Year in Review: Our Top Manufacturing Takeaways

A year of blogs, in the books. In 2018, we covered plenty of topics — everything from social impact to

3 min. read

A year of blogs, in the books. In 2018, we covered plenty of topics — everything from social impact to top Salesforce tips. As the year went on, we also increasingly focused our attention on the trends and technologies that shape different industries. Now that we’re entering a brand new year, we thought it would be a good idea to recap some of the top lessons we learned. First up, manufacturing.

Check out our list below, and keep an eye out for more industry-focused content in 2019.

#1: 3.5M manufacturing jobs will be needed over the next decade — and more than half will go unfilled due to a skills gap.

This statistic points to both good news and bad. The good? America’s manufacturing industry is expected to see continued growth in the coming years. The bad news, of course, is that such growth could be stunted by a lack of qualified job candidates. As your firm begins to prepare for the next ten years, hiring and training strategies need to be a major part of the conversation. What can you do to attract and keep top talent? (Here’s one idea to get you started).

For more essential manufacturing stats from 2018, check out our blog, “5 Stats Every Manufacturing Company Should Know.”

#2: Increasingly, services will be a key success driver for manufacturers.

Per a recent McKinsey report, some manufacturing sectors have seen their “share of revenue and employment associated with services run as high as 55 percent.” In an age when “the concept of buying manufactured hardware seems obsolete” — at least to some — this makes sense. These days, many people would rather rent than buy, and that attitude is starting to permeate businesses as well.

For three tips on how Salesforce can power you company’s service offerings, read our post, “This 1 Manufacturing Stat Could Lead You to Rethink Your Business Model.”

#3: Customer lifetime value is the sales KPI manufacturers expect to grow the most in the next two years.

According to Salesforce’s latest “State of Sales” report, sales executives and managers in the manufacturing space expect to see the use of customer lifetime value grow by 112% over the next couple years. Why? Well, as research out of Tokyo University suggests, there are a few reasons. The first is that B2B organizations often have fewer customers than B2C companies, but higher unit prices and customer repeat rates. More important, however, is the fact that many manufacturers supply their products to a single major company. This gives power to the buyers, who leverage their suppliers’ limited customer bases into discounts. In turn, those suppliers must deal with the kind of increased competitiveness that makes it much harder to land new customers. In that kind of landscape, a single non-profitable customer could prove disastrous. Hence, the importance of calculating and tracking customer lifetime value.

For other sales KPIs expected to grow in the manufacturing industry, head over to our blog, “3 Key Sales Metrics Manufacturers Should Be Tracking.”

#4: Salesforce is committed to powering the digital future of manufacturing.

As we noted back in November, the digital future of manufacturing has many names: The digital transformation, Industry 4.0, The smart factory. Whatever you want to call it, it refers to the adoption and integration of new technologies to increase efficiency, drive growth and open new sources of revenue. And as Salesforce made clear in their manufacturing keynote at Dreamforce 18, the company wants to be at the forefront in helping manufacturing firms make the leap into the future. How? Through products like Live Agent, Einstein, Communities, MuleSoft and Marketing Cloud.

You can read more about each in our post, “5 Ways Salesforce Will Power the Digital Future of Manufacturing.”

Looking for more manufacturing-focused content in 2019? Make sure to subscribe to our blog to get the latest.