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How to increase OEE in the manufacturing industry with a CRM system?

Recent years have not been easy for the manufacturing industry, and in many companies a key indicator – OEE, or Overall Equipment Effectiveness – has been declining.

How can this be remedied? Among ERP, MES, and many other acronyms, your company should include one more – CRM.

With such a tool, you can increase the value of the OEE indicator!

A man in a helmet at a robotic arm in a production hall working to increase OEE
Declining OEE is one of the critical issues for the manufacturing industry

Challenges in the context of the OEE rate

Here are three key factors affecting the industry in 2023.

Coronavirus pandemic 

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still echoing today. It was the cause of the collapse of supply chains, the closure of many companies, and reduced demand for goods, as well as reduced availability of machinery.

In addition, factory closures and reduced production led to increased downtime. The financial situation of many organizations has also been affected by the need to bear the costs associated with preventing the spread of the virus.

War in Ukraine 

The ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe is impacting the availability of raw materials and components by upsetting supply chains, which means the risk of reduced productivity and production quality.


This, in turn, has caused a drop in product demand, which can also lead to clogged warehouses and the need to sell at a discount. Energy and raw material costs have risen, affecting the margins of manufacturing companies.

The above phenomena have one common denominator: increased uncertainty in the market. It’s not easy to make strategic decisions, create long-term plans or take care of OEE when you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

A man in work clothes operating a device in a factory
The manufacturing industry must find its way into the new reality

86% of manufacturers consider digital transformation a high or critical priority.

Source: Trends in Manufacturing report by Salesforce

Improve OEE with CRM

However, the industry has ways to prevent the negative consequences of the events described above. With the help comes technology such as CRM systems.

Customer Relationship Management software can help manufacturing companies get through a crisis unscathed.

Higher quality products

CRM allows you to collect and analyze customer feedback data, which allows you to identify quality problems and adjust production processes to meet customer expectations.

More effective inventory management and cost reduction

The right tool will help you avoid having unsold goods wasting away in warehouses or yards. You will regain control and minimize losses related to production mismatched to customer needs.

More accurately measure interactions and segment customers

CRM software can help manufacturers draw far-reaching conclusions from customer interactions and study sales performance, as well as segment customers based on demographics, buying behavior, and other criteria.

Increased sales and revenue

With a better understanding of customer needs and behaviors and detailed reporting of sales activities, the management has insight into the performance of salespeople, who can more effectively convert leads into business opportunities and close deals.

Improved collaboration, communication, and data management

CRM software can facilitate collaboration and communication between different departments of a manufacturing organization, such as

  • sales,
  • marketing,
  • and customer service.

The CRM system becomes the “single source of truth” – all the data necessary for the smooth operation of the organization is in one place.

Download the e-book on digitalization in the manufacturing industry!

A banner encouraging to download an ebook for the manufacturing industry, reading it can contribute to increasing the OEE indicator

CRM in the manufacturing industry – what should it be?

You already know what you will gain from a Customer Relationship Management system. What other criteria should you consider when choosing this type of tool?


First and foremost, your CRM system should have an easy-to-use interface, so employees will quickly learn to use it, and daily work with the tool will be a pleasure for everyone involved.

Salespeople, logistics specialists, engineers, or managers will be able to work together seamlessly within one ecosystem.

For instance, the intuitiveness of the system will make it easier for you to:

  • understand your customers’ needs,
  • establish and maintain relationships with them,
  • forecast sales,
  • make better business decisions, and also
  • communicate inside and outside the organization.

Access to data anytime, anywhere

The mobility of the CRM system is also very important. Sales representatives need to have a smartphone or tablet application at their fingertips, so they can access data anywhere they come to work.

The mobile app allows analysis of historical trends, peaks in demand, macro- and micro-economic fluctuations, as well as product seasonality.

Importantly, the mobile app should work offline, as there are still places where there is no coverage, and this should not affect the effectiveness of field workers in any way. 

Your CRM must also easily integrate with the systems used in the organization – ERP, MES, APS; CAD, CMMS, RPA, MRP, or Business Intelligence.

A sales representative is talking on the phone
Your salespeople are sure to appreciate the mobile CRM application

The system grows with your company

The CRM tool should also be flexible and scalable. Therefore, it needs to be cloud-based, so you can customize it to the specific needs of your business. It is worth remembering the data analysis functionality.

There is no shortage of information in manufacturing companies, and insights from data analysis can help build a competitive advantage.

Better OEE with Salesforce

At Cloudity, we believe in Salesforce technology, and that’s what this paragraph will be devoted to.

The San Francisco-based IT company has been creating cloud solutions that automate and streamline processes in organizations across industries for nearly a quarter of a century.

They are used by companies such as KONE, Toyota, OSRAM, Philips, ABB, and many others. 2019 saw the premiere of a technology designed for manufacturing – Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud.

It is a highly configurable and scalable solution, giving full visibility into all business and customer data in real-time. It enables the collection of information on such areas as 

  • operations, 
  • supply chain, 
  • production,
  • shipping. 

Thus, it eliminates data silos because all knowledge is in one place.

Check out the implementation of Salesforce technology

Manufacturing Cloud also makes it easy to manage long-term contracts.

In this tool, you can find the details of the products that make up the order and configure the offer for a specific customer.

You will also plan future demand and orders, thus avoiding losses. Inventory management, production planning, and quality control are just a few areas that this Salesforce tool addresses.

What is more, you can use Manufacturing Cloud in both desktop and mobile versions! 

Do you feel that Salesforce solutions would work well for your company? We do too! Contact us and schedule a free consultation with our expert. Learn how Salesforce can help increase your company’s OEE value!

We also invite you to read a Salesforce implementation success story from one of our manufacturing customers.

Read the implementation case study

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