Friday, July 9, 2010

Family Business Continuity Planning and Enterprise Management Systems

Let's discuss enterprise software and why it should be important to a family business looking to insure that the business can successfully transition from one generation to the next.

Simply put, an organized, well run business following a consistent set of business rules is easier to hand off to the next generation. Business management software is an integrated systemic approach to managing all the data about a business, its finances, sales, inventory, etc.; resulting in an operational culture that shares information, eliminates silos and promotes best practices across the organization. The successful implementation of a first rate enterprise system, one that allows for the flexibility of your unique business, can be that key ingredient to a successful transition of a family business from one generation to the next.

First, what exactly is enterprise software, also known as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)? Basically it is an integrated business management system that connects users and information, enhances communication, identifies bottlenecks and standardizes business practices. A good ERP system, properly implemented, can bring about massive improvements to operational efficiency, shine a bright light on hidden organizational costs, and strengthen relationships with customers and suppliers. All of that translates into real growth - often exponential growth - even in a challenging economic climate.There are many different forms and types of ERP, but for purposes of this discussion it is those solutions that include functionality for accounting, sales, purchasing, inventory, supply chain management, production planning and CRM. Additionally, the system should utilizes an accessible relational database and custom report writer.

Now there is a wide range of products that meet the definition above. To name a few - Oracle, SAP, Infor, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Epicor. These are all proprietary software products with one thing in common - they cost a lot of money.

But a few years ago several projects were started in the open source community to develop ERP alternatives. One of these projects has matured and been commercialized - meaning that a business was created around the project to provide coordination, development, documentation and support. As a result, xTuple has become the global leader in the emerging field of open source ERP, bringing the discipline of a real enterprise product company to open source. xTuple ERP is a complete package, running on open source PostgreSQL- the top open source relational database, with its own open source report writer. This is no starter kit, or collection of piece-parts. You can download, install, and be up and running with a full xTuple ERP system in 10 minutes.

As with all open source projects, there is a free open source license version of xTuple ERP called PostBooks. Anyone can get started with the xTuplePostBooks Edition - and thousands of companies are running their business on PostBooks every day. PostBooks is the ideal business software platform for many small- to medium-sized businesses. Of course, the heart of any business system is accounting, and PostBooks features a powerful General Ledger accounting system. Financial Reports are completely user-definable, and the system's open architecture facilitates simple interfaces to third party applications such as spreadsheets and outside payroll processors. The accounting module rivals anything available from commercial software vendors. But PostBooks is much more than great (free) accounting software. In addition to basic accounting features (general ledger, accounts receivable and payable, etc.), PostBooks includes fully-integrated CRM, sales and purchasing, product definition, inventory, light manufacturing and OpenRPT, xTuple's open-source report writer software.

And xTuple is more than good. The open source ERP community drives a relentless pace of improvements and refinements to the product. Every user - from the 2-person startup using the free PostBooks Edition, to the global enterprises using xTuple commercial Editions - every user benefits from the constant cycles of innovation that makes this open source ERP system so powerful.

The commercially-licensed editions of xTuple are designed for enterprises with larger-scale distribution and manufacturing operations, including Global 1000 companies that are powering their businesses with xTuple ERP. The xTuple Standard and Manufacturing Editions include advanced functionality for larger companies with more complex operations, as well as companies of any size who want or require a commercial license.  But all customers still have full access to the source code of the commercial Editions, and enhancements made to any of the Editions of xTuple are handled through the same community development and managed release process.

The Standard Edition of xTuple is a fully-integrated end-to-end software system for companies with more sophisticated inventory control needs. It contains everything in the open source PostBooks Edition, plus additional enterprise-class functionality specifically for distributors and light manufacturers, such as advanced returns management, batch processing of emailed documents, multi-warehouse control, sophisticated lot/serial tracking and tracing, and other features.

The Manufacturing Edition of xTuple contains everything in the PostBooks and Standard Editions, plus additional enterprise-class functionality specifically for manufacturers.
xTuple's roots in manufacturing run deep. The Manufacturing Edition of xTuple ERP, the original award-winning ERP suite first released in 2002 is the premium commercial offering, recommended for manufacturing companies in both discrete and batch process production; make to order, make to stock, or mixed-mode; even job shops and engineer-to-order. The Manufacturing Edition software is currently deployed in a wide variety of successful customer manufacturing situations, including food production, piston manufacturing, industrial pumps, specialty garments and many others.

The Standard Edition starts at $300 per month and the Manufacturing Edition starts at $500 per month. All community members - whether they're using free PostBooks or a commercial license version, have access to the full source code of the core open source solution and to the xTuple user community where they can utilize extensive online documentation, user training videos and get advice and feedback from the global xTuple user community.

Award winning xTuple ERP is clearly the best option for the small and midsize family business to take advantage of the latest innovation in business management software.

For more information or to schedule a demo visit OpenSurge

1 comment:

John Michle said...

All major banking companies using customized software. These software are developed according to their own needs. They can maintain records of their clients easily.

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