The Top Reasons Anaplan Outperforms JDA, Now Blue Yonder
For companies that may be thinking about making the switch from classic supply chain solutions, like JDA / Blue Yonder, to a more modern solution, like Anaplan, I can understand there may be some reservations. After all, Blue Yonder, (formerly JDA, which itself was formerly Manugistics) has been around for a long time and provides supply chain solutions for many big companies.
These Fortune 100 and 500 companies can’t be wrong, right?
As a long time veteran in supply chain technology deployments, I am in a unique position to have experienced over 20 years designing and deploying JDA Blue Yonder solutions, and more recently, deploying Anaplan based projects.
With successful projects on both platforms, I have experienced the differences between these popular solutions firsthand. If you’re looking for a new supply chain solution, you’ll want to see the top reasons why Anaplan outperforms JDA / Blue Yonder.
1) Time needed to create value
Because Anaplan solutions are based on a cloud-based platform, things can be done much more quickly. The platform enables me to provide whatever customized functionality to my clients that is needed, and I can deploy it faster. After 5 projects with Anaplan, I am still amazed at how much more I can accomplish in less time than it took me to build and customize solutions on JDA / Blue Yonder software.
2) Learning curve
I think the easiest way to describe why there is such a great difference in the learning curves between Anaplan and Blue Yonder is to explain the pedigrees of the solutions. Blue Yonder is a legacy solution that has evolved over time with additional functionality constantly being bolted on. The parent company also bought out some of its competitors (E3 for example) and blended in parts of the functionality from these acquisitions to their main offerings. Because of this, they can say they have functionality to cover a very wide range of business needs, but the down side is that there is a lot of unnecessary complexity.
Even consultants who have worked on Blue Yonder for many years can only become experts in specific areas. It is rare to find someone who has mastered the entire suite.
Anaplan, on the other hand, was designed to take advantage of a standardized platform and it is much easier to learn. There are many experts inside and outside of the customers who can utilize the platform to create new supply chain solutions, just as powerful as Blue Yonder if not more, with relative ease.
Flexibility is key in creating new business processes in this rapidly changing environment. This is where Anaplan shines the brightest, if you ask me.The platform provides the power to create, change and evolve in a way that is impossible for non platform-based solutions.
Anaplan is all about customization. With competitors like Blue Yonder, customization is going to cost you. It will cost you big and you will be wedded to the outcome, with limited options, for a long time. I have found with Anaplan, if a company needs to ‘turn on a dime’ and make quick changes, I can honestly say, ‘no problem.’ It's a great option for my clients and their unique business needs.
4) Elimination of need for batch processes
Many Blue Yonder planning solutions still require that regularly scheduled jobs are running to update scenarios, plans and data. These are usually daily, weekly, and monthly, and they require maintenance as things change. There is often a waiting period, usually overnight, to get results when a user updates data or sets up a scenario. When you see the benefits of Anaplan and its live data model, you will never want to run another batch job again.
Technology is the game changer in everything, and it makes all the difference. A small advantage in technology is often all it takes to clearly delineate the winners from the losers.
Anaplan uses a live data model running in memory as the main technological underpinning of the platform and all the solutions built upon it. The main competition does not.
When you see this tech in action, you will instantaneously see why Anaplan has grown to become so successful. It is, simply stated, a superior technology, and the performance of everything you create on the platform is enhanced significantly as a result.
6) Cost to maintain
The bottom line: all the reasons listed above contribute to a lower cost of ownership. Customers utilizing Anaplan instead of the big legacy solutions, like Blue Yonder, will see increased productivity in their business applications at a more manageable cost. They can be more responsive to their customers and more agile against their competition, all while saving valuable resources, which can be applied directly to the growth of their businesses, rather than to their legacy applications.
Anaplan is the Clear Winner
As you can see, Anaplan goes above and beyond the competition in user experience, technology, flexibility and overall cost. No matter your business challenges in supply chain, Anaplan is a robust and flexible solution to refine and optimize your processes.
Want to learn more about supply chain technology solutions? Accelytics offers a free, no obligation Technology and Process Analysis to determine the most impactful technology option for your business.
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.