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Salesforce targets consumer goods and manufacturing verticals with two new cloud platforms

Written by Mon 16 Sep 2019

New vertical-specific CRM offerings to tackle digital transformation challenges faced by both industries

Salesforce has added to its extensive portfolio of cloud products with two dedicated CRM platforms for the consumer goods and manufacturing industries.

The CRM giant said the two platforms will help companies in both industries adapt to transformational trends brought about by AI, blockchain, IoT and 3D printing that are forcing them to become more customer-centric.

Both products are built on the overarching Salesforce CRM platform, which dominates the $42.2B CRM market.

Consumer Goods Cloud

Consumer Goods Cloud is designed to make retail marketing and merchandising more efficient. The product leverages Salesforce Einstein AI technology to enable users to optimise key tasks such as promotion execution and order management and improve the customer experience, Salesforce said.

“Retail execution remains one of the most important pieces of a consumer goods brand’s strategy, but so much opportunity is wasted if the field rep doesn’t have the data and technology needed to make smart decisions,” said John Strain, GM and SVP, Retail and Consumer Goods at Salesforce.

By automating stock, pricing and promotion decisions, Consumer Goods Cloud allows retailers to spend more time nurturing customer relationships and driving sales, Salesforce added.

“Consumer Goods Cloud will put the power of data in the hands of customers and field sales representatives, streamlining operations, and elevating in-store experiences for the end consumer,” explained Jujhar Singh, EVP and GM, Salesforce Industries in a blog post.

Manufacturing Cloud

Salesforce simultaneously announced the launch of a CRM platform for the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing Cloud is designed to eliminate siloes between operations teams and sales representatives, who typically store data across multiple spreadsheets and ERP systems.

Manufacturing Cloud provides a ‘single real-time’ view of the entire value chain, improving the ability to predict demand and reducing inventory buildups that eat into revenue, Salesforce said.

Salesforce worked with Kawasaki and Hitachi Chemical to develop core features for the new platform, including enhanced sales agreements and account-based forecasting.

The former allows manufacturers to combine their run-rate business with data housed in ERP and order management systems with contract terms, reducing the chances of data mismatches when changes to agreements are made.

Account-based forecasting, on the other hand, brings current business and future opportunities into one view, enabling sales, finance and operations teams to develop more accurate forecasts and communicate more effectively with each other.

“At its core, the problem sales and operations planning had tried to solve and continues to try to solve is a lack of coordination between business functions. Manufacturers tend to operate in silos, resulting in less-than-optimal achievement of KPIs and stresses the business’ ability to achieve its revenue and profit target,” said Reid Paquin, research director for IDC Manufacturing Insights.

“Digital transformation dictates that planning decisions be made with a 360-view using near-real-time information on demand and consumption,” he added.

Manufacturing Cloud and Consumer Goods cloud will be generally available from October 2019.

Written by Mon 16 Sep 2019


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