Manufacturers received another boost from Salesforce in 2019 with the news that the world’s number one CRM technology company was releasing Manufacturing Cloud.
Manufacturing Cloud isn’t only for manufacturers but for any business that is involved with the storage, supply, and distribution of goods.
For manufacturers, however, the good news is that Manufacturing Cloud will help to bring Sales and Operations onto the same page, finally.
In a facility of any size, a struggle often exists between these two, as Tim Gollin, former global CEO for Arc International, succinctly puts it. “The one place where there’s a real need for an interface is between demand forecasting (Sales) and production planning (Operations) and that’s where you most often see conflict and difficulty.”
Clear and Visible Data
Now, with Manufacturing Cloud, that conflict can be greatly resolved.
As with all Salesforce products, the goal is clear visibility of business data. For manufacturing enterprises, much of that data can be granular, siloed in ERPs and Order Management systems (OMS) and inaccessible to front office systems that drive sales, marketing, and revenue planning. The inverse is also true; operations can often be in the dark regarding what sales teams are doing – or promising – in the field with customers.
Manufacturing Cloud unlocks that granular data without forcing a manufacturer to migrate data from an ERP or OMS, something that can be both time and budget-consuming. Through the use of Salesforce’s large shelf of APIs or its Mulesoft AnyPoint Platform, any data from third-party internal systems can be accessed via Manufacturing Cloud.
It’s the same approach that has made Sales Cloud and Service Cloud the bases for greater efficiency in business today: bring data from all sources together in one location, make that data visible to everyone in an organization, drive recommendations based on powerful AI algorithms, and provide a complete 360-degree view of the customer at the same time.
Even though the approach is similar, Manufacturing Cloud has been created with specific manufacturing needs in mind.
- Sales Agreements
This is where closing the gap between forecasting and production planning begins. Manufacturing Cloud deep-dives into sales agreements to uncover data from ERP and OMS systems and combines it with customer contracts. A company is now able to view and compare planned volumes and revenues with actuals.
- Account-Based Forecasting
Manufacturing Cloud provides the ability to create custom metrics with which a company can forecast individual customer business through orders, opportunities or sales agreements. This is achieved by combining and analyzing data from Sales, Finance, and Operations. In other words, a sales team can act based on a unified forecast and production teams can know what they have to do to be ready.
- Community Cloud for Manufacturing
It’s vital that today’s customer feels part of the action, so to speak. One of the ways Salesforce makes this happen is through Community Cloud which allows a customer – and channel partners, for that matter – to have the same visibility as a manufacturer does into what’s going on. By extending this kind of visibility to a customer, any changes to an order can be made far faster, thanks to a reduction in what’s known as latency. Time is saved and the customer is satisfied, having been part of the process from the beginning.
- Einstein Analytics for Manufacturing
What makes Manufacturing Cloud and all of the Salesforce Cloud products so powerful is artificial intelligence – what Salesforce calls Einstein Analytics for Manufacturing.
Einstein Analytics is the ‘secret sauce’ that generates intelligent insights, predictions, and recommendations from the data gathered throughout a manufacturer. The platform is fully customizable, as well. Executives and account teams have the capability to uncover ‘aha’ moments from sales agreements, customer accounts, product performance and so forth.
Manufacturing Cloud utilizes all the exceptional elements of the Salesforce CRM platform, tailored specifically for manufacturing needs. The principles are the same: gather data into one, central location, visible to all; analyze it and generate actionable insights.
Gerent has the skills and experience to architect a solution based on Manufacturing Cloud. We’ve been working with the manufacturing sector for years; we understand manufacturing and can recommend the best way to implement Manufacturing Cloud to drive the most benefit for a company. Contact us today and learn more.