The Swedish lead company Södra relies on our multilingual TiCom.

Skip to chapter:


Until recently, the Swedish timber giant Södra worked with three different ERP systems in the sawmill sector. In order to minimize interfaces between the individual locations and countries
and to optimize processes, the company had been looking for a uniform, customized software solution for some time. They finally found what they were looking for with the German industry specialist TimberTec.

Here the original excerpt from the Holzkurier - by Günther Jauck in the Holzkurier in "IT und EDV, Industrie 4.0, HK 03/21

With 2 million m3 of sawn softwood, the Swedish forestry and timber group Södra is one of the largest sawmill operations in Europe. In addition to six sawmills in Sweden and one in Finland, the company operates several processing sites as well as warehousing and trading subsidiaries in the UK, Ireland, and the USA, among others. In addition to language barriers, this also means several local currencies and time zones that have to be taken into account in the daily work. In addition, they often worked with different solutions in the individual countries, such as ERP systems. "Until recently, we were using three different programs in Sweden, Finland and the UK, some of which were more than 25 years old," reports Södra project manager Pernilla Gustafsson.

"In the end, we were convinced by Timbertec's industry experience and comprehensive approach to solutions."

Pernilla Gustafsson, Project Manager Södra

Södra launched a project ten years ago with the aim of standardizing the ERP system for all its sites. Since none of the existing programs met the group's necessary requirements, Södra approached various market participants, including TimberTec, Eutin/DE - but ultimately tried
the solution of a US software group. Five years later, Södra put the project out to tender again after it failed and awarded TimberTec the final contract in 2018. "In the end, it was the industry experience in the lumber sector and the comprehensive solution approach for future projects that convinced us," says Gustafsson, explaining the decision. In addition to the actual ERP, the software specialist also offers production planning systems for sawmills and glulam companies. In addition, the option of being able to map the industry processes in the sawmill and new CLT plant was also decisive.

Integration of TimberTec's TiCom software into Södra's existing software architecture based on the MS Azure cloud computing platform.

Scandinavia as a new market

For TimberTec, the order from Södra meant not only the first project in Scandinavia, but also the largest in the company's 20-year history. "In addition to 19 locations in Sweden, the changeover to our ERP also affects subsidiaries in Finland, Ireland, the UK and the USA. That's not only four countries, but also four time zones, four local currencies and four languages," says TimberTec Managing Director Andreas Boll, outlining the general conditions. At its core, TimberTec's ERP system, called TiCom, covers purchasing and sales, master data and warehouse management, transport and loading, as well as the web-based IntraScan scanner solution for identifying and allocating goods using mobile data capture devices (handheld scanners). "The main goal was for all sites to work with the same software and for system breaks to be largely a thing of the past," reports Boll, adding that they mapped the entire ERP system for Södra in the Microsoft Azure cloud without local servers - another first on this scale.

Södra locations using TiCom or converting
to TiCom

Changeover according to plan

One year after signing the contract, TimberTec started implementation in Finland in November 2019, followed by a smaller sawmill site in Sweden in February 2020. Two months later, Södra converted all other Swedish sawmills, planing mills and trading locations within a week. "It was tough, but it was the right decision and worked well in the end," Gustafsson says. All commercial processes are controlled by the central Customer Service. The planned changeover in the UK and Ireland has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19.
Södra also plans to use TimberTec software for production planning during the 1st quarter of this year - initially at the newly built cross-laminated timber plant. If the evaluation is positive, production could then also be planned with the TiCom module in all sawmills in the future. Due to the corona pandemic, however, it is not yet possible to set a fixed schedule for this, reports Gustafsson - the focus is currently on implementation in Ireland and Great Britain. Once this is completed, around 300 Södra employees will be working with TiCom,
the ERP system from TimberTec.

The brilliant Agile project management of Pernilla Gustafsson and business architect Luis Figueroa was highly appreciated by the whole team

Always the right solution

Since the start of the project, Timbertec has been operating a site in Sweden with three Swedish-speaking employees in the meantime. "This puts us in an excellent position for Södra and possible other Swedish customers," emphasizes Boll. A development that Gustafsson greatly appreciates: "At the beginning of the project, there were always misunderstandings, not least because of the language. In the meantime, however, TimberTec understands our concerns very well and always has a suitable solution ready. No matter what it is - TimberTec knows what to do. We haven't regretted the decision in favor of TimberTec for a minute yet