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Marine manufacturer finds ERP inventory control success with xTuple OpenMFG

Brenda Cole, Assistant Site Editor

When Reverso Pumps, a maker of oil change systems and pumps for boats, needed to get a better handle on its inventory, it turned to an ERP software system with a manufacturing focus.

Back in 2006, the company, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was in the market for an ERP system that would provide better control of inventory, ordering points and planning than the SMB accounting and payroll package it was then using. That accounting package could not handle Reverso Pumps' growing inventory control needs, according to Dan Bigelow, vice president of operations.

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The person in charge of evaluating potential ERP software vendors found that the best candidate to handle the changing demands on the Reverso Pumps' business was the OpenMFG ERP system offered by xTuple (back then, known by the same name as its software, OpenMFG).

The OpenMFG edition was built on an open-source foundation, but is a commercially licensed ERP system targeted at small to medium-sized manufacturers. xTuple adopted a "community code" model, meaning that customers who purchase or subscribe to licenses for the product have access to view and modify the source code. However, the code is not publicly available.

The IT person at Reverso found that the 2.0 version of OpenMFG satisfied most of the company's business function needs in one basic package, without requiring the installation of plug-ins or any added features.

Reverso Pumps began deploying xTuple's OpenMFG suite at the end of 2006. The ERP implementation process was a transition, according to Bigelow. "In the beginning, there was miscommunication regarding our initial set-up needs," he said. "But over time, [Reverso and xTuple] have improved our communication and things are lot more positive."

Reverso Pumps uses xTuple OpenMFG at nearly every step of the manufacturing process, including processing work orders, inventory control, purchasing, invoicing, receiving, accounts payable and filling and shipping sales orders.

Although OpenMFG is an open source ERP software package, Bigelow has not taken advantage of this feature. He explains that although he has the programming skills to work with source code, his company currently has no need to customize the OpenMFG software, so leveraging the open source features would not be worth the time or training it would require. However, Bigelow plans to look into employing OpenMFG's open source features in the future.

Support issues with the ERP software are usually resolved within a few hours via phone. Reverso Pumps also makes use of an issue tracker blog that is available to xTuple users. Reliable customer support is important, according to Bigelow, because "software is a lot like the Taj Mahal; it can do so many things and has so many features, but going into it you don't get a floor plan."


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