How Can Salesforce Prepare Manufacturing Firms For The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)?

Published on
June 15, 2016

I was recently having a conversation with the CEO of a Manufacturing firm (consumable products) about the state of his current business and his future plans. His ambitious plans call for the implementation of a digital tool which lets him monitor his business and product performances intricately and quickly. He complains that he never has enough time to monitor markets, since factory operations keep him busy throughout the day.

I couldn’t agree more to the fact that intangible parameters like Brand positioning and business performance are critical to an organization's success and can cost you money, if overlooked. We were discussing about solving his problems through a digital solution to prepare it for the upcoming Industrial Revolution and beat the competition to emerge a Fortune 1000 company in no time!

Yes, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is indeed approaching, and it is all about the utilization of Digital Industrial Technologies. This latest industry revolution is expected to be a combination of deploying disruptive technologies and going through Digital transformation for organizations to become smart and connected. It did create quite a buzz amongst the economists and business leaders at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos 2016.

Manufacturers have already started equipping their organization for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) by upgrading their core factory operations and engineering practices by adopting additive manufacturing, deploying autonomous robots, 3-D simulations, augmented reality and Internet of Things as a part of Industry Transformation to be more productive, and in turn, more competitive. But that’s not all, transforming an organization digitally is the need of the hour to cater to the demands of the customer completely and quickly.

The word ‘Digital Transformation’ doesn’t have a clear definition since thought leaders from different industries have varied perceptions about it. While business transformation is all about adopting changes to make processes faster, cheaper and better, these changes are often in line with the current trends and market demands and are collectively referred to as Strategic Business Transformation. However, in the past decade, the IT revolution has been the critical game-changer in businesses, which further came to be referred to as ‘Digital Transformation’.

The change is solely aimed at reducing the complexity of IT systems and governance to make processes faster and flexible, thereby introducing a whole new way of collaboration between functions and departments of any Organization. Not only this, this digital transformation enables manufacturers to be more data-driven and collaborative than ever. The transformation I am talking about here is moving from legacy IT systems to Cloud Computing, which other industries have been quick to embrace.

When we talk about cloud computing, emerges as downright Industry leader with its Cloud platform, more commonly known as the "Customer Success Platform". It is embedded with seven cloud systems having capabilities which are powerful enough to prepare manufacturers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and complete digital transformation. With different clouds for different business functions like Sales, Marketing, Service, etc., Salesforce contributes towards a collaborative environment and transparency across various departments and better communication capabilities.

While the Core CRM feature of Salesforce enables the industries to capture their customers and product performances, with the wave and analytics cloud features, one can identify the patterns and predict the next best action. The User interface has been upgraded to lightning experience adding new features to make decision making better and sales more active

Traditionally Manufacturing firms spend decades to become a Fortune 500 or even Fortune 1000 company because of growing incrementally, but almost never in a breakthrough way like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, which steeply grew to enter into the most coveted Fortune 500 companies. However, the timeline of growth for manufacturing companies can be reduced remarkably by embracing the breakthrough technologies and going through a strategic digital change. I envision Salesforce of having all the characteristics and capabilities as a cloud solution for manufacturing firms to rapidly incur exponential growth.

Salesforce introduced the Internet of things (IoT) cloud through Dream Force 2015. Not only that, Salesforce has bet big on Artificial Intelligence and Big data analytics, and they have also hinted towards adding some groundbreaking cloud systems to the "Customer Success Platform" going forward, making the platform a one stop shop for Manufacturers to make the cut for digital transformation in order to be competent enough for the Industry Revolution 4.0.

Since I work within the Salesforce ecosystem, I am extremely excited about the ambitious plans of Salesforce to prepare Manufacturing Industries for Industry 4.0. Companies looking out for adopting to these groundbreaking Salesforce technologies can reach out to us at for Implementation, Integration, Custom Development, Administration and Support Service and as always, we, at AppShark would be happy to help!

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