Salesforce Apps Are Helping Manufacturers Transform & Thrive



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Winter Series Part III – Actionable Insights & Project Management 

Manufacturers are facing obstacles, such as ongoing supply chain issues, increasing raw material costs, and employee engagement challenges—all while trying to keep up with rapidly changing technological advancements.

It’s not a big surprise that the Salesforce® “Trends In Manufacturing” study found that conventional practices, such as collaborating on spreadsheets or using data from the previous year, aren’t effective when it comes to forecasting.

In fact, manual approaches like these are slowing manufacturers down. “Sixty-three percent of manufacturing customer/prospect teams cannot access actionable insights in real time,” said the report.

To overcome this, manufacturers are increasing their digital investment. Gartner’s 2024 Tech Trends in Manufacturing  found that 54% of manufacturers anticipate spending 10% or more on software in 2024 (compared to 2023). According to the Gartner report, manufacturers have prioritized investing in business intelligence and analytics software, listing these as recent top purchases.

And when manufacturers invest in digital and AI, they see results. “Evidence suggests that companies that have leading digital and AI capabilities outperform laggards by two to six times on total shareholder returns (TSR) across every sector analyzed,” explains the McKinsey article “Rewired and running ahead: Digital and AI leaders are leaving the rest behind.”

Saying Good-bye to Manual Reports: Reporting Goes Next Level

Thompson Pump is a company that manufactures heavy-duty pumps for construction, public works, mining, and wastewater projects. 

Initially they began using Rollup Helper because they needed a way to do text rollups. Now they have the ability to create more than 25 types of rollups, including Advanced Currency Management, unique count, checkbox, and text. But that was just the beginning. 

Since Rollup Helper works with custom objects, as well as objects from other apps, they were able to streamline their reporting. “A specific use case is for Return Good Authorizations (RGAs) and the child object of RGA lines. We roll-up the text from each line into one field on the RGA object,” explained Glen Huckins, Aftermarket/CRM Manager at Thompson Pump.

“The ability to schedule rollups has enabled us to run our morning GEMBA reports without manually running specific rollups that need to run without a field change triggering them,” said Glen. (Read the full story: Thompson Pump Gets Around Rollup Limitations & Simplifies Reporting with Rollup Helper.)

Relating Objects Automatically and Connecting Data

Our Lookup Helper app can be used to relate objects automatically by matching field values, such as ID or Name. Users can find relevant information by using standard Salesforce related lists and lookup hover-over capabilities. In addition, Lookups can be auto-populated using record matching rules and data can be grouped by categories like time period, or geography.

When you use Lookup Helper and Rollup Helper together, the result is connected data and deeper insights and a dynamic reporting solution. (Read more: Top Five Ways to Use Lookup Helper and Rollup Helper Together.)

5 Use Cases: Actionable Real-time Data & Reporting

  1. Ensuring Accurate Pricing and Margin Levels With Rollup Helper
  2. Rollup Most Recent Updates on Account (Custom Object)
  3. Easily Monitor Inventory in Salesforce With an Inventory Level Object
  4. Monthly or YOY Reporting in Salesforce with Rollup Helper & Lookup Helper
  5. Previous Year to Date Won Opportunity Total

Integrating New Companies with Multiple Other Systems

Whether a technology project involves Salesforce project management or mobile app development project management, every project will have milestones and tasks that will need to be tracked within it. 

Uniti Fiber is the fiber infrastructure segment of Uniti, a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). As they were expanding and adding locations, their Systems Operations team was balancing the challenge of handling feature requests from all departments. The team was doing this while integrating new companies with multiple other systems. Adding to this, they had also tripled their number of Salesforce users in just three years to 600.

Understanding costs is key when you build out fiber optics, and the project management app Milestones PM+ helped Uniti Fiber track and aggregate costs. They also used Rollup Helper to aggregate dollar amounts, which helped them track costs from multiple departments and understand the monthly recurring cost savings. (Read more about how Uniti Fiber leveraged Passage Technology's apps and development services for their expansion.)

5 Use Cases: Manufacturing Project Management 

  1. Equipment Inspection Checklist in Salesforce (Preventative Maintenance)
  2. Salesforce Health Check Projects For Admins
  3. Product Launch Project Management in Salesforce
  4. New Location Opening: Manage Plans Easily with Salesforce Projects
  5. Business Process Automation for Salesforce Projects


This blog is the third and final installment of our special Winter Series. The series explores the needs and challenges of Salesforce industries and provides resources on how to leverage our apps for digital transformation. Check our e-Book series Essential Guides for Business Transformation (revised and updated for 2024), which shows how the Salesforce Platform can be extended, so you can take your business to the next level.

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