Technology has been at the center of the United States’ manufacturing resurgence over the past five years. Manufacturers’ service departments, in particular, are seeing potential for rapid innovation.

The recent development of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought with it a tidal wave of buzz. Connected devices that talk to each other? That sounds pretty futuristic and awesome, but manufacturers want more than pipe dreams, they want to know how they can leverage and get real value from IoT.

If we step back from a specific tech like IoT for a second, we can consider the big picture that executives are looking at. The biggest challenge facing manufacturers’ service departments is to build personalized, on-demand service capabilities that lead to improved customer experiences, loyalty, and net new revenue. That’s a mouthful, but it reflects the huge challenge service departments are currently facing.

 

Additional Challenges Facing Manufacturers’ Service Departments

Recent research by Salesforce revealed that a majority of manufacturing executives don’t have a “data capture” strategy to support their service departments. These executives reported issues with capturing, managing, and sharing data across their business, and there was a widespread hesitation when it came to incorporating new field service technology. Yet at the same time, 90% of executives believe in modernizing their service models to facilitate real-time service and enhanced field service performance.

The hesitation is not surprising, considering the data issues that lay at the root of challenges implementing service technology. Having good data, and making sense of it quickly, is foundational to providing the on-demand, personalized service that more and more customers are demanding.

Salesforce research has also indicated significant focus and investment of manufacturing executives on mobile, omni-channel, proactive service, sales and service alignment, and, most significantly, creating personalized customer relationships that drive revenue and act as a competitive differentiator.

Manufacturing executives realize that service revenue is beginning to creep up on product revenue, and 70% of them believe service revenue will surpass product revenue within 20 years. The global economy is flattening competition and commoditizing all types of manufactured products, and top notch service is where manufacturers will be able to create differentiation in the future.

 

Salesforce IoT

At Magnet360, we believe the future is now. We understand that industries deluged with new technology facing a shifting revenue paradigm may have trouble evaluating, implementing and adopting new technologies. That’s why our services are designed to empower our customers with enterprise technology that helps them navigate these transitions.

Salesforce IoT stands out as the trendiest technology in manufacturing, and it can be a great enabler of the type of service that executives hope to offer. Now that Salesforce IoT is an established piece of the Salesforce platform, Magnet360 has been fortunate enough to launch some manufacturing clients on this leading edge IoT software and learn some valuable lessons along the way.

If you’re not familiar with Salesforce IoT, and why it’s so critical to the IoT technology stack, here’s a quick primer: The Internet of Things was originally just a bunch of devices enabled for connectivity, but the devices weren’t connected to anything. Cisco, Jasper, and AWS built software that allowed for connectivity between these devices, and between the devices and central systems. Microsoft Azure and AWS built software to capture and manage that raw IoT data. But businesses still had no way to realize value from all their device data being captured and stored unless they built a custom expensive workflow engine. Enter Salesforce IoT.

Salesforce IoT changes the game for any manufacturer with connected devices. It allows manufacturers to combine their device data with customer data that’s already on the Salesforce platform, and quickly develop business applications and automation driven by IoT data-enriched customer profiles. This last layer of the IoT puzzle, the app layer, is critical for achieving what executives want: proactive, personalized, automated, on-demand service for their customers.

 

Introducing Connected Manufacturing 

Magnet360’s solution accelerator, Connected Manufacturing, is a robust solution that utilizes Salesforce IoT to help manufacturers provide world class service. But this solution accelerator extends well beyond IoT. It leverages multiple products across the Salesforce platform to address the problem areas prioritized by manufacturing executives, including mobile, omni-channel, proactive service, sales and service alignment, and more.

In a nutshell, this solution accelerator helps create new service-driven subscription-based revenue streams for manufacturers. It combines Salesforce IoT’s smart-device data, with customer data on the Salesforce platform to create business apps that enable proactive service for customers. The solution allows businesses to provide service for customers before they’re even aware of issues, leading to a seamless and world-class service experience.

The solution accelerator enables a host of revenue driving business processes, including:

  • Automatically upselling customers to new subscription-based service tiers
  • Using IoT data to proactively service, upsell and market to customers at the ideal times
  • Creating scalable IoT-driven business apps and automation by connecting customer data in Salesforce with product data in Salesforce IoT
  • Providing resellers with intelligent datasets and tools to sell smarter products to their customers

This powerful solution can change how a manufacturer provides service to its customers and increase the revenue managers can drive from service related activities that were once looked at as cost-centers.

 

Conclusion

Magnet360 works as a trusted Salesforce partner to maximize the value our customers get from investments in new technology like Salesforce IoT. We are always on the cutting edge of technologies trends, and we observe how these trends trickle down into enterprise and commercial businesses across all industries.

In a few years, software like Salesforce IoT will be seen as a key breakthrough in the empowerment of service departments. Magnet360 is excited to be a part of that journey with our customers and to help them achieve service excellence in a strategic and cost effective manner.

Fill out the form below to get more information about our solution and how we can help you harness the power of your data.

Data in this post is from “State of Service in Manufacturing,” Salesforce Research,  September 2016.

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