Iridium operates the Iridium satellite constellation, a system of 66 active satellites used for worldwide voice and data communication from hand-held satellite phones and other various satellite communications equipment. Iridium is a publicly traded company headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Iridium employs over 450 employees across the USA, Canada and abroad.
Iridium’s supply chain planning process was manually executed in Microsoft Excel, which caused a tedious planning cycle. The cycle was time consuming to create and did not connect Demand and Supply plans for their global manufacturers. With zero data automation, timely and accurate data validation created numerous tracking challenges.
After the first phase of the Anaplan implementation, Iridium was able to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to plan, allowed them to create a detailed demand forecast at a granular level by leveraging statistical forecasting, and enabled systematic supply planning processes.
The model allows for the planners to snapshot their forecasts for a historical plan comparison and increased forecast accuracy metrics. Enhancements to their SCA process through daily data automation ensures data integrity and informs the demand plan with greater confidence. They now have the ability to create a more accurate Master Production Schedule that takes into account all supply chain contracts and allows planners to view capacity impacts in real time. Detailed KPI tracking has helped planners focus their attention on real issues, while also being able to generate top level metrics for management.
Iridium selected Anaplan as their planning tool to standardize and automate their demand planning, supply planning and master production schedule (MPS). Iridium was sold on the ability to include statistical forecasting into the demand planning process and accomplish all of their S&OP needs under one platform with Anaplan.
Accelytics implemented a monthly statistical forecasting tool to help demand planners predict unit demand at the model and customer level, which was then used as the baseline for their Final Demand Forecast. The demand planning tool also included robust visibility and automation around Iridium’s Special Customer Agreements (SCA’s) process that determined special pricing and quantities, a process that was previously managed entirely manual in Excel. This detailed demand plan informed the contract manufacturer’s (CM’s) of Iridium’s quantity requirements in the Supply Planning model, which allowed the CM’s to enter their build capacities.