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Transforming South Coast Lumber Co. with D365 Finance and Operations

A Case Study on Expanding Manufacturing Capabilities and Financial Management

SSNW's partnership with South Coast Lumber marks the company's pivotal shift from Great Plains and legacy systems to the advanced D365 Finance and Operations platform, setting a new standard in their operational and financial management.


Leveraging D365 Finance and Operations for Enhanced Manufacturing Processes


The initial project was substantial. SSNW replaced Great Plains (GP) and legacy green-screen software with much of D365’s out-of-the-box functionality, integrated the remaining third-party software vendors with Dynamics, and built customized software to automate much of the financial processes. To ensure success, SSNW utilized Microsoft’s SureStep gated implementation methodology which demarcated a clear and staggered timeline with well-defined stages and put to work our on-site development team to quickly build custom software.


In the initial project, SCL wanted to retain older manufacturing software that worked well for them in the past. Now, they have re-engaged SSNW to get more value from their technology, replacing their homegrown software with D365’s built-in manufacturing module. SSNW helped South Coast Lumber effectively eliminate all legacy access databases in their Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) manufacturing center and strengthened the reliability and data collection processes by integrating Wonderware with D365’s manufacturing module.

Integration Success with D365 Finance and Operations

In the planning stages of expanding D365’s footprint, South Coast Lumber insisted on using only one on-premises software, Wonderware, to circumvent training shopfloor workers to use another interface and to avoid any downtime in case of internet outages. Seeing South Coast Lumber’s point, SSNW customized the D365 Manufacturing module to be fully integrated with Wonderware’s interface so that the two pieces of software could speak to each other, sending real-time data back and forth. The result is the potential for complete optimization, combining the strengths of both pieces of software to enable the enterprise to reach peak efficiency.

Key Actions

  • Eliminated all legacy access databases in the LVL manufacturing center.

  • Created a reliable source for real-time data regarding production and manufacturing processes.

  • Created an open data flow between Wonderware and D365 to pass data freely, limit software interfaces on the shop floor and ensure high availability for production against potential internet outages.


  • Based on rapid data reporting and collection, enabled leaders to make real-time, data-driven decisions on warehouse, manufacturing, and resource management.

  • Ensure accurate production data for quality and costing purposes.

  • Greatly reduced software footprint, streamlining data entry, collection, and reporting to be used in real-time against costing and estimating models.

  • Institutionalized nuanced knowledge and practices into D365, making complex and siloed data costing and estimating models integrated and widely available to stakeholders and managers.

Structured Implementation of D365 Finance and Operations

SSNW’s team was kept small and organized around Microsoft SureStep’s standard gated implementation methodology. This allowed for a clear, staggered timeline gated along well-defined stages. Within these stages, the Conference Room Pilot (CRP) methodology was used, involving users and Business Systems Analysts in the tooling process.

After a successful go-live with their LVL plant, South Coast is considering implementing the D365 manufacturing module for their plywood and lumber mills.

Streamline your business operations

It’s a big undertaking for any business to upgrade their software systems. Streamlining your finance and operations by consolidating your software can create real value and meaningful change for your company, employees, and customers.

Strategic Solutions NW is a tight-knit tech management consulting company headquartered in Beaverton, OR with clients around the world. We specialize in integrated software implementation and recovery, approaching every solution with a business-wide approach. Our repertoire includes creating and managing the accounting function 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. Contact us if you’re thinking of introducing D365 Finance and Operations to your enterprise.

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