Transforming the planning behind parts refurbishment at DISH Network

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Imagine a world where over 500 spreadsheets are used to manage over 10,000 SKUs, in addition to processing the return and refurbishment of DISH cable receiver boxes for a customer base of over 13 million. It would be a gigantic headache—and it was the reality for DISH Network.

But not anymore. Today, with the help of the Anaplan platform’s connected supply chain capabilities, DISH’s supply chain planners are free to use their time and talents for higher-value work.

Before: the pain of inefficient parts planning

When a DISH customer wants to upgrade or cancel their service, they are required to return their receiver to DISH headquarters in Denver. It used to be a struggle to manage this process—supply chain planners were weighed down by over 500 spreadsheets, no transparent process, and an inaccurate forecast.

Internal and external partners were involved in the production and manufacturing of parts, and supply chain planners had to manually calculate all the pieces of the process. The problem was, if these calculations and forecasts were inaccurate, customers may not receive their upgrades or replacements on time.

DISH’s initial goal with a new supply planning process was to maximize inventory utilization of existing receivers. The supply chain team created a list of 30 technology requirements. At the core of these requirements were five key factors:

  • Speedy implementation
  • Ability to customize
  • Scalability
  • Real-time visibility
  • Collaborative environment

After tirelessly vetting six software solutions, the DISH team found that the Anaplan platform met their requirements and more.

After: the efficiency of transparent parts planning

With supply chain planning now managed on the Anaplan platform, DISH broke down siloes and united the efforts of their supply planners.

The results? Supply planners are more productive. They now have custom views of the data based on what each planner is responsible for and rules to recommend actions based on inventory levels. Through this automation, planners have freed up to eight hours of their week to do more value-added work (click to tweet), such as focusing more on the “why” behind the data and supply chain decisions.

With the ability to run “what-if” scenarios, forecast accuracy has greatly increased and they can better predict demand, resulting in a decrease in costs. Supply planners are able to update models on-the-fly and how changes will affect the forecast and demand.

Key takeaways

Are you facing a similar supply planning challenge? Here are a few tips DISH Network learned from implementing the Anaplan platform:

  • Get a great team on board and make sure you have an internal champion to lead the project. If the project is going to affect multiple departments, consider a champion per team or business unit.
  • Find quick wins early in the process to spark momentum, excitement, and engagement in the organization and at the executive level.
  • Plan, analyze, and optimize. As you build out solutions to solve different problems, analyze the results and adjust as needed.
  • Connect with like-minded people to see how they’re making their processes more efficient with the Anaplan platform. The Anaplan Community is a great place to start.

To hear the full story, watch a webinar with Sid Powar, Senior Manager, Supply Chain Planning and Inventory Control at DISH Network.

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Spreadsheet jockeys to decisions-makers

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