The Sheppard Industries Group is rolling out an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to support its operations throughout Australasia.
It will replace a Quanta Unix-based legacy system which was highly modified and designed more for the needs of a retail organisation rather than a distributor running a complex value chain, according to Paul Schnell, the company's CFO.
"We'd been using the previous system for the past 20 years. However, it was no longer able to keep up with our business growth," he said.
The bicycle designer and distributor of the popular Avanti brand is deploying the Lawson M3 Enterprise Management System along with Lawson Business Intelligence suite and related maintenance and services.
The company has offices in Christchurch, Melbourne and Perth.
"Ultimately, the key business driver behind our decision to implement this software was the need to have an integrated solution to improve supply chain management and procurement, and to achieve better results in stock turn," Schnell said.
"We also wanted a system that would allow us to reduce our levels of stock and reduce our numbers of out of stock. This, in turn, will allow us to deliver a better level of customer service at lower cost of working capital."
Modules to be implemented cover finance, supply chain planning, enterprise mobility, demand planner, and sales and marketing automation.
Schnell did consider SAP and Oracle but Schnell said Lawson was more suited to the company's business needs.
Sheppard Industries is currently operating on a Sun Microsystems hardware platform. However, this will be replaced by a central IBM iSeries platform for the new Lawson M3 solution, which will be located at the company's headquarters in Auckland.