The History of ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning system has a long history which stretches way back to the 1950s. It has evolved drastically over the last 50-60 years to cope with the changing demands of people in various departments of business. Technology was not a very friendly face in the 1960s. Thus, the history of ERP is unknown to most people. The earlier systems were based on automation for individual functions like financial account or inventory management. Reasonable growth of the Enterprise Information System could be detected.  We see that as technology develops, people’s demands keep on changing. It becomes more progressive. This led to the formation of ERP.

 
The process of a more efficient method for maintaining records was started by the Manufacturing industry. ERP is born out of Manufacturing Requirements Planning (MRP). The initial MRP solutions were extremely costly. They required a large number of personnel to support the mainframe computers on which they run. The ERP system functions extended beyond the internal use of an individual’s manufacturing firm. The benefits of the system were soon recognised by the people. By the 1970s when computers became a more common face this system became popular. MRP utilizes software applications for scheduling the production processes. It generates schedules for the operations and purchase of raw materials based on the production requirements of finished goods, the structure of the production system, the current inventories levels and the lot sizing procedure for each operation. It tapped into the master production schedule and allowed businesses to plan the parts and product requirements.
 
The 1980s saw a new and more refined system in the form of MRP II. It was a more accessible tool. This software coordinated materials and production requirements extending services to:
  • The shop floor
  • Finance
  • Human Resource
  • Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Distribution Management
MRP II was made more universal. The purpose behind the new additions made was to make the software more user friendly with more than one approach to business.
 
The 1990s experienced an explosive growth of technology. It marks the advent of ERP which was an extended version of MRP II. Multi-module application software for improving the performance of the internal business processes was used. It includes application modules supporting marketing, finance, accounting and human resources. It uses a single database for storing all the data that keeps the process running smoothly, thereby ensuring visibility, accessibility and consistency.

 

Today the growth of ERP systems is phenomenon. It can be used in all forms- computers, laptops, cell phones, clouds and analytics. It is no longer outside the budget of small firms. It has been adopted universally.  It covers every aspect of business. The extended ERP systems include- Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management and Advance Planning and Scheduling. The evolution is indeed remarkable. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contributor: Sidhanth

Simplifying The Complications

Technology is considered to be one of mankind’s supreme creations. It has immersed itself into the roots of business. To quote Bill Gates, ‘Information Technology and businesses are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other’. It is interesting to note that the more simplifying the complications to create a technology, the simpler it makes our lives. The progress of technology has shown remarkable scope in business. Gone are the days when we were reliant on huge amounts of space for storage of data, and large number of personnel to maintain and collect data. Moreover, it has made sharing very effortless. The barrier of distance has been solved. The concept of cloud computing has further played a huge role. It allows data to be stored online. With such contributions, there is no mystery to why businesses are becoming so reliant on technology.

     Ever wonder why most of newly created businesses are apps? There is an assumption that people will own smart phones, laptops and computers. In 2015, Cisco, networking solution giant predicted India to experience a manifold growth in the number of smart phones to over 650 million in the next four years. According to the company’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) global mobile data traffic forecast for 2014 to 2019, the number of tablets is expected to hit more than 18 million. India is considered one of the fastest growing internet markets. The growth rates are astonishing. Despite being a country which most of the world assumes to be backward, it has shown immense potential in the field of technology. It has shaped up to be one of the most attractive markets for investors which are made known by the huge amounts of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) the country receives.
      
     The taste of technology is addictive. Once used, there is no going back. Why would you want to go back? If a more efficient and easier method exists, why go back to the age old techniques which are not as fulfilling. According to Smartphone User Persona Report (SUPR) 2015 by Vserv, Smartphone users in India spend an average of 169 minutes a day on their devices. Moreover, it has also become a form of lifestyle. With such responses, it is no mystery why most companies are turning all their operations from offline to online mode. From taking the trouble to physically showcase limited products, websites like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon can simply display all their products online. It is more convenient. It has made life simpler.  

            

Contributor:Sidhanth

Changing Sales with CRM

Customer Relationship Management or CRM refers to the principles, strategies and technology that a company uses in order to study the customer’s interaction with the company to improve their business relationship. Despite various arguments, sales with CRM has become essential in every firm. Big or small, CRM has made itself an indispensible function. Several decades ago, CRM functioned only to serve the needs of big firms. They were too costly and too complicated for the smaller firms. However, with technological progress this is no longer the case. Open-source and cloud-based solution have made sure that size is no longer an issue towards the usage of CRM.

         Service is an important aspect in the marketing process. Hence, it is necessary to make sure it is delivered optimally to the consumer. CRM solves also these problems. It provides a centralised system for managing and optimizing customer relationships. A good CRM helps to improve the work flow, thereby improving productivity. According to a Global Customer Service study, three out of four customers spend more money with a company because of a positive customer experience. Have an effective CRM ensures a good customer experience and helps customer retention. A CRM can increase revenue by a staggering 41 percent, per sales person. With such impressive statistics, the popularity of CRM continues to shoot upwards.

 

         Technological advancements continue to have a positive impact on business. In 2013, 52 percent of marketers found a customer through Facebook while 43 percent found a customer through LinkedIn.  According to the Gartner reports, the market for CRM software surged by 12.5% in 2012 where CRM vendors hauled in $18 billion in revenues, compared to $16 billion in 2011. A comparison of Gartner’s Q1 and Q2 CRM forecasts show just that the CRM growth is accelerating, netting a 56% increase in CAGR in the forecast period (2012 – 2017). The Q4 2012 Forrsights Software Survey reveals that only 47% of the North American and European enterprises questioned have implemented a CRM solution in the form of a marketing, sales or customer service application. 13% reported that they planned to adopt a CRM solution within the next 12 months, while a further 12% indicated that they were planning for CRM implementation in the longer term. The CRM market is expected to grow to $36.5 billion by 2017. This shows that CRM is slowly gaining momentum and companies are fast catching up to the technological growth for easier solutions. 

References:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2013/06/18/gartner-predicts-crm-will-be-a-36b-market-by-2017/#1827b35ac1ec
https://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/crm/crm-jumps-12.5-percent-in-2012-gartner.html
https://www.gartner.com/doc/2371315

 

Contributor: Sidhanth

How ERP improves decision making in Business?

Decision making in business is an important function. The capacity of a business firm to make the right decision at the right time in the right place is extremely essential. ERP is a tool which facilitates this function of business. It helps to accumulate heaps of raw data in a composite manner and compiles it in a meaningful and suitable manner to make sure decisions can be made based on the data collected.

The ERP tool saves time. All the work of compilation which would otherwise require extensive personnel is avoided. This helps the company to make quick decisions which is important to gain advantage in this competitive business world. Awareness is another important aspect in business. An integrated end-to-end ERP system helps to get immediate notifications about any business activity of the firm. Any activity in any department of the company is instantly shared with the entire system. This helps the top management to detect any present or potential problems which are or might occur in the future. It also helps them identify shortcomings in any department which may lead to hindering the progress of the company. ERP is a good way to bridge the gap between office and field work. It is a universal storehouse for data.

 The following represent some of the basic function of how ERP can improve in the decision making process of business:
  • Track and Report Business Financial Performance: ERP helps people understand the stage in which the business currently operates. It doesn’t have to wait for the books to close to judge whether the business is doing well or not. This function can help taking decisions beforehand.
  • Efficient Planning: The plans and policies to be made and implemented can be done using the most up-to-date data. An end-to-end integration of ERP gives one the access to all the data from all the departments and summarizes their transactions.
  • Explore Alternatives: Since ERP stores all the information regarding business, it allows managers to choose from a variety of choices and make the most appropriate decisions which would result in maximum efficiency and benefit the company.

However, ERP decisions vary from organisation to organisation. Every organisation has a separate set of needs. It is very much possible that the decision taken by one organisation may not suit other organisations. ERP may be a pervasive tool but proper analysis is necessary to make sure that the decisions made suit the organisation as a whole.

Contributor: Sidhanth

Tiki-Taka

 

Revolutionised by the Spanish football team Barcelona, tiki-taka is a style of play in football. It involves short passes and movement, working the ball through various channels and maintaining possession. This system proved to be extremely effective. Technology has had a similar impact on business. Rather than just shooting at the goal, the players keeping passing the ball until they find the correct time before taking the shot. Similarly, technology impacts the consumers in every little aspect of their lives, touching key points until it reaches that ultimate goal. This is what has made business unstoppable. The bar has been raised. There is no limit to the heights which a business can reach. Take Uber for instance. Garret Kamp, the co-founder of Uber was working on an app to solve the problem of transportation within the city. He was soon joined by Travis Kalanick, the current CEO of Uber. The main idea was to figure out a solution to finding cars at the right place at the right time. In 2010, Uber was already rolling a couple of black cars in New York simply to test the service. Soon San Francisco joined and then the rest. The idea exploded. Uber is now the leading transport service provider in the world. Valued at $61 billion, the company is seen as the next hundred billion dollar company. All this is the work of technology. With the Uber app, lives of people were touched. They satisfied the safety need, provided assurance of service in the form of a well maintained car. The company then worked itself through various channels and reach out to the world. Using various marketing techniques, it made itself indispensible and finally achieved its goal of being the top dog in the industry.

        We fail to realise the simplicity of technology. People usually perceive it to be complex, something which is beyond their understanding. What technology does is satisfy the simplest of human wants. We want to connect with people, there is Facebook. We want to move around the city, there is Uber. We want to obtain information, there is Google. Slowly and steadily technology has worked its way through various channels, through slow movements into our lives and has made its position supreme.

Contributor: Sidhanth