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Enterprise resource planning

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Enterprise Resource Planning as a term derives from Material Resource Planning. Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP software can aid in the control of most common business activities, like sales, delivery, billing, production[?], Inventory Management[?], and Human Resource Management[?].

In the early days of business computing, companies used to write their own software to control their business processes. This is an expensive approach. Since many of these processes occur in common across various types of businesses, common reusable software may provide cost-effective alternatives to custom sotware. Thus some ERP software caters to a wide range of industries from service sectors like software vendors and hospitals to manufacturing industries and even to government departments.

Because of their wide application, ERP software systems rely on some of the largest bodies of software ever written. Implementing such a complex and huge software system in a company usually involves an army of analysts[?], programmers, and users, and often comprises a multi-million dollar/yen/euro project in itself for bigger companies, especially transnationals[?].

To implement ERP systems, companies often seek the help of an ERP vendor or of third-party consulting[?] companies. Consulting in ERP involves two levels, namely business consulting and technical consulting. A business consultant studies an organisation's current business processes and matches them to the corresponding processes in the ERP system, thus 'configuring' the ERP system to the organisation's needs. Technical consulting often involves programming. Most ERP vendors allow changing their software to suit the business needs of their customer.

Vendors of popular ERP software include : J.D. Edwards, SAP R/3, Baan[?], Oracle Applications[?], PeopleSoft, Lawson.

For over a year (since when?) several ERP Systems are available for free as Open Source Systems under a royalty-free Open Source License[?]. The packages currently available in stable productionized versions include Compiere and SQL Ledger. As in the case of software from vendors, end-users can customize these systems to suit their own needs.



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