Excel is probably one of the most widely used software programs among students, businesses, and manufacturers. It is incredibly versatile and relatively simple to use. Despite its simplicity, it can even compute and perform complex mathematical operations. It is a useful tool and an accessible way to analyze and communicate data.
Despite its usefulness, you may soon find yourself in a love / hate relationship with Excel.
As business develops, so does the amount of data. If your business operations are being managed from spreadsheets there is increased room for error as data is re-keyed and / or copied and pasted into new spreadsheets or a master business system. Either way, the amount of manpower that it takes to push data from one repository to another can eat at your resources as well as create room for error.
Another pitfall of running your business from multiple spreadsheets is as the business grows; data may get split into new files and separated. It is hard to analyze the whole picture if the data you need is divided into multiple spreadsheets.
Spreadsheets are also easily manipulated, duplicated, and changed. Have you ever had a spreadsheet that held data from different departments? While this is necessary to analyze all the data and make informed decisions, the spreadsheet may have multiple authors. Before long, the question of which version of the spreadsheet is the most up to date and accurate becomes a big deal. As a spreadsheet gets emailed and shared among departments and managers, it is really easy to lose track and duplicate your efforts.
Another pitfall of the Excel based business is employee attrition. As employees retire, move to other departments, or simply move on, they may be maintaining separate spreadsheets that they used in their job function that was never shared with others. It is the ghost spreadsheet. The one that you know had to be out there, but you aren’t really sure where it went when the employee vacated the position. This could mean having to recreate and spend valuable time tracking down data and re-analyzing it. Employee attrition is also an easy way for data to just plain “get lost in the shuffle”, because regular data back-ups may get missed. Worse yet, the file may become corrupted or deleted.
This is where an ERP system comes in and saves the day. Data is maintained in one central place, and can be analyzed within the ERP software. So, while it may be exported to spreadsheets for other uses, the integrity of the data is not compromised and can easily be obtained again and again. ERP is software that can handle operations as well as analytics, and business development.
To learn more about ERP visit HERE.