Rapidly-changing consumer preferences in the recent times have been a concern for the manufacturing industry that has traditionally grappled with poor visibility and inadequacy to deal with the impact of unpredictable demands on the stock and service level agreements. Needless to add, this has a negative impact on customer satisfaction.
Before we discuss how Salesforce’s Manufacturing Cloud is about to change the relationship of the manufacturing industry with its customers, let’s briefly look into the challenges faced by this industry.
What are the issues faced by the manufacturing industry?
The advent of ‘smart shopping’ has disrupted the demand-supply chain. Consumer trends are short-lived while preferences are constantly changing. Customer demands for a seamless journey across channels and devices call for a robust CRM system that translates customer insights into workable data in real-time.
Customer data is stashed in silos over several spreadsheets and ERP systems. This is especially true of the manufacturing industry that is far removed from the sales and operations teams although their work is inter-linked. Lack of transparency between teams can be devastating for the bottom line with issues like stock-outs, overstocking, inability to meet service level agreements and ultimately poor customer satisfaction.
Cindy Bolt, SVP and GM, Salesforce Manufacturing, explains that due to the capital-intensive nature of the manufacturing industry, sudden changes in demand can be disruptive. Hence, the industry needs to be in touch with the ground reality.
How is the Manufacturing Cloud going to address these problems?
By doing away with silos and embracing a unified approach.
Bolt opines that the Manufacturing Cloud will bridge the gap between sales and operations teams leading to greater transparency and predictive business resulting in positive and trustworthy relationships with customers.
Let’s see how exactly this can be achieved:
Powerful sales agreement
With this feature, manufacturers can unify the contract terms agreed upon by both parties with the run-rate business data that’s stored in ERP software and order management systems. This ensures planned revenues be well-positioned against the actuals. Any changes to the terms get reflected in the system and across the metrics. This gives full visibility and sufficient time to the manufactures to adjust the inventory in line with the demand.
This feature gives the manufactures a 360-degree view of the business and enables all the teams to collaborate in real-time. It empowers manufacturers to break down the silos and forecast accurately for each account. Changing market trends or consumer preferences are updated in real-time, helping the teams to make suitable adjustments to their forecasts.
Salesforce brings manufacturing-specific innovative features—listed below—across the Customer 360 platform.
The intelligent insights allow account managers to remain on top of service level agreements. Additionally, due to centralized data access, they can anticipate problems even before they arise, discover potential sales opportunities by servicing clients by identifying high-growth segments and providing relevant recommendations.
Community Cloud is an excellent online social platform to create branded sites; one that connects customers, employers, and partners. With a pre-built template, it allows manufacturers to extend sales agreements to their channel partners making it easy and effective for the teams to collaborate in real-time. This proves to be an effective tool to close deals faster and improve customer support.
MuleSoft Anypoint Platform
With production cycles getting shorter, manufacturers need to have greater visibility of the supply chain. With MuleSoft Anytime, there’s improved data connectivity across systems that helps manufacturers to build comprehensive forecasts, automate business processes, and deliver even complex products to meet demand.
Chris Taylor, VP, Digital Accelerator, Airbus, says that this platform is one of the Digital Accelerator’s critical building blocks as it allows them to quickly unlock data in their legacy systems, optimize manufacturing and supply chain processes, and ultimately optimize their aircraft. If you wish to know more about Salesforce’s Manufacturing Cloud, do contact our expert team at Suyati.