West Fraser is a Quesnel, BC-based lumber producer setting pace across North America as one of the largest lumber producers. They have 5,000+ employees across Canada and the United States and, they owe their growth to their disciplined operational focus in their facilities and cost-conscious manufacturing approach.
Technology was no longer a competitive differentiator for West Fraser running on older, legacy platforms. Processes and data issues were negatively impacting productivity and operations.
Using Lotus Notes to manage emails, RFPs, customer & vendor quotes was challenged in finding people to work on the high-maintenance software already costing them CAD$200,000 on sustainment costs alone. They needed an agile infrastructure system to adapt quickly to keep their mills running and employees working.
Working with West Fraser’s stakeholders, Softlanding reviewed their legacy applications to identify areas of improvement including replacements to their:
- Root Cause Investigation for tracking and analyzing events that occur in their facilities;
- Capital Costs Management System for tracking projects and ensuring compliance is met ;
- Sandbox Solutions to facilitate SharePoint Online sites.
Softlanding architected a new identity strategy to help engage thousands of hourly workers using a technology portal and migrated dozens of on-premises, mission-critical applications like Lotus Notes into SharePoint Online and Azure
No Platform and Hardware Maintenance
West Fraser was able to reduce their sustainment costs for Lotus Notes alone from CAD 200,000/year to less than $1,000/month.
Mindful of West Fraser’s specific needs, Softlanding was able to customize their Azure cloud-based apps to meet the needs of their mill workers and internal staff’s needs.
Reduced Financial Risk
Switching from capital expense to an operating expense was an attractive option for West Fraser. With no upfront investment in hardware and no commitment, Azure offered a lower financial risk for the company.
Agility and Scale
With their applications now based on Azure, West Fraser can scale up or down their applications based on needs and cycles in their business.
"Our cost management is critical to our success. When lumber markets change, it means we can adapt quickly to keep our mills running and our employees working."
Ray Ferris - Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer, West Fraser
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