Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.

ERP is usually referred to as a category of business-management software — typically a suite of integrated applications—that an organization can use to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from these many business activities.

ERP provides an integrated and continuously updated view of core business processes using common databases maintained by a database management system. ERP systems track business resources—cash, raw materialsproduction capacity—and the status of business commitments: orders, purchase orders, and payroll. The applications that make up the system share data across various departments (manufacturing, purchasing, sales, accounting, etc.) that provide the data.[1] ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions and manages connections to outside stakeholders.[2]

Enterprise system software is a multibillion-dollar industry that produces components supporting a variety of business functions. IT investments have become the largest category of capital expenditure in United States-based businesses over the past[which?] decade. Though early ERP systems focused on large enterprises, smaller enterprises increasingly use ERP systems.[3]

The ERP system integrates varied organizational systems and facilitates error-free transactions and production, thereby enhancing the organization’s efficiency. However, developing an ERP system differs from traditional system development.[4] ERP systems run on a variety of computer hardware and networkconfigurations, typically using a database as an information repository.[5]

The Gartner Group first used the abbreviation ERP in the 1990s[6][7] to extend upon the capabilities of material requirements planning (MRP), and the later manufacturing resource planning (MRP II),[8][9] as well as computer-integrated manufacturing. Without replacing these terms, ERP came to represent a larger whole that reflected the evolution of application integration beyond manufacturing.[10]

Not all ERP packages developed from a manufacturing core; ERP vendors variously began assembling their packages with finance-and-accounting, maintenance, and human-resource components. By the mid-1990s ERP systems addressed all core enterprise functions. Governments and non–profit organizations also began to use ERP systems.[11]

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