features, changes and improvements that will help you Grow Your World™ using next generation business management software. The Release Notes for xTuple 4.11.0 cover the complete list of changes. This post is all about why you should care.

August 17, 2017

xTuple open source ERP+CRM 4.11.0 final release is now available for download from GitHub as well as the xTuple open source project page on SourceForge. Thanks to all in the open source community who contributed to this release, including Daniel Pocock, Scott Moore and Steven Buttgereit. This release includes fixes for almost 170 bugs and 38 feature updates.

August 15, 2017

For companies involved in importing, the cost of freight and duty on items purchased overseas can be quite significant. In developing a fully realized product cost to maintain profit margins, their accounting department must capture every cost of doing business associated with each product. Freight and duty are such expenditures that must be rolled into the core item cost so values such as cost of sales are reflected accordingly. Processing this manually means extra work for your back-office. Automating these calculations is much preferred, much simpler, and delivers a much more accurate “landed cost” for ...

August 11, 2017

First off, ERP is an acronym for enterprise resource planning. Way back in 2009, when xTuple’s open source ERP software was less than a decade old, and we were still having to explain exactly who we were and what we did, I wrote a blog post: What IS ERP? (Hint: more than just Business Management Software). What is ERP? We think a picture is worth a thousand words. So, we created an infographic, an at-a-glance image that perfectly defines what ERP encompasses.

August 9, 2017

Project management is no doubt one of the most stressful jobs in any company. If you're a Project Manager (PM), then you're directly responsible — and accountable — for the success or failure of your project. Some PMs try to cope with the high level of stress, while some PMs simply ignore or refuse to recognize that they are under stress. Other PMs don't fare as well and suffer the negative impact on their personal health and well-being. Yes, taking on and rolling out a large project such as a new eCommerce launch can put loads of stress on you — and your staff. What if I told you that you'll be just fine, if you follow ...

July 31, 2017

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet — at least that's the theory — still popular these many centuries later, first written in one of William Shakespeare's most famous plays "Romeo and Juliet." The actual couplet is: "What’s in a name? that which we call a rose... By any other name would smell as sweet." Was the infamous playwright right? Or wrong? Modern marketing knows the truth. What we call a thing is important. It has weight. It matters. Whether you want to convey a negative or positive, strength or weakness, or a set of attributes that promises specific features and benefits and/or services.

July 24, 2017

Whether you work in sales and/or marketing, accounting or purchasing, or any of the myriad operational roles in manufacturing or distribution (or perhaps you inhabit the c-suite as an owner or CFO), if your business has more than ONE CONTACT to its name, your success relies on accurate information about your contacts — employees, suppliers and vendors, customers and prospects. Failure to keep your lists “clean” and orderly is not an option.

July 23, 2017

xTupleCommerce was originally conceived to help Manufacturers and Distributors give their customers direct, web-based, round-the-clock, self-service access — from anywhere in the world. For early adopters, this live, web-integration of accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) with eCommerce dramatically improved their ability to market products, operate more efficiently, and meet the needs of the millennial generation. And why do millennials matter?

July 5, 2017

When starting with xTuple, one of the first challenges you face is getting the system set up and ready, before you can even log in. We do offer a free online demo, of course, to preview the software, but once you are ready to get started on your own, you need something to guide you through the required steps. xTuple has just updated and consolidated a wealth of essential information for systems administrators and database administrators who want to set up and run xTuple ERP software. We've combined knowledge from websites, manuals, code repos, and other sources into a new book called the xTuple Admin Guide that is available to read for free at xTuple University.

June 30, 2017

Anyone who is a registered member of the xTuple community should have received an email from us this week. The message contained our first-ever weekly digest of xTuple forum activity. We're hoping this simple weekly update helps you feel more connected. In case you didn't see it, here's what the digest looks like:

June 29, 2017

Life's a journey. It's not always easy to tell what events will be life-defining ones, at least not then and there, in the moment. Life's biggest changes begin in such small, seemingly obscure ways — ways that start you on the path to something bigger. The person on that next phone call could be your future boss. Your voluntary internship could be your next paying job. These moments become iconic milestones. They help you look back and track your progress in life's journey. The successful quest from intern-to-full-time-employee is a very, very rare one indeed. Only a fortunate few can claim to have attained a win. I was one of the lucky few — to have the opportunity to get a ticket for the right ride, at the right time.

June 22, 2017

One of the smaller, geekier features in the upcoming xTuple ERP 4.11.0 final release is the ability to write scripts on (some!) xTuple ERP desktop client *widgets*. We've long had the ability to write scripts to modify the behavior of existing windows and even write new ones, but now you'll be able to change the behavior of individual widgets. Here's the deal with widgets...

June 21, 2017

More knowledge is a good thing — we know that. Life-long learning not only improves us personally and moves us along our career paths, it's also good for business. We've seen literally thousands of xTuple training participants over the years take what they've learned from us and apply it to their own businesses. This lines up perfectly with our mission — to help companies of all sizes successfully implement powerful, and easy-to-use, open source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to grow their business profitably. What's good for your individual business is also good for your local, regional, and the global economy as well.

June 20, 2017

Streamlining your business is our number one response to the question, "Why ERP?" Even the smallest manufacturers and distributors can benefit from the scalable functionality of xTuple's business software solutions. From our introductory level PostBooks® to our robust, "everything included" Enterprise Edition, we probably have a solution to meet your needs. Remember the old rotary-dial telephone?

June 12, 2017

Starting the company: “I originally started the company with a co-founder, who wrote the original version of the software from scratch. He was brilliant, but we disagreed on the importance of bringing code contributions from outside developers — which turned out to be central to our company strategy.” Hardest part of launching the company: “The economic climate after the attacks of 9/11 was, of course, very challenging. Implementing complex business software like this requires a sense of confidence in the future, and a desire to grow. That has been in short supply many times over the past 15 years.” A lesson learned: