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What do Gartner, Forrester, and IDC have in common? They all named Anaplan a planning leader.
With Anaplan, we’ve increased customer service levels from 70% to 85%.Philipp Gorbunov, CEO, Balton Trading Asia
business growth achieved since adopting Anaplan
boost in customer service levels supports retailer loyalty
stock write-offs – now just 0.3% of revenue – saves money and cuts waste
Each year Balton Trading Asia distributes more than 64,000 tons of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) to some 17,000 retailers across Uzbekistan. Building on nearly three decades of experience, Balton is growing fast: the company plans to double its revenue in two years, even as competition in the region heats up.
“New companies have set up logistics and distribution operations in Uzbekistan, which places intense pressure on us to stay competitive,” explains Philipp Gorbunov, Balton’s CEO. “At the same time, rising inflation and market uncertainty have reduced the margins on the products we sell to retailers. That’s why running a highly cost-efficient company is essential to our success.”
To navigate in its fast-changing market, Balton established a planning team with a mandate to drive more efficient and collaborative demand, supply, and promotion planning. The team quickly found that spreadsheets could not accommodate the sophistication of Balton’s operations. The company’s rapid growth over just two years — raising the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) from 300 to 2,000 and opening seven new warehouses — added to the challenge.
“Creating demand, supply, write-off, and promotion reports would take five people up to three days,” continues Gorbunov. “Our analysts would spend more time extracting, reviewing, and correcting numbers than providing strategic advice to the business. Ultimately, this limited our ability to boost service levels, expand our product range, and increase distribution channels.”
Balton leaders realized that the fundamental problem was the lack of a comprehensive planning solution. Working with Planingo, they saw an Anaplan demonstration and met with existing Anaplan customers.
“We spoke to two other Anaplan users in the FMCG space with similar challenges, and they both highly recommended the solution,” explains Gorbunov. “These meetings gave us full confidence that Anaplan was the best planning solution for us.”
With support from Planingo, Balton replaced its spreadsheet-driven process with fully integrated digital workflows powered by Anaplan. Through a phased rollout, the company built and implemented collaborative solutions for demand, supply, and promotion planning.
“Planingo went the extra mile to help us redesign our processes so we could get the maximum benefit from Anaplan,” recalls Gorbunov. “This was especially clear in the way that the team helped to improve our methodologies for supply planning and trade promotion planning, particularly in replenishment order and uplift assessment calculations.”
With Anaplan in full production, Balton has accelerated planning cycles and uncovered new ways to reduce costs.
“Creating reports for our planning meetings took days before,” comments Gorbunov. “With Anaplan, we have all the information we need at our fingertips, and we can test scenarios and adjust plans in real time during meetings. By improving the flexibility of our planning activities with Anaplan, we’ve increased customer service levels from 70% to 85%.”
Balton now has increased visibility into stock levels and customer demand, which reduces stock write-offs of unsold products. “We’ve shrunk the cost of stock write-offs to under 0.3 percent of our total revenue with the solution,” says Gorbunov.
That, in turn, has helped accelerate business growth and reduce costs. “We’ve grown our business by 60% since bringing on Anaplan, and we’ve only added two people to our planning team. This shows how our planners can be more productive with our Anaplan solution. We’re better positioned to stay competitive and deliver the products that our customers want, exactly when they want them.”