It’s pretty common nomenclature in my daily interactions, but I realize many people may not be familiar with the term “ERP.” Enterprise Resource Planning. And spelling it out doesn’t necessarily make the concept any clearer. Oracle offers a good description here.
I have pretty much lived and breathed ERP for two decades, so I think I have a pretty good understanding of the concept. A little history. The term ERP originated in the 1960s, when companies were trying to figure out planning for their resources such as general ledgers, inventory, people, and processes. They were looking for a solution that would encompass all of what they needed in order to perform well for their customers as well as lead to better margins and drive revenue higher. In the 70s, computers appeared in distribution processes through programs such as SHIMS. It was at this time that we began to see the evolution of the Enterprise Resource Planning concept that eventually became what we today know as ERP.
Since the heart of a true ERP is transactions and history, it’s particularly relevant to drill down further into what Eclipse has within it, hopefully resulting in some knowledge that will help with future business decisions. From the very early stages, the software ERP was designed to do everything for your business. Software manufacturers had a goal of having all transactions live within the software so that a user could make timely decisions about selling, accounting, and purchasing, which then translated to more efficiencies in the workplace. At its core, Eclipse has attempted to be all things to all customers from the very beginning.
So, what has changed in the ERP space since the concept first came onto the scene? For starter, the Internet, and shortly thereafter, Apple, Google, and of course, Amazon. In fact, I’d go as far to state the software landscape is drastically different presently than it was when the concept of ERP became mainstream. Think about it. If the software originated before the Internet, how could the structural architecture have ever been outfitted for the possibility of eCommerce? The short answer: it couldn’t.
And so, as the world progressed and evolved around the Eclipse ERP, I’ve spent some time thinking about the components I think truly need to be a part of an ERP in today’s landscape. Put another way, if I was writing the ideal ERP today, I would focus on these four user interfaces and then integrate the general ledger experience into the new platform.
Want to read more about the four user interfaces Zerion’s Founder and Consultant Tony King envisions in the ultimate ERP? Check back for part 2 of this blog where he’ll also discuss the limitations of the Eclipse ERP and rate just how key elements such as Eclipse’s demand planning and reporting functions fall short.