Spreadsheets exist in nearly every organisation. However, the main advantages, simplicity, the ability to share and freely modify the files, also pose the greatest risks.
Spreadsheets are standalone files, practically devoid of system-wide controls. Almost any employee can create, access, manipulate, and distribute spreadsheet data. As a result, almost any employee can make a critical error while manually entering data or configuring formulas.
1. A Waste of Time
When an organisation reaches ten employees, multiple locations, remote employees, or has more than the average amount of tracking needs (i.e. registers), tracking and analysing data from multiple sources will overwhelm the functionality of spreadsheets. Your highly trained staff then have to compensate, spending 80% of their time doing paperwork instead of value-added activities.
The majority of company spreadsheets used to manage data have significant errors. Even if it’s only a few errors, it’s still a big problem when you are basing business decisions off your spreadsheets. Data that is used to improve your organisation needs to be accurate, or it’s useless. Inaccurate data can lead to all sorts of embarrassments, non-compliance and control issues.
3. No Reporting Capabilities
Generating reports from spreadsheets can take hours, or in worst cases...days, and by that time the information needed from the report is sometimes irrelevant and incorrect. Even if you take the time to generate a report from a spreadsheet database, it’s difficult to go beyond basic analytics without being a spreadsheet guru (when the reports you need should be available in minutes).
4. Lack of Security
If you are working in an organisation or a department which manages a lot of sensitive data (names, addresses, sales figures, client details, etc.) a lack of security can be a major issue. Not only that, but paper forms in filing cabinets, or even digital files in one location, are susceptible to fire, floods, and other disasters.
5. Not Universal
There’s no standard way to enter, organise, and analyse data in spreadsheets. Every staff member will do it differently, using various formulas, tabs, sheets, files, etc. It can be a complicated process, even when the highest of spreadsheet standards are met - especially if your manager leaves (with the key to the system in their head). So when someone other than the creator or administrator comes in updating, revising, or simply understanding the data can be an impossible task.
Is there an Alternative?
Fight Fire with Fire
So what's a company like yours to do?
Run from technology and stay hidden behind a mountain of paperwork and spreadsheets?
Not at all. The best solution to the misuse of technology is not NO use, it's the CORRECT use. This is made possible due to the advances in database technology, making 'customised management systems' no longer an expensive dream or IT project nightmare with all the risks.
This type of technology offers:
- Easy to configure data capturing templates
- Effective and flexible workflow and sign-offs
- User rule scheduling options
- Flexible reporting and KPI dashboards
- Ability to assemble contracts, attach documents and merge mail
- Automated email communications
- A clear audit trail
The above features can be shaped to your organisation's unique processes, creating an automated solution which eliminates repetitive manual processes.
The value in this type of solution is not just the automation of repetitive manual processes, but also in increased business revenue from:
- Elimination of human errors
- Near real-time result/delivery for quicker decisions and improved service levels
- Running the process at speeds that would be impossible for a human, e.g. report creation, document assembly, sign-offs, workflows, etc.
- Risk reduction via a greater continuity with reducing 'key person risk'
- Improving equity for private organisations by 'packaging' their key process in robust systems.
This type of flexible database technology means that software features and capabilities can be configured in faster time-frames, at a lower cost. The right software solution will become a powerful tool for any procurement professional to implement, not only policy, but to add your own strategic value and flavour to the procurement department you're responsible for.
Smart and Simple
Since 2010, we've been making business management software more efficient, cost-effective and less complex.
We configure software, without the need for writing code, long lead times and big budgets. Nimblex fits around you and your organisation's way of working, you don't have to fit around our software.
Find out why 70+ clients including Melbourne Airport, The Salvation Army, Yarra Valley Water and WorkSafe Victoria trust Nimblex to digitise their processes and workflows.