When you think about ETO software (engineer-to-order), Salesforce may not strike you as the platform of choice for ETO manufacturing, contract manufacturing, and custom design companies of all sizes. If that’s the case, you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you dig a little deeper…
End-to-End Product Lifecycle Management on Salesforce
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud was developed with features and benefits geared towards companies that use engineer-to-order and custom product development with the need to manage complex bill-of-materials (BOMs) natively on the platform. What makes the solution incredibly powerful is companies are able to augment the product design/purchase/build process with front office CRM benefits for sales, service, communities, and marketing for complete visibility into the product lifecycle.
Salesforce also has a number of ISV and implementation partners that are fully vetted, with security-approved, managed package applications available on AppExchange. Two Salesforce partners to check out in this space are Propel and WIN Digital Solutions. Propel wrote a great article about the basics of custom product development (CPD) including why companies invest in CPD, common challenges, and how to implement the best process. At Ascent Solutions, we find this approach interesting as creating and managing a bill-of-materials isn’t something Salesforce does out of the box, yet it’s a critical aspect of CPD.
What is Custom Product Development?
Propel summarizes the meaning of custom product development well in their blog post:
“Flexible Configuration and BOM Management – Custom products must be intuitive and configurable to meet customer needs. Manage budget for entire projects on a collaboratively edited, up-to-date bill of materials (BOM).”
(Image Credit: Propel)
Putting it All Together: An Ecosystem in Action
How does the combination of Salesforce, Propel, and Ascent Solutions work together to benefit companies in the CPD and ETO software realms? Here are a few potential use case examples:
- As the only cloud PLM software built on the Salesforce platform, Propel can easily share the latest product updates with Ascent Solution’s cloud ERP application. Ascent can show sales people the latest inventory status during the sales process.
- After research and development teams design the product in Propel, all the latest product information can easily be shared with operations, who then sources and orders the components with Ascent Solutions.
- Salesforce helps sales and marketing create the right bundles and promotions, which engineers can validate in Propel. Propel helps update any pricing or product changes instantly with Salesforce’s pricebooks and product catalogs. Ascent then helps coordinate shipments to any sales channel by having the latest product and account information.
- Propel and Salesforce also work together to resolve customer issues quickly by providing complete product lifecycle visibility for sales and customer support teams.
Meanwhile, Salesforce consulting partners like WIN Digital Solutions provide companies with expertise in consulting, coaching, and project development services with best practices in process improvement, systems thinking, quality assurance, and change management. WIN specializes in progressive technology planning, solution design, systems integration, and implementation services for small and medium-sized companies, non-profits, and other organizations. The Salesforce platform with CPD and ETO software capabilities, coupled with expert partners, is a powerful combination for any company looking for an end-to-end solution.
Engineered-for-excitement, isn’t it? 🙂 Make sure to check out Ascent Solutions 100% native Salesforce applications on the AppExchange or contact us to learn more about ETO Software Solutions on Salesforce.