One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face is having a complete overview of their entire operation. Many fail to implement technology that would give that level of insight because of the misconception that it costs more money than keeping each system siloed. The reality is that it often costs more to maintain older, separate systems. In fact, the cost often can go beyond monetary, it can prevent managers from effectively processing orders and forecast demand.
Custom software can help fix many of these problems, but if your platforms aren’t talking to one another, it is highly likely there are opportunities still being missed.
Why Custom Solutions
It’s easy to feel like a one-size-fits-all approach to software would be the least expensive route to take with manufacturing processes. If you have identified an issue, an off the shelf solution seems like the quickest, easiest, cheapest way to address it. However, there are many hidden costs with off the shelf software that end up costing more than just the initial purchase price.
Working with a dev shop to create software that fits with your other systems, addresses your specific problem, and has a local support team dedicated to maintenance and troubleshooting can far outweigh any initial price differences.
However, there may come a point as you grow that addressing each issue one at a time with a bespoke software solution no longer makes sense. To scale, you’ll need to be able to pull in information across the entire organization into one dashboard to empower leadership and strategically match production to demand. Moving the entirety of your business into one solution can deliver insights and create actionable data that helps the whole organization – from sales to production to delivery. While making the move onto an entirely new system can seem daunting, knowing that this moment will come and properly preparing for it will save you money and headaches.
A manufacturer that is in the processes of scaling, and seeking to maintain that trajectory would benefit from integrating Salesforce when the majority of their solutions have become custom-made. There is a tipping point when managing separate systems doesn’t make sense anymore. Since the release of the Manufacturing Cloud Salesforce solution in the last half of 2019, the benefits of making the transition are clear.
There’s A Cloud For That
The Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud brings together the sales and operations teams. This allows teams to have a unified view of market and customer demands, to more accurately forecast, plan and drive predictable business performance. This solution promises to deliver more transparent and predictable outcomes. And by deploying this, manufacturers would be able to streamline everything from sales agreements to resolving product issues. This centralized data would create a holistic picture of the operation, allowing for better decision making, increased productivity and reduced loss.
Image from Salesforce.com
Know When To Hold ‘em
A custom solution is an ideal way to address specific issues as you grow your manufacturing operation. But, when you reach a point that you need your systems all talking to each other and there is too much data to manage on your own, Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud is a good option to consider. Larger operations require some sort of Salesforce-like solution to handle front-end data, while enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems engage with critical back-end information. What these decisions come down to is the size of your operations, the number of processes in place, and the end goal of your operations. Making the right decision is essential to your business, but recognizing small needs may not require a complete overhaul is critical as well. Having too many processes in place should tell you that it’s time to make a move.