Difference Between ERP & MRP

by Bob Turek ; Updated September 26, 2017
ERP and MRP are used by companies to perform business processes.

ERP and MRP are acronyms for software technology that enables people to perform company processes. Both also refer to a completed implementation, or use, of software. ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, and MRP is short for material requirements planning or manufacturing resource planning.


MRP is usually a part, or a subset, of ERP, depending on the industry. MRP typically is used in manufacturing companies. ERP can apply to any company.

Business Processes

ERP and manufacturing resource planning can apply to all business processes in a company, including manufacturing, planning, finance, order management, inventory, distribution and purchasing. Material requirements planning usually refers to the material planning processes in a manufacturing company.

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ERP can include supporting technology such as networks, databases and hardware; it is often viewed as a backbone system that supports other systems or technology. Material requirements planning, usually refers to business process-enabling software.

Project Scope

Implementations involving ERP are broader in scope and impact on processes and people than MRP. Material requirements planning is often referred to as a module within either manufacturing resource planning or ERP.

Complementary Technology

Product life cycle management (PLM), customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise asset management (EAM) and supply chain management (SCM) can be viewed as additional software outside the scope of ERP and MRP.

About the Author

Bob Turek started writing in 1994 for "The Performance Advantage" magazine. His book "Value Selling Business Solutions" draws on technology industry experiences gained from his position as director of business development for Infogain's cloud CRM for customer support operations practice. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and psychology from Claremont McKenna College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

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