Why is today’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software so powerful and complex? One needs to not look any further than its history to find the answer. It did not start out as this large all-encompassing software; it started small like many things do and grew to the behemoth it is today.
Let’s take a look at our ERP history.
The first step was going from a manual system (such as pen and paper) to a technology-based software. The early traces of ERP are found in this instance in the 1960’s as MRP (Material Requirements Planning) software. Despite being limited in scope compared to a modern ERP, MRP was a huge upgrading on the manual methods. The primary focuses were scheduling, materials, and production. The key areas it was lacking were financials, sales, and any integration.
The first significant jump in technology for MRP came in the 1970’s. The development of hardware and PCs allowed MRP to evolve into what we call MRP II. Accounting, other financials, employee related components were added to MRP. This opened up the opportunity for many new companies to be interested in the software.
A technology boom occurred in the 1990’s that lined the way for the modern ERP to take shape. Explosive enlargement occurred in hardware and software, leading to the vast software solution we see today. In addition, the Y2K scare was a strong pressure on companies’ being certain their data was secure and safe.