Increasingly more companies understand the need for connected planning. We talked to Bjørn Unnerud, CFO of Norway’s leading fashion house, Voice, about their use of Anaplan during the beginning of the corona crisis and how they used the platform to handle the unexpected surprises.
How did the choice fall on Anaplan using Bluesprint as an implementing partner?
— We had been looking for a new planning tool to replace the old system, that we had used for 15 years. It was not very flexible and did not adapt to today’s requirements for speed. We had received very good references about Anaplan from colleagues and others in the industry. The choice therefore fell on Anaplan. because the platform fulfilled our requirements:
- Responsive and fast (calculations and uploads)
- Possibility of customization (not modification), easy to adapt the business model
and planning needs.
- The supplier’s innovation and strategic roadmap
- Opportunity to start small, come up with solutions quickly
- Competitive price and ongoing opportunity to scale licenses
Voice and Bluesprint has worked together since the beginning, 2017. The company was then led by Espen Grepperud and his partner Morten Jonassen under the name Planalot.
— As a customer we value good communication with our vendors. With Bluesprint we’ve managed to create a partnership model that brings value to both parties.
Bluesprint has developed from two consultants to a company that stretch across national borders with several employees. The company is now led by Espen and his Swedish Gothenburg based partner, David Hagetoft.
Corona has affected many companies with new and unexpected challenges. How have you worked with Anaplan during the crisis?
— The situation the world is in, increases the need to quickly make changes and to see the potential effects of the operational decisions. During this period, we’ve used Anaplan for scenario planning, and stress tested our plans and forecasts. This has given us valuable information that we’ve used to create contingency plans for different potential outcomes.
What has Anaplan meant for Voice in relation to the Corona situation?
— Anaplan has made us a very adaptable compared to before given the flexibility, speed and ability to simulate outcomes. This has made it possible for our business controlling team to respond to business needs when they arise compared to before when we typically needed 2-3 days of work in Excel. Corona allowed us to test the benefits provided by Anaplan and to innovate in the way that we interact with the platform.
Is the concept Connected Planning something Voice focuses on?
— Definitely. Voice started with Anaplan for traditional Financial Planning and Analysis (FP & A). We’ve always had a vision to ensure that the company’s strategic targets are reflected in our sales and operational planning, balancing short and long-term goals. Voice makes a living from designing and producing our own brands which in turn is sold to our customers through our chains, Match, Vic and Boys of Europe. For us it’s very important to balance supply and demand. In order to ensure this, it is important that information is shared throughout the organization. Since we started our planning journey in 2017, we’ve increased agility and transparency by connecting people and plans.
Savings due to Anaplan?
— In recent years, we’ve invested a lot in Anaplan. Increasingly so. In return we’ve gotten back a lot of time in a world where development is happening so fast. Time consumption has decreased, quality and detail has increased. The budget process now only takes a couple of weeks instead of for example up to five months. This is often something that finance departments want to achieve. To become more accurate, have a better plan management structure and more time to support the company and take the role as a business partner.
Three reasons to choose Anaplan?
- It’s definitely one of the best planning platforms out there in terms of versatility, linking the plans together in one system
- Anaplan is a future oriented platform supporting modern ways of running the business
- It’s a user friendly and easily adaptable platform that supports and enhances the communication between users and departments
- Their consultants are highly skilled on the Anaplan platform with broad experience from different industries and disciplines and good expertise in planning processes
- Bluesprint consultants are pleasant down to earth proper people
- They take great pride in what they do