“We’ve been doing MRP for how many years? And we still can’t get it right?” Well, not so much anymore for a single plant / single location but when it comes to a large complex international organization, the troubles and struggles continue. And now the discussion has tuned to Omni-Channel or Customer Engagement.

It was the late 1950’s when in Racine, WI BOMP was born. Bill of Materials Processor (BOMP) was the foundation of today’s MRP/DRP/ERP systems. The point of this isn’t to provide a history lesson. If you want to know the history of MRP it can easily be found on the web. The point here is that over the last 50 plus years, (getting closer to 60 years) systems continue to change. Today the Internet of Things (IoT) and Omni-Channel are talked about as if these are systems you can easily “plug and play”. Fact is, you can’t just “plug them into existing systems” and they probably don’t “play nice with your current technology”.

The limitations of systems are two-fold:

  • Not enough computing power (hardware)
  • Software not sophisticated enough to handle specific company needs

Always has been, always will be those limitations ” thus the invention of BoB (Best of Breed) software. The “Hardware fix” is relatively easy, wait long enough and the hardware will run faster. And/or, BoB is usually a smaller subset of large ERP programs that don’t take as much computing power so they are faster and easier to operate. However, the software is a different animal.

If you think about the history of software, it has always been “behind the times” when it comes to what people want it to do. This of course is common sense because until someone thinks about what they want, it will not get designed and programed. The problem is, organizations (usually large consulting firms) like to “coin new phrases” and pretend they’ve invented something new. Going back to the late 1950’s when in Racine, WI they developed BOMP, you think all they wanted was a Bill of Material Processor? Of course not. What they wanted was a system that could do a multi-plant plan that gave the customer exactly what they wanted. Today they call that the Omni-Channel.

Over the next several posts, we’re going to look at how we can get more out of the software we have, plus examine what all the new terminology means, and who knows, maybe we’ll even “coin a few new phrases” of our own.


Clark Green

Clark brings a deep level of experience with ERP companies to KnowledgePath Consulting. He has strong leadership skills, and demonstrated success in manufacturing, supply chain, business unit, and operations performance in multiple industries.