Ahead of the Curve

Gerent’s Salesforce-focused Podcast Series

Whether it’s CRM and ERP integration, smart factories, digital underwriting, or how small travel companies can rebound from the pandemic, Ahead of the Curve dives into the substance and surfaces with thorough discussions on how technology is shaping the manufacturing, insurance, travel, education, healthcare, and quality management industries.

Episode 22: How S&OP Can Recover Fast In A Post-Pandemic Manufacturing World

Supply and demand has been turned on its head twice in the past year. The first time when the pandemic struck and the second time recently, as manufacturing has begun to respond to pent-up pressures in the marketplace. Failing to spot shifts in demand quickly enough leads to enormous problems for manufacturers. In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, you’ll hear about strategies to avoid those problems; how digital technology throughout the supply chain keeps communication open and transparent and why data holds the key for manufacturing.


Episode 21: Why Educators Need To Master Journey Mapping

What is journey mapping? It’s a way of “seeing” a customer so that a business can provide better service. In the education field, journey mapping is a way for a training organization to really KNOW their customer, the student – what they like, how they want to be contacted, how they’re feeling about their educational journey. In this episode, you’ll hear:

- Why trainers and educators are missing the boat when it comes to knowing their customers  
- How a simple step-by-step process can create a detailed student profile
- How Salesforce CRM provides the technology to make journey mapping possible and easy


Episode 20: Salesforce Insurance: The Ideal Platform To Automate Underwriting

In the latest episode of our ongoing series on digital transformation in the insurance industry, we discuss the importance of accelerating digital underwriting for insurers. In this episode, we have an insightful conversation with Doug Stitzer, the Global Director for Insurance Industry Advisors at Salesforce. You’ll hear about:

- Why the underwriting function has to be transformed sooner than later
- What could happen to insurers who do not begin their digital transformation journey
- The powerful Salesforce capabilities that propel underwriting automation


Episode 19: Technology Builds A Brand New MGA For Insurers

Managing General Agents or MGAs have been vital links in the insurance chain. Their knowledge of local and regional markets is second to none. They are the eyes and ears for the insurance companies. So, why are they being showered with investment money from financial firms and even the insurers themselves? What’s changed? We’ll provide the stunning answer in this latest episode of Ahead of the Curve, featuring Gerent’s Insurance Practice Lead, Donn Vucovich.


Episode 18: Is Online Learning Really Working?

In the latest episode of Ahead of the Curve, we examine online learning today. Training organizations and higher education institutions are struggling to meet the challenges presented by a global pandemic. Some were prepared but many weren’t, and their students are paying the price. Hear why a technology platform like Salesforce can breakthrough to a brighter future by solving many of the problems learning institutions, whether trainers or universities, are facing. Our guests include April Bollwage, Gerent’s Senior Director of Education and Jeff Hutcheson, founder of Global Ed Professionals – two individuals with decades of experience in international education and remote learning.


Episode 17: P&C Carriers and MGAs Create a New Digital Customer Experience

In this episode, we continue our examination of the digital transformation in the insurance industry with the focus on property and casualty carriers and the MGAs who work with them. You’ll hear how:
- MGAs and carriers can combine siloed systems into a single processing path
- How this single system can bring new products to market faster and cheaper than ever before
- How a digital transformation using Salesforce Industries can make companies agile and responsive to changing market conditions


Episode 16: Accelerated Underwriting: Technology Changes The Face Of Life Insurance

The Medical Information Bureau reports that sales of life insurance increased by 4% in 2020 – a dramatic rise for a product that is often ignored by many. The pandemic accounts for the renewed interest but accelerated underwriting is making issuance faster and easier for the consumer. Data gathering, analytics and artificial intelligence are the means by which this is accomplished. In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, you’ll hear why accelerated underwriting is changing the product, how third-party data aggregators are playing a critical role, and what the future could hold for insurers.


Episode 15: Insurance In The Cloud: Security, Agility, Strong ROI

The insurance industry is discovering the extensive benefits from migrating to the cloud and away from on-premises systems, servers, and mainframes. However, it’s a complex process that needs to be done carefully by following a well-conceived digital roadmap. Done properly, companies in the insurance space will reap the rewards. Ahead of the Curve talks with an expert in insurance cloud migration and the CIO of an insurance firm in the midst of its own move to the cloud.


Episode 14: Digital Transformation Sweeps Through The Insurance Industry

Insurance and Banking: two venerable professions steeped in tradition. Technology transformed the banking industry and it’s doing the same to the insurance industry with the growth of new, tech-driven insurers and the promise of customized and affordable products for the consumer. Learn how Insurtechs are changing the landscape, driving down the cost for new products and forcing traditional insurers to follow suit. This episode features Donn Vucovich, Gerent’s Insurance Industry Lead and Julie Zimmer, former COO of Insurtech firm, Embroker.


Episode 13: The State of Travel Today

An in-depth interview on the health of the cruise industry right now and the outlook for its future with Ketta Riley, SVP of Travel & Hospitality Practice at Gerent and Andy Stuart, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line for more than 30 years. We discuss the role of the CDC, what cruise lines are doing to make their ships safe and how they’ll bring travelers back to cruising.

Travel & Hospitality

Episode 12: Quality: With It You Win; Without It You Lose

Quality is critical to a company’s success. Whether it’s the quality of products, services or internal practices, a company’s long term future rests on quality. So why does quality get sand kicked in its face so often?

In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, we speak to Gerent’s Senior Director of Enterprise Quality Management Systems to learn why the pursuit of quality is viewed as an obstacle to doing business but is in fact essential and how technology can smooth the way forward.


Episode 11: Technology: The Key To Re-Opening Safely

Ahead of the Curve examines how Gerent has improved upon Work.com, the Salesforce platform designed to help both the private and public sector to reopen safely during the global pandemic. Gerent’s innovations to Work.com focus on the manufacturing sector and the education sector – two areas critical to both the economy and social development. Our guest is Murty Chennubhotla, product architect with Gerent.


Episode 10: ERP/CRM Integration - The Holy Grail in Data Access

As companies realize they must tear down silos and make data access universal within their organizations, the need for genuine integration of ERP & CRM has never been more important. The concept’s not new but the results can be mixed. However, one company says it has a product that delivers real ERP/CRM integration. Listen now!


Episode 9: Can Manufacturing Recover From The Pandemic?

Manufacturing around the globe collapsed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. First supply, and then demand evaporated. Millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost. Simply re-opening factories  doesn’t mean demand returns. It will likely be a slow, painful process. Yet, there are bright spots emerging. In this episode, Tim Gollin, former global CEO of Arc International, offers his perspective and insight on what lies ahead for the manufacturing sector.


Episode 8: Pulling Manufacturing Out Of The Pandemic

Industry is reeling from a total collapse in global demand and disruption to supply chains around the world due to COVID-19. Manufacturers are uncertain about whether or not to hold inventory. They need something that can peer through the uncertainty to spot the earliest signs of renewed demand.

Episode 8 of Ahead of the Curve features Adam Alfano, Senior Area Vice President in the Salesforce Manufacturing Vertical, talking about the role and benefits of Manufacturing Cloud during and after the global pandemic


Episode 7: Manufacturing Cloud – Uniting Sales and Production Planning

Salesforce unveiled Manufacturing Cloud in September 2019. Its aim is to more closely align sales forecasting and production planning to achieve greater efficiency for manufacturers and their supply chains and heighten customer satisfaction. We speak with two Manufacturing Cloud experts and delve into how it works and why it’s solving along standing problem for manufacturers.


Episode 6: DeepQuest: Levelling the Playing Field in the Travel Industry

One product is giving small travel companies more muscle in their industry: DeepQuest, developed by Gerent. DeepQuest is built on the Salesforce platform and offers powerful technology to compete with Expedia and Travelocity. The latest episode of Ahead of the Curve talks with the woman behind DeepQuest and one satisfied customer solving numerous marketing challenges with it.

Travel & Hospitality

Episode 5: Slaying the Twin Dragons of Compliance and Quality

The manufacturing sector is subject to hundreds of thousands of rules and restrictions. An Enterprise Quality Management Solution is a manufacturer’s best means to ensure product quality and compliance automatically, using Salesforce technology adapted by ComplianceQuest.

Guests include Paul Sanderson, Manager of Solutions Engineering at ComplianceQuest and Chaitanya Sonarikar, Gerent’s V.P. of Manufacturing Services.


Episode 4: A CEO’s View Of Technology in Manufacturing

Tim Gollin is the former CEO of a global manufacturer with more than 10 thousand employees in five countries. He’s seen how technology can be oversold and the capital investment wasted.

Tim explains why this happens and how to avoid the same mistake. He also shares his experience with a successful Salesforce CRM implementation that transformed his own company


Episode 3: Practical Uses of Technology in Manufacturing

Episode 3 of Ahead of the Curve tackles some of the many pain points and challenges that manufacturers face today, along with some of the technology solutions that Gerent is using to eliminate those pain points. This program features Eric Satterthwaite, Gerent’s V.P. of Sales, someone who spends his days in the trenches with manufacturers and knows their issues, all too well.


Episode 2: Artificial Intelligence for Manufacturing

In the second episode of Ahead of the Curve, we speak with two experts on AI and how it is being applied within the manufacturing vertical with great success. Plus, where and how to begin the AI journey.


Episode 1: How CRM Helps Manufacturers Boost Sales

We hear a lot about CRM in manufacturing, today. It’s a powerful software platform that helps to create and cement close relationships with customers – and, ultimately, drive revenue. In the first episode of Ahead of the Curve, we talk to two manufacturing experts from Salesforce and dig into how and why CRM can generate great benefits for this sector.

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