Minneapolis looks and feels like the bustling manufacturing hub that it is. The decorative steel beams and metal plated buildings of the Mill City streets would make any industrial architecture buff weak at the knees. Playing host to Salesforce’s first Basecamp for Manufacturing, last week local Minneapolis industry experts welcomed peers from all over for two days of learning and connecting. Because, as Achyut Jajoo, Vice President and General Manager of Manufacturing Industries at Salesforce, put it: “Manufacturers want to learn from each other, talk to each other, and be a part of a community.”


Read on for some of the key highlights and takeaways, and if you weren’t able to make the event, never fear — Dreamforce is right around the corner! Register today to experience more manufacturing inspiration than ever before. With 30+ sessions, a can’t-miss manufacturing keynote, roundtables, receptions, networking, and more, you’re sure to bring home innovative ideas to spare that will transform your business.

“New Collar” Workers are the Future of Manufacturing


In his keynote, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Jay Timmons, informed the crowd of the thriving state of being a manufacturer today.  Timmons silenced the misconception that manufacturing is a dying and exclusively automated field, arguing that innovation and automation are expanding what American workers can do. In NAM’s survey of its 14,000 members, more than 61% of American manufacturers plan to increase investment in new plants and equipment, 66% plan to increase hiring of workers, and 94% plan to increase wages. Timmons said confidently, “Manufacturing has been, is, and will be the lifeblood of our economy and communities throughout this country.”


Timmons said the rise of “new collar” jobs, meaning roles that are high tech, rewarding, high paying, and that don’t require a four-year degree, is helping the manufacturing industry change for the better. Despite 95% of manufacturers saying they have a positive outlook for their futures, only 30% of parents say they would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career. To inform the next generation about the benefits of this professional path, NAM has launched the Creators Wanted campaign, which shines the spotlight on real people from real manufacturing jobs who talk about what their roles in the industry mean to them, their families, and their communities. Timmons summed things up with this simple edict: “If you want to create change, be a manufacturer.”


Customer-Centricity is Not Optional



Next up, Achyut Jajoo discussed the trends that are impacting the manufacturing industry today and the impact digital transformation on planning for the future. According to Jajoo, in order for manufacturers to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, they need to focus on digital transformation, AI connectivity, and the changing workforce. In addition, the shifting priorities from product to customer-centricity is essential to ensure consistent channel experiences and maximize lifetime customer value. Jajoo emphasized that to achieve product and price leadership, manufacturers need to meet customers’ rising digital expectation for seamless and transparent business experiences. In the words of David Fein, Chief Revenue Officer of Protolabs, “We want to have one pane of glass towards our customers.”


Trailblazers Share Their Tips for Success



Capture Customer Insights

Engage Technologies Corporation operates primarily a distribution sales model in the global inkjet and packaging equipment markets. Jake Zender, Vice President of Sales, explained that because of this, one of their biggest challenges is being able to understand what their end customers desire. Engage Technologies uses SalesService, and Pardot to seamless integrate their existing systems and connect more effectively with their end customer. This holistic solution has allowed them to optimize their sales process from leads to opportunities to revenue, and to make more data-driven decisions.


Be Nimble

Eleanor Hanna-Dyb, Global Director of Customer Engagement and Inside Sales at Ergotron, stressed that having meaningful interactions with customers is a huge challenge in the manufacturing space. For that to be possible, she said it’s critical to have the tools and support in place to be nimble. For Ergotron, Salesforce offers the insights and flexibility they need. “An effective CRM tool is critical in the success of any sales organization,” said Hanna-Dyb.


Create Meaningful Interactions

Beth Koehl, Salesforce Platform Manager at Superior Industries, talked about how her company has used Salesforce to improve employee programs and interactions. One key example: their On the Spot (OTS) Bonus program, where $100 is given to an employee based on their performance that day. With HR now running on Salesforce, a manager from one of their 27 facilities can submit an OTS Bonus for an employee immediately through the Salesforce app and, within a half hour, the employee can get their cash in hand.  Easier bonuses = happier employees.

If you want to learn more about how Salesforce can help transform your business, check out our Salesforce for Manufacturing demo video.

While this year’s Basecamp for Manufacturing is a wrap, we have more manufacturing insights, hands-on learning, and inspiration coming up soon at Dreamforce 2018, September 25-28 in San Francisco. Register today!