Barbican Case Study (Now part of Arch Insurance)

Insurance Companies use Anaplan to Automate and Improve Reporting Processes

Insurance companies often face the challenge of having to deal with lots of calculations of varying complexity across different departments. Many insurers have found that Anaplan helps them manage the challenges that comes with large, complex and business critical calculations, coupled with their need to provide internal reporting of results. Barbican Insurance Group has implemented Anaplan’s cloud-based business planning and execution platform bringing more control to their business planning and less labour-intensive reporting.

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Dynamic Notification Recipients in Anaplan

Several months ago, Anaplan released a ‘notifications’ action in the UX. The purpose of this new type of action was to allow model users to trigger email notifications to others users from within Anaplan. One of the main reasons for wanting to do this would be to support a workflow, whereby an action or change in the model would trigger a notification to another user that their input to the model was required.

The notification action was a step in the right direction for creating a workflow, but it lacked a critical element to support a full-scale process. The recipient of the notification had to be manually selected, and only a single recipient could be assigned to the action. This meant that where the intended recipient would vary by a dimension such as Cost Centre, we couldn’t construct a workflow to follow that organisational structure.

Anaplan has recently delivered an update to their notification action to support dynamic recipients, and I think that this is a game changer for workflow in Anaplan. When creating a new notification, page builders can now choose whether to assign recipients via module data or to specific people.

When selecting ‘Module data’, the page builder now has to select a module where a line item resides which will drive the recipient information. The recipient line item needs to be a User formatted line item.

Anaplan will use the User value – corresponding to the context selection on the Page – to insert the recipient. For example, if I have Cost Centre as a dimension on my Page and I want to send a notification to the owner of the selected Cost Centre, I would use Cost Centre as a dimension of my recipient User line item. I would then select which user should act as the recipient for each individual Cost Centre and select this line item in the Notification designer.

One thing to bear in mind is that Anaplan seems to use the module dimensionality as context within the notification, so make sure the dimensionality of your recipient module matches the dimensionality of your recipient line item.

Five UX features you may not have discovered

The release last year of the Anaplan UX was one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated product updates that Anaplan has seen.

In the months since the first public UX release, we have seen hundreds of updates to the UX with extra features being delivered on an almost daily basis. Some of these new features will be quite clear to anyone building or using an App, but other features are a little more hidden. Here are five UX features which you may, or may not, have already discovered. 

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Using Anaplan for Supply Chain Planning

We hear from many prospective customers about the challenges they face with accurately and efficiently conducting their supply chain planning. One area where we’ve gained a lot of experience is helping customers enhance their S&OP processes. Historically, these businesses would have relied on Microsoft Excel and Access solutions to complete their planning, but the reality of using these tools is often far from ideal. The sort of challenges they face are as follows:

• Capturing inputs from multiple users across the business is tricky. Spreadsheets end up being emailed around the organisation and then linked back together in a confusing web of linked spreadsheets.
• The level of granularity that can be achieved through a spreadsheet may not be enough for the business to plan accurately.
• Building in the ability to calculate a statistical forecast or seasonality can be tricky in Excel.
• Sharing the results of a forecast across the business can be slow, especially when different versions of the truth emerge. It can then be very time consuming to produce reporting packs which may end up needing to be redone if the plan gets updated.

Mentat Technology has worked with several customers to deliver S&OP solutions in Anaplan. We’ve helped these customers remove the limitations presented by their old solutions and realise the benefits of implementing a cloud-based, integrated model. In turn, these companies have gone on to roll-out Anaplan across other parts of their organisation such as Finance, thereby leveraging the benefits of connected planning.
Our customers have reported significant reductions in the time it takes to produce forecasts, and that has allowed them to increase their forecasting frequency. Some customers have chosen to implement statistical forecasts that greatly improve the accuracy of their sales forecast, to the point where the accuracies of these statistical forecasts beat those of their own sales team!

Read more about how Mentat Technology have helped Tarmac use Anaplan for their supply chain planning.
If you would like to learn more about how Mentat Technology can help with supply chain planning, please contact us.
Read more about Supply Chain planning in Anaplan