Is Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP really nothing more than hype from the 1990’s or does it still have a place in today’s ever-changing, global enterprise? When the term was created by the Gartner Group, it had a very specific meaning. Unfortunately in practice, projects tended to be expansive and too encompassing to be successful. Its initial meaning dealt with enterprise back office functions such as financials, human resources, order management, and costing; but the term became so subject to interpretation by vendors and consultants that all products came to be known as ERP and many projects grew to the point of mismanagement and could not be finished in anything less than a year.
The time has come for firms to step back and examine their requirements, evaluate their business processes, and identify clear goals and objectives prior to making any decisions on software applications. Only then, can they expect to achieve the strategic initiatives that have become so elusive in many software implementation projects. Firms that begin the process focusing on acquiring ERP software as their primary objective have already disregarded many avenues of opportunity before giving them proper consideration. This is a path often followed by consulting firms whose concentration is selection and implementation of ERP systems.