Does automation of corporate planning always require refusal of Excel?

Excel fpor planning production and operational planning
Despite the fact that the vast majority of companies have implemented ERP systems and streamlined accounting processes, many businesses prefer to plan production in Excel.

Using Excel spreadsheets, companies can easily plan the loading of production capacities, the purchase of raw materials and materials, maintenance and repair work, logistics processes, loading warehouses, shipments to distributors and retail chains. And this can give a sense of freedom for management and employees, but not for a long time.

The position of IT specialists on this issue is unequivocal - companies need to say goodbye to Excel. Excel spreadsheets do not provide the toolkit to handle large amounts of information, they do not imply dynamic changes, collaboration work is also impossible. But significant changes have not occurred for a substantial period of time. And let’s look at this issue more properly.

Excel spreadsheets remain effective even with large volumes of output. Here we should mention that it is possible only with a small range of manufactured goods. All business processes in this situation do not generate a large array of data. 

Excel spreadsheets are still popular due to availability and easy learning and usage. And sometimes such automation costs almost nothing for a business.

Excel spreadsheets also help to escape the chaos of technologies in companies, which is a negative effect of fragmented digitalization. So, for example, although companies use different software to automate work, these tools have low integrity. As a result, part of the work still has to be done manually, and this completely reduces the effect of business automation.

However, if production is complex, and materials and raw materials are diverse, there is a necessity to analyze stocks in detail, predict market needs, evaluate production opportunities and limitations. And in this case, there is no chance for Excel. Here a tool is required with a powerful mathematical apparatus and a large amount of information processing capability.

Digitalization can be successful only when all the company's business processes are merged into one financial model through integrated software. Such software really enables dynamic changes, and also helps to calculate the most optimal load of all production areas and analyze them in detail.

For the transitional stage, companies can consider integrated business management systems that are built on such a familiar tool as Excel. They allow users to accelerate the digital transformation of a business and solve bottlenecks.