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.

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!”

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.”