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Supply Chain Software Buyers Guide
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Infor Lawson Supply Chain Software Review

3 stars Average rating: 3 (from 99 votes)

Infor Lawson Best Fit and Alternative Software

Infor Lawson Sweet Spot
Short list Infor Lawson software in the following Supply Chain software scenarios:

  • You're part of the existing Lawson M3 ERP customer base or the broader Infor customer base.
  • Small to midsize manufacturers and distributors in the fashion industry.
  • Small to midsize manufacturers and distributors in food and beverage industry.
  • Small to midsize discrete manufacturers with simple inventory and supply chain execution requirements.

Alternative Software Solutions
Conditions where IT buyers may be best advised to consider alternative supply chain system products:

  • Lawson M3 ERP customers should evaluate Infor and competitor Supply Chain Management software solutions.
  • Large multi-location manufacturers and distributors with a global foot print should consider SAP, Oracle, JDA and Logility for supply chain planning solutions.
  • Accellos One Warehouse is popular with SMBs that are Microsoft and Sage ERP customers.
  • Companies with large operations and complex Warehouse Management System requirements should evaluate Manhattan and Redprairie solutions.
  • North American centric companies looking for a SaaS solution for their transportation needs should evaluate IBM Sterling TMS.
  • Companies with global transportation operation should consider Oracle and JDA.

Concluding Remarks

Existing customers and companies considering Lawson M3 should consider the uncertain future resulting from the Infor acquisition of Lawson. What are the plans for M3 and how well does Infor Lawson execute on the plans is still a major consideration. M3 does address industry verticals (fashion and food & beverage) where Infor has gaps in their existing ERP and Supply Chain Management solutions. On the other hand, M3 adds to Infor’s already redundant and overlapping lineup of ERP and supply chain software products for other industry verticals.

While M3’s heritage and 2,000 customers are tied to the IBM i technology (stemming from the AS/400), Infor is re-positioning M3 alongside the old Baan ERP software product and open architecture solutions. It is also worth noting that a relatively clear plan has emerged for the Lawson S3 product including acquisitions to enhance functionality, consolidating Infor products into S3 and including S3 in the re-branded Infor10 product line; while, very little has emerged regarding M3 nor has M3 been included in the Infor10 product line.

Possible short term variations of a plan for M3 are: Infor reduces R&D costs and transfers the savings to other areas or Infor consolidates M3 into one of the Infor10 ERP software products. Some M3 supply chain management feature sets may get ported to the Infor SCM suite, but it is unlikely that the M3 supply chain management software modules will get preferential treatment other than as it relates to enhancements to the M3 ERP modules.

Although not an official strategy, history would suggest a likely long term strategy whereby Infor continues to consolidate some products and discontinue others. The impact to the Lawson M3 customers regarding functionality, features, support, influence and costs is another big unknown. Of course much of the Lawson software evolution hinges on Infor’s transition from a holding company model, of multiple business software product brands, to a more typical software vendor model which includes R&D and continuous innovation.

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