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Finance, FP&A

6. Five success Stories Of Connected Planning

To wrap up our series about digital financial transformation we celebrate the successes of some of the early adopters of Connected Planning.  

During this series of articles we've looked at various aspects of bringing about step changes in the effectiveness and efficiency of enterprise planning processes with Anaplana cloud-based planning and modelling platform that enables organisations to automate planning, integrate data, and drive dynamic real-time updates to a myriad of different types of financial and non-financial processesConnected Planning, as our colleagues at Anaplan label their unique offering, brings together all of these previously separate processes in finance, sales, operations and HR, so that users from across the business can collaborate around real-time models that share a single data set secured with enterprise levels of access rights.     

Think of Connected Planning as a series of interlinked cells in a honeycomb, each planning model delivering a superior solution for the particular business function, but is connected to the next cell to enable data sharing and collaboration.  And just like a honeycomb, it’s the cellular structure that gives the overall structure its strength. The flexibility of the Anaplan platform means that companies implementing Connected Planning can start by addressing their immediate pain points before growing their deployment across their business. But it really does not matter where you choose to startThe intelligent data structure and the ease of modelling in Anaplan means deployments can be rapid and iterative, building a Connected Planning solution that's uniquely tailored to the needs of your organisation. 

To round up, let’s take a brief look at how five companies that were early adopters of connected planning with Anaplan have benefited: 

BT Group

The UK’s largest mobile carrier with 32 million customers—wanted to report revenue in a way that met IFRS 15 standards. However, trying to achieve that using spreadsheets took four management accountants between four and six hours when the company really wanted to release figures the morning after month’s end. By using Anaplan, BT were able to slash process time dramatically.  It now it takes one person less than an hour to calculate their monthly revenue, working with a model that contains more than 30 million lines of data.  From that very convincing quick-win, BT grew its connected planning honeycomb to includcall center planning and OpEx planning and forecasting, and is now exploring ways to connect other types of planning to deliver even greater value. 


A major US insurer with over 36 million customers, first deployed Anaplan in 2016 to help with financial consolidations. But since realising it capabilities, Anaplan soon became a catalyst for dramatic process change and its use soon expanded to numerous FP&A processes, including expense budgeting and reporting and investment portfolio planning and analysis. Since investing in Anaplan, Unum’s finance team is more efficient, with expense reporting three times faster than before and a fortnight’s reduction in the semi-annual budgeting cycle. What’s more, Unum has found that about 80% of ad-hoc questions, where business managers formerly required the finance team’s help, are now self-service operations.  

Del Monte 

Fruit processor Del Monte used a mix of hundreds of complex spreadsheets and inflexible legacy tools to manage it's supply chain processes and interface with financial planning. The process was slow with simple scenarios taking up to six hours to run. This often resulted in lost sales opportunities and excess inventories. Now using Anaplan, the supply chain and financial planning processes, which previously took two weeks, have been cut to just two days and recalculating the impact of changes in demand now takes less than five minutes, so inventory is much more closely aligned with demand. Since then Del Monte has grown it's Connected Planning honeycomb to report on the profitability of sales channels, SKU’s, or customers so decision-makers are better able to make quick, informed decisions that drive profitability. 

Helly Hansen

Outdoor apparel brand Helly Hansen recognised that disconnected finance and operational processes sometimes hindered its success. Adopting connected planning using the Anaplan platform allowed the company to re-engineer core planning processes, automating routine data collection, slashing planning and budgeting cycles, and Connected Planning teams across the business. Today the company’s Connected Planning honeycomb combines financial target-setting, demand forecasting, inventory planning, and other key processes with 50% less time spent downloading, calculating, and then re-loading budget data.  

ASK industries

A manufacturer of car audio systems, wanted to replace spreadsheets and develop consistent finance and sales processes, such as investment and sales budgets and P&L and balance sheet creationacross its global businesses. Today the company uses Anaplan for Request for Quotation (RFQ) management, a core process that feeds directly into their sales planningCapEx planning and forecasting their P&L, balance sheet and cash flow statements. By building and connecting a honeycomb of four models, ASK has improved collaboration, sped up “what-if” analysis, (which now take 10 seconds rather than an entire day), and improved finance’s ability to support a growing and increasingly complex business without adding personnel. 

Here at Profit& we have plenty of success stories of our own - a medical products company that has connected its production planning with its P&L, balance sheet and cash flow forecasting; an IT services company that is replacing a myriad of unconnected spreadsheets by connecting Anaplan directly to their CRM so they can re-forecast their long range financial plan on a weekly basis; and health service provider that's desperate to extend their Connected Planning honeycomb to include ad hoc scenario modelling that they recognise would be invaluable during the global coronavirus pandemic.  To Learn more about these stories and how to begin your own journey read Connected Planning: The Key to FP&A Transformation.

All of these success stories are unique but surely one of them struck a chord with you? Please contact us if you have a pressing requirement to address; otherwise please view our infographic for summary overview of how you too can work with us to implement Connected Planning.   

  See The Process Infographic

Missed earlier articles? Catch up here. 

Get In Touch With Us Today

If you’re interested in seeing how Anaplan can increase the efficiency of your FP&A processes, don’t hesitate to contact us.  We’ll be able to answer all of your questions and explain the processes we use to ensure that you see tangible return on your investment in Digital Finance.

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Finance FP&A
Helmke Gerndt

Helmke Gerndt

Helmke is convinced that lean processes, streamlined structures and transparency are the basis for business efficiency and growth. Helmke graduated with BA Hons in European Business Administration from ESB Business School, Reutlingen University + Middlesex Business School, London. He is a Certified Management Consultant of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes. Helmke is founding Partner of Profit& GmbH, delivering Connected Planning on the Anaplan platform. Prior to this Helmke held Senior Management positions in retail and supply chain before beginning a career in Management Consultancy with Arthur Andersen in 1991. Helmke became a founding Director of the German Business Consultancy, Dennso, in 1998, where he has become known as a leading authority in helping clients to build transparency, efficiency, and growth.

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