- Location: Sarpsborg, Norway
- Industry: Corrugated Packaging
- Web site: www.peterson.no
"We use the reports and key performance indicators in the system on a daily basis. We can easily review information on our revenue, late orders and on-time deliveries. We make sure that our delivery precision stays on track; we want to deliver the right product to the right customer at the right time, 100% of the time."
Cato Lund, Business Controller | Peterson Packaging
Peterson Packaging implements Epicor business system for improved efficiency across the entire enterprise
Working in four countries, four languages and several currencies, the operation at Peterson Packaging, one of the leading suppliers of paper and packaging solutions in Scandinavia, is complex and unique. In order to better run their challenging business, Norway-headquartered Peterson Packaging decided it was time to change their management information system to a software solution that met the specific needs of their business. In 2006, after the purchases of additional plants in Denmark and Sweden, adding to their established presence in the Norwegian and Finnish markets, Peterson began the search for a new business software system. Peterson was looking for a software solution that could handle the complexities this international corrugated board manufacturer faced, and dispel the challenges of their legacy system.
In 2007, after a thorough evaluation of potential solutions, the project team at Peterson chose the best-of-breed solution that Epicor corrugated business software, BVP, and scheduling software from OM Partners provided. This tailor-made business software solution was guaranteed to enhance every aspect of their business.
Selecting the Right Fit
Prior to the implementation of BVP, the new software system from Epicor, Peterson used IFS as a general business system, and PCTopp for plant scheduling. "The primary reason we were not happy with our legacy solution was because it was not tailor-made for us," says Terje Surdal, Project Manager for the software implementation at Peterson. "The presentation of data was not specific to the needs of our packaging business. As it became increasingly difficult to use this system, we made the decision to start the search for a more appropriate solution."
To ensure a proper evaluation and selection process, Surdal led an implementation team that researched various options, and narrowed the selection down to a shortlist of three solutions. The shortlist included software from Kiwiplan, Witron and a combined solution from Epicor and OM Partners. "We knew we were not going to be able to just pick a system off the shelf, but we wanted to make as few enhancements as possible," says Surdal.
Designed specifically for corrugated packaging manufacturers, the management information system from Epicor, BVP, needed little modifications prior to its installation. BVP, integrated with OM Partners scheduling software, provided a combination that met all of Peterson's requirements. "We realized that these two software solutions together would provide a very functional combination. BVP is very user-friendly, and our people use it the way they should, with ease," says Surdal.
In order to manage the complexities of the multi-national operation, and address the differences between North America and Europe, the time zone, currency and metric systems needed to be compatible to ensure optimization and utilization of raw materials. "Epicor was aware of these differences, and they were eager to find a solution so that we could maximize our production at Peterson," says Surdal.
Peterson went live with their new system in April 2007 after an eighteen month search, selection and implementation process. Peterson appointed super-users within their organization who were thoroughly trained in the software before go-live, and who trained all end-users just before the software cut-off. "Our super-users were trained by Epicor to ensure their competence with the software, and their ability to pass on the knowledge to the rest of the team," says Surdal. Although the team at Peterson was prepared for some big challenges, the cut-off period ran smoothly for all involved. "There were no big surprises, which was of course a good thing," says Surdal.
Erik Fjelldal, IT Manager at Peterson praised the support given by Epicor throughout the go-live. "Six people from Epicor supported the go-live in our plant in Sarpsborg, and three people in the Sykkylven plant," says Fjelldal. "They worked as hard as the Peterson people, which was a lot. They solved problems very fast when they were onsite, and responded quickly once they had left."
"The Epicor customer support has also been really useful," says Surdal. Peterson had little documentation from their previous system implementation, so they wanted to ensure that thorough documentation of the software, project activities, findings and solutions were available, from the very beginning.
The key to the success of the software implementation at Peterson was the thorough preparation put in by both the Peterson project management team and Epicor personnel. Surdal's key project set-up tip is to be prepared. "You cannot implement a project like this in six months unless you prepare well prior to the actual implementation. Structure the project and set goals. You have to be willing and ready to move forward, as a whole. Without the support of the top management you will probably not succeed," Surdal says. "Deal with challenges, keep going after the go-live, and listen to the expert advice from those responsible for installing the system. We failed to do so on occasion and regretted that later on."
"With our old software creating new products took at least twenty minutes. BVP is so much quicker and easier to use because the software is designed for our industry."
Erik Fjelldal, IT Manager
With the ability to model different production scenarios for different quantities for a range of complex products, the Epicor estimating module is one of the most flexible in the industry. "With the estimating module we can create articles and products in just five minutes. Previously, with our old software, creating a product would've taken at least twenty minutes. BVP is so much quicker because the software is specifically designed for our industry, and easier to use," says Fjelldal.
Reporting has also improved and gotten easier at Peterson as a result of the BVP implementation. "We use the reports and Key Performance Indicators in the system on a daily basis," says Cato Lund, Business Controller at Peterson. "We can easily review information on our revenue, late orders, and on-time deliveries. Daily we make sure that our delivery precision stays on track; we want to deliver the right product to the right customer at the right time, 100% of the time. This has been a big improvement for us. We now have an integrated system where all the needed information is at our fingertips."
Bright Future with Epicor
Peterson has also implemented the Epicor business system in their Finnish plants in Vantaa and Valkeakoski. These two plans went live in March 2009.
"As Epicor business software is specifically designed for corrugated packaging manufacturers, we have great expectations for being able to produce quick and accurate estimates with the software," says Project Manager Mikko Erma. "We should also be able to improve our warehouse-related processes and inventory management significantly."
Marketing Director Jarmo Sara has high hopes for the Cognos 8 reporting tools, which should open new views into the utilization of business intelligence. "Cognos 8 reporting tools integrated with BVP will really take us to the next level in analyzing our sales activity," he says.
System Specialist Marja Terenius is particularly impressed with the software's user interface, as different screens are always easily available to the users-a great improvement from the old system. "The scope of this project is huge, and one of our challenges is to make sure we have all the necessary interfaces between different systems working perfectly."
Next step for Peterson is to expand the system implementation to their operations in Sweden and Denmark.
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.