About the Customer
Circle K is a global retail brand with more than 12,000 convenience store locations across the world. Circle K is the largest independent convenience store operator in the United States and is represented in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Scope and Challenges
With a network of more than 12,000 stations across the world, Circle K was managing demand and supply forecasting with a conglomeration of Excel and ERP solutions, which often led to stress and disagreements across teams. While each system worked well on its own, the systems didn’t play well together, creating misalignment and inaccuracy. Supply chain optimization was limited to a short-term focus, and the process of information gathering wasn’t structured. That short-term focus also meant long-term planning wasn’t fully aligned to balance demand and supply. This misalignment led to different versions of expected demand, causing an inefficient use of resources. A lack of communication also led to harried responses when key data didn’t get passed to the right people
Additionally, Circle K transformed their ERP Legacy Applications by selecting Microsoft Dynamics AX. Furthermore, Circle K disrupt their Analytics and BI department by choosing Microsoft Power BI.
Outcome and Implications
Circle K is finding an array of both hard and soft benefits from using the Anaplan platform for supply and demand planning. The key benefit is an accurate and dynamic 18-month rolling forecast of current and future stock levels for its European locations. Magnus Tagtstrom, Senior Director of Supply Chain Optimization says, “One of the clear benefits that I see is the forecast accuracy—this has helped us have the right stock level throughout all our sites. That’s money that we have as a buffer in the supply chain now.” With an accurate view of capacity needs, Circle K can save money by reducing inventory and using resources more efficiently. Tagtstrom explains: “We have full visibility of our current inventory levels, as well as forward-looking inventory levels. With Anaplan, we know how much we will sell and when we can distribute it to sites. This has resulted in driving down both distribution costs and working capital.” Another benefit is increased sales because, with an accurate forecast, Circle K has fewer stock-outs. As Tagtstrom explains, “If there is ever a time when our store has no fuel, the customer might not shop with us the next time, so it’s very important to us to anticipate demand.” Circle K also realizes intangible benefits—the Anaplan platform provides confidence that everyone is working from the same plan and set of data. A single plan has led to less stress and more collaboration. If surprises come along, Tagtstrom’s team has the confidence to react quickly to make better-informed business decisions. What’s next On the roadmap, Circle K is planning a full rollout to all European business units, as well as using the Anaplan platform for supply chain planning in the United States. Other areas of targeted growth with Anaplan include the incorporation of weather data into the supply chain forecast, using machine learning to improve the forecast, and building external partner and supplier views into the model.
"One of my objectives has been to try to connect the dots in the supply chain. I think we had good solutions, but people were doing forecasting in silos, so I wanted to connect that planning process end to end.” Said - Magnus Tagtstrom, Senior Director of Supply Chain Optimization
“With the Anaplan platform, our accurate forecast drives the right stock level to all of our sites. We know how much we will sell from our demand plans and when we can distribute it to stations. This helps drive down distribution costs and working capital. Anaplan has taken this low-tech industry into something much more high-tech— we’re ready and excited for the future.” Said – Magnus Tagtstrom, Senior Director of Supply Chain Optimization, Circle K
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