Overview

When you suddenly lose a key project lead on a strategic Lawson project, it can keep you up nights wondering how to keep that project moving forward. For one of the world’s largest bedding manufacturers, they can now rest easy knowing that its business-critical Lawson Accounts Payable (AP) Automation project can continue on despite the loss of its project lead, thanks to Surety Systems.

 

Challenge

The manufacturer has 25 manufacturing plants in North America, and more than 11,000 retail outlets across the United States.

Earlier this year, the manufacturer began a critical project to migrate their AP functionality from its UNIX-based system to the latest IBM “i” Series-based platform running Lawson’s AP Automation, when they found themselves suddenly and unexpectedly without a project lead.

Joining the manufacturer’s IT team on-site in August for a six-week assignment, the Surety Systems consultant hit the ground running. Leveraging his nearly 25 years of Lawson, IBM mid-range, and ERP experience, the consultant built an application that scanned the manufacturer’s entire infrastructure to create a comprehensive picture of the system integration to date.

Lawson AP Automation Project: Challenge

The application helped identify several interface issues between existing native Lawson data, the Lawson platform, and third-party AP software being used, among other configuration problems.

As a result of the audit, we identified between 10-12 programs that we needed to develop or redevelop interfaces for. We also needed to set the right level of customization to optimize the Lawson platform; too much customization could lead to system and process inefficiencies.
the Surety consultant

For example, instead of building a customized application to handle inter-company expense distribution, the consultant demonstrated how to leverage Lawson features to achieve the desired results. Also, the consultant lead the effort to enhance the skill sets of in-house personnel on Lawson and IBM i development. Other improvements included replacement of aging and problematic server software connections between the IBM platform and Sealy’s databases to allow developers to use native SQL databases.

In addition, the consultant worked closely with the manufacturer’s third-party software vendors to develop and implement Lawson “hooks” in the applications to ensure the systems shared data across platforms seamlessly without unnecessary coding or data entry.

 

Solution

The Surety consultant put the manufacturer’s Lawson AP Automation Project back on track after losing a key member of their team. Surety’s extensive background and experience with the Lawson platform is unmatched, and the consultant was just what was needed to move the project forward.

Lawson AP Automation Project: Solution

Based on the initial success of the Surety consultant, the manufacturer has extended its working relationship with Surety to help take the manufacturer’s Lawson AP Automation to full implementation, which is expected to be completely rolled-out later this year.