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“Manufacturing and Salesforce actually go hand in hand. Some folks might not realize that, and it's a reason why we're so optimistic about the future of young talent in manufacturing,” said Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

NAM and Timmons recently visited the Salesforce Tower as a part of their 2018 State of Manufacturing Tour. The Tour focused on building the future of the manufacturing workforce, from building better relationships with your workforce to building tools needed to keep pace with manufacturing's rapidly changing marketplace. Salesforce was honored to be the only software company on this year's itinerary.

Jay and Neeracha Taychakhoovanudh, Salesforce's SVP of Industry Innovation, discussed a number of hot topics in manufacturing today. Take in some of the key learnings from the interview here:

 

How can advances in AI and technology can help bridge the gap between current and future skills in manufacturing?

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is not about a Terminator-esque rise of the machine, it is about empowering your people and giving them tools to manage, analyze and make decisions with the endless amounts of data captured to better understand and service your customer. Delivering a better customer experience is a competitive differentiator, and AI and technology allow your workforce to better connect with your customer.

 

Manufacturers need to attract young talent, in fact they will need to fill 3.5 million positions by 2025. What are some of the things that you do at Salesforce to make your workplace attractive to new graduates?

“Since our founding, our culture, which we call Ohana — the Hawaiian word for family — has placed strong emphasis on core values,” Neeracha shared with Jay. It is this combination of our core values here at Salesforce and employee values of wellness, transparency, giving back, and fun that all help attract and motivate a workforce and have made Salesforce the World’s #1 Company to Work For. (In case you missed it, learn more here.)

 

What role do you see software playing in transforming manufacturing businesses and how employees work?

Knowing that customer experience is a main differentiator, technology can be the key to capturing that relationship. Technology helps create a 360-degree view of the customer, with mobile and flexible tools that enable your team to better understand and connect with the customer. The combination of people and technology is where successful companies really comes to life, enabling manufacturers to transform into modern manufacturers.

 

How have your manufacturing customers transformed the way they operate to make business more effective, which helps them bolster their bottom lines?

By leveraging the creativity, ingenuity, and experience of humans and the data and transparency of technology, manufacturers can function at a higher level than before. This combination is powerful, and allows manufacturers to build better relationships with customers and bolster bottom lines.

 

If a parent is watching today, thinking about what their child’s career trajectory might look like, what’s a lesson from your life that might help them see the benefit of encouraging their child to create the future, maybe even in modern manufacturing?

The manufacturing industry combines creativity, problem solving, technology and the satisfaction of creating something tangible. These are all elements that the younger generation relates to. Thinking of manufacturing as this intersection brings to life the renaissance manufacturing is experiencing today.

Salesforce is excited to partner with NAM to bring the power of the platform to manufacturers across the country - helping to build the future of the manufacturing workforce.

Interested in hearing the full conversation with Jay and Neeracha from the NAM visit to Salesforce? Check it out here to learn more!