Lawson Software claims its QuickStep technology provides a pre-configured solution specificallyfor food and beverage manufacturers that can reduce implementation times by about 50 per cent.
ERP software integrates all data and processes of an organisation into a single unified system,in theory making it easier for companies to make their operations more efficient and responsive tochange.
However difficulties with the technology and a lack of understand can hamper companies fromrealising the benefits of an automated data network that integrates previously separate processessuch as manufacturing operations, supply chain, financials, human resources, and warehouse management.Smaller companies also may often not have sufficient IT resources to implement ERP across theirnetworks.
A typical ERP system will use multiple components of computer software and hardware with accessto a single, unified database.
The QuickStep suite contains the latest version of Lawson's M3 Enterprise Management Suite, released in November 2005. The QuickStep speeds up implementation by pre-configuring 70 to 90 per cent of the key processes required by companies in the food and beverage industry, the company claimed.
It was designed to meet the industry's specific needs and provides full-functionality, said Jim Anderson, executive vice president of the company's global services unit.
"Customers can implement QuickStep in three to six months, less than half the time required for a typical ERP implementation, which reduces internal and external costs," saidAnderson. "Many mid-market companies find traditional, full ERP implementations too time-consuming and expensive, yet they don't want limited industry-specific functionality or bolt-on industry additions. QuickStep addresses these issues for food and beverage companies."
Lawson says its ERP is designed to help company's manage the high number of transactions faced bythe food and beverage industry supply chain, plan and execute customer deliveries and shipments down to the minute,reduce waste and manage shelf-life, meet safety, traceability and quality assurance standards,implement pricing and promotion campaigns with retailers, plan manufacturing and materials usage on a daily and hourlytime scale and optimise product yields.
The software can also be used to plan for recipes using by-products and scrap, and carry out detailed profitability and customer service analyses.
Lawson said Monkhill Confectionery, a division of Cadbury Trebor Bassett, is one UK foodmanufacturer currently using QuickStep.
The initial project will license 100 users. Monkhill hopes to gain greater transparency across the supply chain.