Enterprise resource planning systems are currently almost omnipresent in the realm of big business and continuously gaining ground among SME’s and small businesses. Firms that have adopted this technology have realized the benefits of this useful tool in resource planning and enhancing overall business performance.
The history of ERP systems is intertwined with that of computing in general. The forerunners of modern enterprise resource planning solutions came on to the scene along with the first commercially available computers. Known as Inventory control packages (IC), this early model dealt with stock control. This era lasted about a decade.
IC’s gave way to Materials requirements planning systems in the 1970’s. The major contribution of these systems was the improvement of the production planning process. This was enhanced in the 1980’s when additional functionality enabled businesses to merge production processes with materials planning (MPII). MP II also encompassed modules to handle HR, distribution chain, engineering and project management.
This gave way to enterprise resource planning systems in the 90’s. The extended capability of the MP II means that ERP’s can use a single database to manage and synchronize all business processes even in multi-site environments. There is no letup in the evolution of ERP in the modern era as vendors try to bring in advanced planning, CRM and other features to enhance the role of ERP systems in business.