CIO Review: Bringing the Best of Salesforce to Manufacturers
Written by Laura Thompson on Friday, January 16, 2015 in
With greater adoption of cloud solutions by businesses of all shapes and sizes, cloud point solutions are becoming the new trend among manufacturers and distributors to resolve shortfalls in their current systems. “On-premise solutions, for years, have tried hard to be everything to everyone, but they can’t meet every user’s needs,” says Vivian Keena, CEO of Alternative Technology Solutions. “The evolving Salesforce platform offers customers a flexible solution that allows them to not only utilize the native functionality, but also plug in complementary point solutions, like our iQ Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tool, to resolve critical and unique business challenges.”
Alternative Technology Solutions brings the best of the cloud to manufacturers through services and solutions designed to make technology faster, smarter, and easier to use. “It’s absolutely critical that cloud applications are easy to implement and maintain—this is a key reason companies move to the cloud. Clients don’t want to increase their teams’ stress or overhead and need technology that’s easy to deploy, learn, and support,” adds Keena.
Working primarily with manufacturers and distributors, the company’s CPQ solution was built with users in mind, building an entire application around the needs of manufacturers and distributors. “We built our products from the ground up with flexibility and configuration capabilities as a priority and have incorporated Salesforce user tools like Chatter, Analytics, and Workflow to maximize flexibility. Our team of Salesforce-certified consultants are not only technical experts, but also seasoned manufacturing and distribution professionals that are able to translate the customers’ needs into solutions that solve everyday challenges,” explains Keena.
Keena highlights mobility as a huge opportunity area for manufacturers and distributors. To better enable mobile activity, Alternative’s CPQ application and Connect 360 integration platform provide sales and service reps the same advanced quoting functionality and the same 360-degree view of the customer that they have at their desks, from any mobile device. iQ delivers a fast and accurate process for manufacturers to create complex or configured quotes from anywhere. Users can dynamically build or pull in multi-level bills of material and routings in order to capture labor, material, and subcontractor costs, all while providing a professional and accurate quote to the customer.
“We work with customers who live in complex and highly-regulated industries and we’ve worked hard to make sure this is reflected in both our software and service solutions. On the solution side, this means building focused and robust applications that fit the needs of specific industries,” says Keena. For customer ViON Corporation, Alternative leveraged its Connect 360 integration solution to bring data from their back-office ERP system not only into Salesforce, but directly into users’ hands. Sales, Marketing, and Field Agents can access the Salesforce1 mobile application on any device and see the most up-to-date information coming from their ERP platform.
On the service side, it means leveraging technology and industry expertise to build and implement solutions for customers. For customer BioTek Instruments, Inc., a front-runner in the development, manufacture, and sale of microplate instrumentation and software, Alternative used the Salesforce Communities platform to build a custom portal. The previous portal lacked the flexibility and collaboration their users needed. Alternative built out and customized a Salesforce Community to create a user-friendly, mobile-friendly, on-brand portal that can be easily maintained and grown.
Alternative’s ability to provide the latest technology and productivity tools are directly tied to its alignment with Salesforce’s technology. “In the coming years, we will continue to expand our suite of manufacturing and distribution-focused applications, and explore tools like Lightning Connect and Wave Analytics to ensure we are delivering the best integration and analytics experience possible,” concludes Keena. “We believe that Salesforce offers some of the best cloud technology on the market today, and we’re excited to continue providing solutions and services that enhance our customers’ use of it to grow their businesses.”
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA
Management: Vivian Keena, CEO
Quote: “We built our products from the ground up with flexibility and configuration capabilities as a priority”
Description: Brings the best of the cloud to manufacturers through services and solutions designed to make technology faster, smarter, and easier to use