White Papers by Gerent

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USE CASE | Distributors Build More Efficient, Empathetic Opportunity Pipelines with Digital Relationship Management

Relationships require people — but how involved should humans be in managing them? For years, distributors have relied on their sales reps to forge and maintain robust consumer bonds. The rationale for this delegation is intuitive; empathetic relationships are stronger and more lucrative than purely transactional ones. However, these efforts can backfire if teams are overwhelmed by the incoming communications and don't have the time (or attention) to spare for relationship-building.

This white paper unpacks the adverse outcomes that human-reliant opportunity pipeline management processes often deliver and makes a case for sales digitalization.

It further considers:

  • Why human-managed distribution relationships can result in limited visibility, lost sales, and subpar service
  • How digital frameworks empower distributors to cultivate stronger relationships and achieve their sales potential
  • A practical example of how digitalization might empower a project-based distributor to expand its market share and achieve more strategic operations

June 27, 2022

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INDUSTRY TREND | Do More with Less: Packaging Manufacturers Face New Challenges Amid Covid-Boosted Demand and Constrained Supply Chains

Cliché suggests that it’s impossible to have too much of a good thing — but in the containers and packaging sector, manufacturers might beg to disagree. Ever since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, producers in the industry have struggled to overcome production constraints while fielding unprecedented demand for their goods.

In this white paper, Gerent unpacks the market factors that have prevented manufacturers from reaping the benefits of high demand in the two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

We further explore:

  • Why containers and packaging manufacturers have struggled to regain their pre-pandemic production capacity — and why that struggle has undermined producers’ abilities to take advantage of high demand
  • How labor shortages, backlogs, consumer behavior changes, and raw material price shifts have resulted in variable, even volatile, product prices
  • Why all of these factors have caused repricing to emerge as a costly challenge for containers and packaging manufacturers

June 15, 2022

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Journey Mapping Empowers Institutions to Keep Students Enrolled and On-Track

In a post-pandemic educational environment, students have struggled with the rapid shift to remote and hybrid learning environments. Negatively impacted by the distance between themselves and educators and having little to no previous experience learning online, students’ engagement is waning, enrollments are declining, and persistence rates are dwindling.

Amid these challenging circumstances, it’s become mission-critical for institutions to understand their students’ pain points and provide support precisely when, where, and how they need it. A one-size-fits-all approach to service won’t suffice; educators need to apply experiential practices that recognize and support students as individuals with specific goals.

In this white paper, Gerent considers how journey mapping can provide the framework educational institutions need to keep students on track. Exploring how administrators can construct a framework prioritizing student journeys, this paper covers:

  • The growing problem of student churn, its underlying causes, and how the post-pandemic educational environment puts unprecedented pressure on students
  • The importance of data collection and analytics in identifying student pain points, as well as implementing a tailor-made solution for different students’ journeys
  • The importance of creating a process architecture for successful journey mapping

June 13, 2022

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USE CASE | Break Free of Outdated Sales Silos with Manufacturing Cloud

For years, manufacturers have put sales digitalization on the back burner and funneled their innovation budgets toward supply chain optimization. But now, that out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach is beginning to pose consequences. Left to stagnate with outmoded processes, non-transformed sales teams have become fragmented and inefficient.

This white paper will unpack the practical problems associated with manual sales and explain why “going digital” could be the key to unlocking much-needed operational improvements and strategic agency. It will further consider:

  • Why old-school “fiefdom culture” restricts collaboration, clouds visibility, and hinders team performance
  • How CRM tools like Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can eliminate silos and ensure more effective sales operations
  • A practical example of how “going digital” can give sales leaders more oversight of department operations and facilitate timely interventions to maximize revenue

May 31, 2022

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OPERATIONALIZE | Automate Accurate, Just-in-Time Repricing with Salesforce

Manufacturers can’t afford to keep “making do” with outdated repricing processes. Over the last two years, market volatility has turned semi-annual repricing into a near-constant struggle. Inconsistent labor pools, demand spikes, and fluctuating raw-material prices have caused enough price fluctuation to warrant monthly repricing. Unable to keep pace, manufacturers have resigned themselves to revenue leaks and rampant inefficiency.

But do they need to do so? As it turns out, this problem may have a ready solution: digitalization. The following white paper will unpack:

  • Why all of the problems associated with repricing — from inefficiency to disorganization and logistical confusion — can be traced back to manual processes
  • Why manufacturers need to digitalize their pricing approach as well as their repricing methods
  • How to design and enact a realistic transformation with Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud
  • What a fully-transformed repricing process looks like

May 31, 2022

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USE CASE | A Hardware Retailer’s Guide to Delivering Customer-Centric, Digitally-Integrated Experiences

Hardware retailers need a digital boost. In recent years, it’s become clear that businesses in the space can’t meet modern business demands if constrained by limited online functionality and data silos. The hardware retail industry needs modern-day tools to succeed — and without fully embracing digital transformation, retailers may struggle to address customer needs, combat supply chain issues, or attract a digitally-savvy, experientially-attuned customer base.

In this white paper, Gerent addresses how hardware retailers can better meet the demands of a modern market by expanding their digital presence and centralizing their data.

This paper covers:

  • How data siloization and an inadequate online presence can result in widespread inventory shortages, declining customer engagement, and data inaccuracies.
  • How digital transformation efforts can allow retailers to expand their influence in the digital sphere, register customer demand accurately, and connect with customers on the platforms they frequent.
  • How businesses can create a framework that allows retailers to quickly and efficiently transform, creating a firm foundation for the future

May 6, 2022

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USE CASE | Eliminate Revenue Leaks and Improve Contracting Efficiency with Digitalized Repricing

Repricing used to be an annual endeavor. Every fall, manufacturers would set aside a few weeks to recalculate their production costs and reconcile their list prices and contracts to suit. Teams could handle the few weeks of overwork — but in a market made volatile by high demand and unpredictable production costs, repricing has become a costly and near-perpetual struggle.

In this white paper, Gerent explores how market volatility has compelled manufacturers into an unsustainable race against rising prices.

This asset unpacks:

  • Why outdated manual processes, rather than Covid disruption, are to blame for manufacturers' current repricing crisis
  • How manual processes can undermine a business's customer service, operational efficiency, and revenue intake — and why manufacturers can't afford to write off the loss
  • Why manufacturers shouldn't resign themselves to outdated repricing processes when automation-forward solutions are readily at hand

April 28, 2022

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Need to Boost Enrollments? Achieve Applicant Loyalty with Personalized Journey Mapping

The pressure prospective students face during the application process is undeniable. Candidates stress over their personal statements for months at a time, desperately trying to find the right words to convince their dream school(s) they deserve a place on the next term's roster. But once the application deadline passes, that burden reverses; suddenly, institutions must scramble to convince applicants to choose their programs over competitors’.

In this white paper, Gerent considers how institutions can use journey mapping to cultivate applicant allegiance and maximize the chances of a student picking their program over competitors’.

It will further unpack:

  • Why popular recruitment strategies have increased the pressure on admissions teams.
  • How admissions teams can craft pre-enrollment experiences that convince applicants to hold off on accepting other offers, enroll when given an opportunity, and stay committed during the lead-up to their program start date.
  • Why institutions should consider parallel-tracking gamified loyalty programs alongside their admissions journey maps.

April 22, 2022

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INDUSTRY TREND | Do More with Less: Materials Manufacturers Face New Challenges Amid Covid-Boosted Demand and Constrained Supply Chains

Cliché suggests that it’s impossible to have too much of a good thing — but in the construction materials sector, manufacturers might beg to disagree. Ever since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, producers in the industry have struggled to overcome production constraints while fielding unprecedented demand for their goods.

In this white paper, Gerent unpacks the market factors that have prevented manufacturers from reaping the benefits of high demand in the two years since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

We further explore:

  • Why construction materials manufacturers have struggled to regain their pre-pandemic production capacity — and why that struggle has undermined producers’ abilities to take advantage of high demand
  • How labor shortages, backlogs, consumer behavior changes, and raw material price shifts have resulted in variable, even volatile, product prices
  • Why all of these factors have caused repricing to emerge as a costly challenge for construction material manufacturers

April 21, 2022

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Creating a Quantifiable Business Case to Justify a CRM Transformation

Challenges posed by the pandemic have redefined the future of the Financial Services industry. Customer behavior has shifted, and a new era of accelerated digital initiatives has taken the industry by storm. To stay ahead of the curve, financial institutions are considering the implementation of major tech-enabled initiatives — but they are quickly learning they have a lot of ground to cover.

A critical aspect in driving digital advancement is unlocking executive buy-in, which can prove to be a towering challenge. Obtaining executive approval hinges upon the ability to justify expenditure through a tangible, sound business case.

This white paper outlines how to itemize the elements of a robust CRM business case and demonstrates how to quantify them to arrive at the magic number — one that strikes a balance between driving positive change and being financially viable.

In this white paper, we explore the pitfalls financial institutions encountered in the first generation of digital transformation, how it has evolved in its new era, and how the Agile methodology makes transformation less risky and more efficient.

We will also unpack:

  • How to calculate the details of operational cost savings
  • Why revenue growth projections are crucial in weighing transformational projects
  • Customer growth and retention, as well as growth value calculations
  • The time value of money and how it helps to strengthen a business case

March 9, 2022

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The Agile Era of Digital Transformation: Capitalizing on Innovation While Mitigating Risks in Financial Services

Evolving customer expectations, increased regulatory complexity, and cutthroat competition are accelerating the financial industry’s shift toward reinvention. In 2021, BDO’s financial services survey revealed that of the 100 C-suite executives polled, a whopping 97% had a digital strategy in place or in development.

However, technology is ever-evolving, and contemporary digital transformation is far from what it used to be. Financial institutions that transformed in the ‘90s and early 2000s often took a hurried, broad approach to digital transformation and found themselves with unwieldy, ongoing technical debt.

Unlike its predecessor, the new wave of digital transformation is not a sweeping, monolithic endeavor. It is targeted, speedy, and tactical, but most importantly — it delivers measurable results. New-age digital transformation follows the Agile framework, enabling institutions to learn big lessons in small strides.

In this white paper, we explore the pitfalls financial institutions encountered in the first generation of digital transformation, how it has evolved in its new era, and how the Agile methodology makes transformation less risky and more efficient.

Readers will also learn:

  • Why Agile projects should be strategically aligned with high-value goals
  • How unstructured data ends up being a costly problem in the long term
  • How the Agile framework turns failures into lessons while mitigating financial risk

March 2, 2022

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Designing Breakaway Consumer Experiences: A 2022 Guide

It is widely recognized that the healthcare industry lags behind other sectors when it comes to creating breakaway experiences. This lapse may seem odd from a high-level viewpoint — after all, invaluable consumer data has all but flooded the market in recent years. The emergence and widespread adoption of EHR systems, ICD-10 reference codes, wearable devices, and all-payer claims databases should have prompted a wave of experiential improvements in the healthcare sector.

But, to borrow a quote from Harvard Health writer Chris Orchard, "Customer-driven strategies have, in the healthcare industry, remained elusive." This paper will provide context on the current state of consumer experience in healthcare and provide practical insights on how industry organizations can operationalize better and more effective consumer interactions. It will further:

  • Explain why consumer experiences represent a crucial opportunity for competitive differentiation
  • Outline the defining features of a "breakaway" consumer experience in healthcare
  • Consider how digitalization can empower care delivery organizations to design and deliver optimal experiences

February 21, 2022

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A 2022 View: Educators face tougher competition – and higher student expectations during recruitment

Competition over students has reached a fever pitch. Amid a continued global pandemic, student enrollments have sharply declined, leaving recruiters scrambling to find new methods of convincing potential students to choose their institution over its competitors. Some institutions have waived their application fees and SAT requirements; others have forged partnerships with recruiting agencies in an attempt to overcome declining enrollments.

But will these short-term measures be enough to ensure success in an increasingly competitive market? A more sustainable solution may lie in improving the application experience. This paper will provide actionable insights into how recruiters can maximize their enrollments by making potential recruits feel welcomed and “at home” throughout every stage of the recruitment process. It will further explore:

  • The current competitive state of the higher education and training market
  • How to produce optimal recruitment journey maps in four steps
  • Why competitive recruitment experiences require data management and journey automation

February 17, 2022

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Joining the Mass Cloud Migration: How a CRM’s Strengths Balance an ERP’s Shortfalls

Cloud adoption has taken the manufacturing industry by storm. Before the pandemic erupted, companies had been slowly moving away from on-premises data storage for over a decade — but since its inception, this movement has been accelerated.

Today, a staggering 78% of manufacturing executives have either accelerated their cloud technology investment or fully migrated to the cloud. After all, cloud adoption enables businesses to achieve greater data security, expand existing operations painlessly, and save on hardware costs.

Nonetheless, migrating all of a company's data at once can be disruptive and overwhelming; a more practical roadmap to digitization involves investing in the cloud one system at a time. A good place to start is to invest in a cloud-based CRM system like Salesforce.

Some manufacturers may question the need to implement a modern CRM solution when an abundance of account information exists in their ERP. While an ERP is the heartbeat of their organization, it falls short when it comes to building relationships and driving operational efficiency — two of a CRM's towering strengths. This white paper explores these strengths and examines why an ERP was created to serve a different purpose.

Readers will also learn about:

  • Why accounts within a CRM should reflect buying companies' business structures
  • How a CRM fast-tracks customer service initiatives and delights customers
  • How Salesforce can be used to measure the ROI of sales teams’ efforts

February 4, 2022

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Increasing Manufacturers' Margins with a Robust Strategy: The Power of Planning

Every manufacturing company seeks to earn a profit — but to yield above-average returns, meticulous planning and rigorous execution are in order. Manufacturing companies that outperform their industry peers are typically inspired by a distinct company vision that fuels their data-backed strategy.

A vision statement is central to a manufacturing company’s success: it guides decision-making, motivates employees, and ensures strategic plans are executed in accordance with company values. When technology is incorporated, manufacturers can integrate commercial and operational data to effortlessly produce reports — allowing them to center their business strategy around current, up-to-date information.

We also explore:

  • Key elements to include in a successful business strategy
  • Making accurate projections and formulating better plans
  • Increasing employee motivation and productivity

This white paper dives into why it is important for manufacturers to have a vision statement and a strategy, how they can implement these tools, and how data can be used to facilitate more effective planning to increase margins.

December 20, 2021

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An Educator’s Guide to Journey Mapping in 2022

All educators share one goal: to deliver academic experiences that delight and benefit their learners. Too often, though, those same institutions lack a clear understanding of their students’ identities, goals, and pain points — a shortfall that can result in subpar experiences and lower customer satisfaction.

This paper will consider how higher education and training organizations can leverage journey mapping to provide more personalized, rewarding, and supportive experiences.

This paper will dive into:

  • The business ROI for implementing well-designed student journeys
  • A step-by-step guide for developing journey maps
  • How Salesforce technology empowers educators to execute tailored communication strategies at scale and ensure that students receive personalized messages at critical milestones and via the right touchpoints

December 15, 2021

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Work Smarter, Not Harder: Taking Back Supply-Chain Control During Inflationary Periods

In 2021, countless manufacturers faced crippling financial losses in the US$ 100 million - 200 million range. Supply-chain constraints — especially from semiconductors and resins shortages — coupled with commodity inflation and logistics bottlenecks have wreaked havoc on the manufacturing industry.

According to a McKinsey study, only 50% of the supply-chain leaders surveyed cited understanding the location of tier-one (direct) suppliers and the primary risks those suppliers face. Nevertheless, manufacturers that have skillfully navigated supply-chain disruptions were 2.5 times more likely to have advanced supply-chain analytics in place.

Effectively managing supply-chain disruptions requires agile decision making and rapid course correction — and integration is the key foundational enabler for such capabilities. MuleSoft, a leading integration solution, empowers manufacturers to combine intelligence platforms, systems, workflows, people, and machine learning to get manufacturers back on track sooner.

Readers will also learn about:

  • The difference between supply-chain visibility and transparency
  • Concrete, actionable supply-chain insights to remedy unprecedented hiccups
  • The five stages of integration evolution

This white paper delves into the supply-chain challenges manufacturers face in today’s inflationary environment, how data-backed visibility and transparency bolsters resiliency during trying times, and how a MuleSoft integration solution fuels business intelligence and agility.

December 14, 2021

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A Technology-Driven Approach to Prior Authorization Transformation: How Payers & Providers Can Innovate Together

Prior authorization is often an inefficient slog — but does it need to be? Emerging technology provides a means for healthcare organizations to jettison antiquated, burdensome authorization tasks that drive up costs and lessen patients’ ability to access appropriate care in a timely manner.

If stakeholders adopt digital approaches that automate time-consuming manual processes and streamline authorization requests, they can vastly reduce the time and resources they need to spend on administrative tasks, thereby increasing efficiency, expanding capacity, and reaping substantial cost savings.

This article will further consider:

  • The financial and operational argument for adopting automated utilization management to digitize prior authorization processes
  • How CareIQ, an innovative tool built atop Salesforce® Health Cloud, can facilitate more accurate authorization decision-making, improve authorization turnaround, maximize cost savings, and contribute to enhanced experiences for payers and their provider networks
  • How a large global health services company leveraged a technology-driven approach to streamline and standardize 100% of its prior authorizations, even for complex cases involving chronic care and behavioral health
  • Why payers and providers alike should collaborate with an implementation partner when undergoing a digital transformation

December 13, 2021

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Meeting Inflation Head-On: How Manufacturers Can Come Out on Top

According to the Bank of America, credit and debit card spending leapt 40% for people receiving stimulus payments over a two-year period — causing manufacturers to experience an increase in factory goods orders. At the same time, the price of raw materials began to soar; experts predict the 2021 average price of raw materials will climb 10% higher than the average a year before. Increased consumer demand, coupled with a decrease in supply have set the stage for inflation in the manufacturing space.

Access to the most accurate financial facts and figures equips decision-makers with the tools they need to deal with the unexpected. Manufacturers can leverage VCM analysis and real-time data to gain invaluable, actionable business insights that enable them to remain agile and proactive during times of economic volatility.

We also explore:

  • Negotiating lower prices with suppliers
  • Nurturing genuine customer relationships amid price increases
  • Using Salesforce to gather valuable data for critical sales meetings and insights

This white paper dives into the economic events that led to inflation in the manufacturing industry, how manufacturers can evaluate and increase profitability, and how to maintain mutually beneficial customer-supplier relationships.

November 17, 2021

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Increasing Market Share and Profitability in the Distribution Sector

The distribution space is a competitive trillion-dollar market with slim profit margins. On average, distributors generate 50% of the profit reported by industrial companies across the board; the average profit per dollar ratio has been about 0.8% for nearly a decade. Agile players in the space are rethinking operations and turning to technology to grow their bottom line.

Distributors are unlocking ground-breaking opportunities through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) — and using data to increase their confidence in these sizable transactions. What is more, distribution companies are leveraging data to fuel market positioning research, allowing them to remain nimble and seize opportunities as soon as they become available.

Readers will also learn about:

  • Identifying and capitalizing on product and service gaps within the market
  • Using Salesforce to assess how a potential M&A transaction would unfold
  • How digitization benefits all parties involved in an M&A transaction
  • The value-adds tech-savvy customers are looking for today

October 12, 2021

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Applying Digital Lean Externally: Looking Beyond the Four Walls of Your Business

As the prevalence of data-driven practices continues to skyrocket in the manufacturing industry, the tech story ultimately becomes one of convergence; companies that do not innovate will get left behind. This is especially true because we are now at the dawn of industry 5.0 — the fifth industrial revolution.

Digital Lean — The fusion of digitization and the Lean methodology — is a robust combination of timeless principles combined with vigorous, tech-based solutions. By looking beyond internal operations and applying Digital Lean externally, manufacturers stand to reap considerable benefits.

When manufacturers place the customer at the center of their business, they can offer unmatched value, take advantage of their newfound ability to raise prices, and gain a deeper understanding of customer relationships.

Readers will also learn about:

  • How a small business evolved into a prominent, international player in short order
  • The surprising truth about where the majority of a company’s profit comes from
  • Empowering staff to excel and provide better service with Salesforce

September 28, 2021

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Staying Ahead of Volatile Travel Restrictions: Offering Real-Time Support as a Travel Agent

While the travel industry is being revived, the world in which it is situated has drastically changed. The logistics of crossing U.S. borders are extremely difficult to navigate for travel agents and tour operators, and global lockdowns have altered consumer behavior. After a trying pandemic period, more consumers are looking to book luxury vacations and wellness retreats — and they are looking for highly specific experiences.

In order to stay abreast of volatile regulations, improve communication amid endlessly changing restrictions, and provide vacationers with the personalized vacations they dream of, travel businesses are turning to technology. A CRM solution like Salesforce allows travel agents and operators to connect with travelers at critical junctures and gain a deeper understanding what the consumer of today is looking for.

Readers will also discover:

  • How tour operator, Central Holidays, has skillfully navigated the pandemic
  • Ways Salesforce can deliver vital updates across an entire agency in real-time
  • What a robust IT solution like DeepQuest can offer small and mid-sized travel agencies at a modest cost

September 21, 2021

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Tech-Based Solutions to Accelerate Enrollment: Issuing Acceptances Before the Competition

Education institutions have been in hot water for some time now. Although the pandemic seems to be waning, college enrollment for the 2021 fall semester fell by 3.5% — this shortfall is seven times greater than the decline seen a year before. At the same time, students are applying to more schools, which has led to more competition between institutions.

Interviews with students reveal that communication breakdowns are often responsible for their choice to not enroll with a given school. Advanced conversational chatbots can enhance communication with applicants and expedite the enrollment process at a modest cost. In fact, a public charter school network of a dozen schools in Cleveland saw a 50% reduction in application completion times once it incorporated a chatbot into its enrollment process.

In order to secure students before their competitors do, admissions departments should focus on providing students with an unparalleled and efficient enrollment experience. Applying the principles of the Lean methodology can shed light on problem areas that can be fixed, and turning to Salesforce can solve those problems — resulting in higher rates of enrollment.

Our white paper also delves into:

  • How Miami University’s Lean implementation resulted in US$ 81.4 million in savings
  • Various reasons why students fail to enroll after receiving acceptance letters
  • The approaches institutions are taking to process applications faster

August 25, 2021

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Is It Possible to “Overdo” Quality?

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” isn’t a motto usually associated with the quality sector. If anything, professionals in the field believe just the opposite — they tend to be relentless in their pursuit of improvement. And to be fair, there are plenty of reasons to adopt a continuous approach to improvement; research indicates that better quality has a significant and positive relationship with business performance. Perfection might be just out of reach, but betterment never is.

However, a headlong race towards improvement at all costs can cause businesses to stumble. While quality initiatives can provide extremely valuable outcomes, it is possible to go too far in pursuit of an incremental improvement that offers limited returns. In this whitepaper, we’ll explore the seemingly blasphemous idea of “overdoing” quality by teasing apart the benefits and potential hazards of launching a continuous improvement initiative. This paper will also:

  • Discuss the necessity of conducting value-add assessments on potential quality initiatives
  • Illustrate the consequences of over-correcting in pursuit of quality improvements
  • Outline the process for implementing a successful improvement initiative

August 12, 2021

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An Actionable Guide to Digital Transformation in Insurance

The business benefits of digital transformation cannot — and should not — be understated. According to research conducted by Accenture and Oxford Economics, nearly 90% of insurers have a long-term innovation plan to incorporate technology into every facet of their organization. A full 40% of respondents said they believed their tech investments would bolster consumer loyalty, 37% thought it would create new revenue streams, and a third anticipated that the innovation would allow them to increase their market share.

However, these benefits cannot be realized without careful planning and implementation. Digital transformations need to occur within a context of organizational alignment and shared vision; otherwise, they will inevitably fall flat. This whitepaper will provide a comprehensive overview of digital transformation and its competitive value in the insurance space. It will also serve as a playbook on how an insurer can create a high-value innovation “roadmap” to pave the way towards a successful digital transformation.

This paper further considers:

  • The competitive advantage that digital transformation provides
  • How to define and derive Minimum Viable Products (MVPs)
  • How to develop a high-impact innovation roadmap
  • The tangible gains that executing such a plan can provide

August 5, 2021

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Narrowing the Manufacturing Skills Gap in the Wake of the Silver Tsunami

As predicted, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are retiring in droves. In the third quarter of 2020 alone, 28.6 million boomers reported their exit from the workforce, representing a 3.2 million (12%) increase from the same period in 2019. At the same time, the industry has been growing — 1.96 million new manufacturing jobs must be created by 2028 to support the industry’s expansion. To complicate matters even further, younger people are not particularly fond of the idea of working in the industry.

In order to overcome the talent shortage, manufacturers should focus their efforts on catering to and understanding younger generations, highlighting the positive tech-driven changes the fourth industrial revolution brings to the industry, and ensuring a smooth transfer of knowledge from the baby boomer generation.

Readers will also learn about:

  • Reshoring trends in the industry
  • Economic implications of the talent shortage
  • Hiring younger people and their workplace values
  • Using Salesforce to ensure a robust onboarding and training experience

August 4, 2021

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The Long Awaited Road to Recovery: Hotels, Airlines, and Consumers in Our Transitional Reality

The travel industry is finally on its long-awaited road to recovery — U.S. travel restrictions are easing for vaccinated individuals and international travel is resuming in higher numbers. While leisure travel intent for this summer looks promising, less than one-third of travelers have solidified travel plans by booking their full trips.

Uncertainty surrounding vaccine coverage, infection rates in various areas, and quarantine mandates continue to keep prospective travelers vigilant. With a slew of trips still not fully booked, hotels and airlines can tailor their strategies to consumers’ preferences to influence their decisions.

This white paper explores what recovery looks like for the hotel and airline sectors, analyzes consumer trends and how to increase their comfort in travel, and examines the post-pandemic staffing situation in the travel industry.

Readers will also learn about:

  • Consumers’ travel budget plans
  • Why digital nomads are a lucrative market
  • How Salesforce can assist with mitigating staff shortages and scheduling
  • Features travelers appreciate in public and private lodging accommodations

August 3, 2021

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Emerging on the Other Side of the Pandemic: Supercharging Enrollment and Retention

After 15 long months, the end of the pandemic is finally on the horizon; education and training providers of various types are resuming in-person classes this fall, and many students are gearing up for their return to campus life. Despite the country's fervent desire to return to pre-pandemic normalcy, students, parents, and stakeholders seem to be divided about what the future of education should look like.

As we are navigating through the messy middle of the pandemic’s conclusion, trends related to the future of online and in-person education are emerging. Irrespective of which avenue training and education institutions will choose to pursue, it is clear that tech-driven practices are here to stay. Leveraging a solution like Salesforce allows institutions of all types to flourish by boosting enrollment, student engagement, and retention more effectively than ever before.

This whitepaper considers how organizations can develop a strategic approach that acknowledges the “new normal” of education and provides a seamless, tech-enabled experience that suits the real needs of today’s students.

Readers will also learn about:

  • Technology practices educators are choosing to keep in the long-term
  • How to boost student engagement to drive higher success rates
  • Retaining students past the drop/add period
  • The rise of flexible offerings

July 29, 2021

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Hone Your Competitive Edge With a Consolidated QHSE Platform

The pursuit of quality is universal — however, optimizing for quality at the expense of other, equally important factors would be a mistake. The most effective quality management strategies also take into consideration ancillary priorities such as health, safety, and environmental sustainability. However, crafting a strategy that addresses all four can be challenging, as most enterprise quality management systems (EQMS) focus solely on quality to the exclusion of environment, health, and safety (EHS) concerns.

As a result of this siloing, companies often use a constellation of management platforms and services to conduct their operations. While technically functional, this approach is hardly efficient — and in some cases, it can actively constrain an organization’s potential. This paper will address:

  • The problems posed by the fragmented EHS and EQMS management platforms
  • How adopting a consolidated QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety, Environment) platform can facilitate greater operational gains and efficiencies
  • Why QHSE platforms provide an invaluable competitive advantage to modern businesses.
  • The competitive benefits that ComplianceQuest, a QHSE platform built natively on Salesforce, can provide to forward-thinking and quality-minded organizations

July 28, 2021

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Rethinking the Patient Experience Could Usher in a New Tomorrow for Healthcare

Today, technology underpins nearly every aspect of healthcare provision, from recording patient information to facilitating communication and even developing diagnoses. Every use case is crucial to modern medical practice — and yet, the incorporation of technology isn’t cohesive by any stretch of the imagination. The integration of digital tools into healthcare operations has so far been piecemeal, done with the intent to support rather than reimagine existing processes.

This isn’t to say these updates haven’t been extensive or effective; they have. But what if providers could take that innovative thinking one stride further? What if, rather than merely propping up existing processes, we used digital tools to reimagine the patient experience?

With Salesforce’s Health Cloud, providers can dare to envision a more ambitious future. In this whitepaper, Gerent will consider:

  • How the healthcare-specific CRM framework can solve long-held industry concerns relating to interoperability, population health management, care coordination, and patient engagement
  • The Health Cloud product set, its functionalities, and value proposition
  • Why Health Cloud will, when applied within a “patient-centric” context, set the foundation for the “new tomorrow” of healthcare

July 27, 2021

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The Future of Life Insurance is Omnichannel. Will Your Company Be Prepared?

Today, insurance agents manage their clients' financial assets in ways that would have seemed unthinkable even a decade ago. However, their success hinges on their ability to match the caliber of client service provided by other entities in the financial sector (i.e., banks, investment managers) and compete at scale.

The only way to achieve this goal is to conduct efficient, effective outreach across multiple channels — in other words, to deploy an omnichannel marketing approach that demonstrates an understanding of who consumers are, how they prefer to interact, and what they want out of their policies. Moreover, the consumer journeys that insurers design must be consistent across all channels to avoid frustrating, confusing, or otherwise alienating potential leads.

Implementing an omnichannel approach is a Herculean challenge for insurance and annuity providers — and, if they can overcome it, an opportunity to reap remarkable gains.

By reading this white paper, executives will have the opportunity to:

  • Trace the insurance sector's transition into an omnichannel norm
  • Evaluate the benefits of a consumer-centric, omnichannel approach
  • Consider how insurance carriers can deploy cutting-edge Salesforce tools to stay competitive amid the shifting industry landscape

June 21, 2021

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A Bird’s Eye View of the Lucrative RV Sector and its Tech Enhancement

While the pandemic shattered most of the sectors within the travel industry, it allowed the recreational vehicle (RV) and campground sectors to flourish. The global RV market surpassed US$ 55 billion in 2020, a US$ 4 billion increase from the year before – and its growth is not predicted to taper off anytime soon. The latest report from Global Market Insights Inc. reveals the sector's market valuation is expected to surpass US$ 125 billion by 2027.

For the first time, the majority of RV owners are under 55 years of age and fall into generation X, millennial, and generation Z categories. As younger generations make up the primary demographic of RV adventurers, executives are taking note of new consumer expectations – which we have outlined in this white paper.

Readers will also learn about:

  • The profitable glamping sector and glamping in an RV
  • Road-trippers’ affinity for using apps
  • Tech-enhanced resort experiences
  • The advantages of an automated booking system

June 18, 2021

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Thriving in an E-Commerce World: Maximizing Brick-and-Mortar Distributors' Value

The pandemic has vigorously accelerated digital advancement in nearly every sector – and the distribution space is no exception. The steady growth of online marketplaces has shaken up brick-and-mortar distribution establishments in an unprecedented fashion.

With over $5 million sellers on its platform, Amazon Business reached $25 billion in annual sales at the end of its first quarter in 2021. Distributors are hyper-aware of consumers’ shift toward the e-commerce model; according to PwC, nearly 70% of all U.S. distributors believe incorporating digital transactions into their sales models is a top priority. To compete with the lower costs e-commerce businesses offer, brick-and-mortar distributors must focus on providing value-added services.

Readers will also learn how physical distributors can:

  • Set themselves apart from online marketplaces
  • Secure repeat customers by fostering loyalty
  • Exceed patrons’ expectations by going the extra mile
  • Expand their local reach

June 14, 2021

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Higher Ed and Training Organizations Can Meet the Upskill Boom Head-On

For educators, the time to rethink strategy is now. Covid-19 is finally waning, vaccinations are progressing, and demand for skills training is through the roof. The Fall 2021 semester is shaping up to be a game-changer — if, of course, institutions are prepared for it.

However, the strategies and models that captured student interest pre-Covid may not be as effective in post-pandemic times. The market has evolved, student priorities changed, and standards for e-learning have risen. Education providers must understand and adapt to the new industry landscape if they wish to make the most of the current upskill boom and, in the long term, remain competitive.

This whitepaper considers how organizations can develop a strategic approach that acknowledges the “new normal” of education and provides a seamless, tech-enabled experience that suits the real needs of today’s students.

This article will also conduct a deep dive into:

  • The economic factors driving the upskill boom
  • How organizations can adapt their strategic plans and offerings to suit new learner priorities
  • Why digital transformation is a competitive necessity for higher education institutions and training organizations post-pandemic
  • What Marketing Cloud can do to uphold and further educators’ marketing initiatives during the upskill boom

June 9, 2021

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A Manufacturer’s Playbook for Evidence-Based Quality Management Optimization

A robust quality management system (QMS) is merely a basic requirement – it affords a company the opportunity to exist and compete. However, when executives are presented with a quality cost report for the first time, they are often bewildered by how high their cost of quality is.

Quantifying quality-related costs can be a challenge, as they include a wide range of activities that involve many departments within an organization. To get the most out of their quality systems, executives should have a thorough understanding of the intricacies behind quality costs, and the ability to make data-driven improvement decisions. Readers will also learn about:

  • Identifying the most significant quality problems
  • Shifting from a paper-based system to an automated system
  • Measuring the return on investment of a quality system
  • Deconstructing quality costs to ensure resources are allocated strategically

June 4, 2021

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Capitalizing on Novel Travel Trends: The Transformative Power of Digitization in the Tour Operator Sector

The tours-and-activities sector is the third largest sector in the travel industry, preceded only by flights and accommodations. Although the sector was valued at US$ 254 billion in 2019, activity and excursion providers have seen bookings drop by a staggering 85% one year later. This decrease largely stems from the sector's focus on group travel – which is being avoided.

However, there is still cause for optimism. The sector has seen one of the highest growth rates of venture-capital investment in the travel industry, suggesting strong post-pandemic confidence in its profitability. In order for shore tour and excursion providers to rebound successfully, itineraries should be compelling and in line with the current travel climate.

Readers will also learn about:

  • The types of travel consumers are currently interested in
  • Ways to capitalize on the latest travel trends
  • The benefits of personalized interactions with prospective travelers
  • How operators can use technology to provide travelers unique experiences

May 25, 2021

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Keeping a Pulse on Profit: Understanding the Power of the Variable Contribution Margin in Manufacturing

The variable contribution margin (VCM) is a powerful tool – to unlock its full potential, manufacturers need to know how to use it.

VCM analysis is a different way of looking at profitability; it evaluates each individual product in depth to uncover fundamental business insights, including the amount of resources dedicated to a product, how much it contributes to overhead costs and the profit it generates. When VCM analysis is evaluated in tandem with the stock keeping unit (SKU), executives begin to develop a more accurate financial picture of their business, allowing them to make smarter, more strategic decisions. A tool like Salesforce’s Manufacturing Cloud can be leveraged to make the process of classifying costs and conducting financial analysis effortless - improving a company’s bottom line.

This white paper also explores:

  • Critical considerations regarding how to proceed with an unprofitable product
  • Considerations related to pricing
  • Increasing the profitability of a product
  • Negotiating less expensive raw materials from suppliers
  • Identifying when to cut your losses

May 7, 2021

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New Business Acquisition Made Easy With Salesforce Industries Insurance

The insurance industry is learning that digitization holds the key to future business success. Acquiring new business and retaining existing business are how carriers can remain competitive – if they take a digital approach to those twin challenges.

In this white paper you’ll learn:

  • Why carriers regard digital transformation as simply an IT project and why that couldn’t be farther from the truth
  • How digitizing intake processes through to issuance can create lasting customer relationships
  • What a fully digital, greenfield operation has done to transform one carrier’s business inexpensively and with great success

April 15, 2021

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Secure Your Competitive Advantage and Identify New Opportunities with Territory Planning and Sizing

For distributors, sales territories form the foundation upon which success is built.

However, many distributors go years – and sometimes decades – without analyzing their territories and target markets. This is due to the fact that they have been doing things the same way for a long, long time. And this makes sense – when things are going well, why change? But if you haven't changed with the times, you're likely missing out on growth opportunities. And if you don't capitalize on those opportunities, your competition will.

In this white paper, you'll discover how to calculate your total and served addressable market segments and use this data to grow your business.

April 15, 2021

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Catering to Guest Preferences in the Everchanging Hotel Sector

Although the pandemic has affected every sector around the world, the hotel industry has been particularly hard-hit. Akin to many other industries, hotels and resorts will see significant shifts in the post-pandemic era. In order to rise from the ashes, hotels will need to pivot substantially and reconsider many elements of their operations.

An effective approach to keeping loyal customers satisfied is to modify the existing rewards programs available to them. A loyalty program that offers one free night after two bookings is not realistic with today’s travel restrictions, as people are traveling much less. A more reasonable program could offer a guest a complimentary massage, beauty treatment, or main course if they stay with you for four nights. The more likely rewards are to be used, the more likely you are to retain the customer.

This white paper endeavors to explore how hotels can continue to build customer loyalty, outline technological innovations the lodging sector has adopted and examine effective ways hotels can expand their reach to convert new audiences.

March 31, 2021

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Meeting Learners’ Evolved Expectations in the Competitive Online Education Sector

Increased competition among online learning providers has been cited as a major fiscal challenge for organizations in the space. As the remote education and training sector has grown to be a highly competitive industry and today’s learners are more digitally aware, online education providers need to ensure their digital presence is optimal, so as to stand apart from their competition.

Several eLearning platforms have received unicorn valuations of over $1 Billion and massive investment is fueling the sector. Tech giants have taken an interest in the sector as well; Facebook has invested in BYJU'S and Microsoft has joined LinkedIn Learning. In addition to traditional education programs, hundreds of niche platforms now offer online learning courses in various fields, such as health, digital marketing and technology training.

This white paper explores why online education organizations’ digital presence must be differentiated in today’s competitive climate, why catering to consumers’ changing demographics and expectations is essential, and the profound importance of leveraging data to increase the recruitment and retention of learners.

March 31, 2021

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Why Training Organizations Need Journey Mapping Technology to Succeed in a Post-COVID World

Student journey mapping – the process of mapping out the entire lifecycle of your students – is an invaluable tool for educators. By mapping the student experience, educational institutions gain a powerful decision-making toolset that lets them identify and amplify areas of the student journey that are strong, while discovering and improving areas that don’t meet students’ needs.

As educational resources increasingly transition online and students are met with more choices than ever, the ability to see into the student lifecycle and provide targeted, personalized experiences will be a key factor in determining which training organizations thrive over the next five years.

In Why Training Organizations Need Journey Mapping Technology to Succeed in a Post-COVID World, you’ll learn why most training providers may not really know their student journeys as well as they should and how to begin mapping an effective student journey. Finally, you’ll also learn how to leverage Salesforce to build a robust student experience that supports internal processes with technology.

March 11, 2021

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Technology Builds A New Bridge Between MGAs and P&C Carriers

The insurance industry has finally caught up with the march of technology and is going through a rapid transformation across distribution and processing channels. Property and Casualty insurers are seeing Managing General Agents (MGAs) and wholesalers in a new light. And so are the venture capital firms, private equity companies and hedge funds.

In this white paper, Technology Builds A New Bridge Between MGAs and P&C Carriers, we’ll dig into what’s behind the transformation.

You’ll learn:

  • How technology innovation is helping carriers to reduce their expense ratios
  • Why such technology is allowing MGAs to leverage their core strengths
  • Where the smart money sees double digit ROI (hint: it’s NOT with the carriers)

March 8, 2021

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How Healthcare Organizations Can Ensure Security and Regulatory Compliance in the Cloud with Salesforce

To remain competitive and better serve their patients, healthcare companies are building cloud infrastructures that allow them to collect and store unprecedented quantities of data, develop and test applications on-the-fly, and provide remote collaboration capabilities for employees, all while hiring, training, and maintaining an IT staff that can keep the machine running smoothly.

But with the benefits of cloud infrastructure come several challenges, chief among them data security, backup and disaster recovery, and regulatory compliance. Failure to meet compliance standards such as HIPAA can result in fines of up to $1.5 million per year and can even result in jail time.1

This white paper explores the challenges faced by healthcare organizations that wish to leverage cloud infrastructure, as well as how they are overcoming them with the help of cloud-enabled CRM solutions such as Salesforce.

1 https://bit.ly/2ZIDukw

February 24, 2021

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How Training Providers Can Ensure Success in a Post-Pandemic World with Salesforce

Among the hardest-hit sectors of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic was education. The solution? Move online! But as most educators know by now, it’s not that simple. Most institutions’ first efforts to migrate their teaching platforms online left much to be desired. However, students were aware of the extreme circumstances and were therefore willing to temper their expectations.

In 2021, however, students will demand more. How Training Programs Can Ensure Success in a Post-Pandemic World with Salesforce aims to help educational training professionals understand the challenges they will face in a post-COVID world and how CRM technology such as Salesforce can help overcome them.

February 10, 2021

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Digital Solutions Accelerate Insurance Underwriting

Digital change is transforming the insurance landscape. Much of the change is being driven by rapid growth in digital solutions that leverage third-party data and advanced analytics. Virtually every aspect of insurance is seeing the beneficial impacts, especially in the underwriting and risk management arena.

This white paper dives into the widespread adoption of digital technology in underwriting today.

We’ll explain:

  • How power, speed, and agility can be achieved through harnessing digital technology
  • How both Life and Property & Casualty underwriting is being positively impacted
  • Why the need to embrace such change has never been greater today

February 9, 2021

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The Impact of Adopting an Agile Framework for Manufacturers

Agility as a framework is particularly useful in weathering unexpected market conditions. A McKinsey study that looked at the financials of 1,100 publicly traded companies during the previous economic downturn found that 10% significantly outperformed the rest. The one commonality? Their access to correct, up-to-date data and ability to use it to adjust budgets and accrual accounts to free cash flow and reduce debt.

Given the advantages, it has become common practice among today’s manufacturing thought leaders to prescribe agility as a tool to adapt and thrive in un-forecasted market conditions. But for many, the advantages are ill-defined. The Impact of Adopting an Agile Framework for Manufacturers explores the consequences of failing to adopt an agile framework, the benefits of implementing one, and the steps manufacturers need to take to succeed with agility.

January 13, 2021

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Insurance In The Cloud: Security, Agility, And Strong ROI

Technological change is coming rapidly to the insurance industry. More and more traditional insurers are discovering the organizational agility and data security that can be found in cloud migration. In return, they get strong ROI from their investment in cloud technology.

In this white paper, you’ll learn:

  • How to develop a strong digital roadmap for a successful cloud migration
  •  What organizational areas to consider first in a migration
  • Why data security in the cloud is superior to security on-premises
  • How and why one rapidly growing U.S. insurer is conducting its own cloud migration

January 8, 2021

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What Insurers Need to Know About The 3.0 Digital Distribution Transformation

Traditionally, distribution in the insurance industry revolves around agents who sell insurance policies for a commission or fee. Until very recently, this made sense: insurance products are complicated, and customers needed professional advice when navigating all of their options.

But for the last decade, the insurance industry has been shifting to a digital distribution model.

For insurance organizations, the message is clear: those who want to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world need to transform their distribution models ASAP.

This paper is divided into three sections: In the first, we explore the three digital distribution models. In the second, we cover the benefits of a Salesforce-enabled digital insurance distribution platform. Finally, we’ll look at several digital distribution use cases.

December 11, 2020

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How The Travel Industry Will Recover in a Post-Pandemic World

It’s no secret that the travel and tourism sector has been one of the industries hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. The original 2020 revenue forecast for worldwide travel dropped from $711 billion to $396 billion – that’s a decrease of over 45%.

Fortunately, the current state of affairs won’t last forever.

How The Travel Industry Will Recover in a Post-Pandemic World examines what that transition to a post-Covid world will look like, and how the cruise lines, airlines, and hotel businesses can adapt and thrive in the coming months.

November 16, 2020

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Quality: The Key to Long Term Success

Quality is critical to a company’s success. Whether it’s the quality of products, services or internal practices, a company’s long term future rests on quality. So why is quality often perceived to be an obstacle?

In this White Paper from Gerent, we explore the reasons why quality processes are critical to most organizations. We also look at how those very processes can create problems within companies. Finally, Gerent’s Senior Director of Enterprise Quality Management Systems explains how software-based technology solutions can streamline quality practices and eliminate the issues that give quality a bad rap.

October 16, 2020

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The Business Impact of Digital Transformation for Manufacturers

According to a Deloitte report, if manufacturers don’t embrace digital transformation and an Agile  framework, “as many as 35 percent of today’s industrial companies could be out of business or significantly changed in 10 years.”

The message is clear: manufacturers need to move beyond the traditional, lean manufacturing model and embrace digital transformation and Agility if they want to compete in the 2020s and beyond.

In The Business Impact of Digital Transformation for Manufacturers, you will discover the direct benefits and applications of an Agile digital transformation – as well as the consequences of the “business as usual” model.

October 6, 2020

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Manufacturing Cloud: Uniting Sales & Production Planning

Salesforce unveiled Manufacturing Cloud in September 2019. Its aim is to more closely align sales forecasting and production planning to achieve greater efficiency for manufacturers and their supply chains and heighten customer satisfaction.

In this white paper, we delve into how it works and why it’s solving a longstanding problem for manufacturers. This is a must-read for all manufacturing organizations, no matter how big or small.

April 16, 2020

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The DeepQuest Solution: Small Travel Operators Secure Market Share

Smaller travel companies like specialty cruise lines, rail and bus companies and small, boutique hotels often have an extremely difficult time competing in a space controlled by giant online travel organizations with enormous marketing and technology budgets.

That’s why Gerent developed and brought to market an affordable Salesforce-powered solution called DeepQuest. DeepQuest is module-based and each module serves a specific need. Whether it’s a powerful reservation system, a shore excursion booking platform or a marketing tool, DeepQuest offers Salesforce CRM power for the travel industry – at a fraction of the cost of other systems.

Learn how this remarkable product is driving productivity in travel.

February 25, 2020

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QMS and Salesforce: A Better, Faster Path to Compliance

Manufacturers must deal with many challenges from global competition and far-flung supply chains to the ever-changing landscape of regulations.

Many companies try to keep up with regulatory demands using a conventional spreadsheet Quality Management System.

But, often, it isn’t robust enough to manage the task. More companies are adopting the Enterprise Quality Management System (EQMS), from ComplianceQuest, based entirely on the Salesforce platform.

As ComplianceQuest’s implementation and consultation partner, Gerent has authored a White Paper, titled QMS and Salesforce: A Better, Faster Path to Compliance, to explain why this EQMS is superior to conventional forms and how staying compliant and in conformance is straightforward, thanks to Salesforce technology.

January 8, 2020

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AI: How It’s Powering Manufacturing

Artificial intelligence can be a mystery to manufacturers. Yet, AI is what makes ‘smart factories’ smart. It's driving product improvement in everything from design to creation and generating cost savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Gerent has produced a white paper designed to de-mystify artificial intelligence and demonstrate its manufacturing applications.

Find out how AI is powering manufacturing.

November 14, 2019

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A Digital Transformation Road Map for Manufacturers

Manufacturers face enormous pressures every day. Customers are increasingly demanding. Global supply chains are straining under trade tension.

And then there’s all this talk about a “digital transformation journey”. Make no mistake:  digital transformation is powerful and it’s real.

Gerent has produced a White Paper that will give you a clear view down the road to begin your own journey with confidence by providing solid advice on where and how to start.

October 18, 2019

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