This is Part 2 of a 9 Part Series on the History of ERP.
1950s: The First Business Computers
IBM was continuing to advance computer technology rapidly with the IBM 650 Magnetic Drum in 1954 and the IBM RAMAC 305 in 1956 which featured random access memory – a feature that was incredibly instrumental in the development of any and all computer applications to come.
In “The early road to material requirements planning” published in the Journal of Operations Management in 2006, Vincent A. Mabert writes:
“Paul Bacigalupo, an IBM systems engineer working with American Bosch Armor in Springfield, MA, coordinated a net-change installation for his client in 1959, employing the IBM RAMAC 305 disk-based computer.”
The IBM RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control) computer had only been available for a few short years and was used sparingly in only the largest companies of the time due to it’s incredible cost.
In the early 1950s the only automation available for manufacturers relied on punch cards with tape-oriented computers. This really limited the ability to manage material plans with computers because it took too much effort to feed in cards containing all of the bills of material and there was such limited memory to store those bills in relation to where components were used across other bills of material.
Manufacturers all over the midwest and northeastern parts of the United States were testing the limits of computers of the time but none were able to do too much due to the severe limitations of data storage and memory. However, things were about to change – big time.
Continue to Part 3:
Part 2: 1950s: The First Business Computers (10/11/2016)
Part 3: 1960s: BOMP & the Early Days of MRP (10/13/2016)
Part 4: 1970s: MRP Software Industry (10/18/2016)
Part 5: 1980s: MRP II and PC-Based MRP (10/20/2016)
Part 6: 1990s: ERP, Windows, and The World Wide Web (10/25/2016)
Part 8: 2010s: The Great Cloud Migration (11/01/2016)
Part 9: The Future/Death of ERP Software (11/03/2016)