Pictura was founded in 1969 and, at first, had diverse business activities revolving around the import and the sale of yarn, as well as knitting descriptions. Since the end of the 1980’s, the company has focused solely on greeting cards, wrapping paper, and gifts. Today Pictura is represented in six countries through other companies in the Pictura group and in seven more countries through partly-owned companies. Pictura’s products are also distributed in many more countries.
DESIRE TO KEEP UP WITH DEVELOPMENTS
Since Pictura implemented the Jeeves ERP system in 1997, the company has pursued a policy of keeping up with the system’s latest developments. Upgrades are implemented continuously, as Jeeves releases new functionality that supports and streamlines Pictura’s operations.
“We are always working to improve our processes,” said Magnus Arpi, vice president of Pictura. “There are always new and interesting [features] to explore.”
Arpi continued: “One major initiative a few years ago that we have found incredibly useful was when we supplied our 100 salespeople in the field with handheld computers that are synched with Jeeves ERP over the 3G network. An order that used to take three days now only takes a few minutes.”
THE TYPICAL UPGRADE PROCESS
Because Picture is focused on staying current with new releases of the standard Jeeves ERP system, the company has developed a standard upgrade process:
- First, meetings are held to review new functionality and determine which processes will be affected.
- Next, a decision is made on whether or not to upgrade, when, and who will be involved. Usually, a few “super users” are appointed who, in turn, teach their closest colleagues about the new version.
- In parallel with these preparations, Pictura’s customizations are analyzed, in order to determine which ones should be reduced or deleted.
- The new version is installed in a test environment. For 2–3 days, the application database and the change database containing Pictura’s unique settings are upgraded.
- During the test period that follows, it has to be ensured that the main flows in order taking, delivery, price estimates, and EDI transactions work as intended. These tasks take about 2-3 weeks to complete.
- Finally, commissioning is often done over a weekend. On Monday, the old version is shut down and, during the following week, some adjustments are made to the production system, such as user profiles.
Pictura estimates that an upgrade, from start to finish, takes no longer than a calendar month.
“Considering that the work to upgrade hardly affects the rest of our operations, it’s no big deal for us to move up to a new version,” said Arpi. “I am always amazed when I hear about companies that struggle with long, drawn out upgrades full of problems. It’s obvious that we did the right thing in 1997 when we chose Jeeves ERP.”