It’s no secret that Excel is the tool of choice for most supply and demand management systems. With its easy-to-navigate tabular interface and advanced filtering system, data can be easily selected and collated to make better supply chain and inventory management decisions. Excel is relatively unchallenged in terms of competitor functionality and is a standardised global tool that transcends the nuances of regional markets.
It’s used by businesses all over the world to evaluate data, make complex calculations, track inventory, plan demand, schedule logistics and much more.
So far, so good.
The problem arises with one key issue that strikes fear into the heart of organisations everywhere.
IP that walks away with staff
Continuity of information is one of the biggest issues facing Excel-dependent businesses today. After all, one person’s spreadsheet wizardry is another’s overly-complex nightmare. Personal preferences in set-up, formula application and formatting can lead to a total breakdown in information transfer that poses a real risk to supply chain management process continuity and efficiency.
Another issue is that Excel is no longer well-equipped to deal with the complex, data-related challenges faced by modern businesses. Leaning heavily on spreadsheets for mission critical planning in the age of Big Data and AI limits how well a business can sharpen its competitive edge. By implementing more sophisticated, multi-faceted solutions, organisations can drive customer satisfaction, increase productivity and ensure their data is always accurate, relevant and up-to-date.
Integrating software and people
The beauty of today’s digital demand forecasting tools is that information from Excel can be easily ingested and converted into a more accessible format. This not only protects the integrity of the information, but facilitates the ability to marry it with wider data sets, enhancing and improving demand forecasting capability in the process.
Software that can draw-down, store and learn from a wide range of data sources is the ultimate consensus planning tool. When technology can analyse this data and present clear and actionable business insights that are optimised in real time, teams can unite behind a common goal to streamline stock levels, reduce waste and drive profitability.
To buy-back or not to buy-back, that is the question We’ve said it before, but forecasts are almost always wrong. What this means for many businesses is excess stock taking up valuable shelf or floor space. Whatever methods a business chooses to move this stock, the priority should always be to move it. Buy-back is […]
Not all Supply Chain Management tools are created equal These days, if you’re not looking to enhance your business processes with Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), you’re not doing your job. While rapid digitisation of almost every business operation has brought various SCM tools to market, not all of them are […]
Why Optimised SCM matters to literally everyone When it comes to effective Supply Chain Management (SCM), few businesses fully recognise the true competitive edge it can deliver. In the past, the process of micro-managing the flow of goods that turn raw materials into customer-ready products meant slow logistics and increased costs. But today, the reality […]
Is something missing from your SCM model? Not all retail businesses have the same type of supply chain. The path to market for a pair of shoes, for example, differs from that of a chocolate bar. So when it comes to ensuring your operations are running as efficiently as possible to meet the true demand […]
Bringing AI and ML to SCM, CRM and ERP Many businesses and platforms are beginning to understand the value of integrated business operations across SCM, CRM and ERP. Some big technology providers are even crawling towards making it happen. But all of them are missing a trick. The real gold lies in being able to […]
Big Data. Ignore at your own risk. In the beginning there was the Stone Age, then the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Skip a few millennia and here we are, in the Age of Big Data. As a business tool, the enormous amount of information generated by your business and beyond - along with the […]
Knowledge is power Supply chains - from the very first step of a product or service development, through sourcing, manufacture, logistics and sale - are a treasure trove of invaluable information. Centralising your processes via a robust, optimised SCM (Supply Chain Management) system is step one in transforming this data into profitability. The next step […]
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