November 08, 2023

Sustainable footwear startup Allbirds selects Anaplan to transform inventory and demand planning

San Francisco-based and New Zealand-born footwear startup, Allbirds has been a proven disruptor in the retail industry since its launch in 2016. Known for its comfortable yet sustainable and natural shoes, Allbirds has led the path for approaching sustainability from all aspects of its business–from open-sourcing its footprint calculator to creating the world’s first carbon-zero shoes. Today the growing footwear brand reaches environmentally conscious consumers around the world, serving customers in more than 35 countries across its footprint of retail stores.

To keep up with ever-evolving consumer behaviors and to scale effectively in today’s rapidly shifting market, Allbirds has selected Anaplan, with implementation services from Columbus Consulting, to streamline its supply chain operations – including demand planning and forecasting, inventory planning, and merchandise and materials management. Anaplan’s market-leading planning platform will arm Allbirds with real-time visibility and flexibility up and down its supply chain, ensuring the growing footwear brand can pivot quickly in response to unplanned changes–from consumer demand to inflation. Leveraging Anaplan for supply chain planning will also allow Allbirds to better optimize its inventory and spend management processes–such as managing allocations and replenishment across its distribution centers and stores–to save the business time in its planning cycles, reduce excess or unnecessary costs, and increase forecast accuracy.

Prior to partnering with Anaplan, Allbirds managed its demand and inventory planning in static spreadsheets, which stifled quick collaboration and created more risk among the many moving pieces of the business. With a desire to react to consumer behavior at a faster pace across various global markets, the company identified clear priorities to drive more collaboration, reduce inventory carrying costs, and increase profitability–re-imagining operational processes was high on the list. Allbirds enlisted the help of Columbus Consulting for their functional and technical expertise in this space to spearhead the project and ensure a smooth transition.

According to Columbus Consulting Partner, Tom Phelps, “We were pleased to be selected by Allbirds based on our expertise in the Anaplan technology and depth in retail planning.

Our team specializes in identifying retailer needs and providing value-driven solutions. Columbus is known for its industry expertise and for becoming extensions of their teams to impact change. The Allbirds project allowed us to seamlessly introduce them to the Anaplan solution to help them transform their inventory and demand planning.” 

“Like the entire retail industry, Allbirds has been impacted by recent economic changes that have challenged us to rethink how we can operate faster and with greater effectiveness,” said Joe Vernachio, COO at Allbirds. “When we learned how similar retailers have leveraged Anaplan successfully to transform financial planning and analysis, it not only gave us confidence in the team, it allowed us insight into the potential value Anaplan could have in our own business, from optimizing key processes to helping us unlock more market opportunity.”

With the Anaplan platform, Allbirds will have a single source of truth for all relevant supply chain data – from historical trends to real-time market signals. Instead of spending days parsing through multiple spreadsheets, supply chain planners will be able to act decisively to ensure the right products are in the right place, at the right time and price.

“Allbirds disrupted the footwear space by combining fashion with sustainability at a consumer-friendly price point, and the company’s impressive journey is still in its early stages,” said Karen Clarke, Managing Director, Americas, Anaplan. “Taking the critical step to modernize supply chain planning will help the business scale effectively, especially in today’s landscape. We’re thrilled at Allbirds’ decision to plan with Anaplan.”

To learn more about the ways Anaplan helps businesses deliver on their strategic objectives through effective planning, visit

For more information on Columbus Consulting and how they have been helping retailers for over 20 years, visit