Excel Quandary: Has your company outgrown using Excel for inventory management?

While much of our business is based on enhancing or replacing ERP features, we do work with a sizeable number of customers who use Microsoft Excel to manage their inventory. In this case, we are either taking them to a new level in planning or helping bridge a gap while they decide if they want to go full ERP.

Excel is an incredible tool, and you can create unbelievably powerful spreadsheets using it that can do amazing things inside your business. See the “Breathing City” map by Darkhorse Analytics and these detailed financial modeling spreadsheets used by VCs and finance departments around the globe. 

However, no business tool is perfect. There are downsides to the world of spreadsheets when it comes to using them for demand planning.

Allow me to explain.

What happens when the creator of the sheet that is being used for demand planning leaves the company? Spreadsheets can often be very complicated. What we see frequently is that the person who takes over the position doesn’t understand the spreadsheet quite like the creator of it, which causes costly oversights in demand planning and leads to costly inventory problems.

Stockouts cause your company to lose sales revenue because you don’t have enough of a product your customers need. Customers will often go elsewhere to a backup vendor rather than wait for you to get the item in stock. Overstocks can also be detrimental to a business due to having to hold on to a product for longer than forecasted, and in many cases, having to sell it at a highly discounted rate due to market saturation.

Here’s something to consider on the IT side of your business. While you can certainly limit access, or back up the vital spreadsheets regularly, in the world of standalone files, errors do happen. If the file contains an undetected error, it can throw off the values across the entire spreadsheet.

These scenarios and stressors do not need to exist! 

The PlanningEdge 2.0 platform removes the IT burden of dealing with Excel spreadsheets. We have top-shelf access control and system auditing, and we are a cloud platform.

Additionally, forecast calculation is automated, so you do not need to tell our software to run it. You start with it in hand! You will be amazed how much time this can save.

You come into work in the morning with the peace of mind of already knowing the orders that need to be placed and all of the customer exceptions that need to be addressed.

Unlike a spreadsheet, PlanningEdge gets the inventory data directly from the source (ERP) daily, making your inventory management system far less prone to error.

When relying on a spreadsheet, tasks like order replenishment can take hours of labor-intensive work. With PlanningEdge, order replenishment is handled with a few simple clicks.

Say goodbye to the error-prone manual manipulations you’ve been using to forecast demand and hello to a smarter way of doing business with PlanningEdge.

Posted on: May 22, 2018