An estimated half a billion people worldwide still use spreadsheets to conduct day-to-day business. Everyone knows Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. These programs allow users to easily store, visualize and analyze numerical, statistical, and financial business data, functions that can be leveraged for relatively cheap. Spreadsheets, therefore, have a reputation for being useful and inexpensive.
Cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the new game in town, promising customers a centrally-located, scalable database solution with multi-user access. But when just comparing the price tag between these platforms and cheap spreadsheet software, it’s no wonder there are still some business owners, especially those of small to medium-sized businesses, who are reticent about making the switch.
But how cheap are spreadsheets, really?
The costs of using spreadsheet software can really add up. Time is money and with spreadsheets teams can waste countless hours looking for status updates, manually consolidating data into master spreadsheets, and correcting inaccuracies. Having to build and send reports to team members and management while constantly notifying stakeholders about project changes, due dates, and new tasks are other time-consuming necessities of using so-called affordable spreadsheet software.
It’s the kind of admin that can kill days of work. While all that time wasted can be measured in dollars, there are other hidden costs to spreadsheets that can lead to real profit shortfalls.
Cloud-based ERP databases eliminate these risks, as well as the need for all that manual data consolidation and report generation. They also empower teams to work in automated ways. Instead of waiting for the go ahead from management to begin a task, an automatic trigger can send a notification to the appropriate team member to initiate their role in a project.
With the right support, these databases are customizable to the exact needs of a particular business. Managers can get real-time visibility into the key details they need any time, anywhere just by accessing a web browser. There’s no maintenance, no overgrown I.T. team and infrastructure, but with all the data integrity essential to running an effective business.
When comparing cloud-based ERP, such as Quickbase, to using spreadsheets, it’s obvious just how many man-hours can be saved by ditching the old technology. While applications like Microsoft Excel have been serviceable in the past, centrally-located databases developed in the cloud, with their inherent security and scalability, are the optimal business solutions of the present and future.