Global businesses turn to Anaplan to help boost supply chain resilience

Graphic for Gartner MQ Supply Chain: overhead shot of freeway

Since the early days of the global pandemic, improving supply chain resilience has risen to the top of the priority list for CEOs, CFOs, and supply chain leaders alike. In fact, according to McKinsey’s recent CEO Excellence Survey, 62% of CEOs are focused on creating resilience in supplier networks. Similarly, in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, CFOs from Conagra Brands, Cintas Corp., and Koppers Holdings Inc. said their involvement in their organization’s supply chain resilience has significantly increased.

But improving supply chain resilience is no easy feat.

For one thing, global supply chains are bruised and battered after years of volatility. First, pandemic-driven disruption exposed cracks in global networks. Then geopolitical unrest, sky-high inflation, price-hikes, and a rapid change in consumer behaviors coalesced. Now global market turmoil – and the general interconnectedness of global supply chains – has left many businesses vulnerable to the impact of continued change on their ability to deliver products and services to customers.

Planning transformation drives flexibility and visibility

To help bolster their supply chain resilience, business leaders are increasingly turning to digital tools and solutions. The goal? Equip their organization’s supply chain with greater insight and flexibility, while also enabling transparency, visibility, and sustained collaboration across the financial, commercial, and operational arms of the business.

Technology solutions that are purpose-built for agile, data-driven, and collaborative planning – like the Anaplan platform – can help supply chain leaders contextualize their supply chain operations in real-time, proactively assess and mitigate risk, and put plans into action quickly to ensure change is met with strategy, as opposed to surprise.

With Anaplan’s agile scenario modeling capabilities, for instance, supply chain leaders can stress test their ecosystems – from sourcing partners and production facilities to logistics providers and end distributors. They can identify potential points of failure up and down the supply chain, then use that information to limit their organization’s exposure and uncover potential opportunities to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction.

Plus, with real-time collaboration and data automation baked into the platform, CFOs and CEOs can access and view the most up-to-date supply chain forecasts, plans, and reports – all in real-time – to inform a more cohesive, and resilient, business strategy.

The value of a connected, single source of truth framework for planning across supply chain and finance was touted by our customer Johnson & Johnson, during a recent Anaplan Connect event in New York.

In discussing her organization’s use of Anaplan for integrated business planning, Ellen Sipos, VP of Financial Planning and Analysis at the world’s largest healthcare company said, “Our commercial excellence organizations that do our patient-based modeling, our supply chain organizations when they're bringing their supply review capabilities, and our finance organizations with our financial forecasts are all having a unified conversation now.”

This granular level of visibility, she said, allows the company to “analytically start to have conversations that are more unified and more aligned across our organization.” This has also enabled the company to have a common management action plan – a first, according to Sipos – which shows opportunities to activate growth in certain markets.

Gartner has shared in its latest Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning Solutions, noting that Supply Chain Planning, “is the planning decision repository for a defined end-to-end supply chain. It is also the environment in which end-to-end-integrated supply chain decisions are managed. It establishes a single version of the truth for planning data and decisions, regardless of the underlying execution technology environment.”

Accelerating value to meet an evolving world

We recognize that rapidly changing complexity is the new status quo and that businesses need to be able to respond quickly and effectively to ensure their operations can continue uninterrupted. We also realize that, while supply chain resilience has never been more important, it’s also never been more difficult to achieve. Accordingly, Gartner observes, “the supply chain challenges that spanned the world in 2021 and 2022 underlined the need for comprehensive and restructured supply chain planning processes. This has led companies to prioritize investments in technology solutions that can enable and manage these processes.”

That’s why we are continuously working to deliver even greater value to our global supply chain customers – brands like The Coca-Cola Company, Godiva Japan, Ralph Lauren, and Jaguar Land Rover, that rely on Anaplan to make daily planning decisions with confidence.

Late last year we acquired the applications division of Vuealta, enabling us to arm customers with out-of-the-box applications for Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Inventory Planning, and Sales and Operations Planning/Integrated Business Planning (S&OP/IBP), in addition to our robust suite of supply chain solutions. And just this week, Anaplan was once again recognized in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Supply Chain Planning Solutions. We believe we have been recognized for our scenario modeling, and our ability to connect planners, processes, and data both across supply chain functions and with other stakeholders within the enterprise and across the network.

Ultimately, the ability to respond quickly and strategically to change and disruption will separate resilient organizations – and resilient leaders – from those that struggle to survive in the face of adversity. Our goal is to help supply chain leaders make resilience an essential element of their operations, so they can meet the market with confidence, maintain business continuity and customer satisfaction, and always stay one step ahead of the competition.

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning Solutions, Pia Orup Lund, Tim Payne, Janet Suleski, Joe Graham, Caleb Thomson, Amber Salley, 2 May 2023

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