Helping cross-functional teams align from design to delivery

Case study

Promotional packs provide a key opportunity to introduce customers to new products, but coordinating the teams involved in the process - brand marketing, customer development, finance, production, supply chain and of course, the retailer – can be a challenge. Anaplan’s connected planning can make a big difference.

Often linked to holiday events, special days or promotional campaigns driven by market forces, our customer’s sales teams work with retailers to build customized variety packs featuring products from their wide portfolio of consumer goods brands. But these orders present a unique logistical challenge due to the separate but dependent processes required to fill the order and determine a suitable price.

Anaplan is a cloud-based software as a service offering with pioneering technology that combines the highperformance memory calculation demanded by large-scale firms with an intuitive spreadsheet-like user interface for real-time collaboration and user-friendly data entry. Microsoft Azure complemented Anaplan to provide additional archiving and analytic capabilities.


  • Delivering automation and transparency to the planning process, giving planners the ability to create inter-related projects and progress them through their often-complex lifecycle and monitor the real-time status of orders through to delivery. Providing a history of changes to eliminate the confusion that previously existed with multiple versions of spreadsheets.


  • Assessment of the financial viability of orders from a variety of perspectives, including compliance to benchmarks, allowing quick intervention if a proposed pack did not meet the targets. As the pack was reshaped and refined, volume and cost drivers could cause profitability to flip from pass to fail; being able to identify this was critical to the success of the pack.


  • Extraction of data from Anaplan into a Microsoft Azure data store to enable analysis of trends and continuous monitoring of key performance indicators to improve efficiency and financial performance. Controlling of approval notifications and responses was handled by Microsoft SharePoint, allowing approvers to see all the necessary information for their decision.


  • Streamlining the pricing of packaging contracts, removing guesswork and improving accuracy. The solution included an algorithm to determine the optimal packaging contract to ensure the lowest possible cost-per-unit without overspending on unnecessary inventory.

The Result?

A compelling example of the transformative power of a business-focused solution that integrates Anaplan and Microsoft in a cloud-based environment. An online fully operational solution uniting separate business units into an interconnected team; a previously lengthy process can now be completed in a much shorter timeline, freeing up man hours to be spent on driving value rather than answering and following up on emails.

Find out more

Contact Howard Yates. Howard is a Data & AI Consultant at Thorogood.