xTuple's Collective Brainpower Blog

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.

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 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 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.

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 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 9, 2017

Editor's Note: Blog post author, Perry Clark, is known among our customers and open source community as "the guy with all the answers." He is a true jack-of-all trades; the guy that can help with anything. Really. Anything! Perry joined xTuple 10 years ago when the company was young and looking for ambitious "jacks" (and "jills"). Over the years he's not only maintained that title, he's...

June 8, 2017

Recently, xTuple co-hosted a roadshow in Texas with long-time partner Larry Cartee of Magical Custom Programming. While in Houston, I was invited to a radio interview with The Price of Business to talk about the latest in business management technologies and what they can do for a company's bottom line. The show, which is the longest running business program in Houston, Texas, is on Bloomberg’...

May 23, 2017

About 10 years ago, our daily newspaper wrote an article [Virginian-Pilot: Granby Street's hipness is luring high-tech workers] about our CEO Ned Lilly. A few days after it was published, his friends commented that they still don't know what he does. Yeah, it can be complicated. Most people are comfortable with word-processing and spreadsheet programs, and while there are some great features (linking sheets, etc), it's not a replacement for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. But what is ERP?

May 23, 2017

Let’s face it. In the "high-school dance party" of software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the kid in the corner, shirt buttoned to the top, playing with his calculator while the other kids dance. ERP is complex, serious stuff: supply chain management, material requirements planning, master production scheduling, cost analysis, sales forecasting, financials. You need it to be successful, but you tend to keep it up and away from the customers. You don’t want them to see it — you want them to talk to sales, not operations and accounting. Right?

May 4, 2017

Grab a cup of coffee, and let's chat. As you may have gathered from another of my blog posts, 6 Ways to Make Your ERP Work Better, I highly recommend customers and partners attend our Training Classes. Every user — even those in the software testing or research phase — benefits from more hands-on education. Not only can you learn how to setup and configure the software for your specific needs, you'll also learn tips and tricks for every day use of xTuple ERP. Group training has the added benefit of...

May 2, 2017

Whether you're new to xTuple or a long-time community participant, you'll undoubtedly agree that xTuple Forums are the best place to meet other users online. It's where ideas are exchanged and your most important questions are asked — and answered (or debated!). The forums are a great resource to tap into the xTuple open source ERP global community and our shared user knowledge base. Drum roll, please ... Out with the old, in with the new! We've been listening to your feedback and...

April 21, 2017

It's been a while since we talked in any great detail about xTuple's roadmap for the future, and I thought this might be a good time to do so. You can always look at the near-term xTuple development plan for the next couple of releases — which will include specification links to confirmed customer-sponsored features when available.

But I'd like to take it up a notch, if I could, and...