Lawson , a provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software applications, has signed a contract with Rip Curl, to deploy the Lawson M3 Enterprise Management System to help improve its global supply chain operations.
The contract was signed during Lawson’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, which ended May 31, 2007.
Headquartered in Torquay, Victoria, Rip Curl makes and markets a unique range of wetsuits, surfwear, mountainwear (protective outerwear, as well as insulating layers for skiing and snowboarding) and footwear, plus a range of accessories such as custom-made surfboards, watches eyewear and backpacks.
Rip Curl’s customers include major surfwear retailers, department stores and sports stores in Australia and overseas in markets including Europe, the US, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand. Additionally, the company also supplies its own chain of global stores.
As part of the agreement, Lawson will provide Rip Curl with software licenses and services to help improve its business process efficiencies and support the company’s global expansion plans.
The project will include a comprehensive rollout of the Lawson M3 system, incorporating CRM, Demand Planner, Business Intelligence, eSales and Enterprise Mobility solutions.
“A key business driver behind the company’s decision to implement the Lawson solution is to align Rip Curl’s global business operations to improve communication and the sharing of financial, supply chain and operational information,” said Michael Daly, chief financial officer for Rip Curl.
“We’ve been operating globally in markets like the U.S. and Europe for more than 20 years. Up to now, we’ve used a number of disparate legacy systems across several different regions, none of which talk to each other. 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.”
By implementing the Lawson M3 system, Rip Curl will be positioned to unite these disparate systems under one global system and establish standardised and consistent business process around the world.
“To meet our continuing expansion goals, we need a lot more transparency and integration of information across the business. To achieve this, we’ve chosen to partner with Lawson and implement its ERP solutions,” said Daly.
“The Lawson M3 solution was best suited to meet our industry-specific needs,” added Daly.
“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.”
“When we spoke to other Lawson users in the industry, we received excellent feedback about the general stability of the M3 solution, as well as the fact that Lawson is a reliable vendor and a good partner to work with. We also gained a better understanding of the cost effectiveness of Lawson’s offering through these discussions. We are now confident that we have made the right decision to partner with Lawson.”
The Lawson M3 solution will provide Rip Curl with advanced global supply chain functionality, allowing it to significantly reduce the risks around buying.
“At the moment, we have little transparency on our data around the world. Therefore, it’s difficult for us to make an accurate judgement of what inventory we already have, what we need to buy in the future, what’s selling, what’s not, and when stock is due to be dispatched and arrive,” said Daly.
“The M3 solution will allow us to share data and manage our inventory globally rather than regionally. The demand planning tools included in the suite will also help us to become better decision makers, and better manage our supply chain right through from placing orders initially with the suppliers, to order fulfilment with our customers.”
The Lawson M3 solution will offer a number of business benefits to Rip Curl, including enhanced financial management processes through increased data visibility.
On the distribution side of the business, Rip Curl expects to see improved accuracy in planning, forecasting and shipping. It also anticipates enhancements to sales, order and inventory management processes, as well as better analysis of suppliers for sourcing decisions.
On the warehousing side, the Lawson M3 Enterprise Mobility solution will deliver further benefits to Rip Curl including improved workload planning, and better item picking and packing processes.
Rip Curl will also be looking for gains across its manufacturing business following the completion of the M3 roll out. This includes improved management around material and capacity constraints, as well as improved quality control, and more efficient use of resources.
“Once the new Lawson system is deployed, we expect to improve the speed at which we can deliver goods to stores and customers around the world, while at the same time significantly reducing risks of overbuys and mismanagement of our inventory,” said Daly.
“This deal demonstrates our strength in the fashion apparel industry and helps solidify our reputation as a leading provider of business software to companies operating in this sector,” said Stephen Moore, managing director for Lawson in ANZ.
“Rip Curl can see the benefits of using a system specifically designed to meet their needs; a solution that offers the best possible TCO and vertical market functionality. We’ve also very pleased that Rip Curl saw the value of our direct services model, which offers a strong global roll out proposition. Furthermore, our “Smart-client” interface and associated productivity tools will support Rip Curl’s business in a truly global, real-time manner.”
The new contract adds one of the popular lifestyle fashion brands in Australia to Lawson’s already formidable base of iconic fashion and apparel customers in ANZ, which includes brands such as 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. Following this, implementation is currently expected to be completed in Europe and U.S. and Canada before the end of 2008, and then Brazil and Asia during 2009.