Bridging the Gap Between Connected Planning Strategy and Model Building Execution
Is your organization using Anaplan to its fullest potential for scenario planning efforts? Is your company’s DNA accurately stored within your models? Are you able to adjust accordingly at a moment’s notice to changes in the global economy? How else should your organization be planning for the future with Anaplan? How can model builders better align themselves with the Connected Planning goals of their leadership team?
The digital DNA of each organization must define the model build and “honeycombs” that are created within -- all the way down to the micro-details of dimensionality, calculations, and more. Join Anaplan Live! host Chris Weiss as he facilitates a live Ask Me Anything session with Anaplan’s Chief Strategy Officer YY Lee!
Hi. I'm an Anaplan partner specializing in the retail industry and I'm often asked from my clients about the overall Anaplan strategy, particularly as it relates to how robust / adaptable does Anaplan want to be with their functionality. As many in the retail industry know, there are point solutions that are optimized for supply chain planning (e.g., merchandise planning) and have a very rich feature set that Anaplan may have a challenging time replicating . For example, inverse calculations, lock & spread on rates, and independent aggregation / dis-aggregation rules.
But these same point solutions do just that. They solve only one or a couple of use cases very well and aren't meant for connected planning.
My question is how will Anaplan balance the simplicity that exists today so connected planning can be realized by non-IT practitioners and Anaplan's interest in trying to compete with these very dominant solution providers by providing similar functionality?
An inverse calculation is one where more than one of the variables in an equation can be editable. For example, if A+B=C I can edit A and C will flex, or I can edit B and C will flex, or I can edit C and A will flex. A good example would be Ending Inventory = Beginning Inventory + Receipts - Sales; where Ending Inventory, Receipts, and Sales are all editable.
Hi @Shweta, I can provide a short- and medium-term answer, to supplement YY's long-term strategic vision.
Short-term, there is the mailto function that you can explore in Anapedia and the Community, which lets end users click a button to generate an email directly from within Anaplan.
Medium-term, there are some creative advanced solutions within the Master Anaplanner community on automating this through Anaplan Connect. I’d recommend to either find a Master Anaplanner to brainstorm with for your business, or become a Master Anaplanner and join the conversation.
Thanks for taking time for this AMA! We're starting 2020 off strong with you and Frank in our first two AMAs!
I've been a huge ambassador for Anaplan at my current and previous companies, and I know that Anaplan succeeds best when its users are fully behind it and believe in its value (rather than employees simply doing what they're told by the executive leadership that is driving an Anaplan expansion).
So my question for you is, what is your Connected Planning sales pitch for internal business teams? For example, the Finance team -- who currently uses and loves Anaplan -- selling the Supply Chain team (possibly resistant to change) on the benefits they can achieve by also using Anaplan. How can we, as Anaplan users and ambassadors, better sell our colleagues on the merits of Anaplan in areas outside of our own business expertise?
First of all thanks for running this session with @ChrisWeiss
I have many questions to ask!
I will be fair and ask the most important one to me and my organisation which is broad and I have listed my views on this so it would be good to hear from your experience.
"How do we really achieve true connected planning in gigantic organisations where the scale is immense?" (I know very broad but this is the aim of most organisations or at least what the vision is).
As you mention the DNA is within the business models and all models in most cases from function to function are different with different methods.
So already it is very challenging environment to create a uniform view (one DNA). So to achieve true connected planning there needs to be an evolution to combine into one plan. This is a big change management piece!
- Is there a customer story you can share that has truly achieved connected planning?
What does this one plan look like?
Is the best approach implementing use case by use case and connecting the dots? (My organisations current approach)
Do we start with data first? (a data lake in my opinion is always best as you have the one source of truth, unfortunately we didn't do this 😞 )
What does the future look like?
What are the biggest challenges?
My organisation is one of the largest conglomerates in EMEA and maybe the world.
They own over 200 retail brands and trade across, retail, automotive, real estate, healthcare and financial services sectors.
The geography spans EMEA & Asia & Aus & more
Currently we have one main use case in Anaplan (which is a monster) due to go live soon for our retail business and we want to expand to models across all sectors and connect the dots!
The aim is to truly achieve connected planning at scale!
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Also if anyone has any opinions on this please share.
Really looking forward to hearing your perspectives! Enjoyed hearing from you at CPX so can't wait to hear more!
My question is about adaptability and navigating complexity. We all know that Anaplan as a platform is super agile and the possibilities are near limitless but what about the limitations created by dependencies with other tools/systems. As an example: imagine a fundamental shift in the operational focus of a company that now necessitates a change in the approach to planning leveraging new data dimensions that are constantly evolving. The strategy isn't concrete, the data is not aligned, and there is a looming need to land an approach for the next fiscal year.
How can we adjust rapidly to the evolving business need when the source data is not aligned to support or when underlying corporate data structures are slow to flex? Is there an order of events that needs to occur for a successful evolution (chicken or the egg)? Do you stay the path until the strategy/structure is in place or is their a path that allows you to begin overhauling your planning models while allowing for possible major changes in direction?
Would love to hear your thoughts on how we can position our organization to be adaptive, connected and well-aligned with leaderships goals. Thanks so much!
I am a model builder for my company in the retail space. I have been involved in developing Sales and Operations Planning, nominating and forecasting sales by building models for our business units. We use Anaplan as an integration tool and a future replacement for our existing processes for better insights. On scalability and a Global view of our supply chain process, we are connecting the dots within Anaplan and working on significant changes to our current processes through Anaplan. I have a few questions and clarifications that I needed in order to implement Anaplan effectively.
1. We have a need to connect several data sources and we have set up a task scheduler that connects through Anaplan API to import and export data from CSV files. We require to connect to Azure Blob Storage for imports, PowerBI for direct exports and additional reporting and also use OneDrive as a source for imports. Understanding is that we can use windows task scheduler and run a batch process manually. I would love to see if we can integrate cloud based solutions, PowerBI etc within Anaplan API and connect Anaplan as a data source directly . Is there any development on that or if there is already an existing one, how do I leverage that?
2. On model synchronizations and changing mode of models to "Deployed", is there a work around where we can import files to modules without affecting the structure? We need to do certain manual uploads on modules every month and keeping our models in deployed mode will ensure that structural changes are not made. But this is affecting our import process. Any changes we make, we try it out on a COPY/ TEST model to see if its functioning and then create an action/ widget , publish to dashboard, create a revision tag and then sync the changes to all models. I personally feel that the sync capability is a bit fragile and since we have multiple model builders working on our models simultaneously we might inadvertently make structural changes and the model will break . Is there any process going on to make model synchronization more robust and liberal? Would love to see if we can import data to modules without affecting the model structure, since all fields, datatypes are similar for all models in the CSV file we are trying to import.
Regarding your question on APIs, for those tools you can either build your own REST API, or learn more from our cloud integration partners like Informatica Connect, Snap Logic, Dell Boomi, or Mulesoft. Here's the link to all of our integration documentation.
On your model synchronization and ALM question, I recommend you work with your implementation partner and/or CSBP to dive into your more specific details, as situations like this are highly dependent on your individual implementation of Anaplan. That said, regarding updating your imports across development and production-deployed models, I recommend learning more about how the Production Import setting may be useful in some of your use cases.