Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Computerization for industry has come a long way over the past 50 years. Focus was first given to accounting before it was realized that there was a higher degree of savings in inventory control. Eventually, with the addition of modules such as scheduling, purchasing, and order entry, some systems became capable of MRP, or Materials Requirements Planning. This was later broadened to cover the full scope of manufacturing from initial product design to delivery and follow up. These systems were known as MRP II or Manufacturing Resource Planning. Today’s software has broadened even further to cover not just manufacturing but any enterprise and hence are referred to as ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning systems. Although the modules are expensive, the training and installation of these systems is the major investment. Allowance has to be made for a proper data loading and startup otherwise the benefits will not be realized and the system could even be aborted creating a major investment loss. There are many systems on the market so a proper selection process is essential to provide a good fit. The result can be a major leap in the success of the enterprise.