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.
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.