By integrating its ERP system (SAP) into Salesforce, one of our manufacturing customers is benefitting from more efficient, fully traceable working processes and effective methods of forecasting.

This leading precision manufacturing company has taken the decision to set up a flexible CRM system for its sales team to handle day-to-day processes in order to make work more efficient and to organise the cooperation between sales and the back office in a consistent, traceable and effective way.

Until now, order details were recorded with the aid of MS Office programs and the information was passed on to the back office in this format. As there was no way of connecting the ERP system with Excel, the back office then had to re-enter the details in SAP. There was no coherent way of analysing the data and no link between the different versions.

Following a comparative research process, the decision was taken to opt for the market leader in cloud-based CRM systems: Salesforce. PARX was selected on the basis of its extensive Salesforce experience.

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PARX developed an integration concept, the aim of which was to make it possible for staff to handle all of the internal company processes with just one system and to provide the management with a tool that provides accurate forecast figures.

The Overcast integration software from Vigience was used for the implementation process. No other middleware or external SAP consultants were required.

360-degree view of the customer

The new system now allows consistent handling of an order. For example, Salesforce Opportunities are linked automatically with SAP. Sales staff can trigger an order directly in SAP from an Opportunity they acquire. Or vice versa, delivery information for orders set up in SAP can be written to Salesforce.

Through Salesforce, the sales team have a 360-degree view of the customer. The entire order history can therefore be viewed, together with current orders including the status of individual items. In addition, new products and their variants are available to the sales team and can be ordered immediately in Salesforce, thanks to the integration of product master data. The Excel price lists have been replaced. The prices are now calculated automatically in Salesforce and transferred to the SAP system.

It has been possible to reduce the total number of operating steps significantly. Industry-specific peculiarities could also be taken into consideration, such as lead times that run over several years, which facilitates much more accurate forecasts overall. Similarly, the data quality has improved noticeably. If, for example, a customer's contact details or order quantities are changed in the ERP system, this change is automatically imported into Salesforce. By managing support cases in Salesforce, communication between sales and technical support is simplified and documented more effectively.

Alongside the more efficient work processes, the management gains a much deeper insight into the business data for their forecasts and commercial decisions. Data from the production process can be used for accurate production planning, for example, making more precise planning of capacities and stock possible.