Is it time to trade in your spreadsheets for web-based enterprise solution?
Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing.
Yesterday we began a two part series on the reasons your procurement staff should be looking at moving away from spreadsheets and toward an enterprise online solution toolset. We looked at the accessibility and security advantages of using an enterprise system and today we will look at a few additional reasons to ditch the spreadsheets and embrace an online set of tools.
Industry friendly – Spreadsheets are great tools for smaller projects where the type of analysis and data storage is known and the eventual conclusions are determined for the most part. There are tools and templates that support certain industries; however the spreadsheet tool itself was not designed with specialized functionality the way online enterprise solutions can be. In the enterprise model the tool can be configured to be used and to report on data that is specific to the industry using it, stripping away the confusing functionality that is not needed nor be used.
Scalable – There are two types of limitations a spreadsheet has. The number of tabs (tables) and the number of rows (records) within that tab. For most people, the limits of their spreadsheet application will never be reached as they work on individual projects that will never exceed those limits. Depending on the dataset you are reviewing, exceeding those limits is an easy thing to do especially when looking at retail, shipping or manufacturing data that can contain millions of records and complex datasets. No matter how big the data being reviewed becomes, an enterprise solution will be able to grow with the company and accommodate the storage and analysis of billions of rows of data.
Version Control – Another big problem many organizations have with using spreadsheet tools is that users have numerous spreadsheet program versions and sometimes the documents of one version cannot be opened by another. By moving to an enterprise solution that is accessible through a web browser, the version can be controlled so that everyone is using the same version of the tool at all times. This reduces training time, technical support resolution time and ensures that data created by one user will be accessible by another.
Integration with other tools – Companies will often find that they have data in numerous formats of various types all over the organization. This data is useful and could prove even more useful if other applications have access to the trends that it reports. Spreadsheets are not easily integrated and in some cases can never fully integrate either with each other, or with external business tools the way an enterprise solution could do. Having one solution that can be the gatekeeper of this data can allow the tools the organization has already invested in to operate on an even higher level.
It is difficult sometimes to let go of tools that have been used for a long time and that users are comfortable with, however as the industry continues to advance and technology with it, looking for more effective solutions is an important step for companies to take. For more information on how we can assist with helping you find a replacement for your spreadsheets or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.
We look forward to your comments.