When is it time to permanently replace your Excel spreadsheets?

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, CFOs at numerous companies are phasing out Excel because it “hasn’t kept up with the needs of today’s finance departments.” I don’t want people in financial planning to spend their time importing, exporting, and manipulating data, I want them to focus on what the data tells us,” Mark Garrett, Chief Financial Officer of Adobe Inc., tells WSJ reporter Tatyana Shumsky. This mood is also prevalent among supply chain managers.  

Spreadsheets dominate supply chains

Spreadsheets unfortunately continue to dominate planning in the supply chain, as shown by recent research conducted by Supply Chain Insights. It turned out that 65% of the companies surveyed are still using spreadsheets to support production planning processes, because they are familiar, inexpensive and convenient. If it is undeniable that spreadsheets have these advantages, it is also true that they can put serious setbacks on organizations, in fact: 

  • They are practically never integrated with other systems;
  • They do not update automatically;
  • They are not shared between different users;
  • The logic behind them is often clear only to those who create them and is often lost when they leave, making collaboration even more difficult;
  • Analyses are often slow as it is only possible to work with a certain amount of data;
  • Checking whether the version is current is often difficult.

What plant and production managers say

Many companies have relied on our solutions to eliminate spreadsheets for managing production processes in exchange for more robust and collaborative solutions. Stefano Rossato – GeneralManager of Came Spa, for example, used to wait a long time before receiving often partial and insufficient answers and had identified the main cause in the Excel spreadsheets: 

“For planning we mainly used a MES sequencer with the support of numerous Excel files. The difficulties we encountered on a daily basis were mainly related to the effort in terms of time needed for the programming and scheduling of production that did not allow us to dedicate ourselves to other activities with higher value. Despite our constant focus on data, we were unable to achieve satisfactory results in terms of set-up optimisation and service level. Deciding to improve the process, we relied on Cybertec with its APS CyberPlan solution. To date, we manage a qualitatively and quantitatively better production planning and scheduling. Already after the first months, the need to use Excel files to support planning has been eliminated, simultaneously reducing set-up times and increasing the service level by about 5 percentage points.”

Stefano Rossato is not the only one who has fought against the inefficiencies caused by Excel spreadsheets. All companies are at some point in their growth to feel restrained if not adequately supported by information systems.

Companies in all production sectors choose Cybertec solutions every day to make their supply chain efficient. Companies such as: ABB, General Electric, Cefla, Silca, Delpharm and many more.


Are you struggling with spreadsheets?

Are you struggling with spreadsheets? Do these challenges seem familiar? We want to make it easier for organizations to unleash knowledge with technology that is robust and powerful, yet easy to use and easy to integrate. That’s why we’ve been offering CyberPlan, an APS suite that helps democratize supply chain analytics, for nearly 30 years. We’d love to tell you more and see how it can work for your business. Contact us for more information and to see for yourself how CyberPlan can help you accelerate your company’s production processes.




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