Anaplan is a robust connected planning tool that gives your supply chain a strategic advantage in many ways. The platform is renowned for the ability to save companies valuable time and resources by delivering quick data and analysis for informed decision making, without tedious and manual data entry processes.
Anaplan can simply transform the way your business is operating and create a synergy and collaboration within your organization by connecting your business departments. There’s many technology solutions out there, but the following five reasons are key drivers in how Anaplan can give your supply chain organization a strategic advantage.
1. The Anaplan Platform
The key difference between Anaplan and its competition is in the nature of the platform itself. With traditional supply chain software options, you are deploying a solution that has a built-in, pre-defined business process. If you want to customize the process, you will find it is either difficult and expensive, or limited in flexibility.
With Anaplan supply chain models, you are literally deploying the same process that exists in the client organization or a new and improved version of that same process. You don’t need to try and ‘fit the square peg into the round hole’ so to speak. On the Anaplan platform, you are building a solution that is always a perfect fit.
Another result of this difference in philosophy is that there is a reduced need for traditional development and dedicated specialists. The standardization and ease of use of the Anaplan platform allows the business users to do the modeling. Not only does this reduce costs of deployment, but it also allows the business itself to continue to refine the process as it evolves. It’s a win / win for the business!
2. Connected Planning
Another area where Anaplan excels is in connected planning. Many companies have spent years developing complicated planning processes using spreadsheets, and they are often unwilling or unable to reinvent these processes on a software platform that will require massive changes. Anaplan allows for a rapid implementation of these existing processes and the technology easily integrates multiple planning spreadsheets into a centralized and coherent unit that instantaneously updated across the entire paradigm.
Even if an existing planning process utilizing spreadsheets is already perfect for a given situation, it still makes sense to redeploy it on Anaplan due to the value of easily connecting the individual pieces across the organization.
Because it is so easy for all the players on a client’s team to learn the platform, working together is enabled in a way unlike with other options. Also, because the technologies underpinning the platform are more modern, it becomes easy to develop models simultaneously with others. When one user updates a data module or dashboard, another user can instantly see the results, even if they are working on the same item at the same moment.
When business users across the organization connect their processes together on Anaplan, it enables a true synergy facilitating cross functional interactions like never before. Finance, demand planning, fulfillment, warehousing and other business units can interact with the rest of the organization, while improving the processes specific to their areas of responsibility on the fly. This type of interaction is simply not a feature of traditional supply chain software options.
4. Scenario Planning
One of the things I love most about the Anaplan platform is the ease of executing scenario planning. For many years, I have seen companies struggling to do this with prepackaged software. Many promises were made, but not kept by the software companies. Antiquated designs and technology led to situations where scenario planning was entirely ineffective. Users found themselves frustrated by the inefficiency of setting up and running scenarios. They often spent more time dealing with data and configuration then analyzing their business options. The worst part is, they would often have to wait overnight to see the results after the daily batch processing was finished.
With the right mix of modern technologies, like in memory processing and the use of multi-dimensional data arrays to name a couple, Anaplan has hit a home run related to scenario planning. I have never seen such an elegant design for developing and executing scenarios, in real time, and with efficient and easy to use customized interfaces. As a business user, I can focus on the business and not worry about the software itself.
All of the benefits I have mentioned help to contribute to the overall versatility of Anaplan, and as a result, we have the ability to rapidly develop and deploy our customized business processes. As your business grows and changes, Anaplan is there to scale and diversify with you.
With Anaplan, a business has a reduced cost of ownership, can collaborate more efficiently across departments, and enables enhanced and connected solutions that are more thoroughly adopted by the user community.
In my view, as a person who has spent many years as a business user of supply chain solutions and as a consultant for the same, the Anaplan platform is the superior option for any business that wants to improve supply chain and / or financial planning operations.
With an easy-to-use platform, rapid process implementation, connected planning across departments, efficient scenario planning and overall versatility, Anaplan is technology to implement if you want a strategic advantage in supply chain.
Interested in seeing if Anaplan can be a solution for your business? Accelytics offers a Free Accelerated Process and Technology Analysis for businesses to determine the right technology enablement partners. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
About the Author:
Chris Louttit is the Director Supply Chain at Accelytics Consulting. Chris is a supply chain specialist with over 23 years of diverse experience. He has been a key contributor on many projects, both small and large businesses, mainly focused on CPG, manufacturing, and retail. He has worked with companies including GOYA, Janssen, MARS, American Greetings and PEPSICO LATAM to improve their business processes and help integrate various technologies. He is an expert in business process design, project management, and strategic systems integration. Connect with him on LinkedIn.