xTuple's Collective Brainpower Blog

October 8, 2018

America's manufacturing sector and its importance to the country's economic well-being and national security cannot be overstated. While manufacturing makes up 8.5% of U.S employment and 11.7% of U.S. GDP (gross domestic product), our country’s manufacturers drive 35% of productivity growth, 60% of exports, and 70% of private-sector research and development (R&D). This is of big importance to not only to you and me — and the nation — but the global supply chain as well.

October 4, 2018

There are six reasons why prospects don't buy from you, but just one is enough to kill a sale. Preempt these objections and you'll sell more. Is your sales team meeting its quota?

September 20, 2018

There's some really good news coming out of the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB), which is reporting a record high in optimism and plans for growth among its membership of American small businesses. And importantly, it's not just good news for the companies — it's good for workers, too! The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data from NFIB’s membership with quarterly surveys since 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986. The most recent was conducted in August 2018, and the report is awesome.

August 28, 2018

Business development in the manufacturing industry is changing rapidly. It's harder for small to mid-sized manufacturers to compete with larger ones on cost, recognition, and range of capabilities. The constant push to vendor consolidation heightens market pressure. It’s not the family business or the “old-boys” network it used to be.

August 17, 2018

I just saw "The Lego Movie" recently, which was of course great fun. Sure, it's a whip-smart commentary on corporatism, groupthink, and the awkward process of growing old and losing your soul... but I just can't get that hilariously catchy theme song out of my head. Everything is Awesome! We're seeing all kinds of news these days about record low unemployment, quarterly growth numbers, and — most encouragingly — small business confidence. So, is everything really going to be awesome now?

August 7, 2018

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): A company can employ any and all marketing techniques and still not find value in them. This comes from a lack of assessing which parts are working — and which ones are not. Many companies use vanity metrics or metrics where the only purpose is to help you and your marketing team feel better about yourselves.

August 2, 2018

In early June, I produced a webinar on the latest in digital transformation for manufacturers (and distributors) with special emphasis on the benefits of a business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce system. In attendance were xTuple's existing ERP (enterprise resource planning) customers, people exploring new business management software, and others hoping to learn how all this will/can affect their business. We received great feedback about the content of the webinar...

August 1, 2018

Every morning I hit the ground running by listening to a daily Apple news podcast to get the latest goings-on in the world of tech giant Apple. Mac OS Ken, by his own admission, eats, sleeps and breathes Apple news and news related to Apple news. I've been a faithful listener for all of his more than 10 years producing a daily Apple news show; we're both closing in on our second decade of Apple-obsession! While I am interested in all things Apple, I keep a keen ear peeled for any news related to Apple Tech in the Enterprise...

July 10, 2018

The Internet of Things (IoT) is radically changing the world as we know it — and ERP systems are no exception. In the manufacturing industry, ERP systems already work in sync with the cloud and other technological advances. However, implementation of IoT can truly change the game for many companies. So, what does the future look like for ERP and IoT?

July 6, 2018

FABTECH Canada 2018 was my first international trade show and my first time visiting Canada. Joining me at the xTuple booth was our VP Sales Wally Tonra, as well as a couple of our Canadian partners. Experts in the industries of metalforming, fabricating, welding, and finishing visited the Toronto Congress Centre in June looking for opportunities to think, learn, and network...

June 27, 2018

In this article, we explore the process of xTuple ERP (enterprise resource planning) internal bug tracking procedures to help answer questions regarding bug fixes and patches. xTuple has a specific, documented process for managing our bug list using CRM (customer relationship management) incidents for bugs, feature requests, support requests, and other internal work. Let's dive into the what and how of bug reports...

June 14, 2018

In this article, we explore the differences — and similarities — between MPS (Master Production Scheduling), MRP (Material Requirements Planning), and the business cases that warrant the use of each, in other words... When to use MPS versus MRP. Demand is a key driver for any inventory planning system, so let’s first start with a few definitions...

June 13, 2018

The fact that you’re considering an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) purchase is likely due to one of two scenarios: (1) your business has outgrown the scope that your current software can accommodate or (2) your organization is already quite large but has been making do with cobbled-together IT solutions. In both of these situations, you are probably dealing with several separate software systems that don’t talk to each other and limit holistic visibility into the organization’s business needs.

June 11, 2018

With apologies to fans of the movie "Jerry Maguire"... there were some really interesting findings in a new study from the Harvard Business Review about what helps business attract and retain top employees. Yes, you need to show them the money... but what I found fascinating was how much people are coming to expect good technology support inside the company. One thing in particular jumped out at me in the article: Over 60% of respondants in this study wanted better access to business data.

May 24, 2018

Your privacy — and transparency — is important to us. If you're like us, you've been getting a lot of email in recent days about people making updates to their privacy policies to comply with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Here at xTuple, we're doing the same.

May 16, 2018

It's really, really, really here! I know, it seems as if you've heard us talking about this thing called xTupleCommerce forever, and you could easily think that it was a released product. The truth of the matter is, we've been working with a number of our fantastic customers for over four years to get to where we are today — proud to officially release xTupleCommerce 1.0. And yes, we've got special promotions for existing commercial customers who are ready to move on this exciting opportunity!

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!]