Infor Lawson software system set to go live January 1, 2020

By Ardith Van Riper

     Tentatively, the Infor Lawson ERP software system goes live December 1, 2019, on financial and procurement areas and goes live January 1, 2020 on payroll and human resources areas.  The Ho-Chunk Nation decided in 2015 to procure and implement an ERP system.

     ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning Solution, a modern, integrated financial management, procurement, HR/payroll, and supply chain management solution.

     The long-term vision for the Nation’s ERP system is to increase automation and enhance management decision making capabilities. The focus is to increase business efficiencies, reduce dependency on paper and utilize interfaces between systems in order to create a single, integrated system focused on the delivery of real-time data.

     The Ho-Chunk Nation’s current ERP software was purchased in 1998 and runs on a Harris IBM E4A I Series server.  Current system users are the Treasury Department and the Personnel Department at the Tribal Office Building in Black River Falls, as well as each of the casino sites.

     The Finance areas are responsible for accounts payable, payroll, per capita net profit distribution, state and federal payroll taxes, state and federal per capita taxes, bank reconciliations, fixed asset tracking, grant contract and compliance, financial reporting, employee travel and departmental purchase cards.  

     The Personnel areas are responsible for overseeing employee benefits, employee records, and the Nation’s Insurance. 

     The Nation currently pays for and utilizes additional software packages that are licensed to maintain hotel management, mortgage loan processing, rental property processing, time and attendance, as well as the use of varying databases to track other loan programs, signature authority, grant programs, reporting services and budget processes.

     The Ho-Chunk Nation annually writes 35,000 checks, works with approximately 10,000 vendors, and sends over 350 invoices each month for water, sewer and utility billings.  The Ho-Chunk Nation has over 7,800 enrolled members and approximately 3,500 employees.

     Business processes are currently dependent upon paper and multiple, unconnected systems.  Time is inefficiently used to complete transactions and limits staff’s time to focus on how data can be used to improve business operations and make data informed decisions.

     An objective of the Infor Lawson ERP Project Management Plan is to replace those inefficient systems with a modern and integrated solution that allows the Nation to remain competitive and scale up as the Nation continues to grow.  Another objective is to operate in an environment that is highly secure, compliant, and controlled.  A third objective is to eliminate silos of information and integrate it into a central system.

     The Nation selected the Infor Lawson software in 2015, along with a vendor to implement core Infor modules.

     “The Infor Lawson Project was being led by the consultants that were hired to help assist the Ho-Chunk Nation to implement the software.  However, the need arose to realign the Steering Committee placing those most responsible at the helm of this effort,” noted Treasurer Crystal J. Deschinny from the Ho-Chunk Nation Treasury Department.

     The Nation ended its relationship with the initial vendor in the fall of 2017.

     Kinsey was selected in the fall of 2018 to continue through completion of the configuration and testing of modules partially begun by the previous vendor and initiate through the complete implementation of all remaining modules purchased.

     Deschinny further explained, “Treasury is pleased to share that the Steering Committee consists mainly of Ho-Chunk tribal members and the Teams most responsible for the ongoing utilization of the ILS.  The Internal Leadership Team has risen to the challenge by taking back the project through active management of the project, managing vendor relationships, coordination of training and determining project needs to achieve deadlines. 

     “The realignment of this project also indicates HCN is learning how to manage, lead and engage in projects from within.  I believe what is happening with this project will set the standard for other projects and empowers the Nation to rely upon its own expertise.”

     Anyone interested in learning more about the Infor Lawson Project should send an email to