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Last Post 07/28/2010 9:25 AM by  Andrew Needham
budgeting and planning (LBP) - Good app or just okay?
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Barry Ghotra
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07/24/2008 1:28 PM

    We are currently using lawson's financial applications (Version 9) and are currently loading budget using excel and interface to GL budget tables. The management is looking at buying a budgeting and planning application/module. We are debating whether to use Lawson's LBP module or buy a third party tool/application? I understand their are pros-n-cons with either approach and the big one being Lawson's tight integration if the financials and budgeting software to come from the same provider. But wanted some feedback from folks who are using lawsons' LBP apps.

    One thing that we learnt from the demo was that LBP is more gearted towards HR /benefits and workforce area Vs sales and revenue. We are a warehousing /transportation company and want something that does heavy lifting on revenue and forecasting.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. Also some generic idea on the implementation (if we were to go with lawson's LBP) effort. As usual lawson's client manager answer was 3-4 months, which seems a bit too much. What about the price?

    Thanks.

    Barry Ghotra
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    08/28/2008 1:02 PM
    Any feedback please?
    Shane Jones
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    09/11/2008 4:18 PM
    I was also looking for this feedback.... Our budgeting process could handle some streamlining but I have not heard of many companies using this part of Lawson.
    Shane Jones
    Tools: HR, Payroll, Benefits, PFI, Smart Office, BSI, Portal and Self-Service
    Systems: Lawson, Open Hire, Kronos, Crystal Reporting, SumTotal Learning
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    Ron3
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    03/29/2010 1:49 PM
    I implemented LBP last year prior to our 2010 budget season. I believe if you ubderstand that this software has its ups and downs you are on the right path to getting the correct information. The software communicates easily and seemlessly with Lawson Portal and is very capable of moving and keeping track of actual expenditures as part of the budget process. It is very simple to operate froma user perspective and its easy to create multiple budgets with multiple layers which can be drilled into without any problems. Our implementation (they gave us a timeframe of 3-4 months also) ended up being more like 6 weeks and that included doing some very extensive modeling (automating of repetitive budget calculations which is also one of the plus features of the software) and we were able to keep under budget sligtly which would have been even better if we hadn't run into some of the issues that I believe are the other side of the software that you should be aware of before jumping in with both feet.

    Some of the problems that we encountered which may be unique to our company but I don't believe they should be. There are 2 big things which I believe need to be addressed sorley by Lawson are: We have experienced some real performance issues with the software (When I say that data entry is kind of slow that is a huge understatement). I have fielded numerous user complaints from users particluarly the ones who key in large portions of our data. At times we experienced wait times up to and over 30 seconds waiting for a screen to refresh or a group of data to save. While this is not so bad if you are just entering a few budget line items for those who were entering hundreds or thousands of lines of data it is a nightmare. Yes we have been working with Lawson to get this under control but it has been a thorne in our side from the start. In this same regard we have asked Lawson to add a goto or find function in the software so that you are not forced to toggle from the top back to where you left off entering data. That brings to me the other request we have made which is to return the cursor to the last line of data that was enetered instead of defaulting to the top of the page which again goes back to having to toggle for minutes at a time when you could be entering data. The second problem which I believe may be a larger problem is that there is a severe lack of reports that come with the software. There are only 8 canned reports and 4 of them are based on attributes. The other issue with reports is that I wrote a lot of custom reports in crystal but the table structure in LBP is not able to be understood unless you have an expert who is very versed in these tables and my conversations with third party vendors which are available at a an additonal cost.

    I guess the bottom line is that I believe the software is certainly an upgrade to flex budgeting and ease of use and flexibility are greatly enhanced but he software was originally written by someone other than Lawson and those limitations show.

    Hope this helps to clarify,

    Ron
    Jimmy Chiu
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    04/13/2010 6:06 PM
    We have to abandon our LBP implementation. In my opinion, LBP is for small business budgeting. We ran into performance issue and LBP is unable to meet that due to design limitations. LBP has a default of around 16000 accounts limit. We worked with the developer and have them customize a new dimension for us, however, the LBP frontend was not able to accomodate the amount of accounts we use.

    Until they can address this issue, LBP is on hold for us.
    John Henley
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    04/13/2010 7:00 PM
    Interesting. Are you referring to natural accounts or company/acct unit/account combinations?
    Thanks for using the LawsonGuru.com forums!
    John
    Jimmy Chiu
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    04/14/2010 7:40 AM
    company > acct unit > account <--- the default dimension would not load more than 16xxx accounts. And I was using the latest LBP and the beta x64 LBP also.
    John Henley
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    04/14/2010 8:01 AM
    Wow, that's not good.

    Thanks for using the LawsonGuru.com forums!
    John
    Jimmy Chiu
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    04/14/2010 11:15 AM
    The frontend problem was most severe in my opinion. I managed to load in one tree with about 7000 accounts. One of the subaccount tree has about 4000 accounts. Everytime I expand that tree. It would take 30-45 seconds to load. It does not cache the tree, thus, it loads from the database table everytime! And the problem carries over to all the other tree once I expanded a "big" tree.
    Andrew Needham
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    07/28/2010 9:25 AM
    I've been implementing LBP now for the last 4 years. The application has seen great improvements over that period. However it does have some limitations. It works well on small to mid tier clients. But if you are a large client with tens of thousand of employees, multiple companies and large GL tables it may be cumbersome to use. Performance has been the biggest issue. If your GLMASTER table is Huge you are going to run into issues. However Lawson is addressing this issue with the release of the 64 bit version. Another issue clients have is with reporting. There are "canned" LBP/LBI reports however most clients end up developing their own crystal reports. There are companies out there who specialize in this. LBP does take several months to implement. Do Not believe anyone that says it's easy and their grandmother can implement it. Modeling is the power of the application. However, models are not easy to understand. The Lawson manual is very poor and does not explain all the functions and features of modeling. For example you can calculate models using year to date values. This is used extensively in Healthcare. But good luck finding it in a manual. One other issue for Healthcare clients is only payroll GL balances are integrated. Several Healthcare clients I know would like to see payroll actuals integrated into the workforce section. Overall LBP is a good application and Lawson is developing the application further to meet client needs.
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