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.

April 10, 2018

Businesses with more than a handful of employees have a lot to balance including pricing, product planning, accounting and finance, managing payroll, dealing with inventory, and more. Stitching together a set of disparate tools to handle those jobs is a quick, cheap, and dirty way to get things done. That approach isn't scalable. It's difficult to efficiently move data between the various pieces of such an ad-hoc system. As well, it can be difficult to maintain. Instead, most growing businesses turn to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

April 10, 2018

xTuple open source ERP+CRM 4.11.3 final release is now available for download from xTuple's GitHub repository as well as the xTuple PostBooks® project page on SourceForge. Thanks to all who contributed to make this release possible, including Cordeck Building Solutions, Larry Cartee, Bernard Le Jour, Alfredo Martinez and Scott Zuke. Note: You must upgrade to xTuple ERP 4.11.3 to use the soon-to-be-released xTupleCommerce v1.0.0.

April 6, 2018

If you've ever used software (and who hasn't?), you've encountered a bug. You may not have noticed it, but it was there. Sometimes bugs look like features. Sometimes they look like momentary glitches, like a screen flash or an unexpected pause. And on occasion they can make life so miserable that you yell at the software, the computer, and the darned guy or gal who wrote that ... that ... [ there's no nice way to end that thought]. As the software developer who may have written that piece of... uh ... program, I hear your cries of pain. I suspect that's what woke me up the other night. That was you yelling, wasn't it?

March 28, 2018

Open source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) remains among the most active in Business category: xTuple again has the honor of being named SourceForge "Project of the Week," placing its free and open source version of PostBooks® tops among the over 500,000 applications available for download from the largest, most trusted online resource for Open Source Software (OSS) discovery and development.

March 26, 2018

Here are the featured projects for the week, which appear on the front page of SourceForge.net: PostBooks ERP, accounting, CRM by xTuple. Additionally Programming Without Coding Technology (PWCT), Free Manga Downloader (FMD), Cyberfox, Bluestar Linux, FlightGear Flight Simulator, VoIP monitor, and more.

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 14, 2018

Third compilation of community enhancements from global leader in open source ERP — xTuple customers love our way, every day — major enhancements to a business software package designed and contributed by the actual users. Just released! Representing the company’s latest lustrum from 2013 to 2018, xTuple's third "greatest hits" album (GHV3) is a best-of collection of the most well-regarded and highest-rated features — developed in partnership with an engaged global customer and community base.

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 12, 2018

This is the first in an occasional series [hopefully, it's only occasional] on Things That Keep Me Up At Night (TTKMU@N). An image that's stayed with me since childhood is that of the Red Queen and Alice from Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass" — running as fast as they can and getting nowhere. I was reminded of the story recently when someone complained that we, i.e., xTuple, refuse to use the latest and greatest version of various technologies. Let's get real here...

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 15, 2018

Researching the best open source accounting software isn't as simple as one might think. There are a number of important variables you must consider before taking the leap. This is especially important for those businesses that already have an accounting/bookkeeping solution in place. Making sure you can achieve the same level of control and functionality is very important when switching to a Linux-centric accounting application.

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

FABTECH Expo 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.

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.

February 1, 2018

Smart people work in software development: What do dual majors in physics and computer science do in their free time? Well, if you're xTuple's own software developer Christopher Cotnoir, you publish research papers in academic journals.

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 30, 2018

CRM Improvements in 4.11.2: The release notes for xTuple ERP+CRM v4.11.2 indicated that we're working on enhancements to the CRM side of our product offering. The sponsor for this effort, Cordeck Building Solutions, requested a number of changes to make this part of the application easier to use for their normal sales and marketing needs. Most of these changes are useful to the rest of the xTuple community.