Introduction to ERP: The initials ERP originated as an extension of MRP (material requirements planning; later manufacturing resource planning) and CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing). It was introduced by research and analysis firm Gartner in 1990. ERP systems now attempt to cover all core functions of an enterprise, regardless of the organization’s business or charter. These systems can now be found in non-manufacturing businesses, non-profit organizations and governments.
To be considered an ERP system, a software package must provide the function of at least two systems. For example, a software package that provides both payroll and accounting functions could technically be considered an ERP software package
Examples of modules in an ERP which formerly would have been stand-alone applications include: Product lifecycle management, Supply chain management (e.g. Purchasing, Manufacturing and Distribution), Warehouse Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Order Processing, Online Sales, Financials, Human Resources, and Decision Support System.
Some organizations — typically those with sufficient in-house IT skills to integrate multiple software products — choose to implement only portions of an ERP system and develop an external interface to other ERP or stand-alone systems for their other application needs. For example, one may choose to use human resource management system from one vendor, and perform the integration between the systems themselves.