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H.B. Fuller earmarks $60 million to upgrade to SAP

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ST. PAUL, Minn.—H.B. Fuller Co. is spending an estimated $60 million on a multi-year project to switch its information and technology platform to SAP application software.

The firm said in its fiscal year 2013 report that it expects the project to be complete by the end of fiscal year 2016.

"We are determined to make the smart investments necessary to build infrastructure to sustain and support growth and profitability of this company for many years to come," said President and CEO Jim Owens during a conference call discussing the firm's fiscal 2013 results. "This project together with our business integration project and our ongoing investments in new business development in emerging markets are evidence of our commitment to achieve our objectives the right way."

H.B. Fuller recommended this project to its board of directors after it purchased the industrial adhesives business from Forbo Group in March 2012.

H.B. Fuller has spent $22 million to date, with $4 million absorbed in 2013. It said in its report that it expects a similar amount to be spent in 2014.

The firm said rollout will occur in four waves aligned with its geographic regions, the first scheduled for the U.S. and Canada adhesives operating segment before the end of June.

H.B. Fuller expects savings in the areas of procurement, processing of transactions and support of its information technology infrastructure. It said the system also will allow the firm to manage inventory more efficiently.