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Complete Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud Implementation Guide

October 16, 2023

Table of Contents

    Are you facing a hard time adjusting to a rapidly evolving manufacturing landscape? With increasing customer expectations, volatile market conditions, and global supply chain disruptions, manufacturers must navigate a host of challenges to stay ahead.

    Traditional methods and manual processes are no longer sufficient to overcome these challenges and help the manufacturing industry to thrive.

    Imagine a scenario where manufacturers have a clear view of their entire customer portfolio, effortlessly managing relationships and service lifecycles. Sales and operations seamlessly work together, sharing real-time information and insights to make informed decisions and drive predictable business growth. Suppliers, partners, and customers are all connected on a unified platform, promoting transparency and collaboration across the entire ecosystem.

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is a comprehensive CRM solution designed specifically for manufacturing. It revolutionizes how companies operate, transforming outdated processes and ushering in a new era of efficiency, collaboration, and customer-centricity.

    In this blog, we will explore the capabilities and benefits of Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud. We will delve into how this groundbreaking solution streamlines operations, enhances collaboration and provides actionable insights to drive growth and customer satisfaction

    What is Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud?

    Manufacturing Cloud, in simple terms, is a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) solution tailored specifically for the manufacturing industry.

    What is manufacturing cloud

    It empowers manufacturers to efficiently handle their customer interactions and manage the entire customer service lifecycle. By promoting collaboration and transparency among sales, operations, and partners, Manufacturing Cloud enables manufacturers to gain a holistic view of their customers and make informed decisions. It offers actionable insights and proactive features that drive predictable business growth. Additionally, Manufacturing Cloud unifies account planning and forecasting, fostering greater transparency and collaboration across the entire manufacturing ecosystem.

    Let’s consider an example of a manufacturing company that manufactures electronic devices. Using it, the company can easily track all customer activities, such as orders, inquiries, and support requests, in one centralized system. The sales team can collaborate with the operations department to ensure timely production and delivery of the devices while sharing real-time updates on customer requirements. Furthermore, by leveraging Manufacturing Cloud’s forecasting capabilities, the company can accurately predict demand, optimize inventory levels, and proactively address any potential supply chain issues. This streamlined process not only enhances customer satisfaction but also drives the company’s growth and profitability.

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud Benefits

    Here we have outlined the different benefits of Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud:

    Benefits of Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud

    1. Streamlined Business

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud brings different departments together to improve the collaboration and communication between them. The connected system results in improved business processes, and a smooth stream of information across all departments and supply chains. Apart from breaking down silos, Manufacturing Cloud also helps in cross-functional collaboration which reduces the chances of errors.

    Let’s take an example of a manufacturing organization using Manufacturing Cloud. The organization can quickly bring together sales, services, and operations teams. This would result in easy sharing of customer information, and improved production status, resulting in everyone working on the same page.

    2. Accurate Business Predictions

    The advanced analytics and forecasting capabilities of the Manufacturing Cloud allow organizations to make use of historical data, market trends, and customer insights to make accurate predictions. These forecasts help organizations decide about resource planning, production volumes, and sales strategies.

    For example, a manufacturer with Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can precisely predict the demand for their products based on historical data. This allows the manufacturer to make easy preparations to optimize production schedules, resource planning, and inventory management to meet customer demands. Also, this business prediction will help the manufacturer to minimize overstock and shortfalls.

    3. Inventory Management

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud provides robust inventory management competencies, allowing manufacturers to track inventory levels, monitor stock movement, and optimize inventory management processes. Manufacturers can gain real-time visibility into inventory across multiple locations, enabling them to make data-driven decisions about stock restocking, production planning, and order fulfillment.

    For example, a manufacturer using Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can set up automated alerts when inventory levels reach the predefined limit. This ensures that timely actions are taken to replenish stock, preventing stockouts and reducing carrying costs.

    4. Instant Contract Updates

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud allows manufacturers to update contracts instantly, eradicating the need for manual paperwork and reducing administrative work. Contract changes, such as pricing updates, terms, and conditions changes, or product configurations, can be made in real time, ensuring that accurate information is accessible to all stakeholders.

    For instance, a manufacturer using Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can swiftly update contract terms for a customer. This allows them to respond fast to changing requirements or negotiate special pricing, reducing delays and improving customer satisfaction. With instant contract updates, manufacturers can improve agility, minimize discrepancies, and simplify contract management.

    5. Lead Tracking

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud allows manufacturers to follow leads throughout the entire sales cycle, providing valuable insights into lead performance and conversion rates. By capturing and analyzing data related to lead sources, interactions, and outcomes, manufacturers can optimize their sales and marketing strategies to improve conversion rates and increase revenue.

    For example, a manufacturer using Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can identify which marketing campaigns generate the most qualified leads. They can explore the conversion rates of leads generated from different channels, such as trade shows, email campaigns, or website inquiries. With this information, manufacturers can allocate their resources more effectively, focusing on the most successful lead-generation channels and maximizing their marketing efforts.

    6. Faster Delivery of Services

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud enables manufacturers to streamline their service delivery processes, resulting in faster response times and improved customer satisfaction. By centralizing customer information, service requests, and case management, manufacturers can provide prompt assistance, track service progress, and ensure timely resolution of customer issues.

    For instance, a manufacturer using Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can automate service request routing, ensuring that customer inquiries are directed to the appropriate teams or technicians without delays. This reduces response times, enables faster issue resolution, and enhances customer experience. Manufacturers can also leverage historical service data to identify areas for improvement and proactively address recurring issues.

    7. Integration and Compatibility with Existing Systems

    One of the key benefits of Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is its seamless integration and compatibility with existing systems. Manufacturing companies often have a complex ecosystem of software applications and processes in place. Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is designed to work harmoniously with these systems, ensuring a smooth transition and minimal disruption during implementation.

    Whether you have existing CRM systems, ERP solutions, or other specialized manufacturing software, Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can integrate with them effortlessly. It allows for data synchronization and exchange, enabling a unified view of your operations and customer interactions.

    By integrating Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud with your existing systems, you can leverage the strengths of each platform and enhance your overall manufacturing capabilities. Data from various sources can be consolidated, providing comprehensive insights into your business processes. This compatibility ensures that you can continue using your preferred tools and workflows while gaining the benefits of Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud’s robust CRM functionalities.

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud Implementation Guide

    Here is a step-by-step Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud implementation guide;

    1. Set Up a Sales Agreement

    Setting up a sales agreement is one of the initial steps in the Manufacturing cloud implementation guide. This provides the sales team with timely access to committed and actual order volumes.

    Sales agreements in the Manufacturing Cloud also help the accounts manager gain insights into custom time-phased metrics, profits, and inventory. So manufacturers can make informed decisions regarding the inventory, sales prices, and discounts to book maximum profit.

    1.1 Set Up Required Objects and Fields

    • Account stores the details of customers with whom you have a sales agreement.
    • Contacts store the details of the individual at your customer organization who is working on the sales agreement.
    • Products refers to the goods and services that are traded in the sales agreement.
    • Price book has information regarding the pricing of each product or service.
    • Sales agreement specifies the contracts that you have with your customers to sell goods or services.

    Beyond these objects and fields, Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud permits you to set up custom objects to capture any additional information.

    1.2. Defining Sales Agreement Terms and Conditions

    Define the sales agreement terms and conditions that both you and your customer agree upon. These terms and conditions are essential for governing sales agreements. To define sales agreement terms and conditions, first, you have to enable the sales agreement. Here is how you can do so;

    • Navigate to Setup, search for Sales Agreements in the quick find box, and enable it.

      Navigate to Setup
    • Make the required configurations.

      Make tbe required configurations

    Here is the different type of configurations that you can make to the Sales Agreement;

    • Sales agreement type enables you to classify the sales agreement depending on the different terms such as customer type, product type, or contract value.
    • Sales agreement terms refer to the terms and conditions defined in the sales agreement such as pricing, payment terms, delivery schedule, and other necessary terms.
    • Sales agreement approval enables you to specify the approval process for sales agreements. This approval process ensures that the appropriate individual approves the sales agreements.

    1.3. Create Sales Agreements

    Following the successful set up of necessary objects & fields, and defining the terms, the next step would be to create a sales agreement. Here is how you can create a sales agreement in Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud;

    • Navigate to the sales agreement object where you can create the new sales agreements.

      Navigate to the sales agreement object
    • Click on the new button to create the new sales agreement.

      Click on the New Button
    • Specify the required information such as account, contact, sales, price book, sales agreement type, approval, and any other required information.

      Step 5 - Specify the required information

    1.4. Manages Sales Agreement

    Once you have created the sales agreement, you can easily manage the lifecycle of the agreement from the Salesforce setup menu. You can monitor the progress of the sales agreements, making necessary changes.

    2. Account Forecasting

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud not only helps businesses with a comprehensive overview of current business operations along with future opportunities. Here is how to enable account forecasting in Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud;

    Step-6 - Enable account forecasting
    Step-7 - Enable account forecasting SFMC

    2.1 Setup Required Objects and Fields

    • Accounts refer to the customer you’re forecasting for.
    • Opportunities show the potential sales you’re forecasting.
    • Orders refer to the actual sales you’ve made.

    You can also set the custom field on the account object to collect the additional information that you may require.

    2.2 Create a Forecasting Hierarchy

    The forecasting hierarchy presents a structure that gives you insights into the sales organization’s performance in real-time. It is used to compile forecasts for individuals, teams, and managers. So, you can see which team or region is performing well.

    You can create the forecasting hierarchy by navigating through Setup > Manufacturing > Account Forecasting > Forecasting Hierarchies. From Setup, you can easily create, edit, and manage the hierarchy permissions.

    2.3 Create Forecasting Periods

    Forecasting periods refer to the time for which you want to create a forecasting hierarchy. Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud enables you to set the forecasting periods from month, quarter, and year.

    Step-8 - Create Forecasting Periods

    You can set the forecasting periods by navigating to Setup > Manufacturing > Account Forecasting > Forecasting Periods. You can create, edit, and manage forecasting periods.

    2.4 Specify Forecasting Rules

    Forecasting rules are used to define how forecasts are generated. You can define the rules to generate forecasts based on information such as historical sales data, market trends, or any other factor.

    You can create the forecasting rules from Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud’s Setup. Navigate to Setup > Manufacturing > Account Forecasting > Forecasting Rules.

    2.5 Assign Forecasting Rules to Accounts

    Once you define the forecasting rules, the next step would be to assign the rules to the account for which you want to forecast.

    Navigate to the Account Object in Salesforce, click on the forecasting tab, and you can select the forecasting rule that you want to assign to a specific account.

    2.5 Review and Approve Forecast

    Once the forecast is created successfully, it will be reviewed and approved by the appropriate account such as managers.

    To review the forecast navigate to Manufacturing > Account forecasting, and select the forecast which you want to review. You can approve the forecast by clicking on the Approve.

    2.6 Generate Forecast Reports

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud lets you generate the forecast report for each approved forecast. So you can keep track of forecast performance.

    Here is how you can generate the forecast report;

    • Navigate to Manufacturing > Account forecasting > Reports.
    • Choose the forecast report that you want to generate.

    3. Create a Partner Portal

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud lets you create responsive portals where your partners can collaborate, and access knowledge articles, generate forecast reports, and more.

    Salesforce Experience Cloud is a powerful solution that helps manufacturers create customizable and responsive partner portals. Here is how manufacturers can create partner portals;

    • Enable Experience Cloud by navigating through Setup > Digital Experiences > Enable Digital Experiences.
    • Create partner portal sites by navigating through Digital Experiences > All Sites > New. Choose the appropriate template and click on Get Started.
    • The next step is to assign users to the partner portal. You can do so from Experience Cloud > Sites, and select the site for which you have created.
    • From the User tab, you can add the users to the site.
    • Configure the partner portal to satisfy your specific needs.

    Challenges to Consider when Implementing Manufacturing Cloud Salesforce

    Here is a brief overview of the challenges faced by businesses when implementing Manufacturing Cloud Salesforce:

    Salesforce manufacturing cloud challenges

    1. Incomplete and Inconsistent View of Customers and Their Needs

    Implementing Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can present challenges in obtaining a comprehensive and consistent understanding of customers and their needs. This means that manufacturers may struggle to gather and analyze all the relevant information about their customers, such as their preferences, purchase history, and specific requirements. Without a holistic view, it becomes difficult to personalize products, improve customer satisfaction, and make informed business decisions.

    2. Lack of Visibility into Partner Channels, their Performance, and Quality

    A challenge often encountered is the limited insight into the performance and quality of partner organizations within the supply chain. Manufacturers rely on various partners, such as suppliers and distributors, to facilitate their operations. However, without proper visibility into these channels, it becomes challenging to assess their effectiveness, identify areas for improvement, and ensure consistent quality standards throughout the supply chain.

    3. Revenue and Production Forecasts That Don’t Match Ground Reality

    Inaccurate revenue and production forecasts pose a significant challenge in Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud implementation. Forecasts are essential for planning resources and operations, but if they do not align with actual demand and sales, it can lead to inefficiencies like overstocking or stockouts. Having accurate forecasts is crucial for optimizing resources and meeting customer demands effectively.

    4. Inability to Tackle Change with Agility

    Adapting to changes quickly and efficiently is crucial in today’s dynamic business environment. However, implementing Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud may introduce obstacles in terms of flexibility and adaptability. If the system lacks the necessary tools and processes to accommodate changes smoothly, manufacturers may find it challenging to promptly adjust strategies, operations, and customer engagement approaches.

    5. Complex Data Integration and Migration

    Integrating existing data systems and migrating data to Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can be a complex process. Manufacturers often have multiple data sources and legacy systems that need to be seamlessly integrated into the new platform. This challenge requires careful planning, data mapping, and validation to ensure a smooth transition without compromising data integrity or causing disruptions in operations.

    6. User Adoption and Training

    Introducing a new system like Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud requires users to learn and adapt to the new tools and processes. Manufacturers may face challenges in user adoption and training, especially if employees are accustomed to different systems or resistant to change. Adequate training and change management strategies are necessary to ensure a successful implementation of Salesforce and maximize the benefits of the platform.

    Best Practices for Successful Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud Implementation

    Want to implement the Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud? Here we have shared the best practices that you can follow to ensure successful implementation:

    1. Clearly Define the Goals and Objectives

    The first and foremost important practice is to ensure you have a good understanding of the goals and objectives that you want to achieve with Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud. This will help keep your implementation focused and aligned with your organization’s needs.

    2. Assess Readiness and Involve Key Stakeholders

    Assess your current processes, data, and systems to understand their readiness for implementing Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud. Engage key stakeholders from sales, operations, IT, and finance departments—secure support from senior leaders to drive the implementation and overcome any challenges.

    3. Design a Flexible Data Structure

    Design a data structure that can adapt and grow with your manufacturing processes. Consider how different elements, like products, customers, and orders, relate to each other. Plan for data integration and migration from existing systems to Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud, ensuring accuracy and consistency.

    4. Customize and Configure to Fit Your Needs

    Customize and configure Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud to meet your specific requirements. Adjust workflows, user interfaces, and automation rules to align with your manufacturing processes. Take advantage of industry-specific features provided by Manufacturing Cloud.

    5. Prioritize User Adoption and Training

    Invest in user adoption and training programs to ensure that all users understand and utilize Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud effectively. Provide training sessions, documentation, and ongoing support to help users embrace the new system. Encourage feedback and address any concerns promptly.

    6. Establish Data Governance and Quality Control

    Implement strong data governance processes to maintain data integrity and consistency. Define data standards, validation rules, and workflows. Regularly review and clean up data to prevent duplicates or outdated information.

    7. Comply With All Security and Compliance Requirements

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud deals with sensitive customer data and operation data. Therefore, it is a must to comply with all the security measures and compliance supported by the platform. The sensitive information should be protected with data encryption controls, and compliance certifications (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA).

    8. Improve Collaboration With Partners and Customers

    Utilize Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud’s capabilities to improve collaboration with partners and customers. Enable seamless communication, data sharing, and visibility across the supply chain. Use partner portals and customer communities to enhance collaboration and efficiency.

    Why Should a Business Choose the Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud?

    The manufacturing industry is projected to reach US$3.09 trillion by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.05% between 2023 and 2028.(Source; Statista)

    This growth led to increased competition in the industry. The number of manufacturing enterprises is expected to amount to 460.70k in 2023 according to Statista.

    Embracing the technological advancements offered by Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can help you find the way through the competition. Features such as unified operations, inventory management, lead tracking, and conversion, stands out as the best partner for manufacturing enterprises in their growth.

    Here are a few reasons that make Manufacturing Cloud the best choice for the manufacturing industry;

    • Demand forecasting and predictive planning are becoming a necessity in inventory management to reduce stockouts and overstocks. Manufacturing Cloud has accurate business prediction capabilities to manage accurate forecasting.
    • Businesses in 2023 are considering diversifying their supplier base and Manufacturing Cloud helps them in doing so. This ensures the manufacturing enterprise never runs out of supply to meet the demands.
    • Real-time visibility into the supply chain can be achieved with Manufacturing Cloud reducing delays in shipment tracking.
    • Manufacturing Cloud also provides AI insights making informed decision-making a breeze.
    • By unifying all business processes across the manufacturing unit, you can effectively identify operational issues. This will enable you to take the lead and ensure smooth and efficient operations.

    Use Case of Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud

    Driving Operational Excellence With Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud

    The client is a mid-sized company specializing in manufacturing high-quality parts for the automotive industry. The client has a workforce of more than 500+ employees serving globally.

    Challenges Faced

    1. Inventory Management: The client faced difficulty in keeping track of the inventory level resulting in overstock and stockouts.

    2. Predicting Business Trends: The client was experiencing a lack of robust solutions that could accurately forecast business trends. This hindered their ability to engage in predictive planning and precisely meet customer demands

    3. Lack of Unified Platform: There was a communication gap between the different departments of sales, production, and supply chain management leading to inefficiencies.

    Solution Offered

    1. Real-Time Visibility: Manufacturing Cloud facilitates real-time visibility into inventory management, allowing the client to identify the bottlenecks in the inventory.

    2. Inventory Optimization With Accurate Business Predictions: The platform helped the client to forecast demand and optimize inventory levels, reducing carrying costs.

    3. Unifications of Operations: Connecting different departments and bridging the communication gap between them helped them to have a comprehensive understanding of business operations across all departments.

    Results

    • Reducing instances of overstock and stock-outs
    • Improved demand forecasting
    • Reduced inventory cost
    • Faster response to customer demands.

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud Pricing

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud offers three different pricing plans:

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud Pricing

    Manufacturing Cloud – Sales: This plan pricing starts at USD 225/user/month. It offers Sales Cloud functionalities such as viewing net-new opportunities, run-rate agreements, and demand forecasts.

    Manufacturing Cloud – Service: This plan pricing starts at USD 225/user/month. It offers Service Cloud functionalities such as Service Forecasting Framework, Digital Process Automation, and so on.

    Manufacturing Cloud – Sales and Service: This plan’s pricing starts at USD 250/user/month. It offers the combined capabilities of both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud pricing plans.

    get manufacturing cloud

    Final Take

    The Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is an indispensable tool for organizations in the manufacturing industry. It enables organizations to connect their sales, and operation teams to gain improved visibility into their production processes. It generates a single source of truth for all manufacturing data such as orders, inventory, customers, production schedules, and so on eliminating the data silos.

    Impressed by the benefits of Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud? Looking for a partner to help you implement Manufacturing Cloud customized to your unique business needs? Cyntexa as a Salesforce partner is here to help you with your vision. We have a team of more than 300+ Salesforce professionals to help you supercharge your business growth with the Salesforce platform.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can be easily integrated with other Salesforce products such as Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud. Apart from these, it can also be integrated with ERP and SaaS applications with the help of API-driven integrations.

    The Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud data model is designed to provide users with relevant objects and fields to create & manage sales agreements, business negotiations & planning, account forecasts, and so on.

    Yes, Manufacturing Cloud can be customized to meet specific business needs. It has objects, features, and tools built to meet the specific needs of the manufacturing industry.

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