Lawson Partnership Expands Food Industry Apps to Livestock Management
February 18, 2008 Dan Burger
Specialized application software and rock-solid reliability was what made the IBM AS/400 a legendary server for so many mid-sized companies around the world. Companies like Lawson Software played a big role in the successes through the years, with ERP applications that were well-suited for specific niches. Food and beverage is one. That industry has seen major operational changes such as mandated regulations in the food safety area and increasingly complex supply chain relationships involving large retail chain stores. It is also affected by fluctuating demand on a local, regional, and global scale.
For more than 25 years, Lawson’s products have provided timely application enhancements that have brought IT system advantages for a host of food and beverage businesses that run their businesses on the AS/400, iSeries, and System i platform.
Lawson Software’s latest move was to expand its industry-specific software and services offerings to the livestock industry, which is primarily a large group of independent suppliers to the meat industry. Lawson and its Europe-based partner Scase, are rolling out software designed specifically for the companies in the farming and production sides of the livestock industry, which has its own unique business processes and operational costs that are addressed with this software.
Scase has provided livestock industry customers with integrated IT systems for 25 years. Its Meat Merit production plant system is designed to help companies comply with meat industry regulations. More specifically, it helps companies log, monitor, scale, scan, and label numerous production processes. Along with Meat Merit, Scase’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES), a system that helps manage industry-specific processes such as cutting, de-boning, sales, and dispatch, will work in conjunction with the Lawson M3 Food and Beverage software to provide enterprise-wide data that increases the amount of data available to production line employees and managers as well as the executives at corporate headquarters.
MES connects data collection devices, such as weigh scales, scanners, drop-point label printers, automatic labeling and reporting, and devices that are key to slaughter facilities. It also manages the flow of information from shop floor to the Lawson M3 Enterprise Management System.
“Addressing diverse food safety regulations and variability in product requirements across regional markets requires real-time visibility into production processes,” said Frode Dahl, managing director, Scase. “In partnership with Lawson, we help livestock companies gain organization-wide insight into their production and supply chain processes, from farm to consumer, to guide decision-making.”
In a similar fashion almost four months ago, Lawson expanded its partnership with Mercatus, a Norwegian company that specializes in providing IT solutions to the European agricultural and aquacultural industries. It also combines livestock management and planning software with Lawson’s M3 Food and Beverage software and other Lawson products.
Mercatus provides the solutions to manage farms and livestock or the “live side” of the process including farm management, budget and costing, as well as production and harvest planning and finished goods analysis.
“These partner products are key elements in a total solution offered to customers in the ‘livestock’ industries, such as aquaculture (farmed fish) and the various meat and poultry industries,” says Rob Wiersma, director of industry strategy for the Food and Beverage unit of Lawson Software. “This allows Lawson to offer a complete end-to-end business solution that includes Mercatus, Scase, Lawson M3 and Lawson Trace Engine, to a food processor. The benefits to the customer include being able to work directly with Lawson and its partners and all products have existing integration to the Lawson M3 Enterprise Management System to reduce the time and expense of integrating products with the back-office systems.”
The M3 software suite was previously known as Movex before Lawson’s acquisition of the Swedish ERP maker Intentia in 2006. M3 today is written in Java, and is typically deployed on the IBM System i platform.