Transform the business with a modern ERP system and industry best practices.
Partner with Hitachi Vantara to replace mainframe-based solution with Oracle EBS.
The retail industry has faced significant challenges over the last few years, making its need for efficient and effective partners more important than ever before. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, with facilities across the United States, Lozier Corporation is a leading manufacturer of products that retailers rely on for their stores and warehouses. Lozier’s vision is to be operationally excellent in support of retail’s present and future. Family-owned and operated for more than 65 years, Lozier has facilities in five states and employs more than 2,100 people.
To ensure Lozier can continue to be a great partner to its customers, it needs reliable business management systems, consolidated data and efficient processes. But with its legacy ERP system residing on an ageing mainframe, Lozier struggled to deliver these core capabilities. “Our system was custom-built, which meant it lacked scalability and required lots of manual labor and admin,” explains Jeanna Faulhaber, Director of Business Transformation and IT at Lozier. “We also had to supplement it with additional tools, such as Access databases and Excel spreadsheets, which meant we didn’t have a single source of truth.”
With these disparate systems, Lozier’s business processes were sometimes inefficient. For example, if a customer input an order digitally, Lozier’s team had to process it manually, which was time-consuming and increased the risk of order inaccuracies and errors.
Lozier’s leadership team recognized that it needed to standardized tools on Oracle EBS to drive operational excellence. “We wanted to create a digital foundation from which we could evolve,” comments Faulhaber. “We understood that delivering such a major transformation required experience and resources that we didn’t have inhouse, so looked for the right partner to help.”
In 2019, Lozier started working with Hitachi Vantara for a series of training sessions to help its key users better understand master data. Following the success of the training, Lozier engaged the team to assist with the digital transformation.
“We selected Hitachi as our integration partner because they made it clear that they were ready to work with us as a partner; an extension of our internal team,” comments Dave Mewes, CTO at Lozier. “Our project has been a true transformation, coming from a very dated legacy system with many manual process steps. We believed that our gaps were much more significant than to have a typical consulting-based engagement as our internal team had very little experience with implementation and adoption. Hitachi filled the role in such a way that we have been satisfied with our successful results.”
Together, the Lozier and Hitachi Vantara team rolled out Oracle EBS, including Oracle Cloud CPQ. As well as quote-to-cash, manufacturing, scheduling and financial management, the solution includes electronic data exchange (EDI), so the company seamlessly manage digital orders.
The project kicked off in August 2020, with a strong focus on change management from the start. “This was a business-led project, with our CEO as a very active executive sponsor,” confirms Faulhaber. “We branded the project and provided regular updates via digital signage at our headquarters. The transformation would impact almost all departments, so we expended significant effort to help them understand the long-term benefits and get them onboard.”
After extensive testing to make sure every department was comfortable, the new ERP system went live in November 2021. “Our collaboration with Hitachi Vantara was great,” says Faulhaber. “The team was very patient and went the extra mile to make us successful. Thanks to its efforts, we not only achieved our goals, but completed the entire project virtually and during the pandemic!”
More than 2,000 Lozier employees across multiple locations in the US, as well as thousands of customers, now benefit from more streamlined and efficient processes. Thanks to the transformation, every department from manufacturing to the shop floor is now moving towards greater standardization, reduced costs, and an improved experience for both customers and employees.
Replacing the mainframe with the latest cloud-based tools from Oracle simplifies IT management and maximizes agility. "As well as better end-to-end processes, we now have a single version of the truth,” explains Faulhaber. “This enables us to make faster decisions and be more agile in adapting to changing customer needs.”
With greater automation, Lozier has reduced the number of manual touchpoints throughout key processes and reduced timescales. For example, processing EDI orders is now nearly 50 per cent faster than previously and orders are more accurate.
To go with its new processes, the company has introduced new policies. For example, it now limits when customers can change orders, which provides Lozier with greater transparency and control over the supply chain. “With our new Oracle systems and industry best practices, we will remain a leader in the field and maintain our competitive advantage,” concludes Faulhaber. “We will also be able to continue to be a great partner for retailers – however the industry might change in the future.”
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With our new Oracle systems and industry best practices, we will remain a leader in the field and maintain our competitive advantage. We will also be able to continue to be a great partner for retailers – however the industry might change in the future.
– Jeanna Faulhaber, Director of Business Transformation and IT, Lozier