With the rapid growth of the Salesforce ecosystem, more and more companies are considering independent software vendors’ cloud applications for that platform. This also applies to those companies looking for cloud-based ERP solutions. Many manufacturers and distributors that have their CRM and other software on that platform are now considering an ERP created just for them that is written on Salesforce. This means the company can leverage their investment in the Salesforce platform and integrate their manufacturing and/or ERP seamlessly with their other Salesforce cloud apps.
But, such integration doesn’t stop at with the manufacturing ERP. IT management will want to continue to promote a ‘best of breed’ approach to Financial Applications. Present and future manufacturing customers will want their Receivables, Payables, Ledger and Reporting software from a Salesforce partner so that they can continue to easily integrate that partner’s financials with Manufacturing Cloud ERP in the same manner as those seamless connections exist today.
Leveraging “power of choice” options, Rootstock is integrated with other apps on the Salesforce platform such as Avalara for sales tax compliance and ZenKraft for shipping integration for Fedex and UPS. For their accounting functions, one may want to explore Financialforce, Intacct, Sage Live and Rootstock financial packages among others. Wanting and needing alternatives in selecting the right business applications to empower their businesses, they will insist on integrating with real time accounting applications. Those companies focused on manufacturing and distribution will want to assure that their accounting packages, including Accounts Receivable (A/R), Accounts Payable (A/P) and General Ledger (G/L) have the financial features that are of importance to them.
Thus, they will be looking for financial solutions which include A/R Cash Application and Credit Management, A/P Payment Processing and General Ledger and Journal Management. Financial Reporting should include fully customizable A/R and A/P Aged Trial Balances and Sub-Ledger analysis as well as Management reports for Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet and Cash Management Analysis.
Such Accounting Apps especially accommodate manufacturing and distributor “hub and spoke” organizations, in which the individual operating unit is free to have its own ERP and local accounting functions but all financial reporting is done at the corporate level with a very easy, flexible solution. If such an organization subscribes to an A/R and A/P from a single vendor, there could a single integration to the company’s G/L of choice.
Three types of organizations will find this kind of manufacturing- and distributor-oriented Accounting Apps valuable. First of all, a number of small to medium sized companies that deploy Manufacturing Cloud ERP have previously used QuickBooks and have needed an A/R and A/P migration path. With Salesforce accounting apps, they will be able to maintain both customers and vendors with their Manufacturing ERP software, not having to concern themselves with two sets of customer and vendor masters. Secondly, companies that are replacing legacy packages such as JD Edwards, Dynamics AX and GP (formerly known as Great Plains) may also have a need to end up with both A/R and A/P while maintaining their G/L. Lastly, as larger and larger manufacturers and distributors move to the manufacturingand distributor cloud based ERP solutions, they can incorporate integrations with the G/L of an SAP or Oracle system while performing A/R and A/P at the operational level.
What to Look For
Keep financials in mind when selecting Manufacturing or Distributor Cloud ERP. Look for features in the ERP such as Sales Orders and Invoicing, Purchase Orders to Receiving to Vendor Invoice 3-way Match, robust Cost Accounting (with cost elements that include not only material but material burden, labor, fringe overhead, labor overhead, machine overhead and subcontract) as well as elements like Subscription Billing and Deferred Revenue and Cost of Sales Management. They will provide much of the heaving-lifting for transaction feeds into the new A/R, A/P and G/L Financial Apps. Adding more A/P functionality, such as invoice, debit memo and vendor credit maintenance (based on RTV transactions), to the flow becomes a natural extension of the core functionality.
The Salesforce list of software partners gives manufacturers and distributors great opportunities to integrate software. But, it is up to each user to leverage one set of apps into another.