Lawson Software Introduces Package for Heavy Equipment Dealers

Lawson Software recently announced the availability of Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental, a package of flexible business applications designed to help equipment dealers improve customer service and profitability throughout the lifecycle of every piece of equipment they sell or rent.

Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental helps equipment dealers manage equipment from initial sale through its useful life until disposal. It supports integration across a dealer's global supply chains and links back to the equipment manufacturers. It also helps improve integration across the dealer's internal sales, finance, service, warranty and rental departments. This integration is designed to help dealers more quickly process customer orders and warranty claims. The software also helps dealers plan and schedule future service requirements based on the maintenance programs of their customers' equipment currently in the field to help better predict future parts and labor demands.

Finning International, the world's largest Caterpillar equipment dealer, is a pilot customer for Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental. The company has 14,000 employees in Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia. Finning serves a range of industrial markets, including oilsands and mining, forestry, construction, oil and gas, government, marine, transportation and commercial transport.

"Equipment dealers operate so differently from almost any other business, so for Lawson to design a package just for our industry provides a great opportunity to increase profitability and deliver outstanding customer service more efficiently," said Jeff Leigh, vice president of Business Processes and Systems at Finning. "It's all about visibility, from understanding total cost per hour per machine, to developing the right preventive maintenance schedule for each piece of equipment, to being able to quickly get the right warranty information. It simply helps us be more proactive in managing our business."

One of the heavy equipment industry's unique business challenges is providing fast equipment service — whether the equipment breaks down in a remote location or is in a depot for scheduled maintenance. Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental helps dealers improve the efficiency of after-sales service — from breakdown service and hose assembly to machine overhauls — by helping them ensure the right parts, tools and service engineers are available when and where needed. This ultimately helps dealers enhance customer satisfaction by minimizing work-in-progress and equipment downtime.

Efficient scheduling of field service staff is another key business challenge for equipment dealers. "By implementing field service applications, many companies mentioned better visibility into field operations as the primary benefit. This included visibility into not only the location of field staff, but also the service tasks being performed and their status. None of the companies mentioned this as a trust issue. Rather, they were looking for increased visibility to improve scheduling. This increase in visibility often cascaded down into many other benefits, including increased employee and customer satisfaction," wrote William McNeill and Chris Fletcher, AMR Research, in an Oct. 6, 2008, report, "Field Service Landscape: Huge Potential, but Still Addressing Basic Service Needs."

Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental is designed to help dealers improve scheduling of field service technicians to increase billable hours and reduce overtime costs.

Rental companies also can use Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental to help them more effectively manage equipment availability, allocation, delivery and returns. This in turn enables them to proactively schedule equipment maintenance to help reduce the time before the next rental and maximize use of their existing equipment. The new software package is also designed to helps rental companies measure their profitability against performance goals by automatically tracking equipment usage rates and supporting equipment downtime analysis.

Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., Lawson Software provides software and service solutions to 4,500 customers in manufacturing, distribution, maintenance, healthcare and service sector industries across 40 countries. Lawson's solutions include enterprise performance management, supply chain management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, manufacturing resource planning, enterprise asset management and industry-tailored applications.

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