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.