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ERP Software Developments

For a long time ERP software played no role. Until well into the 90s, companies had different software solutions for most business functions. Inventory management, planning, accounting and production control, for example, were automated with our own software packages. The possibility to exchange data with each other was very limited, often not even present at all. Each sub-solution worked with its own database and there were no interconnections. Time and again data related to the same order was re-entered. The communication about orders, customers and the administrative aspects surrounding it was difficult. There was also a lack of overview of the entire business process, which meant that planning, production and administrative handling were mostly done ad hoc. ERP systems changed this by automating the entire business process with one integrated and company-wide automation solution, with one central database that's accessible to all business units (production planning, purchasing, stock management, sales, service, administration, logistics, HRM, etc.). To this day, this integration is still the basis of every software solution.

Application

As a 'successor' of MRP systems (focused on production control), ERP was for a long time exclusively associated with production companies. In the meantime that's no longer the case. In addition to many applications at production companies, the application of this software is also large at service companies in healthcare and business services, at the government and utilities, and so on. The number of sector-specific ERP systems has increased sharply in the last ten years and specific standard solutions are still emerging for more and more business types.

The size of organizations that use ERP software no longer matters. After numerous applications were first developed for large companies in particular, the application of integrated software in SMEs is now normal. Since the introduction of ERP in the cloud, this has even accelerated.

Future of ERP systems

Developments are still going fast, partly due to the large range of ERP solutions and the increasing competition among suppliers. As a result, the user-friendliness of the systems continues to increase and new functionality increases the application possibilities of the ERP systems for large organizations and companies in SMEs.

Developments in cloud solutions are going fast and more and more 'fixed' ERP systems are being replaced by online solutions. The technical reliability and safety of these are now so good that it's becoming more attractive for more and more organizations to purchase ERP software as a service through the internet than to invest substantially once in an ERP solution that's installed on their own hardware.

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