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In February of this year, I was in the middle of the third grueling 2,000-foot ascent up a mountain on the second day of a three-night backcountry yurt trip when I conceptualized the power of Anaplan’s Connected Planning solution. “Strategize and collaborate with agility amid constant change”—the words on Anaplan’s homepage—describes Anaplan, as well as splitboarding. Splitboarding is a form of snowboarding where the snowboard splits in half to form two skis and your bindings rotate to mimic cross country skis. It’s done in the backcountry across unmarked and un-patrolled areas in the Pacific Northwest. These areas are hazardous due to avalanches, severe winter weather, and navigation difficulties in the snowy landscape. On this trip, the yurt itself was a four-mile hike from our car and had no electricity, cell service, or running water. It was equipped with wood fire pits, minimal kitchen supplies, and thin canvas walls.

In other words, our team was entirely reliant on the equipment we carried, decisions we made, and preparation we had been doing all season. Collaboration, scenario planning, adjustments, attention to detail, and forecasting are used in the backcountry. The connection of the opposite worlds—Anaplan and backcountry splitboarding—became apparent. Business decisions can result in bankruptcy versus 200-percent growth or layoffs versus a hiring spree. Decisions in backcountry yurt trips could result in life-or-death survival situations. On the yurt trip, we had to rely on planning and instinct but in the business world, a fully built-out Anaplan solution involving multiple business functions helps us out.

The Minimum Essential Equipment is Your Base Forecast

Just like in business planning, attention to detail is critical for backcountry skiing. Before I went into the backcountry, I spent around 16 hours in the comfort of my home combing over each piece of equipment by ensuring everything was dry, screws were tightened, gear wasn’t ripped or broken, and electronics had new batteries. A loose screw has the potential to ruin your weekend if it falls out and causes something else to break. On the business side, Anaplan helps mitigate the potential for “loose screws” by ensuring data integrity with exception reports and alerts. Exception reports alert users when their forecast has an error, values are outside of agreed-upon parameters, contracts are late, inventory is stocked out, or inventory is expiring. These early alerts help you mitigate future catastrophes the earlier the problems are addressed.

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