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How to Manage Inventory in 10 Steps (with Pictures)

By on Jul 24, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business | 0 comments

How to Manage Inventory with a System The first step in managing your inventory is recognizing that it needs managing and that it isn’t being managed now (at least not as it should be).  I won’t say this is half the battle…more like 25%.  One might be surprised at how long a business will struggle along in inventory denial before taking responsibility and admitting there is a problem.  Often awareness that inventory is not being managed well comes in the form of a (hopefully) minor disaster surprise in some operation on your inventory.  Examples might include: Not being able to deliver items on schedule because they had to be ordered unexpectedly (I could have sworn we had five of those on the shelf!) Delivering the wrong items by mistake (Oh…you wanted the 5C1-Zero-3 not the 5C1O3!) Simply being overwhelmed by quantity. (I know it’s around here…somewhere!) The second step is to characterize your specific inventory issues, deficiencies, and needs.  Not all inventory problems are the same–though they are related.  Make a list of the symptoms you are experiencing.  Don’t be afraid to ask other stakeholders what issues they encounter that make their lives difficult. Review your list with other stakeholders. An example list might include: Receiving leaves entire palettes of goods on the warehouse floor and we don’t know to which projects the goods are allocated. Expensive materials come in, but no one checks them for quality assurance until months later…only to discover that the materials are defective. Supply doesn’t keep up with demand because purchasing is ordering the wrong quantities or the wrong products If you already have an inventory system, find out if it is actually being used the way it is intended.  Are the users keeping system data up to date?  If now, why not?  If you don’t yet have a system, you probably should invest in one.  We have our own recommendations, of course.  Why use an inventory system?  Well, the short answer is we are human beings with finite brains.  Eventually, we can no longer keep up with complex management problems.   Oh yes…a brief note about spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are wonderful tools, but they’re not designed to manage inventory. You really, really need a...

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Madrigal xTuple / PostBooks Mobile Client Update

By on Jun 24, 2014 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Paladin Logic is pleased to announce a Madrigal xTuple / PostBooks mobile client update for the Android platform.  Recently, several security flaws were discovered in OpenSSL.  The community responded quickly and fixed, tested, and deployed the fixes to OpenSSL. The new OpenSSL 1.0.1h release fixes seven different security defects in the popular security software.  According to the OpenSSL Security Advisory – and taken straight from the referenced web page – they are: SSL/TLS MITM vulnerability (CVE-2014-0224) An attacker using a carefully crafted handshake can force the use of weak keying material in OpenSSL SSL/TLS clients and servers. This can be exploited by a Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack where the attacker can decrypt and modify traffic from the attacked client and server. DTLS recursion flaw (CVE-2014-0221) By sending an invalid DTLS handshake to an OpenSSL DTLS client the code can be made to recurse eventually crashing in a DoS attack. DTLS invalid fragment vulnerability (CVE-2014-0195) A buffer overrun attack can be triggered by sending invalid DTLS fragments to an OpenSSL DTLS client or server. This is potentially exploitable to run arbitrary code on a vulnerable client or server. Only applications using OpenSSL as a DTLS client or server affected. SSL_MODE_RELEASE_BUFFERS NULL pointer dereference (CVE-2014-0198) A flaw in the do_ssl3_write function can allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service via a NULL pointer dereference. This flaw only affects OpenSSL 1.0.0 and 1.0.1 where SSL_MODE_RELEASE_BUFFERS is enabled, which is not the default and not common. SSL_MODE_RELEASE_BUFFERS session injection or denial of service (CVE-2010-5298) A race condition in the ssl3_read_bytes function can allow remote attackers to inject data across sessions or cause a denial of service. This flaw only affects multithreaded applications using OpenSSL 1.0.0 and 1.0.1, where SSL_MODE_RELEASE_BUFFERS is enabled, which is not the default and not common. Anonymous ECDH denial of service (CVE-2014-3470) OpenSSL TLS clients enabling anonymous ECDH ciphersuites are subject to a denial of service attack.   References:  This Security Advisory: secadv_20140605.txt If you have already purchased the Madrigal xTuple / PostBooks Mobile Client – thank you – and you will receive notice that it is time to update your app. If you have not yet purchased Madrigal then you ought to hurry.  Only 1 month remains in our introductory offer of half price for the first 60...

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xTuple 4.4: What’s New for xTuple ERP?

By on Apr 17, 2014 in Blog, High Technology | 0 comments

13 days ago, xTuple, who tend to release their products to coincide with Marvel-related events, shipped out version 4.4 on the new Captain America flick’s opening day. We at Paladin Logic, the xTuple Gold Partner of Texas, are proud to elucidate its features for you, our fair customers and technology connoisseurs. Without further ado, let’s dive into xTuple 4.4! The Long and the Short We’ll begin this with “the short”: Many menus and screens on the desktop client have been renamed to bring it in line with xTuple’s mobile web client. Sales orders can now be opened from the line item tab of the Sale screen. More Time and Attendance features have been added to the Manufacturing Edition. Shipments between multiple sites can be processed in the Shipping subsystem. Finance charges can be assessed for overdue payments on invoices. An option that requires items to be reserved before shipping has been added. Perhaps the most apparent (and most significant) update is #1, where the desktop and mobile web clients have been unified in an effort to make switching between the platforms seamless and continuous. As users have a wide variety of choices to access their business’s database — four desktop platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, browsers), and three mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) — xTuple judged that users should not have to learn yet another interface while they are on the go. Hence, this unification will serve to stamp out any confusion that has arisen in the wake of the mobile web client’s introduction. What’s more, critical improvements to existing workflows abound. The ability to create sales orders from the line item tab, time and attendance features, and the renaming of the menus and screens themselves — these features all simplify processes and increase operational efficiency in even more areas. In addition, the mobile web client will eventually support them, making your overall workflows smooth and fluid and enabling you to work wherever you have an Internet connection. Before you implement any major improvements, however, check against this reference guide to ensure that your modules will be compatible. For those of you working straight out of Postbooks, we have a treat for you. With what we are about to release,...

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It’s Curtains for Windows XP

By on Mar 30, 2014 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The day of Windows XP is over. Recently, Microsoft announced that, on April 8th, 2014, they will be retiring the venerable  Windows XP operating system.  What exactly does it mean to retire an operating system?  According to Microsoft’s website: After 12 years, support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014. There will be no more security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system. It is very important that customers and partners migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 8.1. Customers moving to a modern operating system will benefit from dramatically enhanced security, broad device choice for a mobile workforce, higher user productivity, and a lower total cost of ownership through improved management capabilities. If your business has been relying on the XP operating system, what does this mean for you? What End of Support Means When Microsoft stops offering support and updates for XP users, this can impact your business in several ways. As noted in the quote above, more modern operating systems offer improved security, improved accessibility, mobility, and manageability, and improved productivity. What this says without saying is, XP will become increasingly less secure, less efficient, less productive, and less manageable. Security risks are a hugely important consideration for business owners. Security risks threaten every aspect of your business operation, and after April 8th, no one will be able to help you address these concerns. “No further updates” means that whatever the current capabilities of this operating system are, that’s how it will stay. No matter how business software improves and grows, XP will be static and will not adapt to new demands and new potential. What Should You Do? As XP phases out, you should be on the lookout for replacement operating systems for your business machines.  This is a good time to analyze how you are using computers in your business — are you getting as much out of them as you can be?  Innovative new business solutions are constantly emerging which simplify, improve, and secure business data and processes.  If you’ve been relying on old machines with old business software, this can be a great opportunity to implement a new solution that will maximize your business’s efficiency...

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Optimizing your Processes: CRM and Big Data

By on Mar 27, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business | 0 comments

As social media grows ever deeper in the business and personal spheres, so does the need for the spheres to adjust to them. With a few exceptions (e.g. Turkey recently banning Twitter), they have become pervasive: even more so than the Motorola RAZR V3 flip phone in its heyday. Businesses in turn have picked up on the trend and are starting to realize its inherent power, giving them reach beyond their wildest estimations. Now, CRM is dependent not only on people, but also on the Big Data that they create for your business. What’s more, integrating Big Data with CRM will improve the processes within your CRM solution immensely by virtue of manifesting correlations, patterns, and trends among your customers. These three aspects will better inform you on the way you should build the customer experience, and thus maximize your profits. We will present five reasons from TIBCO Spotfire’s Business Intelligence Blog to integrate: “Better Customer Understanding. CRM analytics can integrate all customer data points including call center, the Internet, email and social media to group customers according to their behaviors. This allows a company to identify the most profitable customers who should receive special offers or get preferential treatment to boost their lifetime values.” “Better Understanding of the Customer-Facing Operations. Analytics will provide proof of how the company is performing in terms of service, sales and marketing. Most CRM projects are launched to drive down costs in these areas; without analytics to demonstrate the ROI of CRM, moving into new areas, like linking CRM with social media, will be hard to justify.” “Decision Support. After defining the value of customer-facing operations, changes can be made to drive operational investments. Companies can answer questions around building new call centers or outsourcing based on this analysis.” “Predictive Modeling. Predictive analytics will allow a company to forecast how customers are going to respond in the future based on their past behaviors and their segmented demographics. For example, a telecommunications company could find out how likely a customer is to turn to another carrier when his wireless contract expires.” “Benchmarking. CRM analytics will allow a company to track over time how well it’s performing related to a strategy or to competitors. Benchmarking analytics in areas...

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Will the Third Platform be Your Business’s Third Rail?

By on Mar 24, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

What is the Third Platform, exactly? No, it’s not the name of the platform for a train that will take you to the Promised Land of Success. It’s not the platform that sits under a hidden block containing a climbable vine that will grow skyward to Cloud 9, where coins abound. Rather, it’s actually the third step in an ongoing change in the way business is carried out with information technology tools. The exemplar of the first platform is the mainframe computer, which had its origins in the 1960s and continued to evolve to manage large-scale business operations.  Their powerful processing capabilities, and ability to run multiple operating systems simultaneously, mean that continue to be an important part of large business computing.  The second platform was the much smaller PC, which dominated the period between 1985 and 2005. Now, the third platform is mobile technology, the cloud, social networking, and Big Data that comprise the industrial revolution of information technology. It’s easy to see that more and more people are casually working on smaller and smaller devices, with smartphones doing many (if not all) of the same things a top-of-the-line PC could do in 2004 and more. People that would rather not deal with a monthly cellular service fee will most likely carry out their workflow routine on a tablet instead. The combined influence and popularity of these devices will threaten the profitability of the PC industry’s participants who make solely PCs; “Industry analysts also predict that 2015 will be the first year that more American consumers will access the Internet with mobile devices rather than PCs,” says Mark Neistat of the US Signal Company. Social networking is expanding in developing countries at blistering rates: as Neistat postulates, network access in the Middle East and Africa is projected to grow by about 23%, with the Asia-Pacific area coming in at 21.1% and Latin America at 12.6%. On the continent where it all started, however, social networking won’t gain nearly as much ground in a saturated “market” at 4.1%. Those networks that differentiate themselves from the Big Four (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+) and even from social location services like Foursquare and offer outstanding features — even for a certain...

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