xTuple's Collective Brainpower Blog

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 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?

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 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 23, 2017

This week, Andrey Mikheychik, xTupleCommerce’s lead developer, and I will be heading to the largest annual Drupal event in the world: DrupalCon 2017, this year held in Baltimore, Maryland. Drupal, for those who don’t know, is an open source content management system (CMS) for building websites. Our team has used it as the foundation for xTupleCommerce. Andrey and I have been working with Drupal for over a decade, and we have extended the technology in some extremely innovative ways.

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...

March 23, 2017

Here at xTuple, we're often asked, "what makes you different? Why shouldn't I go with one of the big guys?" It's a fair question, and our answer has usually revolved around open source, and how it enables us to deliver a higher quality, more flexible and less expensive solution. More recently, we've started talking about how xTuple is one of a very few systems out there with a fully-integrated Customer Web Portal.

February 21, 2017

Due to a recent increase in intrusion attempts on Internet-connected business databases, we are writing to strongly encourage all our users to review the security of your PostgreSQL database. The following information will guide you through the process of updating important security settings for your database server. The following steps (described in detail below) should be taken to prevent intruders from accessing your data.

January 5, 2017

Recently I've had the opportunity to chat with a quite a lot of manufacturers and distributors about using direct online access to sales and service for customers and vendors — i.e., a sales portal — in their business strategy. We talked about the specific challenges they are facing, new changes in their industry, and how the Web seems to be the root of much of the change in technology....

December 6, 2016

Who would you say is more loyal than your trusty family dog? What if I told you there's a digital "secret sauce" to fostering such intimate, loyalty-based relationships with your customers ...?

Recently, I presented a talk at FABTECH in Las Vegas on growth strategies for manufacturers. My topic was how to develop closer relationships with satisfied customers (and prospective customers) to build a more loyal following, repeat business and referrals.

August 24, 2016

As a manufacturer, you’ve probably wondered what to make of these new Web technologies everyone is talking about? You’re a manufacturing company, not a retailer. So how can using an eCommerce website increase your productivity and improve your profitability? What’s in it for you, right?

You’re in the business-to-business (B2B) business, and maybe you don’t — or even care to — sell your...

July 18, 2016

Based on recent results experienced by our manufacturing clients , we’re pretty sold here at xTuple on the benefits of eCommerce for manufacturers . It's clear that customers and resellers are looking for new ways to interact with their key vendors. While it used to be that the ability to self-serve, manage information, reduce acquisition time and gather timely product information was a "nice-...

June 7, 2016

However you spell the word: Omni-channel, omnichannel or omni channel, instead of arguing about the correct usage, let's just accept that the concept is a force to be reckoned with, if you're doing ANY business online or in person.

We believe that Omnichannel is something new and important, evolutionary or even revolutionary, for businesses.

By no means is the concept new. "...

May 31, 2016

In the B2B (business-to-business) world, it is not at all uncommon for customers to have account credit or an authorized purchase amount. Are you prepared?

By allowing your customers to place orders using credit on their account, bill me later, or commercial credit cards, you are building a delighted customer interaction, getting them through the buying experience in a faster, more...

May 24, 2016

One comment that I always share with xTupleCommerce customers is that — to get the most bang for their buck — they must think of their B2B eCommerce solution as a tool for their customers — and other trading partners — rather than just an online store. The xTupleCommerce system is built to make things easier for our customers (the owners of the eCommerce website) and their customers. Our goal...

May 17, 2016

If you’ve ever worked on an eCommerce project — or any website for that matter, you know how important content is for increasing conversions. The art of fine-tuning marketing content, campaigns, keywords and product descriptions is essential for ensuring customers find your products, get engaged and make purchases. Ensuring that content management is fluid, easy and non-technical was...

May 12, 2016

During the development stage of planning and building xTupleCommerce (real-time, xTuple ERP-connected Sales & Customer Service online access for businesses), we found that offering the ability to work with pricing schedules on B2B eCommerce sites turned out to be one of the most desired features.

Not familiar with Pricing Schedules? Let me explain.

Imagine you are a...

March 31, 2016

In any large-scale business-to-business ( B2B) organization, there are a variety of reasons that you want to maintain customer records in your enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. This helps you track sales by customer account, aids you in navigating a customer's past purchase history, gives you insight to the types of products in which a particular customer is interested, and gives...

February 22, 2016

In large business-to-business (B2B) transactions, it’s typical for a business customer to have multiple users making purchases. A lousy, very unsecured solution to this problem is to create one account for the customer and then expect all their users to share that same username/password. Instead, a better solution is to associate multiple eCommerce accounts with one customer accounts.

...

December 15, 2015

Let's be honest. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is hard.

There are lots of business problems to solve, and the whole point of an ERP system is unification and integration. It’s easy to dismiss ERP as a legacy holdover of the 80s and 90s, but that would be a mistake. There are many ERP vendors in the world, including xTuple, and we are all trying to solve some of...