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How connected planning with Anaplan can provide more optics into your sales and pricing strategy

Now more than ever, being a data-insights driven organization is critical to ensure that the appropriate resources are spent accordingly. The recent economic and social impacts created by the global pandemic, oil price war, and on-going trade tariffs are creating unprecedented uncertainty in the world economy. By the end of this blog, we hope to share valuable insights and expertise on how to utilize a connected planning platform, Anaplan, to enable your teams to be more proactive rather than reactive.

In this blog, we will focus our conversation around Trade and Promotions Management (TPM) and how Retail and CPG companies can utilize Anaplan to drive critical ingenuity across your organization and marginally impact your results. With Anaplan, Spaulding Ridge has built complex solutions to assist our clients with a broad and focused strategic approach to increase a variety of factors. Factors like maximizing your promotional strategy, consensus planning, managing or auditing your trade spend and rebates (often referred to as claims management & settlement), budgeting, and scenario planning. Spaulding Ridge has the expertise to help your organization streamline and improve your TPM processes while building out a strategic connected planning platform by implementing Anaplan.

ANAPLAN is an American cloud-based planning software company headquartered in San Francisco, California, with operations in over 13 countries, 175 partners, and more than 1,350 customers worldwide. Anaplan sells subscriptions for cloud-based business-planning software and provides data for decision-making purposes in areas ranging from finance to human resources.

Promotion Management- Develop a strategy for maximizing your promotions

Themes: Statistical forecasting, promotional management, connected planning

There are many things to consider when planning out a promotional strategy. Factors such as: timing of the promotions, where do we run the promotions, and what types of promotions in order to maximize profit, ROI, volume, etc. With Anaplan, you can do just that.

By leveraging statistical modeling, the system is able to not only build a stable baseline run rate but also calculate the expected lift based the on type of promotion, price point, account, timing, etc. This capability comes in handy when your team is looking to execute scenario plans for your promotional activities. If the scenario you want to model out is to maximize your volume, the system can give recommendations on the types of promotions that need to be run to meet your ROI goals.

There is also the ability for a promotion approvals workflow. This gives the promotions team the ability to review then the promotions submitted by the sales team and either approve or deny the request. This is a vital step when thinking about how the promotional activity needs to connect with the supply chain. Once the promotion is approved, it can then flow into the demand plan to ensure that the promotional activity is captured by the supply chain team and supply can be built to meet these needs. The promotional activity is critical in building out a robust consensus demand planning process and that your supply chain team has the information necessary for effective decision making.

As we look to the times ahead, it’s vital to look for an approach to a promotional activity that maximizes your end goal. When it comes to promotional management, in using a tool like Anaplan, whether it’s to maximize profit, volume, limit spend, you can rest easy that the output has these end goals in mind. To achieve these optimal solutions, one of the key factors needs to be around promotional ROI tracking.

ROI – Was the promotion worth the investment?

Themes: ROI and Trade Spend Analysis

Leveraging a tool like Anaplan, your team can review, analyze, and structure your trade spend by utilizing historical analysis and logic to help pinpoint essential trade spend initiatives that made a substantial impact. With the partnership of your team, we can provide a better analysis of the ROI of each type of trade spend and how it impacted your sales volume. By developing a process that allows your sales team to review prior year trends, actual trade spends, and adjust their trade spend accordingly, and you are now giving the power back to your business to make better-informed decisions and sales strategies backed by facts and data. No more finger in the wind – “I think my customer will react by X to yield Y%”. Report facts, not intuition. Your team can rest easy knowing that you are moving forward with the right strategy to maximize your ROI.

Another powerful aspect of Anaplan is the ability to create multiple What-if or Scenario Plans. Typically, we see Sales Leaders or Operations take on this task to review historical ROI to determine what price structure, promotion strategies, mediums, or markets made a marginal impact. By providing real-time analytics and the ability to scenario plan variations to market trends, pricing strategies, or promotional strategies, these teams can now present new ideas or strategies to help drive your business forward or highlight ways to increase market share. In today’s current economic environment, this is a powerful tool that can help drive and optimize your business.

Today we see teams creating plans and then react to current market conditions based on delayed data. This is never an optimal process, but necessary to counteract market performance. Equipping your teams with the right tools, data, or analysis is a must if your business is to stay competitive in the market. With Anaplan, we can provide the ability to drill down to the details to help drive critical decisions on your go-to-market plans. If you have the data, we have a solution. We can provide sophisticated solutions that can drill down into specific areas of the business to provide better insights for your operational teams.

Trade Spend Management

Key themes: Forecasting and Budgeting, Price and Promotions Planning, and Scenario Planning

For Retailers and CPG companies, using historical and real-time data can help align organizational goals and objectives with the sales and marketing team. With Anaplan, we’re able to connect all the necessary data points to various groups to confirm that data and plans are connected to one another.

For planning, utilizing data from sales, shipments, or PoS, and your promotion calendar can help streamline the annual trade spend planning as well as provide insights into which promotions or discounts helped drive increased sales. When planning for trade spend, there are several variations of back and forth plans between sales and finance. Most often, the back and forth between the two teams is done using multiple excel sheets or workbooks and or a variety of disparate systems or processes that typically delay the budgeting process. This could be due to a variety of reasons. Still, with Anaplan, we share both the budget and planning forecast in a way that allows for better consensus planning between two or more departments within an organization. Imagine if you could cut your consensus planning process by 66% or more and with more accurate data – Sounds like a no-brainer.

Using the power of the platform, we can connect your existing applications such as: CRM, HRIS, and ERP to integrate and streamline your data into Anaplan. By integrating these tools, we can automate the planning and reporting hierarchies so that your team no longer needs to spend their time aggregating data. Instead, our customers utilize Anaplan to review KPIs, reports, and dashboards to help analyze their core business performance to proactively react to market trends and reforecast accordingly.

Accounting – Auditing Your Trade Spend and Reserve Your Cash

Themes: Trade Spend Tracking and Claims Management

What if you had a tool that enabled your systems to talk to each other and provide real-time updates? The answer? The ability to review Point-of-Sales (PoS) or Shipment volumes to address rebate/claim payments for your partners. Instead of pre-paying and invoicing at year-end to true up your financials, this tedious process should be done monthly, if not weekly. Real-time analytics is your best friend and frees up your cash flow that can be leveraged elsewhere.

With Anaplan, we can integrate your ERP and sales volume data (by the customer) to build out dashboards that allow your accounting teams to validate rebates/claims or discounts that should be paid based on contractual agreements made between you and your trade partners. We’ve seen a variety of ways companies try to do this today and found that most companies are either prepaying based on expected volume and then having to wait until their teams have had a chance to true up sales volume (by product or category) to issue a credit or the trade partner sends a net invoice. This is usually a tedious, time-consuming invoice reconciliation process and reduces cash flow that could be used elsewhere to optimize your business.

On the Anaplan platform, we can quickly provide a medium for teams to review actual inventory sold by retailers or distributors, audit the rebate/claims payouts as well as help accrue trade spend. This audit can help ensure that your company is accurately reporting and paying out the right amount at the right time. No longer are you having that end of the year audit process to help identify where accounts have been over payed. This creates more cash-on-hand that can be spent elsewhere. In today’s uncertain times, cash is important now more than ever and can be the lifeline to keeping your business functional.

Want to Learn More?

Spaulding Ridge partners with clients to improve their organizations and their teams’ futures. We offer executive-level, practical advice paired with best-in-cloud solutions to scale your business. At Spaulding Ridge, we believe all business is personal and place a premium on our relationships with our clients, business partners, our own team, and the global community.

We help our clients through a variety of services and disciplines:

• IT Strategy & Advisory

• Cloud Implementation & Process Improvement

• Business Transformation & Customer Engagement

Contact – [email protected]


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