The management of run rate business forecasting is one of many challenges we see in manufacturing companies. Accurate forecasting can have a significant impact on your business, from volume and revenue forecasting to the manufacturing plant floor.
Luckily, Salesforce has created a solution to address these impacts: Manufacturing Cloud.
As many of you know, sometimes the Out-of-the-Box tool doesn’t meet an organization’s unique needs, and you, as an experienced warrior in the industry realm, don’t want to go to a highly-sophisticated, custom solution. There must be a better way to tackle some challenges with the existing tools capabilities. If this sounds familiar, then this article was written for you. We would like to present to you a common problem, how it can be overcome in an organized fashion and, above all, how to steer clear of customized endeavors.
You are an account manager for a business where you don’t always know which specific products will be purchased. These SKUs all fall under the same Product. For our purpose, let’s call those similar SKUs a “Category.”
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud has the solution! Salesforce Agreement can be configured in Salesforce to utilize Products or Categories through the Product Level field. It is amazing that we have this solution option!
But wait. Houston, we have a problem…What if my business process has a more complex scenario? Some of the products can be generalized as “Categories,” but others must be predefined upfront. Unfortunately, Manufacturing Cloud doesn’t allow this (Winter ‘23 release); one must choose either Products or Categories, not both.
We could of course create two (2) Sales Agreements, one for Products and one for Categories. However, the problem begins when we have a Single Order being integrated from an ERP with both product SKUs and generalized categories on it that is to go against a single Sales Agreement. This will not work out of the box.
An additional lookup field could be created on the Order to lookup to the second Sales Agreement, but this would result in the loss of most of the Out-of-the-Box functionality for the Actual and Forecast calculations, as well as all Tableau calculations that are to occur downstream.
We were able to develop a clean solution which avoids the multiple sales agreements.
We can define a Catalog with Parent and Child Categories. Most of the generic Products will be under a generic Category. The SKU identified Products will have their own Category that will reside under the Parent generic Category. This will allow for a 1:1 relationship between Child Categories and the Products.
This solution is a winner! It allows for a Single Sales Agreement of Categories and removes the need for complex custom solutions. With this solution, we do not lose any Out-of-the-Box Manufacturing Cloud functionality.
We are huge fans of Manufacturing Cloud and its ability to make our lives easier. If you have any questions about it, please reach out to us and ask!
Principal Consultant & Technical Architect at Uptima
Principal Consultant at Uptima