Väderstad

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. 
 

RAPID GROWTH CALLS FOR A NEW ERP 

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.
 

ADDRESSING ORGANIZATIONAL DEMANDS 

”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.”
 

SYSTEM PAYBACK 

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.
 

 

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.

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.

 

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.”