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Employee Spotlight: Neeti Agarwal

Neeti Agarwal has been an Akilian for over 5 years, working remotely in Boston! While we don’t get to see her in the office everyday, Neeti fully embodies the Akili culture, serving as a mentor and a solution leader within the organization.

Tell us more about your role and what you like most about it.

I am a Solution Architect at Akili and that means I get to work on SAP BPC and Anaplan projects. The best part about my job is that it never gets boring. Every project has a new set of challenges and there are many creative ways to solve different problems, so it keeps things interesting.

What drew you to Akili? Is Akili what was described to you and what you expected?

I was drawn to Akili by its culture. It’s one of those places where titles and hierarchy don’t define you. Everyone is encouraged to share their ideas and people are valued for what they bring to the table. It creates a very open, relaxed atmosphere, which is great for introverts like me because I can walk up to anyone and ask for help or speak what’s on my mind.

What’s your favorite Akili memory?

I will never forget the first time I visited the Akili office. I was quite anxious to be in a new office and working with a new project team, but everyone was so nice and helpful that I immediately felt at home. Since then, every time I visit the office it feels like being among friends.

What makes Akili stand out from the rest?

Akili is a unique company because of its people, its culture and its core values. Our leadership team values all employees and treats people as they want to be treated themselves. As a result, you have an amazing group of people working in an environment that is fun, collaborative and challenging.

What are 3 career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

  1. Always be professional and nice. It’s a very small world and you never know who you may end up working with again.
  2. A healthy work-life balance is crucial to being happy. I feel happy at work when I’m happy with myself and a big part of that is making time for both work and personal activities as much as possible.
  3. There’s something to be learned every day. With changing technologies, workplaces are constantly evolving. So, always be ready to absorb new information.

What advice do you have for prospective candidates?

  1. Consider what is important to you when selecting a company. Evaluate the culture, benefits, and long-term growth opportunities and then decide which place checks most of the boxes on your list.
  2. Titles don’t bring happiness.
  3. Being open to adapt and change opens a lot more opportunities.

What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?

Cellphones. I remember when I first got my mobile phone and how delighted I was that it had a backlight keyboard and 10 different ringtones! I used it only for calls and messages and now I cannot imagine my life without a phone. How did we do anything 10 years ago?

How do you like to spend your free time / what are you passionate about?

My soon-to-be one year old soaks up all the “free” time these days. I love spending time with my family and friends. When the weather is nice, I love being outdoors, close to nature, whether it’s hiking, nature walks or scenic drives. My “me” time is taken up by books. I love reading historic fiction or autobiographical novels.

Motto or personal mantra?

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – Charles R. Swindoll

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MRP/MPS/APS with Anaplan // Anaplan for Manufacturing

By Dyci Sfregola | Business Planning Consultant

In a world where operations and production optimization require strategic functions like planning, scheduling, ordering, and materials distribution, supply chain planners can only put so much faith into modern-day ERP systems. In an effort to digitize and automate the supply chain, many organizations have turned to Advanced Planning Systems (APS) that can be used as an extension to and in conjunction with ERP systems. APS coupled with ERP provides an avenue for supply chain planners, specifically production planners and managers, to make better strategic decisions as it pertains to improving manufacturing and production thanks to improved visibility throughout the supply chain network and across planning horizons.

APS implementations consistently lead to improved delivery performance, boosts in profits, reduction in inventory and costs, and improved ROI. Organizations can quickly realize time-to-value with the production planning phase of their supply chain transformation by leveraging Anaplan’s flexibility, scalability, and calculation engine as their Advanced Planning System, more specifically as it related to material requirements planning (MRP), distribution requirements planning (DRP), and master production scheduling (MPS).

Akili’s implementation experience with Anaplan for manufacturing and supply chain includes use cases in demand management and inventory planning, capacity control, what-if analysis, master scheduling, rough cut capacity planning, and more. These implementations have exposed the possibilities of developing robust MRP solutions on the Anaplan platform. If we consider the evolution of MRP software from MRP to closed-loop MRP to manufacturing resource planning (MRP II), we can identify the following three goals as the main objectives of today’s MRP II solutions:

  1. Ensure materials are available for production and products are available for delivery to customers
  2. Maintain the lowest possible material and product levels
  3. Plan manufacturing activities, delivery schedules and purchasing activities

The most advanced MRP II tools are able to:

  1. Plan in units and dollars
  2. Support scenario planning and what-if analysis
  3. Provide visibility of material and capacity requirements
  4. Provide detailed activity information and translate activities to financial statements
  5. Suggest ways to bring activities back into line with planned priorities
  6. Integrate with long-term business and operational planning like S&OP

Since Anaplan doesn’t have a standard, one-size-fits-all out-of-the-box solution, organizations are able to create a custom solution that supports all of the aforementioned functionality. Additionally, with the information from the MPS & BOM and inventory status & planning factors, it is also possible to use Anaplan to develop a complete schedule for ordering and delivering all of the components and materials necessary to create the finished goods in the master schedule. The MPS produced by Anaplan, with the approval of planners, can include all required MRP outputs: planned order releases, and exception reports, creating a solution that contributes to increased competitive advantage and supply chain excellence.

Here are some highlights of what we’ve experienced and implemented with Anaplan for manufacturing and APS:

  1. The Anaplan platform best supports organizations that operate within the context of repetitive manufacturing with consistent routing files and planning procedures
  2. Lot-for-lot / Just in Time (JIT) scheduling and fixed order quantity replenishment can be achieved
  3. Native Anaplan list hierarchies and properties can be leveraged to execute offsetting and pegging
  4. Planning revisions can be suggested and highlighted for planners with time fence and business rule considerations
  5. Anaplan’s calculation engine effectively supports what-if analysis and scenario planning based on user inputs
  6. Network-wide supply chain feedback loops are supported by Anaplan’s Connected Planning platform with:
  • Workflows and approvals
  • Planning dashboards and user roles
  • Email notifications

Click here to learn how real customers are using Anaplan for their manufacturing operations to realize increased profits and reduce costs while maintaining customer service levels.