• Cathal Doyle

Supply Chain Planning with Anaplan

As a Finance man at heart, the 4 letters ‘FP&A’ have been somewhat of a comfort blanket to me for many years but it would seem there is a new abbreviation in town - S&OP. Sales & Operations Planning, Supply Chain Management, Supply & Demand Planning: Of course none of these are new concepts, far from it in fact but it feels like companies now, more than ever, can believe in a truly integrated & collaborative demand-driven platform that can unite Sales, Finance & Operations.

Companies have traditionally managed these business functions in legacy ERP systems (enterprise resource planning) with spreadsheets tagged on the end but high volatility in the market, slow lead times, lack of real time integrity and ‘what if’ scenario driven analysis is starting to render these solutions out of date. In the majority of cases, supply and demand were catered for in silos which only encouraged disparity and made scenario planning almost impossible.

One of the key factors in us seeing a ramp up in Supply Chain and S&OP use cases here at Bedford has to be credited to Anaplan’s continued advancement in this field. With the release of a number of new accelerator apps, clients can get an immediate sense of how these business functions can truly integrate in a real-time platform.

Demand Planning – own your demand plan with a level of flexibility that allows you to rapidly adapt to market shifts:

  • Increase demand visibility across all planning hierarchies and the entire supply chain network;

  • Increase supplier and customer collaboration to sense external and internal demand signals in real time;

  • Optimize promotions to market realities by tracking spend and ROI;

  • Increase net sales and gross margins by providing insights into promotion spending.

Supply Planning – build one globally orchestrated, collaborative master plan, so you can quickly respond to both supply and demand variability:

  • Get better coverage and deeper visibility into all aspects of your supply plan with a flow-based approach;

  • Optimize performance across multiple supply chain partners and diverse activities such as sourcing, allocation, procurement, rough-cut capacity, distribution, and inventory;

  • Prepare for a range of future scenarios with “what-if” simulations in all planning views;

  • Drive toward greater profitability by optimizing cost and revenue at all levels in the supply chain;

Sales & Operations (S&OP) Planning – unite all of your sub-planning processes so you can collaborate with other departments on a single source of truth:

  • Gain consensus quickly and continuously refine your plans, as one change instantaneously ripples through all of your demand and supply interconnections;

  • Extend collaboration internally and with external supply chain partners, subsidiaries, and joint alliances;

  • Understand the financial impacts of trade offs, for example between market share and profitability;

  • Increase revenues, margins, and operating performance.

Unlike traditional fragmented solutions, Anaplan unites all your sub-planning processes, including demand planning, supply planning, demand and supply balancing, and financial review, so that you can collaborate with other departments on a single source of truth.