Workforce Insight helps its customers optimize their workforces with Anaplan.

Mike Emsley, EVP of Analytics, describes how the flexibility and agility of Anaplan’s platform enables Workforce Insight to help their customers save on labor costs and plan for their futures.

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My name is Mike Emsley. I’m from Workforce Insight. My role is EVP of Analytics.

Workforce Insight is a consulting organization that focuses exclusively on workforce planning and workforce optimization. We work with more than 50 of the Fortune 500 to help them optimize their workforces, save on labor costs, and plan up to two years in advance for their workforce planning meets.

Anaplan’s been great as a platform. What we see as a challenge with our customers is [that] they traditionally have data silos. And in order to give them the best in class workforce analytics, we need to be able to aggregate their data, take data out of their HRMS system, their talent system, their workforce management system, and turn it into meaningful workforce analytics.

With Anaplan, we can aggregate our customers’ data incredibly fast. We can take it out of their HRMS system, their talent system, their workforce management system, and turn it into meaningful workforce analytics that can help them plan for the future, save on labor costs, and really optimize their workforce.

There’s an incredible amount of power in that Anaplan platform, combined with the ease of use and the ability to create models quickly—so it’s a combination of incredible power, as well as the speed with which we can create models. So, other tools may have power, but they lack the flexibility and agility that Anaplan has.

Conversely, some tools are easy to use, but they can’t scale and they don’t have the power. So what we get with Anaplan is the best of both worlds: We can build models that scale to tens of thousands of employees, but we also can do it quickly so we can get to a solution remarkably fast with the customer.

What’s great about workforce planning/workforce optimization is that there are demonstrable, great returns on the investment. We typically see two to five percent of savings in labor costs, and for an organization upwards of 15,000 employees, they’re going to have a payroll of a billion dollars. We can routinely save that organization two to five percent of that billion-dollar payroll. So there are very regular, very provable hard-dollar benefits from labor optimization with Anaplan.

And then on the soft side, what we see is a great increase in collaboration. We’ve had customers say, “I thought I needed, originally, better forecasting. I thought I needed more algorithms.” But in fact, they realize the true “wow” and benefits—and the “aha” moment was: we got greater collaboration. We’re no longer arguing about the data. We’re no longer distrusting the numbers. We can actually agree and have transparency around our numbers, and now we can talk and the nature of our conversations has changed. We can actually focus on, “What do we do about the data?” as opposed to worrying about where that data came from. It has completely changed the nature of their conversations.

The partnership between Anaplan and Workforce Insight has really evolved. We’ve been partners for the past three years, and over the last year, we’ve grown our practice in earnest. And I would say that Anaplan’s the most partner-friendly organization that we work with as a software vendor. They really back it up. The partner programs that Anaplan has put in place to help their partners grow their practices, to collaborate with the sales organization, are really something we look for in a software vendor.

I love Anaplan’s messaging around smart businesses because what we see with our customer base is a real need to rise above their transactional systems and really get value. They’re at a stage where they really want to get value out of their transactional data. I have many customers that say, “We’ve implemented this talent system” or “this workforce management system, and it’s very transactual [sic]. What do I do next with my data? I know I have very valuable data. What can I do next?” With a platform like Anaplan, that’s where we are pushing our customers. That’s where our customers want to go. They want to make better decisions with their data, but they’ve never had the tools and solutions to do so, and Anaplan really enables that.

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