In almost every department of a company, spreadsheets are widely used for creating and managing company wide business transactions and processes and related information such as enquiries, quotations, sales orders, sales invoices, projects, purchasing, stock, employee time-sheets, analysis, performance reports, etc.
Spreadsheets are easy to implement, create and relatively useful for recording data, specific calculations, mathematical formulas, budget tables, etc. They are ideal and cost-effective applications to use during the early stages of a company’s growth.
However, as a company grows, so do the number of spreadsheets and recorded file sizes and the number of touches required to keep them up to date.
When business transactions are created by numerous departments and employees on respective spreadsheets, files and records for each unit and updates are recorded independently – not part of a connected process flow from enquiry to invoice.
From a technical and data management perspective, these spreadsheets do not have their own database, so, employees try to manage all business processes and related information within the company in a disjointed way – almost each spreadsheet becomes a standalone database in its own right – adding to the complexity and variety.
Over time, these spreadsheets continue to spread across the departments of the company, become more laborious to track and update. Ultimately, they can turn into a burden for employees and managers instead of an integrated software solution for the business.
As these departments and ‘enquiry to invoice’ business processes are not integrated, manual interventions and administration take place between departments and processes, unnecessary duplication occurs and high levels of paperwork are produced. These may also cause errors, stops, slowdowns and consequently have an impact on time, resources and productivity in the company.
The solution is to select and implement a suitable integrated software application according to business needs and requriements. For this undertaking, companies may naturally start from their back-office requirements and therefore acquire and implement a standard integrated software in the accounting and purchasing departments.
While a standalone accounting software can and will manage back-office processes effectively, coordinate related transactions accordingly and streamline workflow of back-office departments; it may cause additional workload and problems for other departments of the company, and is also insufficient on its own for managing the rest of the business processes of the company such as customer relations, projects, customer service, field service, shop floor, etc.
An integrated software such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management), MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, will have features, functionality and facilities that are incomparable with a standalone accounting software used in the back-office departments.
Such software applications will streamline business processes not just in the back-office functions but also other functions from sales to delivery – managing “enquiry to invoice” processes within the company – providing process efficiency, productivity and visibility across the board!
Perhaps, it is time for you to listen to the “SOS – Struggling On Spreadsheets” call coming from your departments and company. The less problems arise and the faster process problems are resolved, the quicker number of spreadsheets and duplication is reduced; the greater business wide efficiency and healthy working environment in your company!
If you want to discover how ZEST I/O can help your business and respond to the SOS call in your company, please get in touch with our team. We will be delighted to discuss the CRM, MRP, ERP or the modular software solution that you need in order to replace the spreadsheets that you do not need in your business!