Today’s modern ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Software is an incredibly powerful tool. There are so many different modules, features, and components that come with one system it can be not only exciting but also overwhelming. The history of the modern ERP solution is quite interesting as well, but there has always been one focus throughout the decades of changes: help companies function more efficiently. Let’s look at the three primary stages of ERP software history.
Stage 1: Early Development
The root of our modern ERP software solution stems from the early MRP (Material Requirements Planning) software that was developed in the 60’s. It was a large step up from the previous pen and paper system; however, it was very limited in scope. The early MRP systems focused on organization and scheduling pertaining to materials on the manufacturing side. All other aspects of businesses processes still needed their own systems, and the MRP would not integrate the way a modern ERP solution does today.
Stage 2: Initial Advances
The 70’s brought a shift of focus in technology toward hardware and PC’s. With this, MRP evolved into MRP II. MRP II differed because it added other businesses processes such as accounting, other financials, and human relation elements for both internal employees and external customers. With this expansion, the doors opened for many more companies to be a fit for the software, but it came with a heavy price tag as well.
Stage 3: Beginning of Modern ERP
Our modern ERP system began to take form with a big boom in the technology industry in the 90’s. Both hardware and software were experiencing explosive growth and because of this, all core business enterprises were now covered by an ERP software solution. Coupled with the scare of the Y2K, companies were willing to invest in higher level software to protect their data and businesses. This was also the decade that, for the first time, the government and non-profit organizations also bought ERP software on a large scale.
As we look to the future of ERP software, there are a few focuses that companies and ERP vendors are pushing for or working on in potential ERP solutions. Some of these include compatibility for mobile devices, cloud-based software, easier data migration, better integration with other software, easier configuration for users, and affordability. Although there is a lot of exciting features in the works, one thing is for certain; with all the changes and advancements over the past 6 decades, ERP software has never covered more functions and businesses processes than it does today.