Dorma bedding in Lawson ERP software

Aiming for a two-year return on investment of up to £1m...

Aiming for a two-year return on investment of up to £1m...

Bed linen-maker Dorma has chosen enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from Lawson to streamline its operations, especially its supply chain links with manufacturing facilities in China and other countries.

Dorma, since last February owned by cashmere specialist Dawson International, is currently in the middle of a nine-month implementation period and will then look for a two-year return on its investment, thought to be somewhere between £500,000 and £1m.

Mike Hartley, Dawson International executive chairman, told the rollout is being led by a group of business managers, seconded from their usual roles on a full-time basis, working with an equal number of Lawson staff and a Dorma IT manager.

He said: "It's a business project, not an IT project."

Hartley said the usual suspects in the ERP space had been considered - the market leaders are SAP and Oracle, including its PeopleSoft business - and that, pre-acquisition, a fully-blown ERP system wouldn't have been given the green light.

Hartley added: "The previous owners looked at just elements of this - a smaller subset [of functionality]. We looked at what could pull everything together."

He said Lawson's experience in the fashion industry - where nowadays lines in high street stores can famously be changed within weeks because of modern IT systems connecting operations around the world - was an important factor in winning the contract.

The scope of the project covers factories in China, Dubai, Pakistan, Portugal and Turkey as well as some 120 outlets across the UK which Dorma sells to, including department stores and private label buyers such as M&S.

Lawson last year merged with Sweden-based ERP vendor Intentia.