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City of St. Paul to use Lawson ERP system
10
Aug '09
The city of St. Paul, Minnesota, has signed a multi-suite contract with Lawson Software that includes the Lawson Enterprise Financial Management, Supply Chain Management, Business Intelligence and Enterprise Asset Management suites. It also includes Lawson Human Resource Management and Workforce Management suites along with Lawson Smart Office.

These applications will help the city improve service levels and reduce costs by helping to simplify and automate many business processes and giving employees greater flexibility with self-service options for many typical HR functions. The contract was signed during Lawson's first quarter of fiscal 2010, which ends Aug. 31, 2009.

St. Paul is the capital of Minnesota and the state's second-largest city with more than 270,000 residents, 2,700 employees and a $500 million annual budget. St. Paul and neighboring Minneapolis make up the Twin Cities, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. St. Paul is also the county seat of Ramsey County. The Lawson applications will replace the city's decades-old accounting, budgeting, payroll, procurement and human resources systems.

The Lawson solution is a key component of St. Paul's major new initiative — dubbed COMET (City Operations Modernization and Enterprise Transformation Program) — to modernize its technology infrastructure and thereby improve its business operations and constituent services. Currently, the city uses 35 different computing programs on a 1985 platform.

In his 2009 budget address, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman explained the need for COMET, citing several examples of administrative inefficiencies, including:

• The city processes more than 100,000 invoices each year. In one department, invoices are handled by seven to 10 different people before they get paid. The new Lawson Procurement application will help streamline that process, eliminating redundancies and paper waste along the way.

• Currently, 95 percent of city employees still turn in a paper payroll form that needs to be data-entered by payroll clerks. This results in at least 100 phone calls weekly to clarify time sheets in the police department alone. The Lawson Payroll application will help automate formerly manual processes, which can ultimately help eliminate inaccuracies and save staff hours.

“We need a consolidated system with one database shared across all city departments. It will help save staff time, provide the information necessary for effective management, and help improve the quality of service to St. Paul residents,” said Andrea Casselton, CIO for the city of St. Paul. “The Lawson solution will help facilitate our commitment to financial accountability. It will also help reduce the amount of paper we use, which will support the city's efforts towards sustainability.”

Specifically, the Lawson applications will implement standard core processes and one integrated database shared across city departments wherever feasible and allowable under law to eliminate redundant data handling and increase the accuracy of information. The solution will replace multiple existing systems and offline, department-specific processes with an integrated, modular system. The solution will give a cohesive view of the city and all of its parts as opposed to small silos of activity across the areas of budgeting, finance, grant management, asset management, procurement, treasury, HR and payroll.

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