DS Smith Packaging

DS Smith Packaging heightens service with Jeeves ERP

DS Smith Packaging abandoned its in-house developed ERP system after realizing its shortcomings. The decision to implement Jeeves ERP made DS Smith Packaging a more competitive company, with increased information management efficiency and heightened customer service levels.

DS Packaging Sweden works throughout the whole packaging chain, which includes design and production of packaging, as well as improvements to customers’ logistics. DS Smith Packaging has used the Jeeves ERP system in limited parts of its operations for several years. 
 
Jeeves had already helped DS Smith Packaging implement and develop the system to handle ordering, warehousing, invoicing, and purchasing in three DS Smith Packaging divisions, while also providing ongoing product support. Today, DS Smith Packaging is looking to expand its use of the Jeeves ERP solution to encompass the entire business.

INTEGRATING EMPLOYEES WITH OPERATIONS 

DS Smith Packaging needs a system that integrated the entire operation, offering coordination benefits across all units, as well as controlling the entire process from design to finished product. The Jeeves ERP solution is now process-optimized to support DS Smith Packaging’s business. The information flow from a business inquiry to graphics, design and calculation to the final customer order now takes place based entirely on processes built inside the Jeeves system. “The fact that we’ve now grouped our processes in one single system means that we can maintain a much higher service level,” said Håkan Andersson, IT manager at DS Smith Packaging for the past 10 years. ”Our operation is integrated and our employees are integrated.”

OPERATIONS SUPPORT IN SEVERAL AREAS 

Production is one of several functional areas in which the Jeeves ERP system benefits the company. The solution has enabled DS Smith Packaging to implement system integration within several production areas. The ERP system is now linked to the 100-meter long corrugated cardboard making machines. 
 
“In the Jeeves ERP solution, we’re directly connected to these large, corrugated cardboard making machines,” said Andersson. ”When we receive an order, it’s registered in the ERP system and then goes directly to the right machine. 
 
The unloading procedure is another business process that is made efficient with Jeeves ERP. DS Smith Packaging makes 200 million square meters of corrugated cardboard per year, but it’s impossible to have such large warehousing facilities. As soon as the product is finished, it leaves the factory and is delivered to customers or stored at forwarding agents. “We have equipped the forwarding agents with handheld computers that communicate with Jeeves ERP and show what needs to be delivered, as well as reporting [that shows] what has been delivered,” said Andersson.

CLOSE TO THE CUSTOMER 

Jeeves has worked alongside its solution partner SYSteam to achieve IT support changes throughout DS Smith Packaging. “In order to focus on developing cost-effective system support, you need close cooperation and a flexible solution that can adapt as the operation’s needs evolve,” said Anders Gidlund of SYSteam.

Pictura

Pictura says upgrading Jeeves ERP is ‘no big deal’

Pictura, Scandinavia’s largest supplier of greeting cards to retailers, invested in Jeeves ERP in 1997. Since then, Pictura has had complete control over its enormous sales volumes, which required nothing less than a robust, smoothly functioning ERP system.

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.” 

 

PIAB

PIAB chooses Jeeves ERP to support growth

PIAB is a power user of Jeeves ERP,  making use of all the system’s application areas. As the company has grown internationally with resellers in various countries, the Jeeves ERP solution has been the key to successful integrations. 

PIAB is a global leader in industrial vacuum technology that develops and sells solutions for improving productivity and working environments in the graphical, medical and automobile industry, among others. Being a global leader entails designing, constructing and installing vacuum solutions in all corners of the world. PIAB’s organization is therefore widely distributed, with subsidiaries and distributors in more than 50 countries. The company’s headquarters is located in Täby, outside Stockholm, Sweden.
 

HIGH DEMANDS ON ADAPTABILITY

PIAB was founded in the 1950’s and enjoyed continuous expansion and development. As the business grew over time, so did the demands on the company’s former ERP system. Growing pains were felt at the headquarters in Sweden, as well as within the operations of each of the company’s subsidiaries. 
 
”There were several other competent ERP systems that fulfilled our needs; however, Jeeves ERP offered us a system capable to face our company’s future challenges,” said Stig Andersson, who was responsible for the Jeeves project at PIAB. ”At the same time, Jeeves and its [implementation] partner understood our business and our needs.”
 

HIGH FUNCTIONALITY, BUT STILL SIMPLE

PIAB implemented Jeeves ERP across its entire Swedish operation. Today, PIAB users in Sweden have a high system competence level and run a complex business with a large number of transactions. PIAB has high expectations for its Jeeves ERP system and needs to quickly be able to search for information to provide relevant reports for decision making. The company also looks forward to increased functionality that will streamline daily tasks, as well as open up new possibilities for integrated control and business development. 
 

EFFICIENT SUPPORT FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS

When PIAB was acquired by the risk capital firm Altor, the company introduced a new growth strategy, followed by the acquisition of a large number of international resellers meant to strengthen the company’s distribution channel. Together with the support of a Jeeves implementation partner, PIAB adapted and implemented a comprehensive solution including Inter Company Transaction (ICT) management between subsidiaries, central inventory, and the parent company. ICT’s central feature reduced the number of manual registrations in the system. When an order is registered, the information is stored in a central database. Order acknowledgement, purchase orders, and invoices are then created automatically.
 
”The logistics flow is the key to success in our growing and increasingly internationalized business,” said Anderson. “The solution for transaction management between our companies, Jeeves ICT, is the most important feature in our ERP system. Today it controls and manages our entire European operation. We have a central inventory in Belgium, and our resellers can easily check inventory balances and order pumps and components.”
 
Centrally, the ICT gives an integrated picture of the inventory status, which improves PIAB’s production planning. In Germany alone, there has been a 60 percent improvement in delivery times, reduced capital tie-up, and less administration. PIAB plans to introduce similar solutions to its American business.
 

BUYING INTO THE TECHNOLOGY

“Buying Jeeves was also buying in to the idea behind the Jeeves technology,” Anderson pointed out. “[The Jeeves architecture] allows for easy integrations and fast upgrades to new versions of Jeeves ERP.”
 
Jeeves differs from most other systems since the logic is not based on source code. Instead Jeeves ERP’s logic is stored in a database, which makes Jeeves very simple to integrate with other systems. Furthermore, the architecture stores all customer-specific adaptations in a separate database. This approach leaves PIAB’s adaptations intact when upgrading the standard system. A new version can easily be installed while existing adaptations are automatically carried forward.
 

CUSTOMER-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT 

PIAB has been a user of Jeeves ERP for years and remains satisfied. “Jeeves has developed close relationships with its partners and customers,” said Anderson, “which ensures that product development is intact through the chain. I feel that Jeeves listens to us as customers and considers our needs when developing their product concepts. That makes it possible to grow safely with Jeeves!”

Bufab

Jeeves ERP helps Bufab cover the globe

Bufab has used Jeeves ERP for almost 10 years. Today, Jeeves is used in 22 of its 33 companies, and Bufab plans to implement the ERP system in more companies as the organization grows. 

Bufab is a wholesaler that not only supplies different types of fasteners but also manufactures them. The company’s operations encompass more than 100,000 different products and employs 750 people in 25 countries.
 

INTEGRATED FOR HEIGHTENED EFFICIENCY 

Previously, Bufab used a number of proprietary acounting systems that, for the most part, were not integrated with the rest of the ERP system. To boost efficiency between the companies and within the group, Bufab started looking for a common accounting and ERP system for all its wholesaling operations. Several fellow subsidiaries in other businesses were already using Jeeves ERP, so the choice was relatively easy. “Our existing systems could not be adapted to international use,” said Joakim Karlsson, Controller at Bufab. ”With Jeeves ERP, we were able to get international support in the markets where we operate. The fact that our fellow subsidiaries were extremely satisfied with the system just made the choice easier.” 
 
Another major advantage the Jeeves ERP system offered was that the system would be easy to adapt to changes in business needs and processes. Bufab wanted to provide an efficient logistics solutions for its customers and interact with them via its ERP system, with the aim being to cut indirect costs. Today, Bufab’s processes are controlled through Jeeves ERP and include integration with customer billing, scanning of invoices from suppliers, payment flows, internal and statutory reports, accounting, and other tasks.
 

STANDARDIZED MODEL FOR FAST IMPLEMENTATION 

Each country has its own rules for the presentation of annual reports, income statements, and balance sheets, for example, to comply with regulations. Some countries have their own charts of accounts, and different reports vary in appearance. A VAT report in the Czech Republic looks very different from a Swedish VAT report. Bufab had to take all of this into account, but at the same time keep things organized in order to maintain an overview of all its companies. To achieve visibility, Bufab created a standardized model that is common for all companies, specifying how information should be structured in the system. The central idea is to follow the model as far as possible, and only make those adjustments necessary to comply with local rules and regulations.
 
“By having a common model that we follow every time we implement Jeeves ERP in a new country, we avoid having to reinvent the wheel. Instead we can take an ’assembly-line’ approach to each roll-out, allowing us to focus our time on what is unique to that particular country,” Karlsson explained. For a standardized approach to work, the underlying ERP system must be sufficiently flexible. Fortunately, Jeeves ERP has the flexibility that Bufab’s  method demands, and a new system can be rolled out quickly.
 
“Jeeves has a short implementation period compared to other systems I have been involved with,” said Karlsson. ”It doesn’t take more than about a week to implement the system in a new country.”
 
When Jeeves is to be implemented in a new country, Bufab begins by spending a few days preparing a GAP analysis. This process entails analyzing what is unique to that particular country and how the standardized model needs to be adapted to those circumstances. Then the employees get two to three days of training. After that, the new system is ready to use. To guarantee that everything is working as planned, an evaluation is done when the first monthly report is scheduled to be produced in Jeeves ERP.
 
“We have gained a broader overview of operations in the different countries,” said Karlsson. ”Now we can compare our companies with one another – for example, Spain with France with Poland – and compare key performance indicators and outcomes in a completely different way than we could before. And that helps us manage better.”
 
Bufab also has gained better decision support. Reports can be generated faster and all according to the same standards. Previously, reports from different countries might look different, which complicated matters. “Jeeves ERP satisfies the legal requirements in all countries as well as the internal requirements we make at Bufab,” Karlsson added.

 

Bodycote

Jeeves ERP holds the reins for Bodycote

Through the Jeeves ERP system, the engineering company, Bodycote, has achieved the perfect balance between functionality and adaptability.

When the engineering company, Bodycote, was going to select a new ERP system at the end of the 1990s, the company carried out a major study of the systems available in the market and chose to invest in Jeeves ERP. Ten years later, Bodycote is still successfully running the Jeeves ERP solution.
 
“Jeeves has worked beautifully as the central system where everyone can access information, so we are extremely satisfied,” said Klas Andersson, CIO at Bodycote.
 
Bodycote is an engineering company with a unique business model. The company does not manufacture any goods itself, but provides services based on expertise in materials technology, among which the hardening of steel is the biggest business segment. Customers are primarily subcontractors to the automotive industry.

SPECIAL NEEDS 

Bodycote does not manage the purchase of components and such, so it doesn’t need any functions for that. Rather, the company needs support for its service processes. A purely standardized application is not enough, because adaptations are needed to satisfy Bodycote’s requirements. The combination of standardized functionality and flexibility was exactly what Jeeves could offer. “We chose Jeeves because we saw how adaptable and open the system was, which allowed us to participate in its development and customize the system ourselves,” Andersson said.
 
One of the demands on the system in Bodycote’s procurement process was that all information had to be available to everyone who needed it. Previously a local manager could sit and do his own calculations in Excel that others could not access – which was not very efficient. “A manager sitting at the center of things should be able to get the same numbers at the same time as a manager working closer to the customer, said Andersson. ”With Jeeves, everyone works directly in the same system and has access to the same information, which enables us to work more efficiently.”
 
Because Bodycote was able to remove the functions it didn’t intend to use, while keeping those needed to support the company’s unique business operations, the people at Bodycote succeeded in building a thoroughly efficient system with Jeeves ERP. One example of this is how fast the system can handle a customer order. Andersson noted, “We don’t spend more than about 30 seconds on each customer order nowadays.”
 
Today Bodycote runs Jeeves ERP at 13 different work sites. Customer support, order processing, subsidiary ledgers, accounting, deviation tracking, and quality reporting are a few of the jobs handled using the system.

ERP SYSTEM FOR EVERYONE 

At Bodycote, staff in all functional areas use Jeeves: about 150 of the company’s 250 employees. Of course, that makes tough demands on the system’s user-friendliness. “As with all ERP systems, you have to get over a little threshold before you learn how to use it, but today, no one would want to replace Jeeves ERP with any other system,” Andersson said. “User satisfaction is high.”
 
The user-friendliness is also noticeable in how simple it is to adapt the system to new needs. Bodycote is part of an international group employing about 6,000 people, and the head office often demands that new reports be created. With many other ERP systems, clients are forced to hire a consultant to make such changes. Bodycote doesn’t have to. “We can add new fields and specify new logical operations in no time at all. What other people need separate systems for, we can include in our ordinary system. That is a major strength of Jeeves ERP,” Andersson said.
 
The people at Bodycote are extremely satisfied with how Jeeves works and are about to upgrade to the next generation of the product. Among other improvements, the company will use a role-based interface and introduce e-billing and e-signing. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects is that the new version of Jeeves allows Bodycote to document business and operational processes, and link user instructions with the processes in a whole new way.
 
“With the next version of Jeeves, we’ll get well structured and easily accessible documentation, and our users will be able to access process descriptions and find out how to work even more easily, making them more efficient,” Andersson explained.

 

Alfa Laval

Jeeves ERP: One of Alfa Laval’s global systems

Alfa Laval has designated Jeeves ERP as its dominant production system, making it the backbone of the group’s manufacturing process, with the system handling purchasing, logistics, and production.

Alfa Laval currently has 1,400 Jeeves ERP users, established in 28 installations on three continents and supporting Alfa Laval’s manufacturing processes in 11 factories around the clock.
 
Jeeves ERP is one of Alfa Laval’s global ERP systems. The company’s collaboration with Jeeves began almost 20 years ago, with a logistics solution in the heat exchanger division. Since then, Jeeves has earned ever-increasing trust. Peter Löfberg, global product manager, said, “I was here when we chose Jeeves in 1994. We took a chance back then, because Jeeves was a little, creative company with a new idea: an ERP system that was database-centric. Being able to provide our users with a Windows-based solution was appealing, of course, but the key advantage was working in SQL with a system structured around an open database. Since then, Alfa Laval has changed and developed in a number of ways. Jeeves has, too. Nowadays, our system has much more comprehensive functionality and is run throughout our international business operations. But the foundation, the database-centric architecture, remains. This is one of the most important factors for Jeeves ERP’s success, and for Alfa Laval being so satisfied.”
 

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS 

Jeeves is based on a development philosophy that uses two separate databases when the ERP system is rolled out: one database for the standard system, and one for customer-specific modifications. The standard system offers a rich basic functionality and, in contrast to many other ERP systems, customers can easily and efficiently customize the standard system themselves and manage their customizations throughout the life of the system, without compromising quality or their ability to upgrade. 
 
Joakim Ryrstedt, responsible for Alfa Laval’s various ERP systems, said, ”We put a high priority on having firm control and influence over how we use and develop our ERP systems in our organization. With Jeeves, we have the best of both worlds: a standardized system with good functionality and, at the same time, a solution we can adapt in those components for which we have special needs. Through the years, we have carried out many of our own modifications in Jeeves ERP in areas where we really want to be the best and believe we have unique needs. The latest customization we are working on is a user interface for computer-controlled trucks.”
 

RAPID PACE OF UPGRADES 

Alfa Laval has kept pace with Jeeves ERP’s development and often upgrades in order to always have access to a modern system. Ryrstedt, who has experience working with other ERP systems as well, explained that ”Jeeves ERP is surprisingly easy to upgrade, yet it’s not difficult to port the customizations we’ve made ourselves.” 
 
Alfa Laval has developed several modifications to include when converting to a newer version. These are automatically included in the new version because they are managed in their own database separate from the standardized system.
 

CUSTOMIZATION TO MANAGE WAREHOUSE PICKING 

Evidence of how responsive Jeeves is to the demands of business operations includes a customized application for Alfa Laval’s computer-controlled trucks. By making modifications in Jeeves, the group has created its own solution alongside the standardized system, thus satisfying the special needs of these operations.
 
“Using our computer-controlled trucks, we want to pick and handle articles in our warehouse while having constant access to up-to-date information about and the status of all articles in stock. With this new application, which we built ourselves using Jeeves ERP’s developer tools, we can optimize the picking rounds for our trucks and avoid them having to make several circuits around the warehouse,” explained Löfberg. Jeeves ERP offers a standardized solution for the mobile execution of picking, moving, and stock-taking. However, Alfa Laval regarded the solution as optimized for larger warehouses and as being more complex than what they needed. Instead the company chose to develop its own modification: “It is one of Jeeves ERP’s strengths that its architecture allows us to make this type of customization,” Löfberg said. ”When we upgrade in the future, we don’t have to re-do the work we’ve put into producing this solution, because it will automatically be ported into the new version.” 

 

Raphael d’Halluin, Managing Director, France

As Managing Director, France, Raphael d’Halluin is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of the company’s operations in France, including sales, marketing and services. Raphael began his partnership with Jeeves in May 2005 when, upon founding his own venture company and through a joint venture with Jeeves Information Systems AB, he established Jeeves France and introduced the Jeeves product to the French market. In June 2009, following four years of solid results, Jeeves Information Systems acquired Jeeves France, with Raphael continuing as managing director.

Raphael kicked off his career as a Sage ERP Solutions sales representative. He advanced to the position of sales manager at Navision, where he was instrumental in the set up and development of the company’s French subsidiary. After Navision was acquired by Microsoft and became part of the Microsoft Business Solutions division in 2002, Raphael was responsible for developing the sales and partner channels and extending brand name awareness of the Dynamics AX product line, one of Microsoft’s ERP systems that has been rebranded as Microsoft Dynamics. Raphael left Microsoft in 2005 to launch his venture company.

Raphael studied economics at a Business School in Paris and holds a masters degree in economics and innovation from Maastricht University and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Privacy Policy

Last Update: December 2013

The Jeeves web site uses both free and commercial tools, including but not limited to Act On, Prospect Eye and Google Analytics, to collect visitor data and analyze traffic on our site. This information helps us understand customer interests and helps us improve our website.

When you visit our site, a short text file called a cookie is downloaded to your computer. A cookie is used to store small amounts of information, such as your IP address, the URL you came from, the pages you view, the amount of time you spent on each page, or your browser/OS. This information is collected for traffic and behavior analysis only. The cookie file does not contain personal information, although our tools can sometimes extract demographic information from your IP address, including your geographic location, age, gender or company name.

By browsing our web site, you agree to allow the employees of Jeeves AB to monitor and assess your behavior on the site. Certain behaviors, such as the length of time spent on the site and/or the number of pages visited, may prompt a Jeeves sales representative to try to contact you or someone at your company to see if you need more information about Jeeves products and services.

Depending on the browser that you use, you can set your preferences to block/refuse cookies, and/or notify you before they are placed. Also, Google Plus members can specify what level of information is collected and sent to Google Analytics.

Jeeves does not sell, give, or trade the statistics we store to any 3rd parties for data-mining or marketing purposes. As mentioned previously, we use this information to improve the effectiveness of our web site, as well as understand our customers’ needs and identify active buyers in our target market.

The Jeeves web site offers many assets, such as whitepapers, brochures, datasheets, and videos, to its visitors. In order to access many of these resources, the Jeeves web site requires that you complete a form. These forms directly collect some personal information, including your name, phone number and/or email address. By filling out a form, you are agreeing to be contacted by a Jeeves sales representative who will further investigate how he or she can help you learn more about Jeeves products and services, or the topic you are researching. You also are agreeing, based on the level of interest indicated by your behavior, to be added to our secure CRM database of contacts and companies. Contacts and companies in our CRM database may receive regular marketing communications and campaigns from Jeeves, primarily via email. Jeeves is the sole administrator of this information; we do not share, sell or give it to any third parties for further marketing purposes.

To be removed from our solicitations, you many unsubscribe from our email campaigns by clicking the “Unsubscribe” button in the footer of any email. You may also contact us at any time to request that your contact information be marked as “Do Not Solicit” in our CRM database.

 

Jeeves Information Systems AB
World Trade Center
Kungsbron 1 / 
Klarabergsviadukten 70
Sektion F - Plan 8
Box 1042
101 38 STOCKHOLM

+46 8 587 099 00
info@jeeves.se

 

Headquartered in Stockholm, Jeeves is a provider of cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and services for small and midsize companies with operations in Sweden. Founded in 1992, Jeeves has grown to serve more than 2,000 customers in 40 countries throughout Europe, North America and Asia across a number of niche verticals within the manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, and services industries.

Genius Architecture

Architecture Philosophy

Jeeves was founded in 1992 on the idea that no two businesses are alike—and that software should celebrate and automate the processes and workflows that differentiate one company from the next. We knew the core problems facing most ERP system users: either they were changing their business in order to use their software (losing sight of their original vision while wasting time on process workarounds and workflow mismatches), or they were changing their software to preserve their business processes (throwing money at upgrades and customizations both new and old).

We knew there had to be a better way—we needed to solve these problems and, at the same time, deliver a lower total cost of ownership to end users. So we set out to design an ERP software solution that could deliver easily-built, highly-custom implementations that that were also easy to upgrade. We wanted to build an ERP software solution that would allow companies to implement their chosen business strategies and allow them to be different. We envisioned an ERP software solution that would be easy to modify to help companies grow, adapt to changing market conditions, and better serve their customers.

The Jeeves ERP genius architecture is the result of our desire to solve these real problems with the ERP market. Our architecture is ”genius” not only in the way that it’s technically built, but also in the way that it offers undeniable value to our customers.

The Architectural Evolution

The many definitions of the word architecture describe the process and result of planning, designing and building physical structures. We study the architecture behind buildings and cities as works of art that can be classified into categories of similar style and approach.

Software architecture is no different. Architecture is responsible for software usability, flexibility, and longevity. And, just as with buildings, software architectures can be categorized and classified. Historically, we can trace different software architecture styles according to the core problem-solving ideas behind different ERP systems, including their advantages and limitations:

Best Practice Systems

Many of the ERP systems available today are rooted in their evolution from the demands of the very first customer to those of the next customer, and so on and so forth. More often than not, these architectures are the accidental backbones of on-premise systems built to fit a handful of companies—but that end up being used by many companies. And more often than not, these architectures are plagued by rigid databases and older technology that are difficult to evolve over time. Changes in one area of the system often have deep consequences elsewhere in the system. Systems of this type, modeled on a small core of companies, are generally referred to as “best practice” systems, since they implement the practices of a selected group of companies. Unfortunately, these systems rapidly become difficult to change and require you to change your processes to follow those of the original group of companies. Customers coming from these systems beg for the ability to make easy customizations to support their competitive differentiators.

Configurable Systems

Next came the 10,000-switch gorilla, a popular architectural direction during the 1990’s, led most famously by SAP. These systems were built to meet the needs not of a few select companies, but of every company, no matter what industry they worked in. Every possible requirement was included in the code base, and all you had to do was “configure” the system. After customers select from the thousands of parameters and data views available to them, they then embark upon a tedious and lengthy custom development process. Implementations tend to be long and complex, made that way by installing, sorting through, configuring, and testing massive amounts of code. And, just like prior systems, the 10,000-switch architectures are difficult to evolve and test. As a result, they became nearly impossible to upgrade without a full reimplementation. Customers of these systems rapidly become frustrated with their aging technology, the cost of ownership, and the massive cost to upgrade.

Multi-Tenant SaaS

In the 2000’s, the backlash from these types of systems sent vendors running in the opposite direction. Leaving the idea of highly custom, costly systems, software vendors went back to the idea of simplicity, where everyone shares the same system, database, and infrastructure with minimal configuration. Essentially shrink-wrapped software running in the cloud. Customers essentially had state-of-the-art technology at a lower cost, but they were back to their original problem: they owned a generic system that didn’t fit anyone and was also difficult to customize. Even worse, customers don’t even have a fully defined “best practice” system. They now have a “lowest common denominator” system with no way to differentiate themselves or handle their advanced business functions. Users of these systems quickly learned that the pain of not being able to even customize your system is the worst pain of all.

Is there an architecture that is as cost-effective and technology-proof as a SaaS solution but still allows for customization? An architecture that allows companies the ability to protect their unique business processes without thousands of hours of effort? An architecture that doesn’t create a barrier to continuous improvement as companies grow and change? An architecture that is capable of adapting as technology evolves?

Enter the Model-Driven Architecture – this is what makes the Jeeves ERP architecture so “genius.”

Model-Driven Architecture

Model-driven architectures are built on technical models that describe how software works and business models that describe what the software should do. Model-driven architectures produce flexible systems built for modification and change. The architecture allows new logic and data behaviors to be added at any time. Old logic and behaviors remain functional even when the underlying system logic is upgraded. Model-driven architectures start from the premise that you will tell the system what you want done and the system will do just that. Not someone else’s best practice—but your best practice. Not 10,000 options—just the options you want. And certainly not the lowest common denominator in the industry. What you want, the way you want it, fast and easy.

The Architectural Revolution

Unlike earlier ERP systems where every aspect of the product is hard-coded and difficult to adapt or change, the Jeeves ERP system architecture is model-based. A developer defines the way the product should look and feel and that model is used to control the operation of the system. Not only is the customer data unique to each customer implementation, but the look and feel of the product and the content of every page is unique as well.

The Jeeves ERP system carries a Site Repository where all of the customer-specific implementation details are stored. When the core application is upgraded, these changes are retained, and the product continues to operate as specified in the Site Repository. Customers can easily create a truly unique ERP solution that preserves their ability to change and upgrade their system over time. The idea is simple: describe the desired system, rather than hard-code it, and keep this description separate from the core system.

Key Benefits

Let's explore some of the key benefits of Jeeves ERP's genius architecture. 

Run-Time Flexibility

Some model-driven architectures implement the model by regenerating the code that implements the system. The Jeeves ERP architecture maintains its model as a critical element of the system. The model is used and executed at run time so that changes and enhancements and upgrades can all be done with a minimum amount of disruption to the run-time system.

Upgrade New Functionality Alongside Modifications

The Jeeves ERP architecture separates the model for the standard system from the model for the customizations, so that customers can keep their adaptations, while continuing to take advantage of newly released, standard functionality.

Zero Upgrade Force (ZUF)

In code-based systems, adaptations must be manually transferred from the old version to the new version and then adjusted based on new features or dependency changes. With Jeeves ERP, the core system is upgraded around the customizations. This means that customers can upgrade on their own terms and pace with significantly less effort. More than 80 percent of Jeeves customers upgrade to the next version within two years of its release—and that’s a decision they make. We stand by this unbeatable statistic in the ERP industry.

High-Efficiency Development

The Jeeves model-based development environment is very efficient and productive. Programming is kept to a minimum, allowing Jeeves to quickly release new functionality, and allowing customers, as well as partners, to rapidly release new functionality as well. Significant changes can often be made in a matter of minutes.

Available Anywhere

The Jeeves architecture easily supports ubiquitous connectivity, and by that, we mean more than just accessing the application in the cloud on a Web browser from a mobile device. Jeeves ERP has very effective client-server communication system that allows the application to be used in networks with narrow bandwidth, outside local networks, or by companies with a geographically dispersed organization.

Collaboration and New Feature Time-To-Market

The Jeeves Application Builder (JAB) allows customers to quickly and easily share functionality between installations, allowing them to import and export settings in applications, report templates, or new programs as an “app.” Apps can also be shared between different Jeeves environments via the JAB, allowing you to collaborate with Jeeves, our partners, or other customers to solve problems and further extend your system—or to automate the process of moving customizations from development to test to production. This provides for a much shorter outage window during deployments into production and eliminates human error.

The Jeeves Component Framework

There are many components that make up the Jeeves ERP genius architecture. This section will define and explain each component. 

Jeeves Application Development Environment (JADE) (DevDB)

The Jeeves Application Development Environment (JADE) is a model-driven development environment for ERP applications, with support for declarative and programmable development. JADE can create working applications with all standard Jeeves features without writing a single line of code. Or complex features can be developed by hand and integrated into the code base. Either way, with JADE, it is possible to quickly and efficiently define, extend, and maintain Jeeves ERP.

Jeeves Metadata Model

Jeeves Metadata Model is a description of all model objects, including data types, terms, columns, tables, relationships, programs, and reports. The Metadata Model makes it possible to extend Jeeves ERP in run time with extended data-, program-, and execution- models, making it possible to apply customizations in run time from the Jeeves Site Repository. The Jeeves Metadata Model separates the standard system from adaptations, enabling high efficiency development and customizations atop an upgradable standard system. 

Jeeves Server

The Jeeves Server is used to host the logic tier of the Jeeves application. It manages the user interaction and integration logic and enables the server to be accessed from the user interface tier. It is the framework dedicated to create efficient execution of macros, events programs and more. The Jeeves server is the engine that manage all types of events, building applications by merging model data with transaction data as the application runs. It handles all database access and all other Jeeves services. The Jeeves Server also handles both types of clients, the Jeeves Classic Client and the Jeeves Web Client, known as Jeeves Insight.

Jeeves Database

Implemented in Microsoft SQL Server, the Jeeves Database is a relational database with high-performance data storage and logic applied via in stored procedures and triggers. The database stores all the business data, provides transaction handling, and keeps data integrity. Triggers and procedures ensure all business rules are always applied, regardless of the source of the transaction, in addition to supporting web services. The implementation of the Jeeves Database provides a flexible and extendible platform that will support your business today and tomorrow. As businesses grow and change, the Jeeves Database can be extended with columns, tables, new procedures, and extensions of existing procedures that are maintained through every upgrade. The Jeeves Database also enforces custom business rules, independent of the source of database access.

Jeeves Site Repository

The Jeeves Site Repository is a storage database for customizations, storing the customizations, the added model data, and settings. The Site Repository is a description of the desired alterations of the system. It stores:

  • Altered appearance due to styles, colors, fonts, font sizes, and field positions.
  • Altered or added text such as form and tab names, field names, and changed or added tables, terms, etc.
  • Handling of end user roles, including the connection of users to roles.
  • Customized user interactions along with customized navigation and validation logic.

The Site Repository is multi-layered so it is possible to have sets of changes applied and prioritized. The Site Repository is the cornerstone of the Jeeves ERP genius architecture that allows customizations to be separated from the standard functionality and achieves its promise of zero forced upgrades.

Jeeves Control Server

The Jeeves Control Sever is a surveillance tool that runs the Jeeves Server. In other words, it’s a super server that monitors the Jeeves foundation and user sessions, and makes sure it is healthy. The Jeeves Control Sever makes it easy to administrate several Jeeves servers to support growth and scalability over time, as well as execute upgrades and proactively administer the system based on rules and other scheduled actions.

Jeeves Client Broker

The Jeeves Client Broker connects the clients with servers, acting as a broker for client sessions. Jeeves Client Broker manages the traffic against Jeeves and provides load balancing on the Jeeves Servers. It also manages server call back to the client and secures a connection between the Jeeves Server and the Jeeves Client over the internet. The Jeeves Client Broker functions as a middle tier for internet access through firewalls. With the Jeeves Client Broker, it is possible to handle multiple connection methods with or without a VPN.

Jeeves Standard Client

The Jeeves Standard Client provides a rich user interface that can be easily customized and personalized without making any changes to the client itself. The model simply tells the server how the client should look and the forms are generated as defined. You can easily add fields, build forms, construct process workflows, write macros, and design reports using a limited number of IT resources rather than contracting for full-time application support or services engagements that are normally required. The Jeeves client also easily integrates with other client-side software, such as Microsoft Office, web browser bookmarks, .NET programs, PDF-viewer, COM-objects, ActiveX Controls, and more. It also provides services for output reports and file formats. The design of the Jeeves Client enables efficient and secure communication via the internet. It is easily implemented and provides an excellent search tool. The Jeeves Client works well in all type of networks, including WAN, LAN, mobile, and wireless. It is also resilient to network disturbances and reconnects where it left off. 

Jeeves Web Client

Jeeves Insight is Jeeves ERP’s new, browser-based client that was designed to be used on both PCs and MACs. Jeeves Insight is the next-generation user interface for Jeeves ERP, and it can be run in a browser while providing a rich client user experience. Jeeves Insight’s role-based user interface can hide irrelevant information and enhance features that are important to a particular role, including program design, available reports, dashboard pages, program menus, and much more.

Jeeves Message Integrator

Jeeves Message Integrator (JMI) is a framework that permits asynchronous message integration and batch integration with Jeeves. With Jeeves Message Integrator, you can map data into and out of XML messages, as well as make SQL calls. The framework provides a mapping tool, transaction handler, message queues, and exception management. Jeeves Message Integrator is the preferred way to integrate asynchronously to Jeeves ERP. Jeeves Message Integrator provides a single access system from all applications using XML messages. Traditional integrations are based on one table per message. The JMI allows for the easy setup and configuration of the parallel processing of messages and is proven to handle large volumes of transactions.

Jeeves Service Gateway

The Jeeves Service Gateway provides computer-to-computer access to the Jeeves Server and is used for integrations to almost any external system or platform. The Jeeves Service Gateway provides a modular, plug-in based interface for technologies such as Java, web services, more. The Jeeves Service Gateway exposes all the logic in the Jeeves Client and Jeeves Database, including your customizations. This makes system-to-system integrations simpler and more cost-effective.

Jeeves Services Builder

The Jeeves Service Builder (JSB) is an information gateway that provides a single point of access to different information resources. Information can be retrieved, created, modified, or deleted. JSB is not an integration server; it dynamically creates endpoints that can be used by integration servers to connect to Jeeves ERP. Jeeves Service Builder combines with the Jeeves Message Integrator and the Jeeves Database to create the foundation for Jeeves ERP’s Service Oriented Architecture.

2Bsystem

2Bsystem is a Jeeves ERP solution partner, and offers ERP solutions and services to midmarket businesses primarily in the food industry, including fruits and vegetables, meat products, and products of the sea. Based in Rungis, 2Bsystem focuses on providing local, personalized product and IT support and solution expertise, with services that span hardware, applications, integrations, project management, hotline support, and training. For more information, visit www.2bsystem.fr.

Pages