Laird Security Systems, a leader in the design, development and manufacture of security products for residential and commercial buildings, has placed orders valued in excess of 150,000, with business software specialists CPiO for a complete, new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that will manage the organisations manufacturing, sales and finance operations.

The new system uses Sage Line 500 manufacturing, distribution and business intelligence software, alongside the Optimiser stock management and inventory forecasting solution, and the potential addition of SalesLogix Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

The complete ERP solution is being implemented at Lairds head office in Tipton, West Midlands and will be used by 200 users across finance, manufacturing and sales. The system will play a key role in enabling Laird to leverage its decision to relocate some manufacturing to the Far East through accurate forecasting to support the longer, 12- week lead times.

Up to 200 users will have access to Sage Line 500, Optimiser and SalesLogix, including remote sales staff. The integrated solution will enable Laird to reduce stock, streamline operations, provide better, faster management information, improve forecasting and react faster to business change.

West Midlands-based Laird Security Systems is the building products division of the Laird Group plc which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company supplies a comprehensive range of security, hardware and sealing products for windows and doors in the UK and North America. It also has a wide range of security and hardware products for the growing uPVC market for window replacement and has a significant share of the new build sector.

CPiOs consultants will implement the Sage Line 500, Optimiser and SalesLogix software, creating a single, integrated ERP system. Implementation consultancy and project management will be accompanied by an education programme to support the roll-out of the software and systems. Laird also plans to invest in regular, monthly consultancy from CPiO to ensure the technology is continually evolved in line with emerging business requirements.

This implementation of the Sage Line 500 system and Optimiser Laird anticipates will enable them to reduce stock holdings by at least 20 per cent, improve timeliness and visibility of financial and manufacturing information, and enhance the forecasting process. The adoption of SalesLogix will improve visibility of stock and product information for customer service and sales staff.

Laird Security Systems Operations Director, Stephen Stewart, explains, Sage Line 500 offers the relational database structure required to provide a foundation for a complete ERP solution. With Optimiser and SalesLogix we will have very good products in each area, rather than one solution that may be weak in some areas. Furthermore, the relational database will ensure rapid access to critical business information, from finance to manufacturing, enabling Laird to meet the needs of our Far East manufacturing site through improved forecasting and market understanding.

Stewart concludes, By improving operational efficiency and reducing stock, Laird expects to achieve a return on investment within 18 months but the benefits will continue. Laird is committed to maximising the value of this investment and, with CPiO, will undertake a constant process of review to ensure we are continually maximising our ERP systems to support business change.

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