Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions and Management

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Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions and Management


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to large commercial software packages that promise a seamless integration of information flow through an organization by combining various sources of information into a single software application and a single database. Although ERP has its roots in more primitive applications, the turn of the century has seen an explosion of research, debate, and information about its evolution and place in the business world. The outcome of ERP itself is still a mystery, but the trends and issues it has created will be the enigma that future generations will have to solve.Today, businesses are striving for integration. Organizations are also transforming their processes to meet demands by becoming more flexible, adaptable, and efficient. Not only is accurate and up-to-date information needed, success in business today entails a seamless flow in supply chain, excellent customer relationship management, and capabilities to carry out electronic commerce. Traditionally, separate units were created within an organization to carry out various tasks, and these functional areas would create their own information systems thereby giving rise to systems that were not integrated. ERP strives to provide a solution to these problems.


In the 1950s, large manufacturing companies produced Material Requirements Planning (MRP), which was created to keep track of all products and materials across one or more plants, and was also used to keep track of needed materials. Two decades later, MRP was extended in the software application called Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II), which not only processed the material portion of the equation, but also the planning process. Taking into account the production schedule, amount of resources available, and other planning requirements, MRP II was a step beyond its predecessor.Both MRP and MRP II were created with the manufacturer in mind, but ERP is more than a material and scheduling application package. ERP software packages are designed to integrate information used by all the functional areas of a business into a single database to streamline business processes for an enterprise. The promise of integration and the benefits that it could produce, coupled with the approach of the new millennium and the Y2K scare, made ERP the most heavily invested software package in the 1990s. Unfortunately, many who tried to implement these packages had to face a much harsher reality