Enterprise resource planning software has changed greatly in the decades since it was first implemented. The original structure of ERP was very monolithic, in that the software was all contained inside a single system and delivered without much in the way of customization. That approach has become much less popular in the time since, although some platforms still come with a very wide array of features that won't all be utilized by all businesses that purchase such a package. The emergence of more modular ERP structures has been one of the major positive developments for businesses, as companies now have more of a say in how they build and use their software.
The need for more flexibility is a major one in the manufacturing and warehousing realms, where overall operations are similar from one organization to another but the specifics of production, resource allocation and financial matters can vary greatly. A modular ERP system helps companies select the components and functionality that best meet unique needs, whether it's time-tracking software for better insight into employee schedules and shifts or mobile warehouse management to better observe the inventory levels in multiple locations. The development of more modules that incorporate mobile technology and allow businesses more flexibility in accessing and analyzing information no matter the physical location of a staff member or factory.
Growth will come in many different forms
No type of software or hardware will succeed if it sits stagnant while alternatives develop in other areas. ERP makers are trying to meet the changing demands of the market in a variety of ways. Global expansion of large companies is becoming a more common situation in the manufacturing and warehousing fields, and vendors are offering more agile solutions to managing geographically disparate locations that serve the same business. A report from technology research group TechNavio showed that ERP is becoming more common across the globe, especially in developing countries. Techday pointed to a number of functional trends that are expected to arise in the ERP market, including increased functionality related to the "Internet of Things." This change will make itself known in the future as more machinery is manufactured with the ability to communicate information to ERP systems.
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