Strange Days in Norway for Lawson
February 3, 2009 Alex Woodie
Lawson Software last week announced two System i deals, both of which licensed Lawson’s M3 ERP suite, or an M3 variant. The customers include two units of Stangeland Group, a Norwegian construction company, and J. Barbour & Sons Ltd., a British clothing manufacturer.
ERP upgrades were on the books last year for two units of the Stangeland Group, including Stangeland Maskin, which provides earth moving and excavation services, and Stangeland Kran, which provides heavy duty cranes and transportation services along the entire craggy coast of Norway.
Stangeland Maskin has been a Lawson customer since 1996, and it planned to begin its upgrade to Lawson’s M3 system in June. Initially, Strangeland Kran planned to begin its upgrade to a non-Lawson ERP system in November. However, after analyzing the functionality of both systems, Stangeland Kran decided to switch to the Lawson M3 system, citing better functionality in the equipment service management and equipment rental business, according to Lawson.
Due to the last minute switch to M3, Stangeland Kran did not have a lot of time to implement M3. Teams from Strangeland and Lawson’s professional services group in the Philippines were brought in, and the implementation was completed in just six weeks, meeting the deadline for a simultaneous launch of M3 at both branches of Strangeland.
ERP implementations are notoriously long and costly. Combine that with a the movement of employees and equipment and the opening of new offices, and you have the ingredients of a potential disaster. But the M3 implementation at Strangeland was an example of a software project executed well, says Annelise Osaland, CFO of Stangeland Maskin.
“The Lawson upgrade project coincided with the move of 100 people, 600 trucks, cranes and other equipment to our new office and four adjacent repair shops, along with the change of our network operator, mail system, IT infrastructure, and our equipment,” Osaland says in a press release. “Clearly software projects can be run well.”
Meanwhile, the blokes over at J. Barbour & Sons Ltd. are enjoying their new System i-based implementation of Lawson Quickstep Fashion, a tailored version of the M3 ERP system designed specifically for the clothing industry.
Lawson helps to reduce Quickstep Fashion implementation times by pre-configuring about 70 percent of the core business processes that a clothing company like J. Barbour & Sons is likely to use. The resulting software was a “great fit,” says Brenda Readman-Bell, the company’s finance and IT director.
Along with Quickstep Fashion, the family owned, 100-year-old company implemented several other Lawson products, including Demand Planner, Supply Chain Planner, Warehouse Mobility, and Lawson Smart Office, the two-year-old product that integrates Microsoft Office productivity applications with the M3 interface.
“With our busiest period beginning in June, it was crucial that we found a software vendor that could deliver within a tight timeframe,” Readman-Bell says in a press release. “Just days after signing the contract, Lawson delivered and began installing software and conducting training. This will help position us well for full implementation of the software system.”