There are many software solutions on the market today which label themselves ERP. But which ones are actually Manufacturing ERP?
To understand this, one needs to understand the high level history of ERP. The whole ERP evolution initially began years ago with MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning). Software which helped a manufacturer manage its inventory and purchasing. Considering schedule of demand (orders), on hand inventory, outstanding purchase orders and expected receipts, MRP helped manufacturers determine future requirements for planning purchase of materials to meet that demand.
MRP II then came along in the 1980s to expand the concepts and use of MRP to other functional areas in the enterprise such as engineering, marketing, and finance.
In the 1990s, the entire enterprise became part of the planning process and the term ERP was coined. But as ERP has rolled out, many non-manufacturing applications have evolved. The definition has evolved as the M (manufacturing) was replaced by E (Enterprise). There are now ERP systems which have zero or very limited inventory control, no shop control and scheduling, no capacity planning or lot serial tracking. So the basic concepts of ERP may no longer really cover a manufacturer’s requirements.
When evaluating ERP software, manufacturers need to consider the vendor focus. Is the software vendor focused on manufacturing? If not, their ERP system may not be a manufacturing ERP at all. If the core software does not include MRP functionality, the ERP solution may not be for manufacturers.
To learn more about our manufacturing focused ERP modules, check out our ERP Solution page here.