- Among the several application areas supported by the enterprises systems, the earliest supported application pertains to the management of demands. ERP started out in the 1960’s as inventory control packages, became Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) in 1970’s, Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP II) in the 1980’s, Enterprise Resource Planning in 1990’s and today known as the Extended Resource Planning. (Rashid, 2002) The main focus of the MRP was to manage the planning and scheduling of required materials of products with complex compositions. It uses production requirements, inventory levels and sizing procedures as a contributory factor in scheduling operations and purchases of raw materials requires.
The original MRP later advanced to support the integration of other business activities across functional departments of with the ultimate goal of improving the performance and gaining competitive advantage. The common application modules being served by ERP’s involves the financial, customer –relation support, manufacturing processes, performance management, inventory control and human resources. (Wailgum, 2013)
The 2000’s has been tagged as the ERP II era as the previous ERP providers raced to provide customers with web-based ERP systems. This has paved way to having ERP applications that didn’t only focused on office functions attached to the functional departments but as well as “expanding to embrace strategic functions such as e-business relationships (EBR), supply chain management (SCM) and e-commerce services.” (http://ecommerce.hostip.info)
SAP has been the hottest ERP provider for the past years followed by Oracle and Microsoft. It holds the largest share in terms of market share at 22%. (ERPNews, 2012) The German-based company offers ERP services for B2B companies which are cloud-based aside from the common ERP application.
- The definition of knowledge management has been an issue among technical experts as single definition can’t be decided, however, most of the experts who have given it a definition seem to have common idea as to what knowledge management really is. Garner’s Groups however provides a definition that has been accepted by most. According to them knowledge management is a “discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously uncaptured expertise and experience in individual workers.” (Yang and Lynch, 2006) Knowledge Management System on the other hand, are the technologies used to support creation, transfer and application of knowledge in and among organizations to improve business performance.
Communities of practice are groups of people with common goals who communicates with each other to share best practices. Knowledge management is therefore is highly related to communities of practice since the two have the same objectives, that is to identify, capture, retrieve and share information. With these, individuals who may not have known each other before are given a chance to interact with each other and share information that may later be a source of a better idea or information. Because more and more people will gets involved in the process, a community is then later developed. (Wenger, 2006)
ERPNews (2012). Comparing SAP, Microsoft and Oracle. Retrieved from http://www.erpnews.net/157/comparing-sap-oracle-and-microsoft/
http://ecommerce.hostip.info (2013). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - EARLY DEVELOPERS OF ERP SYSTEMS, IMPACT OF THE INTERNET ON ERP SYSTEMS. Retrieved from http://ecommerce.hostip.info/pages/419/Enterprise-Resource-Planning-ERP.html#ixzz2RA3SL2Tj
Rashid, Mohammad (2002). The Evolution of ERP Systems: A Historical Perspective. Retrieved from http://odo.lv/xwiki/bin/download/Training/ERP/193070836XExcerp.pdf
Wailgum, Thomas (2013). ERP Definition and Solutions. Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/40323/ERP_Definition_and_Solutions?page=6#fail
Wenger, Eithein (2006). Communities of Practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/
Yang, Wenxiang, & Lynch, Beverly P. (2006). "On Knowledge Management and the Role of the Library in the Process of Knowledge Management," Chinese Librarianship: an International Electronic Journal, no.21 (June 1, 2006). URL: http://www.iclc.us/cliej/cl21YangLynch.htm