When Excel Can’t Fit You Anymore What Do You Do?

One of the easiest to use computer programs in the world has been developed by Microsoft. It’s Excel.
Since it it so simple to use many businesses use it as a default tool for just about everything. Inventory, employee records, customer records, accounting and so much more.
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The problem with using Excel is that there are so many other tools on the market, specifically designed for the task you are using Excel for. Maybe you are using Excel to manage your inventory. With so many stand alone inventory solutions, including Fish Bowl and those built into accounting programs, you are limiting yourself and stunting your productivity by using Excel.
For example, being able to integrate bar code scanning technology, for example, from Wasp Barcode, will save you a lot of time and money in managing your invenotory.
Or maybe you’ve been using Excel to manage your customer records. You should be using any number of dozens of tools on the market such as a database from File Maker Pro, automated marketing from Infusion and etc.
Look for hosted applications, or traditional software, that you can use, instead of Excel.
Someone wrote into CNN asking I have a small veterinary practice with 10 employees. What is a good program to use to make a database about my employees, with photos, contact info, salaries, information on their last raise, etc.?
CNN lists a number of programs you can use for HR management.
Whether you are managing marketing, sales, finances, employees or something else. Excel is probably not the best solution for you.
It might seem to be the easiest, but in the long run it’s like someone washing clothes with a wash board because its simpler to use than a washing machine.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

2 thoughts on “When Excel Can’t Fit You Anymore What Do You Do?

  1. James Standen

    The amazing thing about over use of excel is that it is by no means limited to small businesses. The fortune 500 use it for far too much as well.
    Its not uncommon for multi-billion dollar organizations to do all their key forecasting, budgeting and a very large amount of their data analysis with a jumble of spreadsheets.
    However, I’m of the opinion that the overall level of quality and ease of use of the alternatives is whats driving users that way. Its hard for even the most sophisticated (maybe too sophisticated) applications to be easier to use than a spreadsheet when the spreadsheet has no rules, and SEEMS easy to start.

  2. Grant Wickes (@gwickes)

    James: you are spot on regarding larger organizations and their use of Excel. While Wasp Barcode Technologies prime target is small business, we get a lot local offices or branches of bigger companies using our software.
    We just posted a case study of a regional bank that demonstrates the amazing effort and process required to use Excel to manage their supplies inventory.
    They had created a sheet with 60 tabs (one tab for each supplier) that had 160 rows (one row for each item). The time and effort to keep this updated was tremendous. Let alone trying to keep things up-to-date or track down mistakes when they occurred…
    Now, by deploying barcodes using Wasp Inventory Control system, the supply department has taken a big productivity jump. What used to take over 2 days a month with Excel now takes less than 2 hours. Plus, they are saving tens of thousands of dollars a year by eliminating the supplies write offs they previously had…
    While Excel is an excellent tool, using specialized software for inventory and asset tracking will save significant time and money.

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