As companies continue a lucrative quest to get closer to their customers and gain real-time visibility into buying habits, while securing more influence over the customer journey, accurate supply chain forecasting and planning data has become something of a Holy Grail.
Salesforce, the world’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform, has made a name modernizing the customer approach, helping marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT teams work as one from anywhere to manage customer relations. A partnership with ketteQ added supply chain operations to that vital mix.
The importance of supply chain forecasting, especially amid ongoing global supply chain disruptions, has grown significantly. More than ever, companies need the ability to share vital information with customers who are waiting on products and deliveries, and who have come to expect instant answers.
Where’s My Stuff?
“It’s the most common customer question- where’s my stuff and when is it going to get here,” said Bruce Richardson, Chief Enterprise Strategist at Salesforce.
Adding a supply chain partner built on the Salesforce platform was a long-standing goal, noted Richardson. Partnering with ketteQ, the only digital supply chain planning and automation platform built on Salesforce, has helped Salesforce not only manage new service frontiers, but deliver vastly improved visibility when it comes to customer orders.
Nothing is more frustrating than hearing an expectant customer’s pain and being unable to help, said Richardson.
That was the case when ports in Los Angeles experienced a catastrophic logjam that has yet to completely clear. In fact, a “normal” supply chain is not expected this year as disruptions for ports, warehouses and retailers are predicted to last into 2023.
Goods stacked up, then labor shortages made matters worse. That wasn’t Salesforce’s space, said Richardson. The company needed a better handle on supply chain issues to be able to communicate accurately to customers.
“Our goal is to help the customer meet their customer’s expectations. The more we know about supply chain, the better,” said Richardson.
Relieving the Pressure
Sales and marketing teams are now in an endless loop of answering customer questions about supply chain delays. Having a clearer view of the answer has become paramount for CRM systems.
ketteQ creates a tool to help visually show where a product is located. The ketteQ platform, integrated with Salesforce, can take a CRM and make it look like it was designed from the ground floor up for conveying supply chain information.
That Salesforce integration also brings a helpful level of familiarity so when ketteQ is introduced to internal teams, buy-in is easier and adoption is faster.
“The other thing about having a partner like ketteQ is that it allows us to get into conversations with execs we would not normally have been in front of, like the head of supply chain,” said Richardson.
Given the now ubiquitous nature of supply chain issues. and even supply chain understanding, folding that understanding into a CRM’s capabilities is a key innovation.
Mass Orchestration Required
There is a growing need for much stronger and accurate visibility across an entire supply chain. From the time a product is made, to when a customer orders it and it is delivered to their doorstep, there are multiple supply chain and transportation steps that carry that journey.
Having clear visibility into the timing of each step, from manufacturing to delivery, and even being able to anticipate issues and adjusting for disruptions is an orchestration advanced platforms can help companies achieve.
The benefits of mass orchestration include reduced waste, a reduction of just-in-case inventory, and anticipation of things like product redesign, which can suddenly stick a company with parts they can’t unload.
ketteQ’s platform is continuing to drive innovation and capability as industries grapple with supply chain challenges.
“I am really excited about this partnership, said Richardson. “I have been involved with supply chain for over 30 years and I’m excited about the opportunities to change how the world works by teaming with ketteQ.”