Stop relying on spreadsheets!
I thoroughly enjoyed this recent article over on SupplyChainBrain on how Intel Takes The Top Spot in the Supply Chain Innovation Awards. The article pointed out that Intel enhanced product availability by scrapping its reliance on spreadsheets and embracing technology that creates a real time, available-to-promise (ATP) environment.
As a business management tool, Spreadsheets Suck, straight and simple. Considering that up to 90% of spreadsheets contain non-trivial errors and that they are barely adequate at the task they were designed for (which was day-to-day ledger-keeping, and nothing more), it should be pretty obvious that they are not an operations management tool. And while it used to be the case that you didn’t have any other option as a small or mid-sized business because the traditional, installed, behind-the-firewall enterprise software packages were ridiculously expensive and beyond your grasp, that’s no longer the case. In many areas of technology, you can now take your pick of multiple SaaS options that cost, at most, a few hundred per user per month. And that’s for the really good stuff. If you can get by on the more-than-good-enough 80% solution, you can probably find a solution for $20 to $50 per user per month.
After ditching their spreadsheets and implementing real tools, within three years Intel:
- increased the percentage of change orders confirmed in one day from 21% to over 70%
- increased Committed Dock Date from under 25% to over 96%
- reduced manufacturing cycle times by 62%
- decreased raw material, Work-In-Progress, and finished goods inventory by 33%
- improved Weighted Mean Absolute Percent Error by over 20%
Isn’t it time you stopped relying on spreadsheets to drive your business?