Väderstad selects Jeeves ERP for rapid growth

Having seen sales quintuple over the course of a decade, Väderstad needed to reassess its business processes and acquire a modern, flexible, fully-integrated ERP system, capable of supporting the company’s projected growth across 12 international markets.

The vision, ”To deliver highly effective machines and methods to modern agriculture,” is an essential success factor for family-owned Väderstad Verken AB, based in Väderstad, Sweden. In 2011, the company had revenues of $255 million, which represented a five-fold increase since 2000. Väderstad has approximately 1000 employees in twelve countries, operating twelve fully-owned dealerships and two manufacturing companies. 


By the mid-2000’s, constantly increasing demand, expansion into new markets, and precipitated product development resulted in a demand for a new ERP system. In two consecutive years, Väderstad had doubled its revenues and this robust growth required an ERP system capable of supporting ongoing expansion. In 2008, the decision was made to replace Väderstad’s existing ERP system with Jeeves ERP. Ultimately, the company wanted a flexible, end-to-end ERP system capable of keeping up with rapid growth and process change.


”We found ourselves in a position where we seriously needed to both change and improve our workflows,” said Torbjörn Andersson, project manager at Väderstad. ”We quickly realized that it would cost as much to upgrade the current system, as it would to replace it with a new and modern ERP system. With Jeeves ERP, we have the advantage of a standard system, as well as the ability to continuously develop it. [We have a] system that can be adapted according to our flows and functional needs, at the pace of our operational change.”
”A comprehensive feasibility study and a vetting of the system by managers and key personnel laid the groundwork for a successful implementation of Jeeves ERP,” said Andersson. ”With Jeeves ERP, there are also methods supporting continuous improvement, additional integrations, and automation of administrative routines.”


According to Andersson, Väderstad has achieved tremendously improved logistics, increased inventory turnover, and reduced capital tied-up in inventory. Other advantages include a better real-time control of operations, since reliable data and figures are globally available to hundreds of users.



Wholesaler Triade grows with Jeeves ERP

Triade is a leading European one-stop distributor specializing in consumer electronics, mobility products, and information technology. With the implementation of Jeeves ERP, Triade has established a platform for growth and efficient operations.
With operations in several European countries, Triade, a Techdata company, provides retailers with products from more than 120 vendors, serving more than 5,000 sales outlets daily. Triade’s objective is to become a significant Pan-European player by buying or investing in distribution companies across Europe, in addition to growing organically. To integrate acquisitions into operations and to achieve scalable growth, the choice of a common ERP system and its efficient utilization was crucial to the company’s success.
After having acquired several companies, all with their own ERP systems, Triade began looking to create synergies by establishing a common ERP platform for the whole group. The company performed a comprehensive evaluation to find a system that would fit its requirements. It was important that the system was flexible and highly efficient at managing internal transactions. Two well-known ERP systems had already been shortlisted.
“Then we acquired the company ECA, a wholesaler of IT products”, said Wim Pols, CFO of Triade Netherlands. “ECA had successfully been running its operations with Jeeves ERP for many years. We saw a good fit between the ECA processes and our own requirements, and decided to add Jeeves ERP to our shortlist.” After another evaluation round, all the companies involved agreed that Jeeves ERP was the system they were looking for.”
 “We were especially impressed by the functionality and flexibility of Jeeves ERP system,” continued Pols. ”It allows us to adapt quickly to the changing demands of our fast-moving industry, all at a very low cost of ownership.”


Triade started the rollout of Jeeves ERP together with JIS Netherlands, Jeeves’ Dutch solution partner. Jeeves was implemented as a wholesale solution, including financial, sales, and purchasing functionality that integrated with Triade’s warehouse solution.
Triade has a high level of IT competence, and the company manages most of its day-to-day IT operations in-house. Triade’s IT staff was intensely involved in the implementation. “With Jeeves ERP, we are able to do much more in-house,” said Pols. ”But we also maintained a close dialogue with JIS Netherlands for support on more complicated matters.”


Today, 250 users in two of Triade’s three companies are using Jeeves ERP and, in the future, all of its Dutch companies will have a joint ERP platform. According to Pols, Jeeves ERP provides the tools needed to manage a great number of different transactions, inluding EDI invoicing and logistics information. Also, the system is open, which enables smooth interaction with suppliers and retailers, as well as with Triade’s IT systems. “As a wholesale organization, we should be a perfect link between our manufacturers and retailers in terms of service, speed, reliability, creativity, and competence,” said Pols. ”But most of all in terms of quality. This means that customers can always contact us with questions.”

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.


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.”


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.


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.


Consolidating Scandinavian administration

Seeking to attain greater efficacy in administering its business flows, Constructor Sverige AB, a Swedish provider of warehousing, storage, archiving and logistics solutions, selected Jeeves as its new ERP system.

With its roots in appliance manufacturer Electrolux, Constructor has become the leading supplier of warehouse and logistics fixtures and equipment in Sweden. This position has been achieved through a conscious strategy that includes engineering and manufacturing its own products – in its own facilities – giving Constructor direct control over the entire process, from concept to installation. Constructor Group is the third-largest supplier of industrial storage solutions in Europe and the largest supplier in the retail sector.


Vital in the selection of Jeeves ERP was, among other things, the system’s information and communication technology (ITC), its flexibility, and its potential for flexible and cost-effective upgrades. Constructor has continuously developed the Jeeves ERP system since the initial implementation, and can assert to having accomplished numerous advancements.
”An example of our continuous development is the creation of EDI connections to our partners,” said Ulf Sternebratt. “This helps in more effective and rapid information flow, both internally and with our customers, which is important to us. Today it’s important to answer to demands for just-in-time information, and Jeeves helps us do exactly that. 
The ICT has helped us streamline our internal flows, as well as centralize our administrative and financial operations in Gothenburg.”
According to Sternebratt, Constructor is a strong driving force in the development of the system, but Constructor also finds that Jeeves’ consultants contribute to the momentum as well. “We have a very good partnership,” he said. “Our Jeeves partners are enthusiastic and forward thinking, which is important due to the fact that our ambition is to continue the development of Jeeves, so that the system is always adjusted to meet new business demands.”


Constructor Sverige AB, part of Constructor Group AS, has long been the industry-leading provider of warehouse and storage systems and components in Sweden. The company’s position as market leader has been reached by a conscious strategy to develop its own products and manufacture them in its own factories. The strategy provides control of the entire chain, from concept to installation, at a customer site. In 2011, the Gothenburg-based company had revenues of approximately $50 million and 72 employees. Today, Constructor Group has revenues of $284 million and almost 1000 employees, as well as modern production facilities strategically placed in the most important markets in Russia, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, and Finland, making Constructor Group a leading European force in the storage business.


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.


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.


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.”


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.”


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.


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.” 


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