Case Study

Lawson Smart Notification Customer Solution 

Smart Notification enables the State of Michigan to simplify and optimize business processes 

Case Study Overview:

To report on Human Resources information, the State of Michigan relied on a traditional reporting solution. Doubtful that the right people were always aware of information that needed to be acted on, and seeking to empower employees to be more efficient, the state set out to find a solution. The choice was Lawson Smart Notification.  The state is now able to benefit from a simplified, optimized and less time-consuming process that leverages their existing investment in Lawson back office solutions.

Customer Profile

With a population of 10 million, Michigan ranks as the eighth most populous state in the union, incorporating a unique mix of industrial prominence and areas of great natural beauty. The state has a complex Human Resources environment, which includes 55,000 employees in 83 counties, 32 agencies in three branches of government and National Guard, and 127 HR / Benefits / Payroll entry sites.
The State of Michigan’s Human Resources Management Network delivers payroll, personnel, and employee benefits functionality and data exchange among agencies and third parties, resulting in streamlined business processes, better information for customers, reduced costs, improved service and flexibility to manage the state workforce of the future. 

Specific objectives for the Human Resources Management Network include providing a path to migrate to new technology and processes that will be required to support tomorrow’s workforce, enhancing the quality and accessibility of information available to state managers to support human resource decisions and streamlining human resource processes – migrating them from a “task” to a “process” orientation.

Business Situation

The Human Resources Management Network generates groups of reports for end users in each of the HR Offices, summarizing updates that have taken place. “A lot of what happens next is very time-consuming and somewhat hit-and-miss,” explains Suzanne M. Olivier, Director, Division of Human Resource Operations and Data. “Each HR Office needs to review the reports, typically searching for exception information outside normal ranges or tolerances that need to be followed up on. If the HR Office does not review or react to the exception content of these reports, data related to employee salary, benefits or time accrual may be inaccurate.”  

“We wanted to guarantee that the right people were always aware of information that needed to be acted on, while empowering employees to use their time more efficiently,” says Olivier.


“Smart Notification enables HR Offices to be directly notified of exceptions, and dynamic links to Lawson HR forms enable immediate resolution of issues. This automates the process and results in a simplified, less time-consuming process for the HR Office,” explains Olivier.  Additionally, employee data is maintained in an accurate and timely fashion.  We can also include links to our Step Action Tables, which are maintained on the Web and typically contain transaction steps for each type of HR transaction – so business processes run smoothly and predictably.”

“We truly see this as a natural extension to our Lawson environment – leveraging the investment we have made in Lawson back office systems and unleashing the data managed by those systems to help us optimize the way we do business,” adds Olivier.  

“We were up and running and training a mix of business and technical analysts within days,” she adds. “The business staff came to class with scenarios they thought might be a good fit for the product and they were able to develop notifications and be productive immediately.”

Smart Notification can aggregate data from both Lawson and non-Lawson data sources. “On the Lawson side, it was helpful for us to be able to leverage our familiarity in generating data sets using Lawson’s Data Mining Engine (DME),” says Olivier, “The user interface definitely lends itself to the non-technical developer.” 

“We were able to quickly create a customized look for our notifications by modifying a single master template,” says Olivier. “In standard e-mail form, Smart Notifications are attractive and can easily include links to related documents, Web sites and Lawson forms. The ability to add instructions lets us inform our users why the notification has been sent, what action should be taken, and who to contact if they want to collaborate or need further clarification. The ability to save the notification as an Excel spreadsheet is also an advantage when large datasets are sent.”

“We were pleasantly surprised with how quick and easy the whole process was,” says Olivier. “Typical notifications can be created in minutes. In classroom training utilizing available information sets, staff members new to the product created compelling notifications in less than 30 minutes.”