xTuple's Collective Brainpower Blog

April 12, 2018

This is the story of the marketing journey of the Briscoe Manufacturing Company. Walt’s iPhone alarm rang at 5:45am as it always did, but he was already awake. And even though he was wide awake, he wanted to stay in bed. He didn’t want to go to work. Again. There was a time when he looked forward to going to work. But he was starting to dread it. Things were not going well there. He was beginning to wish he could run away from it all. He was feeling like a colossal failure.

March 23, 2018

Great photos sell more products! Product photography is crucial to your success when selling products online using your own eCommerce site. Customers expect to find high quality, high resolution images of your products from varying angles and perspectives, highlighting details and features. Images are powerful; we remember what we see more than what we read. Here are my top nine (9) insights — and TWO bonus pro tips — for shooting great product photography.

March 13, 2018

Worldwide manufacturing growth in the industrialized countries has been flat, and is forecast to remain flat for the foreseeable future. In a flat market, the fastest path to double digit growth for manufacturers is to steal share from less nimble competitors. However, in an era where the buyer can easily access product information on the Internet that was once tightly held by the seller, the traditional approaches to sales and marketing are no longer effective.

March 9, 2018

Full disclosure, when your company’s primary product is software, you know a little something about software development. In this post, I’ll reveal my epiphany on how the software development process can be applied to every other aspect of your business (and your life) — no matter your industry, no matter your position, no matter your department. [Spoiler alert: there’s a must-read book — "The Phoenix Project" — in your future!]

March 6, 2018

Selection criteria for your business management software is an important “hot topic” — review sites and resources abound. Selecting your next — or your first — Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is literally betting the success of their business on which software you use. Gathering functional requirements is the usual place to start. But be sure to add Vendor selection benchmarks to your list. Why?

February 8, 2018

Named to Capterra's 20 Most Popular Material Requirements Planning (MRP) Software Solutions List: It's almost time for Valentine's Day — when approximately 150 million cards are exchanged annually, the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas. And we're celebrating xTuple's recognition as one of the most popular and affordable, enterprise-class MRP business software solutions for small- and mid-sized companies by sharing Customer Reviews.

February 7, 2018

Industrial Internet of Things: Used in manufacturing now for 15+ years, Internet of Things (IoT) devices monitor equipment, automate processes, and improve worker safety. Moore’s Law, a computing term around since 1970 which submits that processor speeds (overall processing power for computers) doubles every two years, applies to IoT devices, too. Their use increases over time, but what happens to all of the data they collect?

February 6, 2018

Case Study in Online Purchasing: Who’s the easiest person to sell to? A salesperson. The hardest? A marketer. Why? We’re always nitpicking our way through your entire buying process, because our job is to create the most stellar purchasing experience to improve conversion rates for our products and services, i.e., sales. And we’re constantly learning from those merchants who do it wrong as much as those who do it right.

January 31, 2018

What do you need to know about xTuple open source ERP+CRM+Web Portal? During the winter ‘bomb cyclone’ that blasted the East Coast in early January, my husband and I (stranded indoors!) tackled our many honey-do tasks that we’re generally 'too busy' to get around to. [Snow photos from our local Virginian-Pilot.] We discovered more 'parts' to our wood stove. After perusing a few online forum topics, my husband learned the manufacturer’s recommendations and implemented them immediately.

January 25, 2018

Business software IT questions answered: One of the questions I am asked the most has to be: "What are the minimum specs for running xTuple ERP?" Personally, I am not a minimum spec person. My wife will attest to that! I like to think I'm a 'you get what you pay for and get what you deserve' kind of guy, but, really... if you're trying to run your business on the zero-to-cheap plan, then it's all just luck. I prefer maximum specs: What has the most horsepower? Lowest 0-60 time? Lowest ET in the 1/4 mile? With my 'more is more' philosophy in mind, allow me to answer a few relevant specification questions.

January 25, 2018

Authorize.Net Security Updates roll out in February 2018: If you are an xTuple customer who uses the Authorize.Net payment gateway to process credit card transactions in xTuple ERP, then you have probably heard about the security updates Authorize.Net is rolling out at the end of February 2018. xTuple is prepared for this event, having taken steps to implement the new TLS 1.2 protocol in newer versions of xTuple ERP. Anyone running xTuple ERP versions 4.10.x or later (e.g., 4.11.x) should not be impacted by this change. However...

January 24, 2018

Inspection and Testing During Product Lifecycle: Do you need to meet standards of excellence and document regulatory and/or quality compliance? Want to easily manage and/or improve non-conformance with corrective and preventative actions? We're talking about ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and FAI (First Article Inspection) for your specific industry, important for both manufacturers and distributors.

January 10, 2018

Are you running your business with PostBooks® — the core of xTuple's open source ERP — the fully-integrated business management system featuring sales, accounting, operations and CRM in a single system? If you hold a one-user license, you may have noticed a license expiration message. Single-user keys expire at the end of this month, January 2018.

January 4, 2018

Manufacturing around the world is the backbone of a healthy economy — especially in xTuple's target markets of North America: the United States, Canada and Mexico. Manufacturing gives a country, state, region — even a locality — it's competitive advantage. Manufacturing is where business innovation lives. We can't say it enough. Here are 15 facts that you simply cannot ignore about the U.S. manufacturing industry — they bear repeating at the beginning of every new year. Thanks to Industry Week for sharing this infographic.

December 19, 2017

If you're buying gifts this holiday season, of course thanks go to Santa or whomever bears present-giving responsibilities in your life. Thanks also belong with the manufacturing industry. You may be finished already, need a last minute gift idea, or are late and need to kick-start your holiday shopping (like me!). In any case, I found this awesome list from SME* and had to share — while giving props to the manufacturer, distributor and everyone else in the global supply chain who brings happy holidays to us all.

November 22, 2017

Why is LinkedIn® essential to your career success? Statistics don't lie: 98% of recruiters and 85% of hiring managers use LinkedIn® to find and vet candidates (according to researcher Viveka von Rosen — author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and founder of LinkedIntoBusiness.com ). And according to the Pew Research Center , LinkedIn® usage is highest among the educated and high earners....

November 17, 2017

My first trip to Chicago and to North America's largest convention center ( McCormick Place ) and to FABTECH (or any industrial trade show, for that matter) did not disappoint. I helped manage xTuple's FABTECH booth along with several partners and our VP sales Wally Tonra. Billed as North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, I got to hear about...

October 24, 2017

At xTuple, we make it OUR business to understand and support YOUR business. Those of you who have commercial support and/or professional services contracts already know how hard we work for you — and how much we care . Whether the questions are simple or the issues more complicated, we’re committed to seeing every challenge through. Our #1 goal is to make sure we’re doing everything we can to...

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!)

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.