Top 5 Reasons Spreadsheets Can’t Drive Process Change

Paper. Email. Spreadsheets. Compared to the automated, fast-paced environment of manufacturing, these tools are antiquated, cumbersome, and slow. Yet supply chain managers rely on paper, emails, and spreadsheets every day for critical functions including material handling. This often leads to costly production outages due to material flow or other avoidable issues.

If you can’t break the habit of keeping order by spreadsheet, consider our Top 5 reasons why they do more harm than good.

No. 5 – Spreadsheets are time consuming.

Mainly, because they are updated manually and in an ad hoc manner. Updating a spreadsheet requires collecting and organizing information first, then recording it in the spreadsheet. Information is collected through multiple channels including voicemails, handwritten notes, emails, and receipts, which is often added in bulk to the spreadsheet once per day. 

No. 4 – Spreadsheets are error prone.

The first error occurs when the spreadsheet is saved, because within minutes, it will already be out of date. There are also a variety of potential human errors, ranging from minor – a spelling typo, to serious – someone breaking an embedded formula without noticing. The more people working in the spreadsheet multiplies the probability of error.  

No. 3 – Spreadsheets don’t tell the whole story.

Spreadsheets don’t inherently facilitate collaboration. Even when posted to a shared drive where multiple people can contribute to one version, spreadsheets can’t store files, collect comments, log decisions, or give real-time updates. Most importantly, they cannot conduct a root cause analysis, which is imperative for continuous improvement.

No. 2 – Spreadsheets are personal.

Everyone sees data differently, and some are more advanced users of spreadsheets than others. Throw into the mix the team members who love spreadsheets and those who loathe them. It is impossible to streamline something no one approaches the same way.

No. 1 – Spreadsheets were designed for financial and accounting tasks.

Plain and simple. Spreadsheets were not created with hot parts, issue tracking, material availability, or collaborative communication in mind.

Spreadsheet users – it is time to think about the Cloud-based software options available today that automate in a repeatable fashion how you react to and avoid disruptions. With modern Cloud-based automation tools like StrataFlows, all of the information you need to streamline, update, and improve is at the fingertips of your entire team.

StrataFlows offers built-in workflows that track the state of a request and are easily configured to handle different types of processes. Users can automatically accept and direct requests and inquiries to a department or individual, with alerts and reports available as an export, printable PDF, a notification on a mobile app, or, as an email. View up to date Key Performance Measures that enable real-time decision making, effective forecasting and trend analysis. All with quick-response 24/7 support, top-level information security, and nothing to install or upgrade.

Spreadsheets can’t drive the process change that material handling teams need today. Talk to us about how StrataFlows is an affordable, simple solution to achieve operational efficiency.

Supply Chain Management Tools - StrataFlows
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