Using Excel and other spreadsheet software was best practice in planning 35 years ago and is still simple and an effective planning software for small companies to capture the raw data used to make calculations, graphs, reports, and pivot tables. However, for companies that want to overcome siloed planning and benefit from predictive analytics and seamless collaboration, spreadsheets do not offer sufficient functionality. Using cloud-based collaborative planning software grows revenue, saves time, and increases accuracy throughout supply chain planning processes.
Excel has captured raw data to make calculations, graphs, reports, and pivot tables since it came on the market in 1985. And before that, products like VisiCalc, Lotus 123, and Multiplan applied spreadsheet formulas that business users quickly used for tracking, budgeting, and planning. Every part of the business used it in one form or another, including tracking inventory, calculating prices and taxes, creating employee and inventory schedules, and creating reports for management and investors.
Advances in AI-based analytics, cloud-native platforms, APIs, and connected systems, have enabled time-savings, greater accuracy, collaboration, and scenario planning not possible with a spreadsheet solution.
Modern software solutions that utilize advanced analytics allow companies to enter real-time, dynamic data in a central, integrated, and cloud-based network. Where Excel has little automation, limited collaboration, and is prone to errors, modern supply chain solutions solve these issues and more. What used to take hours in Excel to update manually is done with digital solutions in minutes. The connectivity of modern automated platforms gives formerly siloed decision-makers the single-source of truth across planning areas, creating the means to make strategic decisions that improve their business outcomes.
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