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Can I use ERP to manage a network of foreign suppliers?

ERP was designed at a time when process management was an internal affair. The systems have lagged behind the explosive growth of globalization and offshore outsourcing of manufacturing. When most U.S. manufacturing was still mostly local, companies could link their ERP systems through expensive electronic data interchange (EDI) connections. But EDI links (and ERP systems themselves) never penetrated much beyond a manufacturers top tier (read biggest, richest) of suppliers, due to the cost of installing and managing the links at the supplier. In third-world manufacturing destinations, even an Internet connection is often a luxury. The market for managing the core ERP information (orders, inventory, etc.) of the extended supply chain, is only now beginning to emerge.

Source: http://www.cio.com/research/erp/edit/erpbasics.html#erp_improve

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