5 Reasons to Stop Using Excel for Demand Forecasting
Excel is a powerful business tool. Many businesses of all sizes are still using Excel for their demand forecasting. However, using Excel, instead of demand management software, may be putting your organization at risk for security breaches, data failures, and other serious problems. Here are five reasons why you need to transition from Excel to demand management software.
- Data Corruption Issues
How many people regularly access your Excel data? In many businesses the data may be passed around on thumb drives or emailed back and forth when someone needs remote access. Every time the data is put on a different machine or a new user accesses the spreadsheet, it increases the chances of corrupting the data. Even if the data lives in the cloud, or on a server, Excel is not designed for robust use of one spreadsheet by several users. Once mistakes are entered into the data, or the entire file becomes corrupted, your forecasts are compromised.
- Controlling Access
Access issues are related to data corruption issues. Who has a copy of your demand forecasting spreadsheet? The proprietary data in the spreadsheet could prove costly to your organization if it should fall into the wrong hands. Are you sure no former employees have copies of the spreadsheet on their laptops or in their email? Demand management software allows you to manage who has access to the data and means that no unauthorized copies are left floating around.
Demand management software also makes sure that everyone who does need the data can access the data anytime they need it.
- Better Reports
Excel produced great reports five years ago. But, even with the forecasting extensions available, the reports can be hard to understand. You often have to produce reports for members of your organization who do not fully understand demand forecasting. If you had demand management software you could produce better-looking reports that are easier to understand, faster. Think of what it would be like to click one button to get the report you wanted. That is the power of demand forecasting software.
- On Demand Information
Excel is sometimes a stubborn gatekeeper. You have to know just the right way to get the information you are looking for. If you make a mistake with the way you sort the data, you could ruin the entire spreadsheet. The key metrics are not always available on demand. With demand management software you can always easily find the key information you need when you need it. Unlike Excel, the demand management software has one job, to make your life easier.
- Improve Collaboration
If you want the best demand forecasts you need to collaborate with suppliers, vendors, and other parts of your organization. Excel is many things, but it is not a powerful collaborative tool. The more people that interact with the spreadsheet, the more problems are created. Demand management software allows you easily work with partners all over the world, without putting your data at risk. This means your forecasts are more accurate and your business is more profitable.
Despite vast improvements in the tools and techniques available today for demand sensing and demand shaping, a lack of forecast accuracy still prevents many businesses from optimally managing production, distribution, inventories, and sales to meet shifts in demand. This is often because:October 12, 2021
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