Salesforce launches manufacturing, consumer product goods clouds as it expands industry efforts

Salesforce has a blueprint for tailoring its platform to industry specific use cases and is using it with the launch of clouds targeting manufacturing and CPG companies.

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Salesforce has launched clouds for manufacturing and consumer product goods companies as it continues to target industries and take on the likes of SAP and Oracle through its customer-focused platform.

The company has been tailoring its CRM system for more industries. For instance, Salesforce launched a version of its cloud and data platforms for financial services firms as well as healthcare companies. In addition, the industry focus also plays well with Salesforce's Customer 360, Customer Data Platform and integration efforts via MuleSoft.

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Salesforce's playbook for expanding into verticals is relatively straightforward. The SaaS giant has customers in most industries via its CRM and customer service applications. The addition of Mulesoft gives it connections with more data sources. From there, Salesforce aims to tackle specific pain points for various industries. 

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"Our industry team looks at how to bring the capabilities of Salesforce to an industry-specific package," said Achyut Jajoo, Vice President and Chief Solutions Officer, Salesforce for Manufacturing.

Salesforce is launching its Manufacturing Cloud, which aims to provide a unified view of market and customer demand to better forecast business. Salesforce's goal is to relegate ERP data to the background along with spreadsheets and other data silos to put customer service in the foreground.

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Jajoo argued that front-facing manufacturing sales and service teams, as well as partners, can serve as early warning detection systems for a volatile industry. Indeed, manufacturing companies have to deal with everything from geopolitical uncertainties to disruptive technologies to rising expectations. "There's a lot of stuff going on in this industry," said Jajoo. "The account teams can capture insights and give operations enough time to react."

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The Manufacturing Cloud consists of a series of modules including the following:

  • Sales Agreements to unify manufacturers' run rate business with ERP data and order management systems. Contract terms such as volume and revenue are available for operations and sales teams to view the customer holistically. If changes to agreements are made, they are incorporated in the Manufacturing Cloud.
  • Account-Based Forecasting to unify sales, finance, and operations in one view. Planning and forecasting are adjusted in real-time for profits, revenue, and transactions.
  • Einstein Analytics with account health, demand planning, product penetration, and sales agreements as well as key performance integrators.

Salesforce's approach with its Consumer Goods Cloud is similar to manufacturing. Consumer Goods Cloud aims to use sales data and technology for field reps to optimize product sales in retail stores. In many ways, Salesforce is running the same industry play: Leverage its base of front-end sales and service users to tap into the back-end data.

Sunil Rao, Global Head of Consumer Goods at Salesforce, said the company already has a bevy of consumer product goods (CPG) companies. But the challenge is that there's a disconnect between the back end operations of inventory, manufacturing, and logistics and the teams that deal with stores.

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Based on Salesforce surveys, $104 billion is lost on trade spending with poor execution. Rao said the goal is to "put an industry lens on sales and the retail execution focus." If these sales and service people can relay intelligence faster to their companies, CPG firms can get the right goods to the right stores at the right time, said Rao.

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Consumer Goods Cloud aims to give field reps that following:

  • Lists of prioritized and assigned store visits as well as apps and maps to manage routing.
  • Access to templates based on store and segment types as well as planogram checks, inventory and order processing tools on a mobile device.
  • Einstein AI tools for image recognition and object detection. A picture can be used to ensure shelves are set up correctly and stocked.
  • Order and data capture tools.

The idea is that Salesforce can enable reps to spend more time with customers by automating tasks as well as delivering data to be more efficient in executing retail plans.

Salesforce's Manufacturing Cloud and Consumer Goods Clouds will be available Oct. 15 with Einstein availability in the Consumer Goods Cloud in February 2020.