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Is Your Business Built on Spreadsheets?

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Jalene Ippolito March 1st, 2015

Reassessing your business processes is a little bit like looking out the window and trying to decide whether your front lawn looks as nice as your next-door neighbour’s.

Because you see your lawn every day, it's tough to be objective. And because your company has probably followed the same business processes for many years, and those processes have now become engrained, it's difficult to decide whether they’re as efficient as they could be.

Don't love spreadsheets

But somewhere in the backs of our minds, we probably all suspect that there are things we could be doing to run our businesses more efficiently. (By the same token, we probably all think our grass is a bit patchy or our hedges tend to look a little ragged – but that’s a subject for an entirely different kind of blog.)

Suffice it to say that when it comes to evaluating business processes, we sometimes need to be brutally honest with ourselves.

Ask Yourself These Business Process Questions

Think for a moment about the way your business processes work today, and then answer these questions:

  • Does your business revolve around spreadsheets?
  • Do you have an accounting system – and if so, do you have to extract its information and dump it into spreadsheets to do all of your "real" analysis?
  • Do you and your staff spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether your spreadsheet links are broken?
  • Do your individual departments use their own niche or homegrown applications to manage their day-to-day activities? If so, can key personnel from other departments access the data in these systems?
  • Can you create company-wide budgets and forecasts or does siloed information force you to do this only at the departmental level?
  • When your salespeople want to check inventory, do they have to get up and walk somewhere to eyeball it?
  • When your salespeople accept an order, do they have any way of knowing how much of the current inventory is already committed to other clients?
  • Do your customer support staff frequently have to place clients on hold so that they can call Accounting on another line to check a client’s payment status?
  • Do your field technicians have access to the complete buying history data they need to upsell products and services effectively?
  • Does your management have a complete picture of all your costs (and therefore, margins)?
  • Have you ever optimized your selling prices or are they based on educated guesses about "what the market will bear"?
  • Does your IT staff spend far too much time rigging up integrations between your departmental systems?
  • Do your customers ever "trash" your customer service in online reviews?

Take the Next Step Towards Greater Efficiency

Efficiency is in the eye of the beholder. But if even a few of these questions made you shift uncomfortably in your swivel chair, we’ve got some solutions that could work for you. Contact us if you want to talk further about your business goals with SAP Business One.

March 1st 2015
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