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24/03/2022

Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud: enabling customer centricity for manufacturers

Big data and the IoT have been long-standing buzzwords for trends in manufacturing, and for good reason: they both help manufacturers connect employees, processes and customers more closely together. In this blog, we’ll review what Manufacturing Cloud is in the context of the larger Salesforce ecosystem and what are its key benefits for the industry.

Prospective employees and customers want modern business processes, digital experiences, and omnichannel service capabilities. Whether your customer is the end consumer, wholesalers, or a network of partners and distributors, making it easy to engage with your business in a sleek, online experience is the way forward.

Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is an industry-specific offering from Salesforce made to connect manufacturing’s front-office and back-office operations for a more cohesive experience with partners, employees, and end customers. Leveraging AI-driven data, automated sales processes, and field service innovation, the Manufacturing Cloud platform has proven itself repeatedly as the cloud software of choice for top manufacturing companies. Let’s next look into the key functionalities of the solution.

Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud’s key benefits

Advanced Target Setting and Monitoring

Customer centricity has been one of the buzzwords for many companies for years but driving strategic level planning with real customer data in hand has been a challenge. Thus target setting has lacked insights to account base progress and future forecasting.

With Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud, manufacturers are now able to:

  • Use account and product information as a basis when setting up business targets.
  • Drive performance and productivity by converting growth plans into measurable targets for customer-facing teams.
  • Create, assign, and edit targets for the organisation to meet performance goals based on product volume, revenue, or any custom measure related to a single account or group of accounts.
  • Have a single source of truth for their company performance with account manager targets and forecasting in a single place.
  • Reassign an invalid team target to another team member, change the target owner, move it to the parent target, or delete it.

Advanced target setting and monitoring are bases for customer-centric business operations and thus will enable manufacturers to develop and enhance the customer-related processes to the next level.

Forecasting

One key to successful sales and business operations is accurate sales forecasting. Every company needs to maintain visibility into its complete book of business, such as orders, opportunities, and sales agreements. Based on the Salesforce Trends in Manufacturing 2021 report, 81% of manufacturers say they need new approaches and tools for accurate forecasting. Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud enables companies to capture a holistic forecast with predicted volumes and revenue streams across different businesses.

When considering requirements for efficient and valuable forecasting, granularity and available data periods play important roles. Especially for global manufacturers, these needs often vary between business units and regions. With advanced account forecasting of the Manufacturing Cloud, it is possible to provide valuable insights for different user groups and control who sees whose adjustments. Forecast calculations for each business unit can be configured differently, and calculations can be run through scheduled flows or in real-time. Forecast periods can easily be managed and adjusted based on the need. Both calculation frequency and rollover frequency can be specified separately for each set, along with other details.

As markets and business environments are changing faster and faster, business leaders are expected to collaborate more closely and frequently with other stakeholders also related to forecasting. The Manufacturing Cloud provides an effective way for all the stakeholders to collaborate on the forecast data. Partners, account managers, and regional sales managers can track the adjustments that each of them makes within a single source of truth, meaning the account forecast data.

Rebate Management

Rebate Management is great, particularly for manufacturers with involved distributor networks determining the bulk of their business. The run volume-revenue-and growth-based rebate programs that come packaged with Salesforce’s Rebate Management feature are meant to build strong channel relationships through mutually beneficial incentives.

Together with your network partners in full transparency, you can create a rebate program, set up eligibility rules, establish thresholds, and calculate payouts in context. There are also extensive analysis options for the close of rebate programs. The integrated Manufacturing Experience Cloud offers a template to get started with your partners and create your first Salesforce-powered rebate program.

Revenue visibility

Recent times have certainly underscored the crucial importance of supply chain stability and transparency; it’s estimated that still only six percent of organisations actually have full visibility into their supply chain and production floor operations. This isn’t great news for businesses in any industry. But for manufacturers, it’s particularly troublesome due to the amount of capital invested in their operations. Typically, customer satisfaction is dependent on long lead time items that are manufactured by their strategic suppliers.

Many manufacturers are based on run-rate business models, or, in other words, money that is anticipated and projected but not yet realised because it’s tied up in future, multi-year sales agreements. These are the types of companies that rely on long-term contracts and revenue realisation to sustain their operations. And this means the revenue view is constantly inching forward, requiring financial data about projects and sales agreements pegged for two, five, or ten years later on the calendar. But if you don’t have the sales agreement data completely integrated and automated with your revenue reporting, your revenue planning and visibility are lost completely.

Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is made with industry pain points in mind and solutions ready-made. Even better, it’s constantly being updated to include more innovations that fit your needs. If you need help with taking your manufacturing processes to the cloud, our team is here to help.

Elina Peuhkurinen

Lead of Industries

Ilkka Donoghue

Manufacturing Practice Lead

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