ERP otherwise known as Enterprise Resource Planning is a modern application of the Information Technology system, which historically has been one of the most commonly used software systems in the business world. This system has evolved over the past 50 years to meet the demands of strategic planning, manufacturing, inventory control logistics, accounting and many other aspects of personal and professional lives. While many of us use applications and parts of ERP, we may not be aware of the process that brought it into being. The ERP software history is compelling and shows quite well how products evolve to meet the needs of the consumers.

During the 1960’s computers were not part of everyday life as they are now, all software was new and confusing to the layman. Manufacturing businesses concentrated their energy on activities involving inventory control, simple spreadsheets, and paper copies of all orders in and out. As the industries grew, their focus had to evolve and shift to Material Requirement Planning or MRP, which meant streamlining the paperwork end of the business and keeping as much of it as possible in one place.

By the 1970’s the MRP program included scheduling, materials requirements, and assembly lines scheduling as well as procurement and purchasing. This incarnation made the software useful for a wide variety of businesses that it would not have worked for in the beginning. By making several applications integral to the program it could be adapted to fit many different types of businesses from retail, to auto repair.

As the 1980’s moved in the system added more functions making MRP II even more universal as “the” business software solution. MRP II handled a full range of business activities from engineering, development, HR, advertising and even client lists and event planning. As more features were added to the software it became much more stable and user friendly as well as being more of a one stop approach to all business planning.

This most recent incarnation of the original Information Technology System has become known as ERP, which is everything and nothing like the original. In some ways the program is entirely different and in others it has kept the basic premise of organizing and consolidating all the facets of business in one place.

While essentially developed by and through businesses for businesses, ERP has shown over the test of time that it is a complete interface that will enable everyone from a home based business to the largest of corporations to manage all the different aspects of running a business using just one software program. Many individuals also use ERP to help manage their lives. Imagine not needing separate software programs for banking, vacation planning, and tax information, which is a benefit of ERP and one thing it can do for you as an individual.

While ERP itself is fairly new, the technology and history behind it, in all of it’s incarnations stand to show that it is not a frivolous product and has been developed to meet the changing needs of resource planning and business day to day operations. From the first computers used in business to today’s PC’s and laptops this software has stood the test of time and shown that the benefits of ERP is the universal answer, to whatever your business is facing, from client increases to business expansion and even employee vacations.


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