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Seeing an opportunity for corporate growth, TimberWest Forest Corporation wanted to replace its aging financial management system with a more solid platform.

TimberWest selected Microsoft Dynamics for its scalability, time to value, and ability to handle multiple corporate entities and currencies. The portfolio of intelligent business applications enables business processes automation as TimberWest grows.

Business Needs

As Western Canada’s largest timber management company, TimberWest needed to replace its aging financial management system to set the stage for future growth.

The company conducted a review of possible replacements for its existing system. Criteria for the replacement systems included the scalability to handle growth and multiple currencies, as well as the ability to deal with multiple corporate entities. TimberWest chose Microsoft Dynamics AX as the best system to meet the company’s current and future requirements.

TimberWest then partnered with NTT DATA because of its “proven track record in managing Microsoft Dynamics AX projects,” explains Al Shirley, TimberWest IT Manager. “NTT DATA brought together a dedicated and knowledgeable team that we felt provided us with the best opportunity to complete the project successfully.”


  • Prepares the company for rapid scaling
  • Attracts investment through reduced risk
  • Increases the efficiency of collaborative enterprise resource planning (ERP)P
  • Rapid time to value, avoiding the larger overhead of other ERP systems
jungle view from helicopter


TimberWest chose NTT DATA because [of] their proven track record in managing Microsoft Dynamics AX projects. NTT DATA brought together a dedicated and knowledgeable team that we felt provided us with the best opportunity to complete the project successfully.

Al Shirley, IT Manager, TimberWest


Building a solid foundation

When TimberWest decided to upgrade its enterprise resource planning capabilities, it opted for Microsoft Dynamics AX. The solution provides a purpose-built foundation for resource planning and comprehensive capabilities such as financial management, business intelligence and reporting, sales and marketing, procurement and sourcing, supply chain management, project management and accounting, human capital management, global risk and compliance, and environmental sustainability.

Packaged in a single global solution that delivers rapid time to value, Microsoft Dynamics AX empowers TimberWest to anticipate and embrace change so its businesses can thrive. The global nature of Microsoft Dynamics AX enables the company to automate future processes, avoiding unnecessary complexity as the business grows. The joint NTT DATA and TimberWest project team implemented the Dynamics AX modules for general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed assets, bank management, organizational administration and system administration.

“The approach was to align TimberWest’s harmonized business processes with standard Microsoft Dynamics AX functionality to leverage existing, out-of-the-box functionality and minimize customization,” explains the NTT DATA team lead. “NTT DATA utilized the Microsoft Dynamics SureStep methodology for its AX project tools, template and guidelines, as well as project and risk management. Our agile implementation approach, such as sprints and daily scrum meetings, further enhanced the effectiveness of our collaborative NTT DATA and TimberWest project team.”

The benefits of the new solution include:

  • Scalability. Leveraging a solid ERP foundation allows TimberWest to expand its business.
  • Reduced risk. Having a modern ERP solution backed by one of the world’s most successful software companies provides a solid platform that’ll continue to build new functionality and warrant additional investment, thus reducing TimberWest’s corporate risk.
  • Increased efficiency. Providing a system that’s easier to navigate and more intuitive allows the company to realize user productivity gains over time.

TimberWest is positioned to accommodate any organizational changes as the business continues to grow. “Users are reporting that Microsoft Dynamics AX is far more intuitive and they are finding it much easier to navigate compared to our previous ERP solution,” Al Shirley says. “As a result of this user acceptance we expect to start seeing useful gains in user productivity.”

*This case study was originally written by Sierra Systems Group Inc., which has become NTT DATA Services as of December 17, 2018.

About TimberWest

TimberWest is privately owned by two leading Canadian pension funds. Operating for more than 100 years off the coast of British Columbia, TimberWest focuses on sustainable forest management practices, from harvest to new growth.
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