Operational Capacity Planning with Anaplan

June 2023
Written by
Chris Gully
minute read
Pen in hand

In today’s fast-paced world with its high number of challenges and levels of uncertainty, operational capacity planning has emerged as a critical component for organizations across industries. By effectively assessing and managing their operational capacity, organisations can streamline processes, optimize resource allocation, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive long-term growth. In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of operational capacity planning and explore how Anaplan has been used to significantly support the success of organisations.

What is the value of Operational Capacity Planning?

Meeting demand

One of the primary objectives of operational capacity planning is to align the available resources with customer demand. By accurately forecasting demand patterns and understanding trends, businesses can determine the optimal capacity needed to fulfill customer requirements. Effective capacity planning enables organizations to meet customer expectations promptly, reducing lead times, and enhancing overall customer satisfaction. By avoiding capacity shortages or excesses, businesses can optimize resource utilization and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Anaplan can be used to forecast demand pulling in historical demand and a range of internal and external factors in order to generate a forward-looking forecast.  At an Ambulance trust, Fidenda used Anaplan Machine Learning and AI functionality (PlanIQ) to forecast demand of vehicle skill mixes across the trust based on historical demand realising a step change in forecasting accuracy, granularity and speed.

Translating demand to supply

In order to complete your operational capacity planning, demand for goods and services needed to converted to required supply. This requires demand to be translated by modelling the elements of supply that go in to providing the demand at the required granularity. This is likely to involve a variety of interdependent variables as well as intradepartmental dependencies and capacity constraints.

Anaplan facilitates collaboration among cross-functional teams involved in capacity planning, bringing in all elements required to facilitate the demand. Anaplan provides a data hub for a single source of truth, capable of structured and unstructured data eliminating the need for multiple spreadsheets and manual data consolidation.  Anaplan enables organizations to integrate demand forecasting models with supply chain data, ensuring that capacity plans are aligned.

At one policing organisation we created an Anaplan solution that was able to translate forecasted crime patterns into the number of required officers in different locations at different times, factoring in experience and capabilities and different interdepartmental dependencies. This was able to provide a greatly more accurate relationship between crime and the ability of officers to prevent crime.

Optimising resourcing allocation and costs

Operational capacity planning plays a vital role in optimising costs for businesses. By accurately assessing the required capacity, organisations can avoid unnecessary expenses associated with excess resources or underutilisation of assets. Overcapacity can lead to increased fixed costs, such as maintenance, utilities, and storage, without generating proportional revenue. On the other hand, under capacity can result in missed opportunities, rush orders, and higher production costs. By optimising operational capacity, businesses can strike the right balance, minimising costs while maximising productivity and profitability.

Anaplan's powerful modeling capabilities allow organisations to create different scenarios and perform what-if analyses. By adjusting variables such as demand projections, production capacities, and workforce allocation, organisations can assess the impact of different scenarios on their operational capacity.

At an ambulance trust, Fidenda utilised Anaplan’s statistical capability to optimise the long-term vehicle requirement forecasting as well as the maintenance and the MRO cleaning program. Additionally, the plan was able to drive the long-term recruitment and workforce plan, optimising the process and giving greater visibility of training and recruitment requirements.

Making strategic decisions

Operational capacity planning provides valuable insights for strategic decision-making within an organisation. By analysing capacity utilisation, businesses can identify opportunities for expansion, process improvement, or investment in new technologies. It enables organisations to make informed decisions regarding facility expansions, capital investments, and workforce planning. Furthermore, capacity planning aids in evaluating the feasibility of new product launches or entering new markets, ensuring that businesses can align their growth strategies with their operational capabilities.

Anaplan has strong capability to delivery scenario planning to support strategic decision making, optimising the forward-looking business and mitigating risk.  These scenarios can be worked in order to achieve the most optimal result, in real time. At an ambulance trust, Fidenda created a scenario factory to “what if?” scenario plan against the interdependencies of pure demand, demand assumptions and capacity constraints within the trust that leveraged both in-house data science and Anaplan forecasting capabilities.

How we can help you achieve effective and trustworthy Operational Capacity Planning

At Fidenda, we can utilise the power of Anaplan and our experience to help you optimise your operational capacity planning. To begin the journey of reaching optimal operational capacity planning, get in touch – we can walk you through how you can achieve this through:

1. Reviewing your current data quality and strategy
2. Showing the art of the possible through tangible demos
3. Create a plan to ensure success and transform your organisation

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