Takeaway.com improves data-driven forecasting with Anaplan

31 December 2019 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read

Food platform company Takeaway.com – the brand behind among others Lieferando.de in Germany and Thuisbezorgd.nl in the Netherlands – is growing fast. Having implemented Anaplan, the company is better able to create accurate and data-driven forecasting, supporting its buy-and-build growth and ambitions. 

Takeaway.com is a leading online food delivery marketplace in continental Europe and Israel, connecting consumers and restaurants through its platform and app. The company was founded in 2000 in the Netherlands, and now operates in 14 countries. 

In a bid to improve its operations, the company implemented Anaplan as its new planning & forecasting tool. “We wanted a multidimensional tool to improve the control and power of our forecasting calculations,” said Will Sanderson, Financial Planning and Analysis Manager at Takeaway.com. 

Commenting on the decision to install Anaplan, Sanderson said, “Anaplan brings a lot of functionality and benefits. For example, we can build one dashboard which can be used by 15 different people, who all see a different dashboard with different dimensions. And when we update the P&L, we can instantly see the impact on the forecast.” Further, “Anaplan is very flexible for users.Takeaway.com improves data-driven forecasting with AnaplanFollowing an implementation programme supported by consultants from Dutch financial consultancy Finext, Anaplan has been operational for a while now, leaving Sanderson enthusiastic about its impact: “It saves us a lot of time, which we now can use for other things like analytics. Similarly, while the month-end model would previously take us three days, it now goes automatically.” 

This has enabled the finance team of Takeaway.com to spend more time on value-adding tasks. “We used to load actuals for three days, we now analyse for three days. This makes the forecasts more accurate and the business insights deeper,” said Julia Nicolae, who works in Sanderson’s team. 

Another time-saver is the fact that users can access their own reports. “The current forecast is always available to everyone. They’re automatically generated into a dashboard, which everyone can look at themselves. This removes the cycle of collecting the data, putting all the data in, and then getting a forecast.” 

Tom Pereira, Finance Director at Takeaway.com, highlighted the value of having more accurate forecasts in place. “It allows us to spend less time calculating and checking and more time thinking about the underlying logic of the model. This allows us to test scenarios and ultimately build smarter forecasts. Also, a machine can test forecasting methods much faster than a person.” 

Supersized growth

Following the acquisition of the German brands of Delivery Hero, Takeaway.com needed to quickly ramp up its financial reporting needs to cater for supersized growth. Pereira: “The business integration happened very fast; within 2-3 weeks, we had around 3 million additional orders going through our systems. At that point, management expected combined financial actual and forecast data. Anaplan allowed us to develop a combined forecast very quickly.”

Anaplan’s forecasts help with the integration process as well. “Every market is different, so it’s important to have comparable figures quickly. We can rely on the tool, as we know that it’s going to produce reliable information. It’s all about understanding the context: if you need to focus on the technique and on comparing differences, you can’t focus on the reason behind the figures,” concluded Pereira.