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ERP_April03_AHow many spreadsheets do your employees depend on to keep the business running smoothly? Five, twenty, sixty? If you were to poll your employees you would probably be surprised how big the actual number is.

That poll could also provide a wake-up call when you saw the type of information that employees are tracking in an unsecured document. For example, some of the most common uses of spreadsheets include:

  • Payroll and employee information,
  • Customer contact data,
  • Inventory, including warehouse locations,
  • Delivery and service schedules,
  • Project timelines and due dates,

The list goes on and on. For many companies, many of the most important functions of the business are tracked in Excel.

Risky business

People use spreadsheets because they are comfortable with them. Spreadsheets are easy to learn and becoming more powerful with every version release. But overuse poses a significant risk to the business, including:

  • Incorrect formulas that could lead managers to make poor decisions,
  • Version mix-ups are common, especially when more than one person works on a file,
  • Unsecured information that lands in the wrong person’s email or is on a disgruntled employee’s hard drive,
  • Lack of backups for documents on local hard drives – especially in the face of a natural disaster.

Unsecured information puts your business at risk and dispersed information wastes employees time.

Centralize and share

To build a foundation for your company to grow, you need to centralize and share the information your employees need to complete their tasks efficiently.  The most effective method for building that foundation of centralized data is with an ERP system.

An ERP system will allow you to provide role-based access to information – securely opening up the data that people need to do their jobs no matter where they are. Employees will spend more time doing their job and less time figuring out whether they have the latest spreadsheet.

Let’s talk about your company’s spreadsheets and find a better way to do business.

Published on 5th April 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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