Even though spreadsheets still dominate planning in Supply Chain, Finance chiefs are moving away from them, because they feel they limit collaboration, transparency and visibility; spreadsheets are being replaced for more robust and collaboration-friendly solutions but, could them really disappear from modern usage within the next decade? Even though there are still many companies using spreadsheets to support their processes, Supply Chain executives think the Excel spreadsheet hasn’t kept up with the demands of contemporary corporate Finance units, reason why they are looking at new database, cloud-based technologies, advanced web technologies, online spreadsheets, Internet applications tools.
Main problems with Excel spreadsheets:
• Don’t allow multiple users to work together in one document, obstructing collaboration.
• Teams spend their time importing and exporting and manipulating data.
• Spreadsheets are practically never integrated with other systems.
• They are not updated automatically.
• They are only clear to those who created them and often dies when somebody leaves.
• Analyses are often slow given that you can only work with a certain amount of data.
• Tend to be rather manual and disconnected.
• It’s difficult to figure out the true state of business.
• Generic formatting, making it difficult to record and interpret complex information.
• Unavailability in the cloud for multiple people to edit at once.
• Have a limited capacity, a problem for people using very large datasets, and may result in data loss.
• Is hardly fool proof and highly susceptible to human error.
• Lack of auditing and revision control.
• Inability to track, isolate and test changes made to a document.
• Easy for someone to commit fraud.
• Teams can easily introduce accidentally errors when entering information in the wrong place.
• Repetition of near identical formulas can have detrimental consequences.
Trying to manage the complete volume of spreadsheets that may exist in an organisation without the proper security, audit trails, introduction of errors, and other items listed above, could be shocking.
Digital Data comes to replace those spreadsheets, but what are the benefits?
• Allows multiple users to collaborate in a single document, and
• Uses automated-central tools that find trends and suggest visualisation.
• Centralising this data and providing wide access is one of the biggest benefits of the system
• You get a good quality data regularly flowing in to build up a story.
• Provides then a basis from which you can start modeling and optimising your data.
• Allows to quantify and plan changes and respond more quickly to challenges unfolded.
• Contributes to improve forecast accuracy.
• Make team to collaborate in the cloud simultaneously.
• The finance team moved the Excel-based budgets into cloud applications.
• All processes take minutes, on real time.
• CFO information flow more quickly because the time of verification is shorter.
• Offers specific formatting, which makes your work significantly easier.
Predictions for the years to come:
We will continue using Excel spreadsheets because of their speed and functionality. It’s quite possible that Excel spreadsheet could continue to live a long life, only if Microsoft starts developing a new competing product that resolves the needs of the marketplace. For now, there are too many remarkable, cloud-based software systems and digital tools to solve Supply Chain executives’ needs.