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BlueScope to rejig systems

BlueScope to rejig systems

Metals manufacturer BlueScope Steel is exploring opportunities to extract value from an estimated $60 million upgrade of its Australian and New Zealand sales and distribution software systems.

Metals manufacturer BlueScope Steel is exploring opportunities to extract value from an estimated $60 million upgrade of its Australian and New Zealand sales and distribution software systems. The company has also put a firmer timetable on plans to replace one of its domestic supply chain platforms with technology picked up last year through its acquisition of Smorgon Steel Distribution.

Details of the two programs remain scant and the company is yet to reveal the fate of an information system rolled out across its operations in Asia over the past few years.

A spokeswoman for BlueScope said the company wanted to expand the use of software installed at its New Zealand Steel, Australian Metals Manufacturing and Steel Industrial Markets businesses since 2005 under a project known as 1SAP.

"[The] 1SAP project, where we have implemented new functionality around our sales and distribution in Australia and New Zealand, has been successful," the spokeswoman said.

"At this stage, we are reviewing ways to drive further synergies by extending it together with our BlueScope Distribution platform, inherited through the Smorgon Distribution acquisition. This work will continue over the next 24 months."

The spokeswoman did not detail recipients of the systems, built on software from German vendor SAP.

But BlueScope CEO Paul O'Malley has already named the company's Lysaght unit as one target.

Mr O'Malley announced in February that BlueScope would replace Lysaght's Australian distribution systems with Smorgon technology.

The current Lysaght platform was installed in 2003.

The Lysaght Movex software, which cost $5 million to implement, is also similar to a $25 million Movex platform the company installed through Asia - including its Lysaght operations in the region - in recent years.

While BlueScope is yet to reveal if the Asian information system will suffer the same fate as Lysaght Australia's, it is understood that the company is considering a single SAP platform throughout its operations.

A 24-month timetable for reviewing the new BlueScope Steel distribution system and installing it in Lysaght Australia would mean that by the time the work was completed, elements of the Asian Movex platform would be at least as old as the current local version is now.

That means BlueScope would be in a position to justify the replacement of the Asian software on the same grounds as in Australia.

Fairfax Business Media

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