It’s an interesting time for Sweden-based Jeeves due to their growing North American presence. In June 2012, Jeeves was acquired by North American-based Battery Ventures, a multi-stage investment firm focused on technology and innovation. Note that Battery Ventures is the former owner of the global ERP developer Consona.
With this major investment in the Jeeves ERP product, the vendor is now in a good position to become the “new kid on the block” here in North America.
Founded in Sweden in 1992, Jeeves develops ERP systems for small to medium sized companies with 5 to over 1000 employees.
Globally, Jeeves has over 4600 installed companies using the system. Of those companies, 45% are in the process and discrete manufacturing sector; about 35% are distribution companies , and the remaining installed users are in services and retail .
As of today, only about 30 North American manufacturers use the Jeeves product, so with the growing North American resources and partner network, the company is on the threshold of some dramatic growth with their new parent. Jeeves distributes their products through a small North American partner network.
ERP System Overview
Jeeves ERP systems integrate seamlessly across multiple manufacturing styles to facilitate planning, decision-making, execution and measuring. In terms of the user experience, all application areas and functions have the same look and feel. We noted the interface was similar to what is available from other vendors like Epicor and Microsoft. Data integration and real time tracking is key to users. Business information is updated dynamically as transactions occur, which helps companies improve decision making.
The Jeeves Universal product is suited to engineered-to-order, made-to-order, job shop and repetitive manufacturers, among other production environments where work order tracking and labor reporting are essential requirements.
Built on the IBM X Series platform, Jeeves uses the Microsoft SQL database structure and Microsoft technology stack
Jeeves comes in two “packages” for ease of use. The “out of the box” package offers selected processes and menus. The Enterprise Process Templates are geared to medium sized businesses. Both packages are based on the same platform. This allows the company to seamlessly grow between systems as needed.
Noteworthy Feature, Functions
As we noted earlier, Jeeve’s navigation capabilities are similar to Epicor and Microsoft, with standard screen layouts and ease of use.
The system offered various capabilities that are noteworthy, including:
- Tab Views: It’s very easy for a user to set up new tabs to view key data that is important to them. No programming or complex coding is needed for this ability.
- Form Design: Again, users will find it very easy to drag and drop form fields to build their own custom form. There is no complex programming needed in custom forms development.
- Search: This was a particularly innovative feature. Users can search within the system database far more easily and intuitively than other ERP products we’ve reviewed. For instance, when a user displays a data table, they simply click on the fields to immediately search. This “dynamic search” feature is helpful when drilling into data or tracking exceptions.
- Integration with QlikView: Jeeves offers a robust Business Intelligence capability which is fully integrated with QlikView, i a pre-packaged decision support system that compiles the transactions from the ERP system to clear and relevant information. Easy to read tables and charts offer an up to date overview of business operations within sales, purchasing, inventory, finance and manufacturing. With a simple mouse-click images can be filtered and angled to show different dimensions, and be broken down into detail to illustrate the different perspectives. What’s key here is the flexibility. Jeeves Business Intelligence can be run either as an integrated part within the ERP system or separately in any web browser.
- User-defined portals: Ease of use is again a plus here. I viewed a dashboard that was a Mashup of sales reports, work list, queues, and other relevant data reports. It’s a simple matter to pull in outside third party widgets into an end user’s desktop as needed
- Field Service: Managing service out in the field is a real strength of Jeeves, which is helpful to service companies and others.
We were also shown Jeeves’ Warehouse Management System integration, their “light” PLM compatibility, a comprehensive CRM toolset, and as one would expect from global vendor, multi-language, multi-company, and multi-currency feature sets.
We felt pricing and ERP implementation fees were within the range of fees charged by typical tier two ERP vendors.
Our colleagues at Jeeves’ North American Partner ComputTec provided these two North American companies as referenced users of the systems.
- Ivarson – Wisconsin-based processing and packaging equipment manufacturer
- Vitamin Resource Products – North American-based nutritional supplement retailer
As part of our commitment to serving manufacturers with ERP selection services, we are always on the lookout to staying current with the vendor landscape.
Note – Register now to see live demos of the Jeeves system in the upcoming ERP Vendor Webinar Series June 10 – 13, 2013.
Contact us today for more information on today’s modern ERP solutions, including Jeeves ERP.