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Executive Insights: Top Themes from the Manufacturing Summit

Executive Insights: Top Themes from the Manufacturing Summit

At the Coastal Cloud Manufacturing Summit in Chicago, our experts shared personal insights into the industry’s evolution and how Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud can be used to reshape manufacturing.

Coastal Cloud hosted manufacturing executives from Atkore, Argos and other North American manufacturers along with industry experts, leaders, and Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud users, to explore the latest innovations shaping the future of technology in manufacturing. 

While all manufacturing leaders are excited about the potential of data, analytics and AI, Summit participants were at varying stages of adoption and implementation. Salesforce empowers manufacturers and distributors by offering a versatile platform tailored to their unique needs, regardless of their stage in the digital transformation journey.

Manufacturing Client Advisory Board

The Manufacturing Summit agenda was crafted based on topics of interest discussed during Coastal Cloud Manufacturing Client Advisory Board (CAB) meetings. The Manufacturing CAB was assembled by Coastal Cloud’s Senior Director of Manufacturing, Mary Beth Wright, to leverage the collective knowledge of industry experts to provide strategic direction and insights into the market. 

Jenni Elia discusses data and analytics at the Coastal Cloud Manufacturing Summit.

Michael Janney delivers an Industry POV from Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud, Data and AI.

Key Takeaways

Let’s take a closer look at the key insights and emerging trends discussed during this year’s Coastal Cloud Manufacturing Summit.

  • DATA: Data doesn’t need to be perfect; it needs to be useful and actionable.
  • UNITY: Clear technology roadmaps strategically unify disparate business units, allowing them to create synergies through a shared platform.
  • CAPACITY: When dealing with capacity constraints, manufacturers must prioritize efforts to keep ROI-generating projects moving.
  • CHANGE: Change Management requires a shared mindset and opportunities for shareholders to connect to it, both personally and professionally.

Manufacturing Experts Address Our Burning Questions


Q: How do we leverage our data for analytics? It’s messy and unorganized. Where do we even start?

A: Instead of trying to boil the ocean, focus on finding the best available data source and begin from there.
A: Data doesn’t need to be perfect; it needs to be useful and actionable. Even a 30% population match is incredible. 

You can also begin labeling your data. Have a glossary for each column or classification and put that glossary in a custom object in Salesforce.


Q: How can we strategically unify disparate business units and leverage a shared platform to create synergies?

A: Business units can remain separate but on the same “instance”. Focus on user types and how those users are associated with different accounts.
A: Build a clear roadmap of commonalities and differences among your business units.
A: Do not become buried in the implementation of the tools and lose sight of the stakeholders who will use them.


Q: How do we keep priority projects moving when we are dealing with capacity constraints?

A: Prioritization of effort by senior management.
A: Continual alignment of IT and Business Units.


Q: Where do we begin a Change Management project?

A: Roadmaps and readiness assessments are essential.
A: Begin to create a shared mindset and allow opportunities for shareholders to connect to it.
A: Choose and plan a disciplined approach to change management.

Coastal Cloud’s Brendan Sullivan, Managing Director of Manufacturing, presents Henry Kao, Atkore’s Director of Marketing, with the Business Impact Award.

Award Winning Clients

Atkore, recognized as a leader in electrical, safety, and infrastructure solutions, was presented with the Business Impact Award at this year’s Manufacturing Summit. Business Impact Award winners are chosen based on the value they’ve created for their clients. Henry Kao Atkore’s Director of Marketing, accepted on behalf of Atkore, having played an important role in the incredible digital transformation the company experienced this year.

What is Salesforce for the manufacturing industry?

Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud helps control all aspects of the business process, increases collaboration and enables more transparency among sales operations and partner teams.

Coastal Cloud designs and implements solutions that allow manufacturers to identify shifts in their market, leading to smarter forecasting. Through Salesforce, they can also reduce manual touchpoints between systems and aggregate data into a single view. Our consultants are not only experts in Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud, but experts in the manufacturing industry, delivering a world-class, cloud-based product.

Don’t miss out next year!

Learn more about this year’s Manufacturing Summit and get on the invite list for next year by contacting our Manufacturing team today!

Coastal is the #1 rated Salesforce consulting firm, 100% focused on customer success. From strategy to platform evolution, we’re the Salesforce consultancy you’ll love working with.


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