"In 2005 we replaced our old, self-developed ERP system with SAP ERP, something we’ve never regretted, as it’s a brilliant ERP system. But when we need to generate good-looking invoices, order confirmations and other documents needing to be sent hard copy – for that we use Lasernet.  It’s not only much quicker to use than SAP, it’s also much more flexible - in terms of output.”

These are the words of Morten Frederiksen, MSc in Business Economics, who since 2002 has been head of IT at Aalborg Portland’s Danish division. Aalborg Portland employs almost 1,700 people worldwide and generates a global annual turnover of more than DKK 3 billion.

The company was Danish-owned until 2004, but has since formed a part of the Italian-owned cement group Cementir Holding. SAP is used at the group’s other companies in Italy and Turkey, so the decision was taken to introduce it at Aalborg Portland too. Implementation of SAP began in 2006 and the system was commissioned in 2007.

SAP doesn’t quite make it

This switch from an older, self-developed ERP system to a large and well-reputed standard ERP system went smoothly, and was generally welcomed in the company. Customers and suppliers, who previously received invoices, purchase orders and other business documentation from Aalborg Portland in electronic form, e.g. in EDIFACT or XML formats, now receive them directly from SAP via Microsoft BizTalk, which the company chose as a platform for data integration of SAP ERP in 2006.

But for those customers wishing to receive traditional, hard copy documents or PDFs by e-mail, SAP ERP provides these via Lasernet Output Management, as Frederiksen explains:

“SAP’s an excellent ERP system for a production company like ours. But when it comes to formatting hard copy output such as invoices, SAP is heavy going, because it’s both time-consuming and technically difficult to format the documents in SAP to meet the company’s specific requirements.”