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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.

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How to achieve end user adoption during an Anaplan project

By Josh Huilar | Senior Business Planning Consultant

What does end user adoption look like?

To me, end user adoption is when a company is using an implemented solution years later; furthermore, the solution has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of the company.

Why is end user adoption important?

Believe it or not, many customers invest in a solution and never use it. End user adoption maximizes your company’s return on investment.

How can your company achieve end user adoption?

I suggest the following actions:

  • Commit
  • Engage
  • Dedicate
  • Train
  • Evolve


Do not implement a half-baked solution. Everyone wants a fully automated solution until they see the sticker price. I do not advise implementing a fully automated solution because business needs will change, but invest in a solution that is seamless enough so that someone new can jump right in.


The biggest risk to end user adoption is an organization not being engaged in the implementation of a solution. Anaplan is a tool, not a cure-all. Your company chose Anaplan because it has pain points it is trying to solve. Maybe it is enabling more efficient processes that will give employees their nights and weekends back. Whatever the reasons, stay engaged by focusing on the end goal.


If you use Excel in your everyday job, expect to use Anaplan just as much. It is easy to get caught up in your day-to-day job tasks. Make it a goal to dedicate 15 minutes a day to something Anaplan related. You will soon discover that 15 minutes can easily turn into an hour. Before you know it, you will be comfortable with Anaplan.


Your initial set of users know Anaplan, but what about the people after them? Create an internal Center Of Excellence (COE) team to maintain, support, and enhance Anaplan. This team will be accountable for creating standard work documentation, training videos, and hosting training workshops.


Companies choose Anaplan because it is flexible. Why? Because as your business evolves, Anaplan can evolve with it. Be aware and comfortable with the fact that Anaplan won’t look the same two years from now.

End user adoption will never be “complete”. It is an iterative process that requires an investment of time and a high level of accountability from you and your organization to ensure its success.

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Retail Grocer improves Sales Forecasting utilizing daily actuals in a weekly view

SAP BPC solution provided accurate forecasting based on Week over Week Sales Trends utilizing Comparable/Non-Comparable and Identical/Non-Identical store analysis.

Client Profile

Location: Austin, TX
Industry: Retail Grocer
Products and Services: Natural and organic products
Stores: 435+
Revenue: $15.4B
Employees: 85,000+
Solution: SAP BPC 7.5 MS
Implementation Partner: Akili

Situation and Challenges

  • The desire to load, perform analysis, and report against Actuals data at a Daily level, and leverage this data to build a Sales Forecast at a Weekly level presented process and technical challenges, especially in an environment in which data volumes and subsequent system performance are an ongoing consideration. imported into the Weekly Sales Forecasting Tool.
  • The various client’s regions each have a unique weekly forecasting process/model, so care had to be taken in the design of a solution that allowed flexibility while minimizing ongoing maintenance.

Project Objective

  • Create a Weekly Sales Forecasting Tool that leverages the current BPC architecture, modeling, and processes while maintaining acceptable performance.
  • Allow for direct forecasting of revenue elements across product and geographical groupings.
  • Modify existing Comparable and Identical store sales analysis process to be performed across the new Weekly Sales model.

Solution Benefits

  • The resulting solution provided accurate forecasting based on Week over Week Sales Trends utilizing Comparable/Non-Comparable and Identical/Non-Identical store analysis.
  • This weekly sales forecast is seamlessly summarized into a Monthly aggregated view for Finance and Planning applications.
  • The solution was optimized in a way that allows for consistent system performance.

Why Akili

  • With strong technical and functional capabilities, including deep experience in the Retail industry, Akili has the tools to implement the ideal BPC planning model with an awareness of the potential pitfalls.
  • Akili also brings expertise in building highly dynamic and data-intensive models across numerous other industries, and was able to bring a richer background to the table in order to implement a model that addressed the client’s potential performance concerns.
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An Introduction to the SAP GUI for BPC Users

An Introduction to the SAP GUI for BPC Users using BPC v10 Netweaver


  • 8 hour hands-on training course
  • Price: $750 per attendee
  • Breakfast and lunch provided

Akili is offering this course to provide an introduction for people who would like to gain experience with:

  • BW Infocubes and Infoobjects
  • Modeling staging cubes in BW
  • Commonly used tcodes
  • Commonly used ABAP programs
  • Transport management in BW for BPC
  • UJBR backup and recovery tool
  • Drill through to BW and ECC
  • Script Logic Debugging in NW


  • Friday, Sept. 23, 2016
  • Classes are regularly offered so check back for additional dates
  • Class will make with a minimum of 3 registrants


  • Akili’s Irving office – 400 Las Colinas Blvd. East, Suite 450 Irving, Texas 75039
  • Free parking

Key Learning Points

  1. Introduction to BPC & BW architecture and terminology both with and without HANA
  2. Introduction to Integration, including Process chains, Package links, Delta extraction
  3. Adding automated Emailing of BPC result logs following data loads
  4. Optimization Best Practices


Contact with questions about this event and to register.

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Commercial Real Estate group uses Anaplan for all core FP&A functions

The refactored Anaplan solution now provides end users with a dynamic planning experience without having to switch between multiple views and dashboards.

Client Profile

Location:Indianapolis, IN
Industry: Commercial Real Estate
Products and Services: Regional Malls, Premium Outlet Centers, The Mills, Community Centers (325 properties)
Revenue: $5.1 Billion (2014)
Employees: 5000+
Solution: Anaplan
Implementation Partner: Akili

Situation and Challenges

  • Existing Anaplan FP&A Model needed substantial revision and enhancement to remain effective based on changing business needs and requirements.
  • Previous planning process was distributed among multiple modules and dashboards making it difficult to navigate for an End User.
  • All enhancements and refactor work needed to be implemented with minimal downtime as the solution was still being used for planning and reporting.
  • Six models each encompassing large amounts of data made the model size relative to available workspace ratio challenging.

Project Objective

  • Rework current Anaplan model to incorporate new business needs and requirements for its budgeting season.

Implementation Highlights

  • Utilized a multi-phased, strategic enhancement roll-out approach, which allowed for minimal interference with daily Anaplan/Business User interaction.
  • Met all pre-scoped user requirements before the projected completion dates which freed up bandwidth to complete needed but un-scoped stretch goals.
  • Strong data integrity and negligible post-implementation corrections was achieved through methodical testing approach and constant communication with all necessary stakeholders.
  • Client had a very capable Anaplan Administrator which led to successful and effective knowledge transfer on the front end to Anaplan developer on the project.

Solution Benefits

  • Refactored Anaplan solution now provides end users with a dynamic planning experience without having to switch between multiple views and dashboards.
  • New smaller module framework decreased size of overall model.
  • New integration features allowed for seamless data transition between models and other platforms.
  • Previously manual offline planning processes were incorporated into the model, which provides for a more streamlined planning and budgeting process.

Why Akili/Anaplan

  • Akili was chosen because of our strong track record with Anaplan implementations at scale.
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Akili offers 8 hour SAP EPM Report Writing Course

Akili’s SAP EPM Report Writing Course

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) can receive 8 continuing professional education credits (CPE) from attending Akili’s SAP EPM Report Writing Course*.


  • Live classroom program – a laptop is needed by each attendee
  • 8 CPE Credits
  • No prerequisite required
  • Class will make with a minimum of 3 registrants
  • Price: $750 per attendee


  • Friday, November 18, 2016
  • Classes are regularly offered so check back for additional dates
  • Free parking
  • Breakfast and lunch provided


  • Akili’s Irving office – 400 Las Colinas Blvd. East, Suite 450 Irving, Texas 75039

Key Learning Points

  1. Learn about the differences between SAP EPM v10 and SAP EPM v7.5
  2. Create an “Actual Data Report” report in BPC using the SAP EPM add-in
  3. Create a local member and update formatting using the report built in a Lab environment
  4. Use EPM functions & features for Excel to customize your reports/input forms making them more user friendly and functional

Contact with questions about this event and to register.

*Akili Inc. is registered with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy as a CPE sponsor. This registration does not constitute an endorsement by the Board as to the quality of our CPE program.

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International connected technology company improves their financial system and close process

Akili identified a list of 38 improvement opportunities, in addition to a corresponding time savings of 15 eight hour work days.

Client Profile

Location: South Jordan, UT
Industry: Technology
Products and Services: Connected Technology
Solution: Business Process Management
Technology Partner: Akili

Situation and Challenges

  • While the client is completing their monthly financial close in 5 days, the financial team must work an excessive number of hours to accomplish that goal.
  • This persistent work stress is causing a high and undesirable rate of staff turnover.
  • The client is looking for process changes to drive:
    • Efficiency and better utilization of SAP as compared to offline spreadsheet activities.
    • Best practices to leverage more activities during the month and provide a more focused month-end close.
    • Quick wins and short to mid-term solutions without having to re-architect the entire financial system.
    • Better reporting/analysis with SAP ERP, BW and/or BPC.

Project Objective

  • Document current state processes, related systems, and roles around Financial Close.
  • Identify the root cause of performance constraints/issues/gaps; identify opportunities for improvement and concurrently implement Quick Wins.
  • Develop a Roadmap to implement changes.

Project Highlights

  • Process mapping workshops were conducted with Accounting employees. The level of participation by key Accounting leadership and Accounting SMEs was excellent.
  • Quickly identified crucial pain points and corresponding SAP, BPC, Process “quick fixes” to lagging performance. Communication gaps between key entities became apparent.
  • Identified and documented numerous manually intensive process steps, including the use of a multitude of spreadsheets, causing performance/cycle time pressures and delays around the close process.

Assessment Benefits

  • Created 39 As-Is Process Models in MS Visio (2013) in 7 business days which provided a framework to identify inefficiencies, gaps, and opportunities; and to improve internal communications.
  • Identified 38 improvement opportunities with a corresponding time savings of 15 eight-hour work days per month.
  • Created a prioritized Opportunity Roadmap of change initiatives to address the efficiency gaps.
  • The team is actively implementing these changes to drive sustained improvement in the Financial Close process.

Why Akili

  • History of Program Management and technology implementation experience with fortune 500 enterprise strategy.
  • Proven ability to deliver initiatives.
  • Strong Business Process Design and Organizational Change Management Skills.
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Explore the Future of Finance

Finance professionals demand faster, easier access to forward-looking predictive analytics

Read this CFO Research report to discover how finance professionals are benefitting from their company’s drive for constant innovation.

As a financial professional, you know the new digital economy means new opportunities: new products, new markets, and new ways to serve customers. But first, you’ll need new ways to innovate. Having faster and easier access to predictive analytics can make all the difference. We’re pleased to provide both the information you need to keep pace in today’s fast-moving and changing world, as well as the means to take action.




Want to learn more? Contact us at 972.210.3214 or

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Gold mining company works with Akili to reduce their monthly close time frame

Gold mining company Consolidates for IFRS reporting on SAP BPC 10 Microsoft, Integrates with SAP Business One for Microsoft

Location: Denver, CO; Ankara, Turkey; Perth, Australia
Industry: Gold mining
Products and Services: Gold
Revenue: $720M
Employees: 1000+
Solution: SAP BPC
Implementation Partner: Akili

Situation and Challenges

  • Initial BPC implementation had 3 source systems and 7 chart-of-accounts that client desired to consolidate.
  • Client’s users are located worldwide in the United States, Turkey, and Australia.

Project Objective

  • Shortening their financial close (consolidations) time frame.
  • Re-distributing the work load for data collection to reduce the burden on the centralized financial team.
  • Improve financial accuracy for complex accounting application (i.e., foreign currency, non-controlling and proportionate method subsidiaries).

Solution Benefits

  • Client’s centralized finance team focused their time on evaluation and consolidation activities rather than data aggregation.
  • Business units could measure their performance based on a standardized set of metrics.
  • The ability to create “what-if” scenarios relating to potential acquisitions provides guidance in client’s M&A strategy.

Why Akili

  • Client’s team members had previous implementation experience with Akili’s team.
  • Client was looking to streamline the close and reporting process at an affordable price.
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Live S/4 HANA Gaming Experience for Finance Professionals



Have you ever imagined life without the day to day complexities you face in your organization? Ever wonder what it would be like to get the data you need to run your business in real time?

At SAP, we call that Live Business!

You’re invited to a unique session with SAP and Akili, where you will first learn how the latest tools in the SAP BusinessObjects Analytics portfolio enable comprehensive planning and reporting before participating in a fun game simulation where you and your team will compete to run a mock business using SAP S/4HANA.

During this gaming session, you will:

Experience what’s possible for your finance organization
Experience how you can seamlessly run a business using SAP S/4HANA
Discover the impact of real-time insights on your business
See many new SAP S/4HANA digitized end-to-end processes in action
Play multiple rounds of the game and have fun competing against others
Space is limited. Learn more about the game and RSVP here.

Please note that each company can register up to four players for their team. Forward this invitation to anyone within your organization who would like to join us.

We look forward to helping you experience what was once considered impossible!