xTuple's Collective Brainpower Blog

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.

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!]

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.

February 5, 2018

Moving websites from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 continues to be a massive undertaking for the Drupal content management system (CMS) community: Drupal 8 was a move in the right direction but it’s created a lot of stumbling blocks in the upgrade path and some confusion amongst the non-technical users of Drupal.

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

Progressive Drupal developers understand the technical benefits of Drupal 8: it’s more efficient, scalability is more reliable, and (once you understand it) it’s easier/faster to work with. However, from the perspective of a business decision maker, it’s not clear why the foundation of Drupal 8 would be more cost effective for an organization. Drupal 7 works just fine, right?

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.

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.