“We need a better system!”
“There are so many Excel sheets, I can’t keep up with them all!”
“Can you share that Google Sheet with me again? I can’t find it anywhere!”
“Are we sure this data is accurate?”
“There has got to be a better way to manage our business.”
Have you found yourself thinking one of these things or something like it? Maybe you’ve even said these things out loud to your team. We truly feel your pain!
Maybe you’ve thought that there really isn’t another option and your entire business has to run on Excel or Google Sheets. The truth is, if your entire business is running on a spreadsheet, it may be time to consider custom application development.
It’s a Sign!
Ever experienced something that you felt was a ‘sign?’ It just felt right or in your gut, you knew it was time to do something or go for a certain goal?
At Mutually Human, we offer custom application development services, but we know that custom software isn’t right for everyone and every business. There are some signs though that it may be time for a change. And your entire business running on Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets is one of them.
It’s Time for a Change.
Many companies begin small, keeping track of things in a set of related Excel spreadsheets. This is a great first step in getting your business organized and more efficient. However, over time as your organization grows and changes, you eventually run into the limits of these platforms.
Limits of Excel and Google Sheets for Your Business
Data integrity can degrade.
Excel is capable of ensuring certain types of cell values, but businesses usually rely on more than Excel can actually provide. Without proper constraints, the data in a spreadsheet can be inaccurate without anyone even realizing it. Ultimately this can lead to bad reporting, bad business decisions, missed opportunities on new or increased revenue. That’s the last thing you want!
You constantly end up with 5 versions of the same spreadsheet and are unsure which is correct.
How often have you seen AcmeOrder.xls, AcmeOrderOld.xls, AcmeOrderv2.xls, Acme2.xls, Acme.xls all in the same folder? This kind of thing happens all the time and leads to confusion and misunderstanding about which one to use. Do you know for certain which one has the current data? Is it possible that people are using more than one version and no single spreadsheet has the right source of truth? Because spreadsheets don’t talk to each other, you are counting on people to keep things straight. A single custom application can do that better.
Team members forgetting to duplicate formulas, resulting in incorrect data.
When you insert rows/columns/tabs, are you sure that the formulas you had in place are being properly carried forward? Does everyone understand the process and are they all carrying it out the same way every time?
In so many cases, they actually aren’t (without even realizing it or meaning to) and calculations may be wrong as a result, once again leading to bad reporting and decisions.
Getting accurate insights is difficult.
Your business relies on insights from patterns and trends to recognize opportunities and reduce costs.
Which stage of a process is most in need of improvement?
Which quality issues are being experienced by your customers?
Which products or services are most profitable?
You want answers to these kinds of questions. If your critical business data is stored across multiple spreadsheets, you have to work very hard to draw insights from your data.
How Can Custom Application Development Improve My Business?
To start, custom software can ensure data entered by users follow the specific ‘business rules’ that you put into place and that works for your needs.
For example: Do you want to ensure that there is always at least 2 weeks between an order date and a ship date? This is something that is hard to do with Excel but very easy with custom software.
Custom application development eliminates the issue of multiple versions of data as well. There is always just one version of the data, not a bunch of spreadsheet versions that can confuse your team and lead to bad reporting. Instead, you always have real-time accurate information that can better inform your business decisions.
You’ll never have to worry about formula breaking when you add new data. The calculations and formulae used to model your business are built directly into the custom software.
Insights that yield improvements to your business come much easier with a central data source. Custom application development typically provides direct support for the reports you most frequently need. And third party reporting and analysis packages pointed at the database open a virtually unlimited range of one-off reports that are needed less frequently.
Custom Application Development is Better!
If you’ve run into these barriers and experienced the frustrations we outlined above, it might be time to consider custom application development. We’d love to help you! It all starts with a completely free consultation. Schedule one anytime, right here.