Software Follows Equipment For Life in Cat Pilot Program

September 28, 2010

The world's largest dealer of Caterpillar construction equipment is a pilot customer for a new software package designed to help equipment dealers improve customer service and profitability throughout the life cycle of every piece of machinery they sell or rent.

Finning International, with 14,000 employees in Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia, is putting the new Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental package to the test. The product is developed by Lawson Software, of St. Paul, Minnesota.

"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," says Jeff Leigh, Finning's vice president of business processes and systems. "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."

Lawson for Equipment Service Management & Rental supports integration across a dealer's global supply chains and links back to the equipment manufacturers. It is designed to improve integration across the dealer's internal sales, finance, service, warranty and rental departments, which in turn helps dealers more quickly process customer orders and warranty claims. According to Lawson, 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.

"Our customers have told us that a dealer-specific solution that's easy to install and use is something that's been badly needed in this industry," says Andreas Hellstrom, industry strategy director.

For rental companies, the Lawson platform can be used to manage equipment availability, allocation, delivery and returns. The new software package also, says Lawson, helps rental companies measure their profitability against performance goals by automatically tracking equipment usage rates and supporting equipment downtime analysis.