Twelve Consulting Group helps its customers improve their forecasting and reporting processes using Anaplan

Twelve Consulting partner Josh King shares how his company’s customers are able to take ownership of processes with Anaplan.

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My name is Josh King and I am a partner at Twelve Consulting. We’re a partner that goes out and implements Anaplan across sales, operations, and finance.

We’ve done a lot in terms of technology companies—we’ve done a lot in territory and quota planning, sales forecasting, and incentive comp. We’ve also done a lot with beverage, [such as] depletion planning, trade and promotion planning, and price optimization.

I think of Anaplan as a platform that allows the business to create their own models in sales, operations, finance, and HR, and connect them. What we see with a lot of our customers is they are going to start in one of those areas and, over time, they start to connect across other functional areas. It’s a platform that allows customers to do it on their own, over time, and also start to connect across their business.

[For example], let’s say someone starts in sales. They do sales forecasting, they do territory and quota modeling, and then they start to do something in finance—they start to bring that data back into finance. If you think about finance, they are typically looking at things monthly and quarterly—and now, you start to have this view of things that happen every day, during the week. It’s getting out of that habit of looking at things monthly and quarterly. It’s getting a view of your business, whether it’s sales or operations, where you have lots of people building plans that are on different timelines, so they look at things daily or weekly. They are looking at it where there might be a lot more complexity. For example, they might be looking at a SKU or at an individual people level.

A lot of our customers, in the end, I think there is a feeling of ownership because they built it with us. And when we leave, they are able to maintain it and do it on their own. There have been a number of implementations that we did under budget and under the timeline, because we worked with the customer—and then there is so much value when we leave because they can do it on their own. They see it as part of ownership. We get a lot of thank-you letters and notes about how they are able to do things on their own that they never could before.

We implement a broad set of use cases, and we’ve typically been tied to a couple of industries. We’re also able to apply those to other industries as we look at new customers. In finance, it’s forecasting and budgeting, revenue modeling, and long-range planning. In sales, we’re doing territory and quota modeling, incentive/comp, sales forecasting, and account segmentation. In operations, we have a lot of folks that are doing S&OP—they are taking their forecast and linking it to the supply chain. Those are the use cases.

As far as apps that we have developed, we have a couple out there. The one that comes to mind is one around finance. At Twelve, we’ve done over 40 FP&A implementations. One of the things that we’re really big on is trying to capture all that IP and use that to train our internal folks. Also, when we got into doing implementations, we try to use that as much as possible. One of the examples that we have in the App Hub is around expense planning. After over 40 implementations, we’ve been able to bake in best practices around expense planning and put that into an app.

I think Anaplan out of the box helps you automate things that were typically very menial for our customers—they can do that next level of reporting that their management team is asking for. I think we have a lot of customers that, once we leave, are layering in additional reports and analysis that they may not have thought of in the beginning, and now Anaplan opens up this whole world of things that you can start to analyze.

As far as relating our core values to Anaplan’s core values, I think since a lot of us have a history with Anaplan, one of the things we do is we come in and we train our customers. We come in, we build an onboarding app with them so they get enabled—and it’s not just one person. It’s a process. We are very big on enabling and teaching them to fish along the way.

We typically come in and we recommend best practices. We try to do that using the IP that we’ve captured over the last five years, and I think our customers appreciate that. When we deliver things, we’re trying to reuse and capture as much as possible so that over time, we’re providing (and making it more efficient to provide) best practices so that you can have more successful implementations.

Over time, your finance folks start having visibility into operations and sales, whereas they had no visibility before. When you start to make a decision, when you’re looking at the role of your data, it’s live, it’s in real time. You always have a very accurate view of your business.

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