Thesis: Evolution of ERP

Sample Thesis Paper

The development of ERP systems was part of the evolution which began from the simple inventory packages in the early 1960’s (Plossl, 1994, p.6) to material requirements planning (MRP) systems in the 1970’s (Chung & Snyder, 2000). Siriginidi (2000) states that the MRP at its core is a time phased order release system that schedules and releases manufacturing work orders and purchase orders, so that items arrive at the assembly station just as they are required.

In the early 1980’s MRP expanded from a material planning and control system to a company-wide system known as MRP II (manufacturing resource planning) which was capable of planning and controlling virtually all the firms’ resources by integrating the primary functions such as marketing, production and finance and other functions such as engineering, purchasing & personnel into the planning process (Chen, 2001). However, Gupta (2000) states that the shortcomings of MRP II led to the development of a total integrated solution called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in 1990’s which attempts to integrate the suppliers and customers with the manufacturing environment of the organisation. Chen (2001) points out that the key difference between MRP II and ERP is that while MRP II has traditionally focused on the planning and scheduling of internal resources, ERP strives to plan and schedule supplier resources as well, based on the dynamic customer demands and schedules. Siriginidi (2000) states that the scope of ERP implementation encompasses what is often referred to as the value chain of the enterprise.

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