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As part of a company-wide initiative called Ambition 2020, AXA Germany reimagined and connected its planning processes across the business as it moved them to Anaplan. Done in three phases, the reinvention eliminated spreadsheet nightmares and improved both process transparency and planning efficiency. As a result, months-long planning routines are now complete in days and the foundation is set for further improvements.
We can ask a question and Anaplan automatically calculates the consequences and results.Moritz Knorr, Data Strategist
positive sentiment among users
siloed spreadsheets, databases, proprietary tools, and pen and paper
The German unit of global insurance giant AXA Group lacked a consistent approach to planning across its various business lines and departments. This made innovation difficult: “As soon as we launch a new product, we need to know what we need in terms of salespeople, admin staff, or marketing resources to achieve the objectives we’ve defined,” says Moritz Knorr, data strategist at AXA Germany’s Data Innovation Lab. Because they relied on a combination of tools—including spreadsheets, databases, and proprietary tools—planning processes could take as long as three months.
At the corporate level, AXA Group’s Competency Center approved Anaplan as a strategic tool for planning, forecasting, and simulation. Knorr and his colleagues were responsible for making the Anaplan platform a useful tool for AXA Germany’s teams, and began by connecting it with existing IT systems. They selected a 60-person team to develop planning models, then added experts with specialized knowledge in the company’s various lines of business (such as life, health, and property insurance) to run the models.
These teams set out to reinvent business processes using established change management techniques. Their work resulted in significantly increased planning efficiency and transparency, and established a foundation for connecting and harmonizing individual models. Doing so, Knorr says, “will take the design to a whole new level.”
Results of Anaplan-based planning transformation are positive. Siloed tools and processes are eliminated, 80 percent of users are positive about the platform, and formerly three-month-long planning processes are now complete in a week. “With state-of-the-art planning methods, we can ask a question and Anaplan automatically calculates the consequences and results,” Knorr says, and the foundation is set to connect operations and workforce plans.