Rip Curl catches new SCM system

Global, not regional, information management

Surfing products giant Rip Curl will implement a new supply chain management system in an effort to improve its global operations.

Rip Curl will deploy Lawson Software's M3 Enterprise Management System including the CRM, Demand Planner, Business Intelligence, eSales, and Enterprise Mobility modules.

The agreement includes software licences and services from Lawson.

Headquartered in Torquay, Victoria, Rip Curl exports its surfware products around the world and manages its own chain of retail stores.

Rip Curl chief financial officer Michael Daly said a key business driver behind the company's decision to choose Lawson is to align the global business operations to improve communication and the sharing of financial, supply chain, and operational information.

"We've been operating globally in markets like the US and Europe for more than 20 years [and] up to now, we've used a number of disparate legacy systems across several different regions, none of which talk to each other," Daly said. "This has meant decision makers within our business have had a limited ability to share information and carry out central sourcing, which can potentially impact on our margins."

Lawson pipped SAP and Microsoft to win the Rip Curl contract, according to the company. Rip Curl executives also spoke to existing Lawson customers in the fashion apparel industry.

"While some of the other vendors we spoke to said they had functionality specific to the fashion apparel industry, once we dug a little deeper it became apparent that there were obvious gaps in their offerings," Daly said.

The new software is also expected to improve the visibility of its inventory globally.

Other local Lawson customers include RM Williams, Kathmandu, and Quiksilver.

The Rip Curl Lawson M3 implementation project is due to go live in Australia and New Zealand by July 2008. Europe, US and Canada are expected to be complete before the end of 2008, and then Brazil and Asia during 2009.

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