10.1.1 What is ERP?

ERP software was born in the 1990s, as a combination of the MRP software (Material Requirements Planning) initially developed by IBM, which over the years evolved into MRP II software (Manufacturing Resource Planning) and basic accounting software. The software has gradually evolved over the years and the term ERP now covers practically any software that manages multiple aspects of the company.1

ERP facilitates the flow of information among different functions within a company, as it combines all business processes and management activities of the enterprise. It provides decision makers with a comprehensive view of the company, whilst covering all its aspects and units, regardless of geographical location and divisions.2

1 Tom Bellinson, BPTrends (2009), The ERP software promise.
2 ERP Overview, January 2000. By Haim Mendelson, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015, email haim@stanford.edu. Research assistance by Korhan Gurkan and Anne Korin is gratefully acknowledged.