The 2018 State of Manufacturing Tour recently arrived at Salesforce Headquarters in San Francisco, where Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), interviewed Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, Salesforce’s Senior Vice President of Partner & Industry Innovation. The two discussed the state of modern manufacturing, the impact of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies on industry and the future of work. A video replay of the event is available on Facebook.

Manufacturing is at the core of the economy of every advanced country around the globe, and Salesforce is focused on how manufacturers are increasingly interested in delivering excellent customer experiences. Manufacturers are focusing on modernizing customer experiences, and are also seeking to attract new workers to modern industrial roles. As artificial intelligence and other 4IR technologies advance, manufacturers are responding by making key strategic adjustments.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is really about empowering people and providing the tools for people to manage all the data being generated in the world,” said Taychakhoonavudh. “When we talk about modern manufacturing we must think about giving people the tools to analyze data and make the decisions that best serve their customers. That focus on customers is what Salesforce’s focus on manufacturing is all about.”

How can industry players, including manufacturers, attract new talent into the workforce? Taychakhoonavudh discussed Salesforce’s approach. “Since our founding, our culture, which we call Ohana — the Hawaiian word for family — has placed strong emphasis on core values,” she said. “Our values are trust, growth, innovation and equality. In addition to these, we have employee-focused values that concentrate on wellness, giving back and fun. We make a priority, from the top, of focusing on employee engagement. The younger workforce, very focused on technology and social interaction, intuitively integrates with these priorities, as well as our actual applications at Salesforce. These priorities and applications empower and motivate employees.”

During the interview, Timmons provided a glimpse of what today’s manufacturers are wrestling with when it comes to hiring young talent. According to the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute, the industry will need to fill 3.5 million positions by 2025.  

“We take a unique approach to training and retaining our talent,” Taychakhoonavudh said. “We have a program called Trailhead; a new approach to learning. This program started focusing on our customer community and we quickly realized we should leverage inside Salesforce. Trailhead provides a guided learning path using a set of interactive and online tutorials. For the new generation of talent they want this way of interactive, on-demand, learning to improve their knowledge and skills. For example, we reward our talent based on trails they've completed giving them recognition or possible other positions in the company based on their new skills.  This concept translates to every industry.” 

You can follow the 2018 State of Manufacturing Tour on Twitter: #MFGTour2018. Meanwhile, for more on how Salesforce’s culture can make a difference for companies across industries, explore the Salesforce Culture Trail.