For centuries, the manufacturing industry has been a cornerstone of human civilization, but many businesses continue to cling to outdated practices, stunting progress and innovation. With the launch of Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud in late 2019, manufacturers now have the opportunity to modernize their processes and gain a comprehensive view of their entire operations.
By connecting disparate departments and leveraging cutting-edge technology, Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud allows you to gain comprehensive insights into your operations and make data-driven decisions that keep you ahead of the curve. Whether it is optimizing production processes, improving supply chain management, or fostering collaboration between departments, the platform offers many benefits that can help manufacturers stay ahead of the curve and outpace the competition.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is a cloud-based solution tailored to meet the complex needs of the manufacturing sector. It is specifically designed to enable manufacturers to seamlessly and effectively manage sales, operations, and supply chain management processes as conveniently and efficiently as possible.
What truly sets this platform apart from its peers is its high customization level, allowing you to personalize the experience to your unique requirements. This empowers manufacturers to collaborate, plan, and manage the entire manufacturing process easily and conveniently, all from a single, all-encompassing platform.
It brings a wealth of transformative capabilities that allow manufacturers to make truly data-driven decisions in real time. This includes the seamless integration of data from multiple sources, including ERP systems, shop floor systems, and customer data to provide a comprehensive view of operations, facilitating informed and intelligent decision-making across the organization.
Manufacturing Cloud is all about providing you with a single source of truth for your operations, ensuring all stakeholders, from sales and operations to supply chain teams, can easily access the same real-time data and work together on a unified platform. This robust level of transparency ensures that everyone is working to achieve the same objectives, driving better outcomes for the business and cementing Manufacturing Cloud's reputation as the go-to solution for manufacturers looking to gain a competitive edge.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is a robust solution that offers several features to help you streamline your operations and improve your overall efficiency. Here are some of its key features.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud's Sales Agreement feature helps manufacturers and buyers organize negotiated terms and stay updated on the latest developments. This covers all aspects of the sale, including product details, pricing, quantities, schedule, variations, compliance rules, and delivery, as well as uncertainties in demand and supply. This ensures everyone is aligned and updated on requirements and responsibilities, helping you avoid confusion caused by scattered spreadsheets and outdated data tracking.
This also helps monitor projected sales, current order status, prices, actual volumes, and discounts, making it easy to manage the sale's lifecycle. It promotes alignment between sales and operations teams by providing up-to-date data and order uniformity, ensuring everyone works toward the same goals while minimizing surprises.
Aside from its robust Sales Agreement functionality, Manufacturing Cloud also offers an account-based forecasting feature that allows businesses to create accurate and customized forecasts based on Sales Agreements and Opportunity pipelines. This eliminates the need for incessant emailing of forecast spreadsheets between finance, sales, and operations teams. The result? A seamless collaboration experience in real-time with greater transparency, flexibility, and accuracy.
Moreover, users with access to the Account Team can update forecasts based on a vast array of factors, accommodating changes in customers' needs or market demands. It also allows new products to be easily added to forecasts with just one click, even if they aren't associated with any Sales Agreements, Orders, or Opportunities.
However, this feature isn't just about collaboration and transparency. It is also about developing formulas that cater to the unique sales cycle of your business. This allows you to create a formula that includes your business's most important inputs or metrics, thereby accurately projecting the inventory needed. One of the most significant challenges businesses face is forecasting errors caused by making assumptions. These errors can lead to downstream issues and create unnecessary tension in relationships. But with the account-based forecasting feature, you can make informed decisions based on insights gathered over years of success.
Community Cloud is a platform within the Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud that lets you communicate and collaborate with your customers and channel partners. This makes sharing data, documents, and other important information in real-time easier, creating a secure platform that reduces the need for documentation and back-and-forth communication.
In traditional manufacturing processes, clearing doubts, tracking client communication, and updating documentation can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Community Cloud helps streamline these processes, allowing you to focus on increasing productivity and converting deals. With real-time visibility and planning, you can establish transparent digital cooperation with stakeholders, enhancing customer relationships and driving business success.
Moreover, Community Cloud's ability to track real-time conversations and updates among all parties involved reduces the need for manual documentation and storage. For instance, organizations can engage with clients about sales agreements, effortlessly exchanging ideas while the platform records all conversations. This ensures that everyone working on a project has the latest information and updates at all times, improving transparency and efficiency throughout the manufacturing process.
Manufacturing Cloud's analytics suite provides a wide range of customizable reports and dashboards that can be tailored to your specific needs. It pulls data from various sources, including sales orders, production orders, and inventory data, allowing you to generate reports on anything from production output to product quality.
However, the real magic lies in the dashboard's ability to translate raw data into visually compelling insights. The dashboard accentuates crucial trends and patterns in your data through an assortment of charts, graphs, and other data visualizations. You can even schedule report generation and have it automatically emailed to designated users. That way, you can ensure that the right people have access to the right information, even without manual intervention.
Rebate Management enables enterprises to automate the creation and management of incentive programs for channel partners. This helps streamline the process of planning, executing, and monitoring cash payback incentives. You can also track partner performance in real time and adjust your incentive programs as needed.
It also leverages the data already present in Salesforce to simplify determining eligibility and assessing incentive program attainment. This feature reduces the time and effort required to administer incentive programs, allowing you to focus on more critical tasks and achieve your goals more efficiently.
In the manufacturing industry, achieving success means balancing sales and operations effectively. However, it isn't always easy, as there can be a disconnect between these two areas. This can cause a lack of visibility into sales data, making it harder for you to improve your operating margins and inventory levels, which are crucial for long-term success.
Salesforce aims to bridge this gap by opening up operations visibility. This gives manufacturers valuable insights into customer demand and planning data, helping them make more informed decisions about production planning and resource allocation.
It also enables manufacturers to forecast demand better. With more accurate forecasting, you can reduce the need for costly rush orders and production line changes that can cause disruptions. Over time, you will start seeing a reduction in overtime hours, production volatility, lead times, and days in inventory, all of which contribute to a healthier bottom line.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud provides a comprehensive case management system, facilitating efficient tracking and resolution of issues that may arise during manufacturing. The sophisticated system enables manufacturers to manage business processes across multiple teams, internal or external, with streamlined communication to enhance customer satisfaction.
Through this platform, you can easily track issues, assign them to the right people or teams, and document the progress of each resolution attempt. The Cases object in Salesforce offers a vast range of functionalities that enable you to interact with your customers effectively, including the web-to-case functionality that allows customers to submit issues directly on your company's website. This feature facilitates communication, giving both the manufacturer and the customer a clear view of the entire resolution process.
In manufacturing, cases can take many forms, such as customer-reported product damage or defects. The platform allows manufacturers to capture the details of the issue and associate them with the customer record, ensuring everyone involved has access to the most current information. Additionally, tasks, phone conversations, and other relevant activities can be related to the case record.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud leverages Sales and Service Clouds to differentiate user interfaces for the two teams, making it easier for service-focused users to access relevant objects such as cases. Advanced options, such as routing cases based on team availability or skill sets, are also available to ensure manufacturers can resolve the issues as efficiently as possible.
One of the most notable superpowers of Salesforce is its ability to automate workflows. Thanks to this, enterprises can construct and manage complex business processes, executed serially or in parallel. There are three main ways to build these processes: Workflow rules, Process Builder, and Flow.
Workflow rules provide a straightforward way to automate tasks like sending emails or updating fields. However, they aren't the best choice for handling more complex and intricate scenarios.
Process Builder, on the other hand, is a more flexible option that lets users create complex processes with conditional scenarios, yielding a wider variety of outcomes. This tool is ideal for situations that require dynamically assigning new tasks to users in specific roles or when multiple roles need to perform various actions. Moreover, it offers a user-friendly interface with visualization capabilities, making setup and editing effortless.
Flow offers the greatest flexibility among the three. However, it is also the most complex tool for workflow automation, so it requires a technical background to set up and maintain. This tool is best for building processes around dynamic data collection and creating call scripts.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud provides an additional benefit of creating workflows "behind the scenes." This feature improves user-friendliness and adoption by automatically updating types and statuses without mapping to a specific business process. For example, closing a deal with a customer listed as a "Prospect" can automatically update the type to "Client" without requiring manual intervention.
In sales, you need a deeper understanding of your customers' emotions to build trust. However, that is easier said than done, especially without face-to-face interaction. Did you know that only 3% of customers trust salespeople? This is a concerning statistic that AI aims to solve.
Salesforce offers an impressive array of analytics tools via the Manufacturing Cloud that can be extended even further by artificial intelligence (AI). The company's AI-powered tools, such as Einstein Discovery and Einstein Next Best Action, have decision-guiding principles to help businesses better understand their customers and improve their overall sales strategy.
The company's Einstein Language and Einstein Vision tools can measure sentiments toward a business or products based on what people write on social media. This information can be used to improve marketing strategies and customer experiences. But Salesforce's AI capabilities aren't just limited to measuring sentiments. They can also be used to predict the likelihood of a customer churning with the help of Einstein Prediction Builder, allowing sales teams to take proactive steps to retain those customers.
However, one concern with AI is whether businesses need to allocate significant resources to realize its benefits. Fortunately, Salesforce's AI features can be configured to meet the unique requirements of a business using clicks and not code. This means you can effortlessly incorporate AI into your sales strategy without requiring extensive technical knowledge.
Manufacturing companies need to stay competitive, and Salesforce's Manufacturing Cloud offers a cloud-based platform to improve efficiency, accuracy, and profitability. Let's see some of the reasons why it has become a popular solution for manufacturers worldwide.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud seamlessly connects separate departments, such as Operations and Sales, to automate and streamline the sales order submission process. This feature is particularly beneficial as it significantly reduces the likelihood of human error, a mistake that can prove to be costly for businesses. By integrating these functions, businesses can establish a reliable sales and operations database to leverage to work in tandem. This improved coordination creates a more efficient system, leading to faster turnaround times.
Having instant access to reporting can provide you with invaluable insights into the performance of your products. With this kind of information at your fingertips, you can easily identify which products are flying off the shelves and which ones are gathering dust. You can also leverage this data to determine trends and allocate resources more efficiently.
And if there are any alarming spikes in the return rates for a specific product, a connected system can provide real-time updates. This enables you to address the issue before it spirals out of control and leads to costly production problems. Accurate forecasting is yet another benefit of instant reporting access, enabling you to optimize your inventory levels, thus minimizing the risk of overproduction or stockouts.
Manufacturers need an accurate way to track inventory levels to avoid creating surplus products and meet customer demand. Without a full view of operations, it is easy to under- or over-produce. Producing either too much or too little of something leads to you losing money. Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud solves this problem by accurately tracking customer demand.
This allows you to optimize your inventory levels and reduce carrying costs. The platform also enables tracking across multiple locations, improving coordination and reducing the risk of overproduction or stockouts.
Effective management of contracts and agreements is essential for manufacturers, but separate updates to client agreements from multiple parties can lead to version-control issues and, quite possibly, legal liability. To address these issues, Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud uses an automated digital process for contract management, enabling instant changes and universal access to a single source of truth. This ensures the unification of operations, compliance with legal requirements, and consistent execution across departments.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud equips manufacturers with the ability to track leads and analyze customer behavior. This enables you to gain deep insights into your operations, uncovering areas for improvement. By leveraging the power of the Manufacturing Cloud, you can develop highly targeted sales and marketing strategies tailored to your customer base's unique needs and preferences. This enhanced level of customization facilitates increased customer engagement and satisfaction, resulting in higher conversion rates and improved overall performance.
There are many uses for Salesforce's Manufacturing Cloud, but these three examples are where it shines the most. Let's explore these main use cases more.
The manufacturing industry is under tremendous pressure to keep up with the demands of modern consumers, who want products tailored to their specific needs and delivered at lightning-fast speeds. In this fast-paced environment, manufacturers need to make informed decisions quickly, which requires access to accurate and up-to-date information.
Thankfully, Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud exists to help you modernize your commercial operations. This powerful platform provides a complete picture of net new opportunities, customer agreements, long-term projects, and an accurate demand forecast. This allows you to stay on top of the industry's fast pace.
But Manufacturing Cloud goes beyond standard sales forecasting tools. Its unique ability to capture and contextualize data provides sales leaders with critical insights to make decisions. By viewing the forecast through different lenses, such as product or procurement teams, you can gain valuable information that can positively impact profitability. It offers a holistic view of demand forecasts, unlocking deeper insights and enabling leaders to stay ahead of the competition.
For product teams, the forecast provides valuable insights into the parts or components, quantities, and sources needed to fulfill demand. With this information, procurement teams can negotiate volume purchasing agreements with their suppliers, effectively reducing direct material spend and increasing product margins. Manufacturing teams can also leverage the forecast to streamline production, helping determine the most efficient sites and production lines that will fulfill the expected demand.
One of the many challenges manufacturers face today is establishing a positive customer experience, especially when the products have an intended life of several years or more. In today's digital age, customers have higher expectations. In fact, 91% of B2B buyers and 86% of consumers agree that the experience a business provides is just as important as the products and services it sells.
And according to Propel's research, 54% of customers won't think twice about switching brands after encountering even one poor experience. This is where Manufacturing Cloud comes into play, as it helps manufacturers plan for and deliver efficient and effective product service, ultimately improving customer satisfaction. Manufacturers must exhibit skill and precision in executing a multitude of product development processes to provide a seamless service experience.
For products with long lifespans, meeting warranty agreements and providing in-field service are of utmost importance. Manufacturers must determine proper maintenance intervals for equipment, design parts and systems that can be properly repaired or replaced, and equip field service teams with the knowledge to efficiently maintain field equipment, keep the asset record up-to-date, and identify upsell opportunities. Manufacturing Cloud offers a one-stop-shop solution, streamlining these processes and equipping teams with the right tools to boost service productivity and resolve customer issues more quickly.
One of the most notable benefits of transformative customer service is the promise of higher quality and faster issue resolution. A closed-loop system that links issues found in the field with designs, parts, and product usage can expedite issue resolution times. Manufacturers can capture valuable field insights to be internalized by engineering teams, leading to improved subsequent design iterations. With Manufacturing Cloud, manufacturers can effortlessly track product quality, manage customer cases, and link customer experience via service teams to quality and engineering, ultimately enhancing product quality and resolving issues faster.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is an innovative cloud-based solution designed to transform the way manufacturers operate and sell. It is a one-stop-shop platform that lets manufacturers manage all their processes, from sales to production to customer service, in one place.
With Manufacturing Cloud, manufacturers can streamline operations, optimize supply chains, and give customers a top-notch experience. It provides a unified view of customer data, empowering manufacturers to deliver personalized service and support that hits the spot.
Aside from simplifying and streamlining service processes to help manufacturers resolve customer issues faster, this platform also makes partner engagement and distributor onboarding easier for manufacturers. It lets you build and scale incentive programs quickly while nurturing relationships with trusted channel partners. This is especially important for suppliers operating in multi-tier supply chains, who need to juggle many communication threads with their numerous OEM customers and suppliers.
As for distributors, they get access to product specifications, sales and marketing enablement materials, and other training materials, so they can confidently sell your products. This translates to a better customer experience, as customers can access knowledgeable and well-trained sales reps.
It is understandable why many manufacturers are still cautious about implementing new technology into their operations despite all the technological advancements. It is, after all, hard to let go of what we have become used to. But manual processes aren't just time-consuming. They are also prone to errors. Transitioning to automated processes can help you improve accuracy and reliability while saving time and money.