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Lawson AP Automation Project

Leveraging Native Features

Overview

When you suddenly lose your project lead on a strategic Lawson project, it can keep you up at 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 their business-critical Lawson AP Automation project can continue on despite the loss of a key player.

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Challenge

A manufacturer began migrating their accounts payable functionality from a UNIX-based system to the latest IBM “i” Series-based platform running Lawson’s AP Automation when they unexpectedly found themselves without a project lead.

 

Solution

Surety’s experienced Infor Lawson consultant built an application to identify interface issues between native Lawson data, the Lawson platform, and third-party AP software being used.

Result

Surety’s consultant put the project back on track after the company lost a key member of their team, as well as led an effort to enhance the skill sets of in-house personnel on Lawson and IBM i development.

“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.”

The Challenge

The manufacturer has 25 manufacturing plants in North America and more than 11,000 retail outlets across the United States. The manufacturer began a critical project to migrate their accounts payable functionality from its UNIX-based system to the latest IBM “i” Series-based platform running Lawson’s AP Automation when they unexpectedly found themselves without a project lead.

 

The Solution

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 Lawson process automation consultant built an application that scanned the manufacturer’s entire infrastructure to create a comprehensive picture of the system integration to date.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, the consultant identified 10-12 programs that needed to have interfaces developed or redeveloped. It was critical to set the right level of customization to optimize the Lawson platform, as too much customization could lead to system and process inefficiencies. 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.

The Result

Surety’s expert Lawson consultant put the manufacturer’s AP Automation Project back on track after the company lost 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. Based on the initial success, 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.

The consultant also led an 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 the client’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.

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