Enterprise resource planning is the term used to define managing the resources within a business using software tools. There are lots of enterprise resources planning software available from different vendors. The term enterprise resource planning was derived from another similar process called as ‘Manufacturing resource planning’.
Material resource planning is also a software based management of inventory and product productivity managing. It was also used for managing the process of manufacturing. Enterprise resource planning got evolved from material resource planning when the software architectures got ‘routing’ as one of its major part.
Material resource planning didn’t take care of capacity planning of a company. The method of finding the capacity of production which the organization requires and meeting the demands in the market is termed as capacity planning. As with increase in the demand and supply of products got increased, demand for software which could manage capacity planning also got increased.
By incorporating capacity planning, material resource planning got changed into enterprise resource planning. Enterprise resource planning handled every operation within a company like inventory, shipping, invoicing, manufacturing, accounting and logistics. Every business units present in the company like human resource management, quality management, marketing, sales, billing, delivery and inventory management are also covered by ERP.
Before ERP was developed, many software were available just to manage an individuals to manage their income. But, with the complexity involved in managing resources for corporations, many vendors started developing software in the name of ERP. During the 1990’s period, many companies faced the Y2K problem. The systems other than ERP didn’t have the capability to eliminate this problem. Many companies which foresaw this Y2K problem thought wisely and they started replacing existing systems with ERP systems.
From then on, the ERP systems had a boost in their production. We can say that, a considerable amount of risk involved in the Y2K was reduced to a huge amount by the ERP systems. There was a rapid growth in sales after companies started implementing ERP.
ERP systems are sometimes called as back office. This is because, ERP systems doesn’t include data which are related to customer or general public. They are not directly involved in this system instead only the information which are closely related to the company are take into account by ERP. But, this may not be 100% correct. Because, a type of ERP called as customer relationship management ( CRM ) deals with data directly related to customers. This type of ERP is called as front office.
In the early 2000’s, the term ‘ERP II’ got evolved. This is to indicate that the next generation of ERP software was available. ERP II based software had many more new features included. The key feature is that they came as web-based. This ensured that there is a real time access to the systems for everyone including customer, suppliers and to the employees. Now, the ERP software is being called as Enterprise Application Suite or EAS. EAS systems are now including every segments of the business and using browsers as thin clients, information is made available to its users.