Relying on static planning strategies and software has long been outpaced by the more dynamic options on the market. And yet so many big companies still rely on their established legacy planning systems, as if trying to prove to the world that their gut feeling can pull them out of any situation. But planning doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming, especially with all the tools we have access to in this day and age.
What is Anaplan?
Right now, you might be asking yourself what Anaplan is and how it can help you enhance your company’s planning processes. Well, we’ll try to be as brief as possible here.
Anaplan is a cloud-based SaaS platform that’s focused on model building, forecasting, and, of course, planning. With it, users can test all sorts of cases, what-if scenarios, or hunches in order to find hidden opportunities within their data.
If your company’s been relying on Excel a bit too much in the past few years (or even decades), then this platform is the perfect switch for you. Why? Well, it uses syntax formulas within its models instead of the popular script trend, so Excel users should feel very much at home here.
Also, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Anaplan’s biggest strength – a company-wide connected model system. This means that all your departments can work within their own model, and your company can still have all its data collected in one place – distributed in such a way that everyone works with a single source of truth.
What is Connected Planning?
But, of course, we’re here to talk about Connected Planning and how it can help you. Well, to put it frankly, it will transform the way your company thinks about data, users, and plans. And the reason for that is because it gets rid of information silos and, as mentioned, promotes a single source of truth to work with, thus minimizing errors or data mismatches.
Anaplan’s brand of Connected Planning also comes with some impressive predictive technology, self-learning capabilities, and insight generators, which will enhance any organization’s decision-making processes. And these benefits can be utilized by any department or team, thanks to the connected nature of this approach.
In short, the more you connect – the more value you’re going to get out of it.
Top 5 Benefits of Connected Planning
If these short summaries have got your brain churning all kinds of beneficial use-cases for Connected Planning in your organization and you can’t wait to try it, then great. But for the rest of you who are still curious about some of the greater benefits the Anaplan platform and this approach can provide, then read on.
1. Single Source of Truth
What we’ll usually observe in companies still relying on legacy planning systems is that all their departments make their own plans and forecasts. This is, in fact, normal. But at the same time, they’re using their own transformed version of the data, so in the end, management ends up with several different versions of the generally same forecast. How do we know this? We’ve seen it many times.
From our experience, it’s very common for a team or department to store their data in a local Excel file, for example, that doesn’t get shared with the rest of the company. So, everyone else is waiting on their reports so that a bigger picture can be gleaned. Well, this won’t happen with Connected Planning software since all the data is stored and fetched from one place, thus providing your business with a company-wide single source of truth. Ask anyone; that’s a big benefit!
2. “On-The-Fly” Decision-Making
Another great benefit you can get out of your Connected Planning software is the ability to run various what-if scenarios and plan for the worst in any situation. Since all departments have access to the same data and the same planning features, you can rest assured that the decision you’ll be making is based on tried and tested data.
The cloud-based nature of the Anaplan platform means that all your company decision-makers will have a constant stream of key information fed to them at all times, thus reacting quickly to any unforeseen events or issues. This “on-the-fly” decision-making can save your business a lot of headaches and lost profits in the long run, so can you really afford to be caught dead in the water without it?
3. Dynamic and Adjustable Plans
Speaking of reacting quickly, Connected Planning software also gives you the ability to adjust your plans as quickly as a wink if you feel that there are newfound key drivers for your company’s performance. And thanks to the cloud-based nature of the Anaplan platform, you get to see how your changes affect the bigger picture across all of your plans in real time.
Furthermore, you don’t need to worry about whether you made the right call or not since all the different versions of your plans are saved, so you can easily compare them. Avoiding all the tedious and unproductive backtracking is something every planning team wishes for, so why not oblige them and see how their productivity spikes through the roof?
4. A Culture of Connectedness
The dynamic cloud-based nature of Connected Planning is actually what makes it connected. All teams and departments can do their work as usual and rely on easy and fruitful collaboration to achieve the best forecasts.
Additionally, the internal collaboration doesn’t have to be a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of deal and can push your internal teams to make various predictions based on seasonal trends or buyer personas. You can be sure that all presented plans and forecasts will be reliable and productive. This ensures a stream of rock-steady decisions and increased financial gain for your business. Not too shabby, right?
5. Complexity Is a Thing of the Past
Gone are the days when you needed to build your workflows around your legacy planning software’s limited capabilities. With Connected Planning, you can ensure that all of your business processes are accommodated by the software itself. Forget the workarounds and additional expenses just to make your planning work. Let the Anaplan platform work for you instead of against you
Furthermore, you don’t need to have a big and sprawling planning process to make use of Connected Planning. The software’s approach is flexible and scalable enough that you can start off your transformation journey with a small model and gradually build up from there. It’s all up to you and your business needs on how you want to handle your workflows, but just remember – it doesn’t need to be complex!
So, with all these benefits in mind, if you feel like your business is ready to jump on the Connected Planning bandwagon, then contact us, and we’ll help guide you through the whole process. Restructuring your internal systems and workflows is a daunting task, but one that you don’t have to do alone. In the long run, it will pay off to be on the side of progress, so why fight it? After all, a failure to plan is a plan to fail.