Unifying, empowering and informing: next-gen supply chain solutions from Anaplan

8 March 2018 | 300 Shares

Chinese data giants are supplying information to traditional stores in China. Source: Shutterstock

Supply chain plans are intrinsically linked to sales, financial, and marketing planning. The traditional model of a linear supply chain, and its separation of data and planning, prevents the modern enterprise from reacting at the necessary speeds dictated by the prevalence of today’s technology.

The Anaplan cloud-based platform allows organizations to make better-informed business decisions creating supply chain plans which are not only responsive in execution but also offer an unheard-of level of “what if” planning.

Any source of supply chain data (or data in general) can be integrated into the Anaplan cloud-based solution, which hosts a single repository of information – a single “point of truth.”

Information, once drawn and aggregated can be represented visually and virtually interconnected, enabling the impacts of proposals to ripple instantly through all areas of the business.

Role-based security levels offer differing levels of staff access (and visibility), and the same facility is available to inform partners, suppliers, and customers: access to selected data “slices” is possible in real time.

Anaplan’s unifying algorithms bring together the different elements of a traditional, linear supply chain, including ERP systems, Microsoft Excel®, HCM tools, warehouse management systems and logistic oversight.

As opportunities arise and business environments change, digital systems allow a high level of exception alerting, by using rule-based responses to deviations from what was expected across an extended supply network.

The malleability of the data pulled from its various sources, allow “what if” scenario assessments to be modeled quickly and easily; empowering an enterprise to plan according to predicted patterns and allow the valuable experience of staff to help predict what the future may hold.

Anaplan’s supply chain apps (there are over 30 to date) connect data into a centralized hub, in real time rather than in batch processes. Financial and operational progress can be monitored, and responses trialed before deployment. This leverages best practice for supply, demand, and S&OP.

The data infrastructure on which most enterprises are built on is due for a remarkable shakeup in the next few years, especially in the supply and manufacturing industries. The Internet of things, smart factories, connected devices, and increased mobile working will multiply the requirements to process and assimilate data in a timely manner.

Even without the deluge of media flowing into software systems, the possibilities available to an organization from aligning its supply chain strategy with overall business goals are numerous. Finance teams can predict profitability, C-level executives can draw impactful business intelligence, and management at all levels can pinpoint weaknesses and encourage & reward success.

Accommodation of market changes can happen in real time: for example, international manufacturer and supplier, Del Monte, struggled to prioritize product allocation because of the effects of El Niño. However, utilizing Anaplan, it could run real-time scenarios and dynamically find the best methods to cope with sudden market changes.

Although technology is already available which allows, for instance, collaboration with suppliers and customers in real-time, there has historically been a serious overhead of IT resourcing – waiting for system implementation and supporting staff levels. With Anaplan such collaboration happens via the cloud, essentially “out-of-the-box,” ensuring that communication channels remain open and partners and suppliers are informed at all times.

With up-to-date alerts and exception management, users can focus and collaborate on the metrics that really matter, rather than spending time aggregating data manually. To speak with a local representative or to organize a demonstration, get in touch with a local Anaplan office today.