Are Spreadsheets the Wrong Choice?

Spreadsheets are used in every organisation.
However, the main advantages of spreadsheets - their simplicity and easy sharing and modifying abilities - 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, employees can make a critical error while manually entering data or configuring formulas.

Below are five reasons spreadsheets are the wrong
choice for business process management.

1. A Waste of Time

When an organisation grows, has multiple locations, has remote workers, or has many tracking needs, then monitoring and analysing data from multiple sources will overwhelm a spreadsheet's functionality.

Your highly trained staff then have to compensate by spending a disproportional amount of time doing paperwork and time-consuming admin tasks instead of value-added activities.

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2. Inaccuracy

Company spreadsheets used to manage data often have significant errors. Even if there are only a few errors, it is still a big problem when you are basing business decisions on this data.

Data that is used to improve your organisation needs to be accurate, otherwise it is useless. Inaccurate data can lead to all sorts of embarrassments, non-compliance and control issues.

3. Poor Reporting Capabilities

Generating reports from spreadsheets can take hours, or in the 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 is difficult to go beyond basic analytics without being a spreadsheet guru, especially when the reports you need should be available in minutes.

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4. Lack of Security

If you are working in an organisation or a department that manages sensitive data (names, addresses, sales figures, client details, etc.) a lack of information security can be a major issue. Besides which, paper forms in filing cabinets, or even digital files in one location, are susceptible to fire, floods, and other physical disasters.

5. No Universal Standard

There is 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.

This is especially problematic if an employee leaves with the key to the system in their head. So when someone other than the creator comes in, then working with or simply understanding the data can be an impossible task.

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Is there an Alternative?

Fight Fire with Fire 

So what is a company 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 is 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 each 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 processes, but also in increased business revenue from: 

    • The elimination of human errors
    • The 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 greater continuity by reducing 'key person risk'
    • Improving equity for private organisations by 'packaging' their key processes 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. It adds strategic value and a unique flavour to the procurement department.

 

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Smart and Simple

Since 2010, we have 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, so you do not 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.