More xTuple Review

Since I work a good bit in manufacturing and distribution, items are important. I’ve been looking at the video on items. There is a good bit of functionality here. The devil, though, is always in the details, and I highly recommend that any business looking for an ERP solution do a Needs Analysis (NOT A RFP) before moving forward. For more information on Needs Analysis, check out the Guide To Selecting Busness Software. And if you want to know why an RFP isn’t my preferred method, listen to ceoTechCast #11 – 5 + 1 Reasons Not to do an RFP.
Here are a few of my questions after watching the items video:

  • What costing methods are supported? Standard? Average? Weighted Average? LIFO? FIFO? Specific (since it supports serial #s)? It appears that average, standard, and something called Job are the only cost types available.
  • How are Sales and COGS G/L Accounts controlled? It looks like the cost side of this is controlled through the Cost Category on the item. What happens if this is changed when there is inventory quantity and cost of the item on hand? The sales category looks to control the sales side of this.
  • Why is there a need for a G/L Series Discrepancy Account? The description says that it is used for penny variances due to rounding. These simply shouldn’t occur in G/L entries in a robust application. Here is the page describing the account: http://www.xtuple.org/sites/default/files/refguide/webdoc-3.2.0/ch10s13s08.html
  • Is there a way to handle drop shipped items and special orders?
  • Can you copy old orders or POs to make new orders or POs?

I’ll stop there with the review. There seem to be a number of things in this product that should be carefully considered in a Needs Analysis.
Summary:
(Per the Creative Commons license, this must be reproduced IN ITS ENTIRETY.)
There is some good and some bad in this application. It has a good bit of functionality from an operational standpoint, but the things I found in a brief review that have been left out give me concern about whether it represents a broad enough application for use in an average business.
If price is a concern, QuickBooks Enterprise Solution (disclosure: my company works with this product), Peachtree (disclosure: we don’t work with this), and an add-on manufacturing solution like MiSys (disclosure: my company works with this solution) will prove equal in functionality and probably less expensive than this solution.
User pricing for the two pay solutions is above charges for some of the major manufacturers.
I would consider this application only if (a) you have a commitment to open source and a programming background, (b) it has specific features you are looking for and does not lack for features you need, or (c) you have looked at other solutions and believe this one is better.