Steel and Lace: Lawson Upgrades M3 for Equipment and Fashion Industries
December 1, 2009 Alex Woodie
Lawson Software last month rolled out separate updates to its i OS-based M3 ERP suite that pertain to its customers in the equipment and rental industry and the clothing industry. A new release of Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental (ESM&R) brings configuration enhancements that should speed deployments, while a standardized interface between M3 and Lawson’s product lifecycle management (PLM) software for the fashion industry should boost supply chain efficiency.
Lawson rolled out the ESM&R version of the M3 ERP suite a year ago to help companies in this field automate industry-specific processes pertaining to sales, claims and warranty management, rentals and leasing, field service and repairs, and materials service management.
With ESM&R version 1.2, which became available in late November, Lawson is delivering software that has already been configured with many of the typical settings used by small and mid size customers. Lawson estimates 70 to 90 percent of the settings have already been set, but customers are free to override the settings if they want.
The focus with version 1.2 is on smaller shops, says Ron Kubera, general manager of Lawson’s Equipment Service Management and Rental Business Unit. “We’re seeing an increased demand from customers–specifically among smaller to mid-market heavy equipment dealers who may be more resource-strained–for solutions that require less time for implementation and are easy to own, update, and operate,” he states in a press release.
Version 1.2 also includes a new Lawson Analytics package that includes 50 pre-configured key performance indicators (KPIs) and 20 pre-built scorecard templates that pertain to the industry. Lawson has also rolled out an OEM Value Content Package that allows equipment dealers to customize the integration and appearance of their applications. In this release, Lawson has focused on integrating more closely with the computer systems of heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar.
Lawson also made some product news on the fashion side of the M3 house, where it shipped a service pack for its Lawson Fashion PLM application.
The big news is the creation of a standardized interface between Lawson Fashion PLM and M3, which will enable customers to more easily transfer style information created in PLM into M3 for sourcing and production. Lawson develops a specialized version of M3 for the clothing and apparel industry, called Lawson Quickstep Fashion.
The new interface will help clothing manufacture and retailers better manage the lifecycles of each product, says Frédéric Champalbert, general manager of Lawson Fashion. “We think of this as ‘holistic PLM,’ which links processes from creative concept through design, product development, planning sourcing, and production–even through to delivery to the retail outlet,” he states in a press release.
Lawson made several other customer-requested enhancements to its Fashion PLM offering, including new “select all” boxes, quick copy buttons, and keyword searches. Lawson obtained its PLM offering with the acquisition of Freeborders‘ PLM division 20 months ago.