NDS is the industry's primary source for solutions in stormwater management, efficient landscape irrigation, and water management valves for the residential and non-residential markets. Edward Castro, Systems Engineer at NDS, discusses his company’s use of Salesforce, their need for integration with their ERP system, and their experience using Informatica Cloud.
Why did you implement Salesforce.com?
Edward Castro: NDS implemented Salesforce.com to help improve and streamline our sales and marketing efforts.
Who is using Salesforce in your organization?
Edward Castro: It ranges from inside and outside sales personnel, director and executive members, marketing and support personnel, and administrators. Salesforce’s current implementation serves the following functions:
- Acts as the Contact Management System for our main customer base of over 8,000 distributors, potential distributors (customers), contractor and engineers whom we work with as partners, and for lead management.
- Tracks and manages opportunities that come in the form of Business Plans (Market Share Plans) and construction projects that may potentially include products we manufacture.
- Manages and runs different types of campaigns (Tradeshows, Adds, email blasts, etc.)
- Allows our employees to track actual sales as reflected in our ERP system.
- Serves as a guiding force for our sales personnel.
How were you integrating your back-office system with Salesforce?
Edward Castro: We had been using Salesforce for four months, and after many configuration changes and enhancements, we were ready to have Salesforce serve as our core business driver. The one thing that was missing though was true integration with our current ERP system. We were using Apex Data Loader to upload data into Salesforce.
Why did you need an integration solution?
Edward Castro: We wanted to use Salesforce.com as a driving force to assist and guide our company in many ways, but for this to occur successfully, data integration between the ERP system and Salesforce was needed.
What vendors did you evaluate and why did you choose Informatica Cloud?
Edward Castro: We evaluated other known companies such as Pervasive and Boomi. After running through a few free trials and evaluating costs, we found Informatica Cloud to be more user friendly and intuitive, as well as priced lower than the other two for the functionality we needed.
What are information are you synchronizing between Salesforce & your ERP using Informatica Cloud?
Edward Castro: There are 5 main components that we sync at this time to satisfy current operations. Items 1 and 2 are critical.
- Accounts – Our customers’ (who we refer to as distributors) are currently managed and stored within our ERP system. We want all of our wholesale customers that exist within the ERP, to also exist in Salesforce. As customers are added to our ERP system, we want these to sync and update in Salesforce.
- Actual Sales Numbers – Actual sales that are recorded in the ERP are uploaded into Salesforce in various ways. We want to see overall sales numbers for each distributor as well as sales numbers broken down in many ways. These sales numbers are being used on active dashboards, reports, formulas, etc. which guide our sales personnel. These sales numbers are updated frequently so we can offer up-to-date information to our users.
- Stock Codes – We were tracking Opportunities using generic product classes that had been entered into product price books. With Informatica Cloud, we have enabled quotes in Salesforce and can create Opportunities and Quotes using our actual stock codes, instead of generic product classes. We have thousands of stock codes that are imported into new product price books which are then used to create Opportunities and Quotes.
- RMA’s – RMA’s (Return Material Authorizations) are housed in the ERP and need to be reflected on Accounts. Now, when our sales people visit one of our distributors, they can go on their phone or laptop and see if there are any outstanding or major RMA’s (discrepancies) with this customer.
- Orders – After Business Plans or Opportunities are captured, we are able to record the order numbers associated to these and retrieve Order details from the ERP.
How long did it take to implement Informatica Cloud? How was the learning curve?
Edward Castro: Our initial configuration and set up was fast. We were ready to go into production within two weeks.
How has Informatica Cloud been running?
Edward Castro: It truly is “set it and forget it.” Currently there are a few syncs that I would like to optimize, but I am sure that it is just a matter of spending a few hours of my time to get it done.
Any last words?
Edward Castro: Prior to going live with this, updates via Salesforce Data Loader were very time consuming and manual. Now with Informatica Cloud, everything is automated and we have seen savings in time and resources. Informatica Cloud has been essential in helping us reach our goal of streamlining our sales and marketing efforts!