Metal fasteners lined up in a row

Cloud Databases Make Global Collaboration Possible for a Major Manufacturer

Client Success Snapshot

Client Profile:

  • Overview: A global leader in the mechanically attached fastening industry
  • Industry: Manufacturing (Fastening Solutions)
  • Team Size: 1,001-5,000
  • Annual Revenue: US$ 100-500 million
  • Headquarters: PA, USA
  • Markets: Global

The Challenge

After scaling into a global industry leader, a manufacturer in the fastening and hardware insertion machinery sector began experiencing growing pains. Data silos between national offices had resulted in missed sales opportunities and led to data drain. The company turned to Salesforce — and its trusted implementation partner, Gerent — for help in bridging these gaps.

Gerent's Approach

After discussing the issue at length, Gerent and the manufacturer decided to implement Salesforce CRM across the entire organization and establish a global customer database. 

Key Outcomes

This solution would empower the entire company to generate more useful data from its distributor relationships and internal contacts. It would also prevent data loss, enable better international collaboration, and provide better organizational visibility. 

Client Success Story

Success begets organizational complexity. As a business grows, its management systems need to take on a heavier load — and some crack under the increased pressure. This was the scenario for a leading manufacturer in the fastening and hardware insertion machinery sector. The company had scaled into a global operator and developed a network of local distributors to serve its end users in countries around the world. But as the organization expanded, it began to experience growing pains. 

Corporate Growing Pains Lead to Silos and Knowledge Drain

“The COO found out that data was being lost every time somebody left the company,” Chris Stefanazzi, the Salesforce executive assigned to the project, explained. “He realized that the company really didn’t have an easy way to gather data to begin with, so he wanted us to create a global database of customer information.”

The day-to-day users in the company also wanted to connect with each other and ultimately, with their customers in more meaningful ways, according to Stefanazzi. 

Salesforce’s CRM platform had only been implemented in the company’s Chinese branch, after a local manager — who had worked with the technology in a previous position — reached out to Salesforce. In that office, the solution implemented was designed to manage opportunities and sales activity while providing real-time visibility into the business. 

Once the solution launched and began delivering positive change in the Chinese office, senior management in the States started to contemplate the possibility of implementing Salesforce globally. Ultimately, management concluded that Salesforce could help the organization cultivate and maintain stronger distributor relationships.

Establishing the Need for a Global Database

Sales opportunities were normally generated from the company’s highly comprehensive website, which featured detailed specifications on every product sold. When a product inquiry came through the website, it would be redirected to an agency that qualified the lead. From there, the prospect would be manually distributed internally via Excel spreadsheets. However, this process wasn’t always smooth — and in some cases, it resulted in information loss.

Consider the communication between the organization’s Stateside and Chinese operations as an example. Prior to implementing Salesforce, the company would send an email with details on the opportunity to China. The subsidiary recorded the opportunity on a spreadsheet and headquarters in the U.S. would lose touch with it after that. Conversely, if an opportunity began in the States and was pushed to China for follow-up, the Chinese subsidiary had no visibility of what had been done beforehand or what was coming its way.

In both cases, the local branches lose potentially valuable data. After discussing the issue at length, Gerent and the manufacturer decided to establish a global customer database. This solution would empower the entire company to generate more useful data from their distributor relationships and internal contacts. 

“Their overall goal was to get all their operations holistically aligned,” Linda Satterthwaite, Gerent’s Project Manager, explained. “Now, there’s complete visibility and everyone knows what’s going on.”

Salesforce Creates Positive Change within a Quick Turnaround

Gerent began the implementation project in April of 2019 and had the global organization up and running by mid-June.

“Our solutions architect, Manasi Gupta, worked with all the parties involved to guide them in understanding what their data differences were,” Satterthwaite said. “She did a fabulous job to get everyone on the same page on the implementation strategy and any customizations that would be necessary to account for regional differences.”

The ongoing job of bringing the whole company and all its divisions onto the Salesforce platform is continuing.

“What’s next with the company is integrating the automotive group,” explains Chris Stefanazzi. “Once again, we’re dealing with a different business because the company is a supplier, so the application engineers are working closely with the OEMs. There’s a ton of back and forth with testing and so on. As a result, the relationships have to be managed well.”

If the past is an indication of the future, the client will be impressed. Stefanazzi says they never once looked at competing platforms. “They’re a best-of-breed company and Salesforce is the best in the world at what we do,” he states.

Contact Gerent today to find out how we can help your business achieve its ideal future state!

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