In the race to vaccinate billions, a powerful planning solution is critical to success

By Anaplan

February 9, 2021

What if you had to give a rose to each person in your city? Every rose must be perfectly fresh and tied with a red ribbon. They must be collected in person in your front yard with a brief, private ceremony. You must begin with neighbors who are over 75 and those who provide essential services in their work and be sure each neighborhood of your city is served equally. There are various kinds of roses, some in pots, some cut, with different care needs, coming from various suppliers. How will you make sure you have enough roses for each day’s appointments and that none go to waste? How much ribbon will you need? How much will it cost? Do you have enough vases, scissors, and laptops to check people in? The first day you have 20 appointments, but the next day 100 people are scheduled to show up. How many people will you need to help organize the flow of guests and roses? How much bottled water and extra soap, towels, and toilet paper will you need for those working? What if all of the cut roses you need for that day won’t fit in your refrigerator? What if you add two more places to give out roses around town? How will that affect your plans?

What if failing in your task means some people might get sick or even die?

To meet a challenge of historic proportions requires a planning tool capable of handling the scale and complexity of the task

The planning task associated with quickly vaccinating billions of people around the world against Covid-19 is staggering. Even when reduced to one county or state, the logistical challenge is massive. While there are applications and portals being implemented to help individuals make an appointment and institutions track who has been vaccinated, the vastly more complex back-end planning effort is still reliant on manual inputs, offline spreadsheets and time-consuming data wrangling. To plan effectively, governments, hospitals, pharmacies, and others involved in distributing the vaccine need a powerful platform for managing the evolving needs and modeling paths to success.

Agility is essential. Vaccine distribution planning readily adjusts to continuously changing circumstances.

The vaccination process is extremely dynamic. The supply of vaccine is variable and uncertain. New types of vaccinations are coming, each with their own requirements. The number and kind of distribution outlets shift continuously. New partners are coming and going, from pharmacies and hospitals to the military, National Guard, FEMA, and a host of NGOs. As sites evolve and scale up, the need for supplies of all kinds—vaccine, PPE, hand sanitizer, laptops—changes as well. Workforce needs shift. Costs change with each new decision. An effective planning solution must be highly configurable and able to easily accommodate continuously changing inputs. When one aspect of the plan gets updated—adding a dozen new vaccination centers, for example—the impact needs to flow through to all aspects of planning seamlessly.

Vaccination is a collective effort. You must be able to collaborate with your network of partners in real-time.

Knowing your needs and the actions you plan to take to meet them is not enough if others involved in the process cannot participate or provide inputs. An effective vaccination management planning solution must allow everyone involved to access common data sets in real-time and add their own assumptions and constraints. A secure, cloud-based solution enables partners to understand how changes in their domain ripple outward to other aspects of the project and its results. This prevents logistical missteps such as sending too many vaccines to a site with insufficient capacity to administer the shots before they expire.

Decisions must be made quickly. To understand your options and their impact, you need the ability to explore various scenarios.

Good plans are a great first step. But what happens when things change? An effective planning tool for a major vaccination effort must include the ability to ask, “What if?” To make informed decisions quickly you need the ability to model how various choices will impact circumstances, finances, and outcomes at any level – state, city or an individual site. It’s also critical to track demographic statistics to ensure your distribution efforts are fair and equitable and align with changing parameters. Advanced analytics and scenario planning let you evaluate adjustments to your plan and understand their impacts quickly so you can make decisions with confidence.

Accurate forecasting keeps everything on track. Automated alerts help you anticipate shortfalls.

In addition to scenario planning, the best solutions dynamically forecast future needs and capacities based on the latest information and constraints. An effective platform should track everything involved, from cold storage space and PPE supplies to finance and workforce impacts, and trigger advance alerts when shortfalls are likely or let you reallocate supplies for greater efficiency. These systems can keep supply and demand forecasts for each element of the vaccination supply chain up to date based on new goals and circumstances.

Anaplan Connected Planning for vaccine distribution planning gives you the power to scale up fast and stay ahead of change

Governments, health agencies, and medical providers around the world face a historic challenge in the race to vaccinate humanity. In collaboration with our partners, Anaplan has developed a robust planning solution specifically tailored to vaccination management to enable you to meet the task, rapidly, equitably, and at scale. Over 1500 of the world’s largest companies rely on Anaplan to manage their vast, complex global supply chains and logistics. Our powerful Connected Planning platform processes large data sets quickly and lets you collaborate easily with colleagues, partners, suppliers, and customers in any location. Seamless real-time data and planning analytics let you explore your options with various scenarios and see their impacts immediately. Anaplan’s modern, highly secure platform easily integrates with other existing platforms such as citizen portals, partner portals and other centralized data stores. In a time of crisis, transformative capabilities are the key to relief.

Find out how the vaccine management and distribution planning solution from Anaplan could help your organization collaborate effectively and achieve ambitious goals.

Anaplan

Anaplan is driving a new age of connected planning. Large and fast-growing organizations use Anaplan’s cloud platform in every business function to make informed decisions and drive faster, more effective planning processes. Anaplan also provides support, training, and planning transformation advisory services.

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