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.” 

 

Anna Salomon-Sӧrensen, CFO

Jarett Janik joined Jeeves in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Jarett is responsible for overseeing global finance and administration operations, as well as ensuring the company’s profitable growth.

Prior to joining Jeeves, Jarett was CFO for Allegro Development Corp., a leader in commodity supply chain and risk management solutions. At Allegro, Jarett oversaw the global expansion of the company’s finance and administration organization. Prior to that, he served in several roles including Vice President Global Finance and Global Controller at Infor Inc. During his time at Infor, Jarett assisted in the growth of the company from annual revenues of approximately $150 million to over $2 billion, resulting from more than 20 acquisitions during his tenure. Jarett has held numerous executive and management positions at tech companies like Certegy Inc. and Netzee Inc., as well as at Crawford & Company, where he began his career.

Jarett has more than twenty years of financial management and leadership experience, within both public companies and private-equity backed firms. His expertise includes mergers and acquisitions, strategic business planning and budgeting, international business and operations, SEC reporting, management of finance, accounting and administrative functions, as well as the IPO process.

Jarett earned an MBA and B.S.B.A in Finance from the University of Denver.

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