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Salesforce Solutions for Manufacturing Companies; an Adaptable and Resilient Future

UK manufacturing companies have helped local and global economies during recent months. Those able to react and adapt have stepped in as heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although these turbulent times have increased the strain on manufacturing business, this is a situation that already existed, globally. Change was already in the air.

‘More than 80% of manufacturing businesses in Northern Ireland have put workers on the government’s job retention scheme’ according to BBC News

In 2018, manufacturing companies contributed to around 17% of the UK’s GDP. This cornerstone sector of the UK economy has since hit a seven-year high in terms of job losses and we now have a responsibility to reflect on possible solutions to this predicament. How can we help breathe new life into an integral part of our economic landscape?

In order to move forward into a new industrial revolution, we must focus on agility, intelligence, automation and innovation.

To avoid interruption, enable continued progression, and successfully enter a ’new normal’, what can we learn from key players in manufacturing about the importance of empowering an adaptable, connected workforce?

 

Manufacturing Companies as Heroes of Covid-19

 

At the start of this global pandemic, governments called for help to get vital supplies to the healthcare workers on the front line. The response was huge. The Welsh Government alone said it had received more than 1,000 offers of help and is now working with 317 firms from across Wales. We have seen demonstrations of adaptability, thoughtfulness and social responsibility from the manufacturing industry. A shift in mindset from ‘how can I sell more?’ to ‘how can I help?’ has led to an increase in paid work, as well as products that have reduced the strain on the economy, on the NHS and on care homes. 

FSG Tool and Die has scrapped employee holidays, brought back retired workers and, for the first time, introduced a night shift to ensure it could provide essential supplies to the NHS. Managing director Gareth Jenkins hopes that we will learn from this in a post-pandemic world; “a lot of the things we need to be made in the UK, we just lost the habit of doing it.” 

BAE Systems, one of the world’s largest defence manufacturers, are producing curtain hooks, ventilators and face shields for the NHS because of the coronavirus pandemic. Other companies that are used to problem-solving through manufacturing have adapted workshops and factories. LVMH and it’s Maisons were amongst the first to harness the power of their factories to facilitate a number of large-scale healthcare operations. Alongside parfum factories such as Dior and Guerlain making hand sanitiser, Louis Vuitton has been producing non-medical masks approved by authorities at twelve of its workshops in France.

Companies prioritising how they can help, over how they can sell, have quickly gained loyalty and respect from customers, contacts and employees alike. Multinational imaging company Bracco, for example, launched ‘Bracco Cares’ to provide timely educational webinars from medical experts. Discussions delivering tools for ongoing management have instilled a sense of togetherness, social responsibility and solidarity during times of uncertainty.

 

Manufacturing Companies Returning to a New Normal

 

Slowly but surely, carmaking is beginning to start up again – Bentley and Toyota workers are beginning to return to work, and Nissan has safely returned 600 employees to work this week.

Biesse has been able to make the most of globally standardised, shared Salesforce tools to continue operations and support customers during the pandemic. Like Atlantic Technologies, they have been able to continue office work through remote working solutions. A drop-off in daily commuting has created a positive impact on the environment, parents are able to spend more time with children before and after work, costs are reduced, and self-care has suddenly become more manageable. Companies may have more distance between themselves and their employees, but they have had more meaningful conversations than ever before. Now that smart working solutions are tried and tested, companies are seeing that human needs, time-efficiency and cost-effectiveness can come together through tech. Biesse were then able to quickly switch their focus towards how they can help the world during this time of need. Working alongside partners, Biesse was able to provide thousands of customers with much-needed resources including intubation boxes, face shields and protective barriers for supermarkets. This is an example of how technology can create time for humans to focus on empathy, creativity and positive global change.

On 10th April 2020, we saw Roberto Bolognini, Sales Director, Cefla Finishing speak about the benefits of technology in a YouTube interview for digital woodworking magazine: Wood & Panel. As a large enterprise, Bolognini observed that “we already had digital solutions implemented into our company, which have now been very beneficial in helping us to manage situations throughout covid-19.” In the same series, key players in the industry held discussions about how we are more connected today than ever before, and how creativity will enable us to pull through this pandemic. 

What does this mean for the future of the workplace?

 

Salesforce can support a more adaptable, connected workforce for Manufacturing Companies

 

It is a common misconception that Salesforce and IT solutions are purely about creating a connected customer journey. Through Salesforces world-leading software, manufacturing companies will benefit from using artificial intelligence, the ‘Internet of things’ and intelligent data to make better business decisions.

Strategic technology implementation removes barriers to change.

  • Agility; Precursive is a technology solution specifically built to make it easier to implement and manage an agile workforce. Running a business has become about constant evolution, reacting to challenges and change. The current state of the market does by no means mark the end of change, but the beginning. Without cloud computing, can companies have the data to become truly agile, reactive and adaptive?
  • Intelligence; Technology gives you a clearer picture of important data such as cost, time and human behaviour. SalesTrip is an example of one Salesforce integration we work with to provide a unified understanding of the cost of new business and business travel. With this far more efficient system, expenses can be processed faster than ever before and we have a better understanding of the costs contributing to customer relationships. When running a business is about increasing income and reducing cost, combining your experience and business instinct with accurate data will equate to informed progress.
  • Automation; Last month we spoke about the benefit of automating the employee onboarding process. This is one example of automation enabled through cloud computing. Combining automated employee process, customer experience, and field service process, allows people to spend less time computing and more time connecting.
  • Innovation; As combined technologies work together to power people and disrupt the industry value chain, organisations are being reimagined through digital technologies. Technology is ‘allowing companies to have factories that are able to mass-produce and customize at the same time while being profitable—up to now impossible.’ says Marc Sachon*, professor of production, technology, and operations management at the University of Navarra’s IESE Business School. NativeVideo, for example, is the only video recording and browsing solution that is fully integrated and native to Salesforce. NativeVideo is just one example of innovations found through the Salesforce AppExchange that will enable you to future proof your business through both internal and external communication. So flexible, you could use it in any number of ways to extend and capture each possibility. Working with Atlantic Technologies, you will be able to engage your audience, enable team collaborations and create internal video channels.

“We see the future manufacturing enterprise as intelligent, agile, automated and in the cloud,” says Harvard Business Review in their most recent report on Manufacturing Next – the industries Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Ready to take your business forward into an agile, innovative future with intelligent decision-making and time-effective solutions? Say Ciao to the Atlantic Technologies UK team today!

*Manufacturing Next: Intelligent, Agile, Automated, and Cloud-Enabled. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services