Businesses rely on spreadsheets to manage a wide variety of critical tasks every day. The through-line here is clear: Excel and other spreadsheet programs revolutionized the way business was done, allowing for improved digitization, synchronization and communication, resulting in booming productivity.
However, it doesn’t take an economy expert to see productivity is lagging in the US. Using antiquated tools for modern work is a major part of the issue.
Take those spreadsheets, for example. There are all kinds of helpful functions built in to the software, and there are many tasks for which it is the right tool.
But let’s think about a space like inventory management and inventory replenishment, which are areas many businesses use spreadsheets to handle. There simply is no way that Excel can produce optimal purchase orders. There is a complete lack of visibility into the warehouse and there is no clear picture on how to fix a variety of problems that may arise from day to day.
Those pitfalls lead us to ask this: why are strong, smart companies still using this outmoded technique? Well, it turns out there are some good reasons why Excel is so frequently used for planning inventory, including:
- Its ease of use and availability
- The familiarity many people have with Excel
- The ability to create fairly complex calculations
- The lack of functionality in an ERP system
- The difficulty in using or understanding the functionality in an ERP system
A common workflow is to dump data from ERP software into Excel and play with numbers from there. Make no mistake, Excel was in no way designed to be an extended solution for an ERP environment to help you save money or time in replenishment and ordering.
Modern companies require modern tools, and this old workflow comes with a growing number of issues. Stock-outs and overstocking are both major problems that will arise. That’s why it’s time to think outside the spreadsheet. In fact, when it comes to inventory replenishment, it’s time to ditch the spreadsheet altogether.
Over the next few weeks, we will breakdown why this workflow is rife with hidden costs, thanks to data inputs, data purity, complex calculations, and management of the spreadsheet. We’ll also provide ideas on solutions and what you should look for when assessing inventory management enhancements and add-ons for your ERP.
Here at Information Integration Group, we are dedicated to helping you find smart solutions for your business. That’s why we’ve partnered with the inventory experts at NETSTOCK to go in-depth on this important topic. Netstock offers their solution for Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500 and Sage X3 as well as Acumatica 5.3 and soon 6.0. Register now for the Hidden Costs of Inventory, which will include bonus content you find on our blog. Be sure to check back here for more information on the problems your spreadsheets are likely causing.
The full presentation on the Hidden Costs of Inventory Spreadsheets will be delivered by our partner, Russ Graf, who is on NETSTOCK’s team of inventory experts. Be sure to register for this helpful webinar here so that you can learn how to optimize your inventory.