We are committed to being a world-class Salesforce partner in the manufacturing vertical. We are focused on bringing solutions around data and analysis that enable leaders to make valuable decisions in real time, uncovering the quickest time-to-value and measurable returns on investments.

Areas of expertise

Discrete Manufacturing

Process Manufacturing

National & Regional Distribution

You can count on us

Deep experience in Salesforce for Manufacturing

Gerent has been successfully implementing technology solutions for both discrete and process manufacturers for the past 13 years. We are invested heavily in manufacturing and have in-house experts with years of on point use experience.

Manufacturing Cloud Expertise

Gerent is a proud Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud Partner. We are a go-to partner in manufacturing with years of market experience and one of the first to deliver Manufacturing Cloud to our customers.

Manufacturing is our largest focus area.

Making up 40% of our customer base, we know manufacturing and we know how to help manufacturers get the most out of technology to reduce working capital, waste and inefficiency.

Fast time-to-value

Quality is important to us but so is speed. Our project completion rate is known to be 40% faster than other Salesforce consulting and implementation partners saving you time and money and accelerating business value.

Substantial experience in both discrete and process

Because of Gerent’s experience in creating technology solutions for the manufacturing sector, we have the depth of knowledge to work with significant types of manufacturing - discrete or process - and deliver on our promise of high-value service.

Powering Manufacturers

Unlock data in real time

Present accurate data in real time across teams and facilitate stronger business discussion.

Facilitate decision making

Review accurate data and make timely course corrections or plan changes, enabling agility in changing market conditions.

Increase business efficiency

Enable account and product forecast accuracy, strategic KPI tracking and levels 1-5 dashboards.

How we can help

Meet Robert

VP of Operations at large enterprise

I run a multi-site operation, we have grown as a business through new product launches and acquisitions. I have an older ERP system and with each new acquisition, I inherit another. We spend a lot of time and effort on the integration of acquisitions, trying to find common ground in data that exists in many places that are disconnected from one another. In addition, I am trying to build business cases for investments and improvements in operations, but I struggle to get supporting information that can be trusted.

How can technology help?

  • Implementing enterprise-class software can facilitate the adoption of corporate standardized solutions.
  • Having data on a single platform enables rapid access to real-time reports and data, allowing for informed and confident data-driven business decisions.
  • Trending report data also uncovers and highlights which operations are succeeding and which need for improvement.
  • Reports and dashboards are sharable to the CEO and COO and can be viewed as needed.

Meet Sam

VP National Sales

I have 7 RVP direct reports with a total of 300 salespeople in the field; some are independent reps. I have to present a forecast by account down to the part number for a rolling 12 months. It seems like I spend most of my time forecasting. I also struggle to get the independents to forecast; they say it is non-value-added work for them.

How can technology help?

  • Integrating Manufacturing Cloud with your ERP systems drive volumes of data and can segment it by account to the part number.
  • You will be able to divide goals amongst your teams and track progress in dashboards.
  • With the use of AI, it is possible to drive insights into forecasting that are valuable and can shorten the process.
  • Enabling community access for you independent sales folks, providing access to sales and commission tracking will help engage them in the forecasting process.

Meet Mark

CFO Mid-Size Component Manufacturer

I am a single site facility in diverse markets with a high seasonality mix. The struggles of flexing the workforce or level loading the factory can mean the difference between making or losing money in any given month. I rely heavily on sales and operations working together on forecasting. I also need to watch volumes and pricing carefully, we have lots of competition and need to keep our customer base happy.

How can technology help?

  • Integrating Manufacturing Cloud with your ERP systems drive volumes of data and can segment it by account to the part number.
  • Setting up a dashboard to look for variability in volume and margin will help pinpoint areas of concern in real time.
  • Managing contracts and sales agreements by account to look for pricing opportunities.
  • Connecting forecast to inventory control to avoid obsolete inventory risks and accruals for expenses.

David Morley

Manufacturing Practice Leader

Our Head of Manufacturing, David Morley, has 30+ years of manufacturing experience in Asia, Europe and North America. He is an early adopter of Salesforce as a cross functional platform with a strong focus on growth and innovation.

Connect on LinkedIn

Our Point of View

Our Point of View

The Impact of Adopting an Agile Framework for Manufacturers explores the consequences of failing to adopt an agile framework, the benefits of implementing one, and the steps manufacturers need to take to succeed with agility.

Episode 31: The Silver Tsunami: Manufacturing Is At A Labor Crossroads

The manufacturing industry in the US is in the midst of a silver tsunami: aging workers who are retiring at the rate of 10,000 a day, a rate projected to continue until 2030. The industry employs nearly 9% of the American workforce, so such a loss of talent, knowledge and experience will have a severe impact on the economy unless something is done. Raising wages in the short term may help but it can trigger its own negative consequences like inflation.

In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we’ll examine the impact and cost of a retiring workforce and some possible solutions that will help sustain overall economic growth. Some of the solutions can be implemented quickly, but others will take years to bear fruit.

Our guests include David Morley, Gerent’s Manufacturing Practice Lead and Charlie Commisso, VP of Human Resources for Niacet Corporation, a global leader in the manufacture of specialty chemicals.

June 29, 2021

FreightWaves: Accelerating Outdated Pricing Processes with Salesforce CPQ

FreightWaves, a company well-known for providing the data and context that supply chain organizations need to accurately benchmark, analyze, monitor, forecast, and price within the $9.6 trillion logistics industry, built a global reputation on the strength and immediacy of its industry intelligence. FreightWaves products and services provide immediate value — but until recently, purchasing them was often a slow and inefficient experience. 

The Problem: Manual Quoting Procedures Lead to Slow Transactions

When FreightWaves approached Gerent in the fall of 2020, its quoting processes had fallen behind the times. Nearly all pricing efforts were completed manually by individual sales representatives — and while such a hands-on approach might not have posed a problem for a company with simple goods, FreightWaves’ offerings are, by necessity, complex digital products.  

Consider SONAR, FreightWaves’ comprehensive freight data and forecasting platform, as an example. SONAR’s proprietary tools distill actionable insights from thousands of informational sources and provide users with the most current freight activity and logistics rate indices on the market. The platform’s complexity made it invaluable to consumers but challenging to quote, as FreightWaves’ sales personnel needed to manually configure its expansive suite of offerings into their pricing figures. Often, they would need to generate multiple quotes until they produced one that suited a client’s needs. 

When taken in combination, these factors resulted in a pricing process that was cumbersome, overly complex, and inefficient. FreightWaves wanted to do away with its manual procedures and implement an automated quoting tool that offered quick, consistent, and customizable quotes. 

Upon hearing this request, Gerent offered a simple solution: Salesforce CPQ. 

Salesforce CPQ Offers FreightWaves Accelerated and Customized Pricing Capabilities

Salesforce CPQ (“Configure, Price, and Quote”) is a Salesforce-built tool that would give FreightWaves’ sales team the opportunity to generate accurate pricing figures for any stated product configuration. CPQ takes an abundance of factors — from optional features to customizations, quantities, and discounts — into consideration so sales reps can create personalized quotes quickly. 

FreightWaves’ sales team could also access product specifications and options through CPQ; this capability would, in turn, empower them to hone in on desired specializations, add-ons, and complex configurations even if a product expert isn’t readily available. Moreover, because CPQ is hosted within the cloud-based Sales Cloud platform, it could be used in conjunction with Salesforce’s CRM (customer relationship management) tools to drive more impactful sales decisions. 

Another notable benefit FreightWaves would realize by implementing CPQ is accuracy. To borrow a quote from Salesforce, “If your sales force has to manually research and write each quote, they are spending their time needlessly. The more accurate and efficient the proposed configuration and quote, the more of a trusted partner your organization will become.” 

By simplifying, accelerating, and automating the quoting process with CPQ, FreightWaves’ sales team would gain the ability to provide a tailored quote quickly and avoid bogging down negotiations with ill-suited proposals. The efficiency boost can’t be understated; some CPQ customers have experienced an up to 30% increase in quote accuracy post-implementation, according to Salesforce.

With Gerent’s Navigation, FreightWaves Sails Towards Greater Efficiency with CPQ

CPQ provided an intuitive solution for FreightWaves’ quoting quandary. Over a few short months, FreightWaves collaborated with Gerent’s solution architects to establish and customize CPQ to suit its unique needs. 

As a result, the logistics intelligence provider now enjoys all of the product’s out-of-the-box benefits and can readily produce multiple quotes for complex products within one proposal. When a client demonstrates interest in FreightWaves’ offerings, they are encouraged to submit specific information about what they want out of their engagement with the company. After submission, CPQ automatically generates a customized quote. 

Sales reps can independently apply discounts to sweeten the deal if necessary, too — without necessitating constant higher-up review. To avoid inconsistency, the pricing system is set up to ensure that all markdowns either fall within accepted parameters or trigger higher-level review. This, in turn, enables greater efficiency and team empowerment.  

An organization that helps supply chain organizations stay ahead of the proverbial curve shouldn’t be held back by outdated manual pricing procedures. With Gerent’s assistance, FreightWaves has established automated configure, price, and quote processes and set a new standard for efficient and satisfying client transactions. As a result, the company is better equipped than ever to maintain its place as an industry leader and continue charting a course into innovation.

Benjamin Obdyke “Builds Better” With Pardot

Ever since Benjamin Obdyke opened its doors in 1868, it has pursued one goal: to build better. The company, which stands as the foremost provider of roof and wall-building materials in the United States, continually fine-tunes its product lines to suit the ever-evolving needs of the building and contracting community. Proactivity defines Benjamin Obdyke’s approach to product line development — however, until recently, the same could not be said about the company’s approach to marketing and sales. 

Before 2020, the company lacked a standard way of qualifying and nurturing incoming leads; it couldn’t accurately capture pipeline opportunities or track interactions with dealers and contractors. Additionally, because its sales and marketing teams used distinct platforms, the two often failed to communicate, let alone collaborate.   

Benjamin Obdyke knew that it needed to apply its “build better” motto to its internal processes, as well as its products. To that end, the company reached out to Gerent, a preferred partner for Salesforce implementations, for advice and support. 

First Impressions: Identifying Problems and Growth Opportunities

Implementations are always a collaborative process. After connecting with Benjamin Obdyke’s transformation leaders, Gerent’s solution architects spent some time in conversation to define the manufacturer’s pain points and goals. The team established that the company needed to:

  • Transition to a unified sales and marketing platform
  • Reduce its manual reporting burden
  • Establish standardized lead generation processes 
  • Increase its ability to market to existing contractors, dealers, and customers

Gerent’s solution architects proposed a straightforward means of achieving these goals — implementing Pardot and Sales Cloud.

Pardot Provides a Comprehensive Fix for Lead Management

While switching to Sales Cloud would resolve one of Benjamin Obdyke’s primary goals — namely, breaking down silos between its sales and marketing teams — integrating Pardot was an equally important part of the manufacturer’s transformation strategy. 

For context: Pardot is a top-tier marketing solution that empowers organizations to maximize their pipelines and forge meaningful connections with their consumers. With its expansive set of tools at hand, marketing teams can increase their ability to identify qualified leads, track campaign engagement metrics, automate personalized outreach, and improve follow-up speed. Other features include (but are not limited to) an all-in-one dashboard, which marketing and sales teams can use to track campaign progress, and automated lead qualification.

By using Pardot, Benjamin Obdyke could accurately capture pipeline opportunities, conduct robust reporting without unnecessary manual intervention, and establish best practices for lead generation, qualification, and sales distribution. In other words — the manufacturer would obtain the functionalities it needed to modernize and optimize its marketing approach.

Gerent Turns Potential into Productive Reality: Implementing Pardot 

After establishing that Benjamin Obdyke’s immediate needs would be best served by implementing Sales Cloud and Pardot, the team held several conversations with the manufacturer to understand its existing processes and requirements. Ultimately, Gerent and Benjamin Obdyke agreed to execute the implementation via a three-week Quickstart. 

Quickstarts are accelerated projects that implement a basic version of a given solution within two to four weeks. As in Benjamin Obdyke’s case, these are often used to establish an immediately functional foundation that can be expanded at a later date. 

The manufacturer’s QuickStart occurred in two phases. The first (“architect”) phase encompassed all initial planning and design work. Gerent’s solution architects configured Pardot and Sales Cloud per Benjamin Obdyke’s unique needs, then conducted demo sessions to obtain feedback and finalize the build. In the second (“deploy”) phase, the Gerent team migrated the manufacturer’s data onto its new system, trained a designated client representative on the product, and handed over the metaphorical reins. 

By the end of 2020, Benjamin Obdyke achieved a unified sales and marketing platform that suited its needs and status as a top-tier player in the construction materials industry. The manufacturer’s initial partnership with Gerent has since come to a close; however, Benjamin Obdyke continues to collaborate with its implementation team on smaller initiatives, striving — as always — to build better.

Benjamin Obdyke sought to eliminate operational silos

When Benjamin Obdyke approached Gerent in the fall of 2020, it had one goal in mind: to elevate its achievement potential. While the company had established itself as a foremost provider of high-quality roof and wall-building solutions in the United States, it wasn’t attaining the success it expected. The reason for the lapse was apparent — silos within Benjamin Obdyke were constraining collaboration and derailing the organization’s strategic alignment.  

Benjamin Obdyke’s marketing and sales departments worked in relative isolation, rarely collaborating or sharing information. Unfortunately, this compartmentalization prevented the manufacturer from developing a standard, best-practice way of managing opportunity pipelines. To address the problem, the company contracted with Gerent, a preferred partner for Salesforce implementations, to establish a CRM framework that would facilitate cross-department transparency and collaboration. 

A new framework for operational alignment

After consulting with the manufacturer’s leadership team, Gerent recommended that Benjamin Obdyke implement Salesforce Sales Cloud and Pardot to create a consolidated sales and marketing platform. Doing so would empower the company to: 

  • Establish best practices lead generation, qualification, and distribution to sales
  • Accurately capture pipeline opportunities
  • Record and track interactions with dealers and contractors
  • Facilitate robust automated reporting 
  • Enable sales to leverage repeatable processes and boost overall revenue growth
  • Market to existing contractors, dealers, and customers

After Benjamin Obdyke agreed to the plan, Gerent began putting it into action via a QuickStart implementation. Within three weeks, Gerent had established the project’s scope and milestones, tailored the Sales Cloud to suit Benjamin Obdyke’s unique needs, conducted two demos, integrated company feedback, and deployed the finalized solution. 

As a result, Benjamin Obdyke had achieved its initial goal of implementing a consolidated, silo-free sales and marketing platform. But rather than marking the end of a partnership, that initial achievement set the groundwork for even more collaboration. 

An extended partnership to pursue automation and efficiency

In October, Benjamin Obdyke reached out to Gerent for help in automating a few time-consuming processes. The first was sample management; originally, the manufacturer’s team had to spend hours manually entering tracking numbers into an Excel spreadsheet and sending notification emails to recipients. 

But with Gerent’s help, Benjamin Obdyke implemented the process within Salesforce via ZenKraft, an Appexchange package that interfaces with UPS and FedEx systems. Immediately, time spent on data entry dropped to almost zero — with ZenKraft, the team could automatically send tracking numbers to clients and produce internal reports on sample delivery.

Gerent applied a similar automation-forward approach to Benjamin Obdyke’s certification process. Before the company’s digital transformation, its administrative team needed to design certifications for its continuing education initiatives in Microsoft Word, then manually send the documents out whenever enrollees finished a course. The process was time-consuming and frequently diverted resources away from other, more operation-critical tasks. 

Automation provided an answer. Gerent implemented Conga, a document generation package that could simplify the certification process. Rather than manually designing each certification and sending individual emails, Benjamin Obdyke’s team could simply enter the enrollees’ contacts and customize a pre-set template with each person’s name, training date, and instructor. This new process cut the team’s invested time down from hours to a few minutes.

The efficiency, collaboration, and alignment gains Benjamin Obdyke reaped from Salesforce are undeniable. With Gerent’s help, the manufacturer was able to establish a process for nurturing market-qualified leads, break down operational silos, and — most importantly — maintain its competitive presence as one of America’s foremost providers of high-quality roof and wall-building solutions.

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