Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - What Is It?

What Is ERP

"Contrary to what many providers may tell you, every ERP solution is not necessarily a manufacturing ERP solution".

So says, T.Lee Wylie, former CIO of Gartner and the creator of the ERP concept.

But ERP does have its original roots in Manufacturing, so let's explain how the term ERP evolved.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the planning of how an organisation's entire resources (e.g. products and raw materials, plant and equipment, employees, customers, suppliers, etc.) are acquired and utilised within the organisation. Thus, ERP software supports all the functionality required to manage the above resources, with the data behind the functionality stored in a single database, or in series of connected databases, accessible to the entire organisation.

The term ERP was initially derived from the term MRP (Material Requirements Planning), functionality that is now incorporated in the Manufacturing module of an ERP system. MRP involves the planning of the materials required to make the finished products included in a company's production schedule. MRP transitioned into MRP II, which included capacity planning to ensure that the production schedule could be met, and then MRP II became ERP to provide an all encompassing term for all of the functionality an organisation required to carry on its business activities.

Software applications in an ERP system include Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management (Sales, Purchasing and Inventory), Financials, Customer Relationship Management, Fixed Assets, and Human Resource Management. The term ERP is generally reserved for large corporations, the global multi-national organisations that the large software companies like SAP and Oracle serve.

Perennial ERP for Enterprise Resource Planning

Perennial ERP has been developed to provide most of the functionality contained in ERP systems for small to medium-sized enterprises (SME's), typically companies employing from 30 to 100 staff and operating out of only a few locations. However, because Perennial ERP has been developed for SME's, it does not have the complexity (or the price) of the large-scale ERP systems. Instead of calling our software Perennial Mini-ERP, we have called it simply Perennial ERP, and it contains the following applications:


  • Sales Quotations
  • Sales Order Processing
  • Sales Invoicing
  • Retail Point of Sale
  • Local and Export Sales
  • Multiple Pricing and Discount Options
  • Sales Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Multi-Year Sales Analysis


  • Purchase Order Processing
  • Supplier Invoicing
  • Import Costing
  • Multi-Year Purchase Analysis


  • Stock Control
  • Multiple Warehouses
  • Product Kits
  • Product Features and Options
  • Serial Number Tracking
  • Stock-Taking
  • Stock Transfers


  • General Ledger
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Accounts Payable
  • Cash Book and Bank Reconciliation
  • Fixed Assets


  • Bills of Materials
  • Operations and Routings
  • Product Costing
  • Master Production Scheduling
  • Rough-Cut Capacity Planning
  • Material Requirements Planning
  • Production Order Generation and Tracking
  • Stock Receipting and Raw Material Usage
  • Work In Progress Valuation

System Administration

  • Multiple Companies, Divisions and Departments
  • User Group Menu Security
  • Audit Enquiry of Changes to Data

Want To Find Out More?

For more on each application outlined above, click on the heading underlined in blue for the application you are interested in.

To download a Product Overview of Perennial ERP for your type of company, click on one of the options below.