The enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a pillar of nearly every company’s record-keeping and management of business processes. It is essential to the smooth functioning of a business’s accounting and finance functions. In manufacturing and distribution, ERP also can manage inventory and logistics. Some companies use it to handle human resources functions like tracking employees, payroll and related costs.
Partly because of their centrality, ERP systems have been slow to evolve since they emerged in the 1990s. Now, however, ERP systems have begun to change, facilitated by the growing availability of new technologies including cloud computing, collaboration, mobility, analytics and planning, which have the potential to address shortcomings and the most common complaints in today’s systems.