Pulp & paper manufacturer integrates their software and business processes with a recently acquired multi-state paper products company

Introduction

Prior to its acquisition by Westrock in 2018, Kapstone was a leading North American producer and distributor of containerboard, corrugated products and specialty papers, (including liner and medium containerboard,) kraft papers and saturating kraft. Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, Kapstone employed close to ten thousand people over several locations in the United States with annual revenues exceeding $3 billion.

In June 2013, Kapstone bought Longview Fibre, a large paper products company spread over 11 states, from Brookfield Capital Partners. At the time of acquisition, SSNW was brought in by Kapstone to assess Longview Fibre’s software and provide recommendations for integration and management across departments so as to best work within Kapstone’s portfolio.

Challenges

  • Provide seamless integration while maintaining current operations of two large business structures

  • Upgrade Kapstone’s ERP software while integrating Longview into the portfolio

Solutions

  • Move Longview from JD Edwards ERP to Dynamics AX 2012

  • Upgrade Kapstone from AX 2009 to AX 2012

  • Strategize the continued use of 60 third-party integrations with a focus on minimal third-party vendor support

Results

  • Moved Longview onto Kapstone’s best-of-breed approach for selecting new software

  • Realized significant long-term cost savings through simplified integration processes

  • Realized shifts toward automated workflows

History

SSNW had been involved with Longview for a long time before Kapstone’s acquisition. Prior to this, Longview had been bought by Brookstone Asset Management, who hired SSNW to speed up close processes and manage the reorganization of Longview’s IT and Finance departments. That project ended with SSNW partner joining Longview and CIO, realizing savings of $2-3 million a year for Brookstone. Previous work by SSNW allowed Kapstone to achieve a highly intelligent integration with Longview- no mean feat, since Longview itself was almost half the size of Kapstone, bringing in thousands of new vendors and requiring hands-on expertise and knowledge of Longview’s operations.

Software plan

Primary

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

 

  • Provides a strong financial foundation and supply chain management capabilities

  • Provides a robust platform for future enhancements

  • Runs locally as an application instead of a browser

Prominent third-party integrations

Due to the number of integrations SSNW managed (60), this case study highlights the major integrations that allowed for seamless continuation of day-to-day operations at both Longview and Kapstone during the transition period. The following third-party solutions all integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Avantis Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

  • Designed for large companies

  • Offers condition management, predictive maintenance, inventory management, procurement and reporting functionalities

Elixir Tango for Finance

  • Replaced Longview’s Honeywell integration with JD Edwards

  • Streamlines and maintains work order creation and close processes

Axiant

  • Credit limit, invoicing

Yardboss

  • Specially designed for fiber supply management 

  • Can pay an unlimited number of suppliers, landowners, haulers and government fees/taxes off a single load ticket 

  • Special payment terms like production advances, lump sums, holdbacks and surcharges Truck management including overload flagging 
     

Lumbertrack

  • Tracks lumber inventory from log yard, to mill, and reload yard.

  • Improves accuracy, efficiency, and responsiveness for customer service.

  • Analyzes and optimizes operations to reduce costs and maximize return on inventory investment.

  • Accelerate sales with real-time visibility into demand and production.

OTM Transport Management

  • Integrates transportation planning, execution, freight payment and business process automation across all modes of transportations (road, air, ocean, rail)

Game Plan

Since Longview was running on JD Edwards and Kapstone on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, both ERP systems needed to be changed together. Upgrading Kapstone to AX 2012 was relatively simple, since their integrations and workflows largely remained the same. Longview, however, posed some systemic challenges that had already taken SSNW some time to solve (re: previous work done for Longview). Therefore SSNW decided to tackle both ERP systems simultaneously and provide a competitive timeline for go-live. For the most part, we kept Longview’s integrations with JD Edwards, shipping them over onto AX 2012. This was only possible because our team was intimately familiar with Longview’s systems. Once AX 2012 was in place at Kapstone, SSNW managed Longview’s transition onto the software, building a few integrations along the way to streamline processes.

 

 

 

 

Strategic Solutions NW

Strategic Solutions NW is a tight-knit tech and management company headquartered in Beaverton, OR with clients around the world. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, we specialize in integrated software implementation and recovery, approaching every solution with a business-wide approach. Our repertoire includes creating and managing accounts software for 500 million dollar manufacturers, specialized forest product experience, and longstanding partnerships with a swathe of major software vendors. Led by three partners with decades of experience in software and business solutions, we approach each client with a long-term relationship in mind, providing continued support and communication beyond project timelines.