The business world is transforming—a company’s supply chain is no longer limited to its four walls, supply chain management is not just a cost-cutting measure, there is a need for cross-functional collaboration and visibility, and most importantly, economic and geopolitical uncertainty is affecting resilience and profitability. This is no longer the world where spreadsheets were once the best tool to manage supply chains!
No doubt, spreadsheets made it easier to capture, filter, and analyse large amounts of data. However, they are not adequate to manage real-time complexities and rapidly-changing decision-support needs which have become telltale signs of global supply chain operations.
The next obvious question procurement professionals and business owners should ask is—are spreadsheets holding back supply chain management and operations?
What Are the Possible Risks of Relying on Spreadsheets?
Post-pandemic situation and ongoing demand volatility—the world is not returning to its old state. Moreover, with the rise of multi-enterprise supply chains that are globally connected, there is a need to realign supply chains and how the business is run.
Here are some reasons why businesses need to move beyond legacy systems to adopt advanced supply chain solutions.
- Lack of cross-functional collaboration: Even if you are sharing spreadsheets that are readily available, each department, local office, or even an employee will probably still maintain their own sheet. This not only means duplicated data and resource wastage but also manual errors. Especially, when supply chain activities involve demand forecasting, inventory management, stock transports, production scheduling, etc., that are usually performed in silos, the team members will have their own set of numbers that may not match at all!
Sharing spreadsheets as email attachments in such cases just gets more cumbersome and results in multiple versions, making decision-making a big ordeal.
- Lack of revision control: It is said many times about spreadsheets that they are as good as the last person who edited them. In fact, with high volumes of real-time data generated every moment, the files are old even before it is opened! The lack of revision control and auditing makes it an unreliable source. Moreover, if the concerned person leaves the organisation or transitions to a different role, it can lead to a risky situation.
- Longer times for data assessment and decision-making: Spreadsheets are manually updated and analysed which makes it difficult to identify trends or red flags and hinders the capability to access real-time data to make important timely decisions. Many users believe that with spreadsheets important supply and demand balance conditions can be missed. Not to forget spreadsheets have not been designed to do the modelling or handle real-time complexities. Since business decisions are made on real-time, up-to-date supply chain data, it is significantly risky using spreadsheets for demand planning, capacity planning, S&OP, materials replenishment, etc.
To survive let alone gain competitive advantage, businesses need to move beyond processes and technology that result in information silos, archaic decision-making, and slow responsiveness. With the current scenario, it is quite evident that supply chain management requires inherent agility and concurrency across the value network and businesses are realizing that dependency on spreadsheets is not going to make a cut for them.
Why Is Now the Right Time to Make the Shift
Many businesses are aware of the risk of using spreadsheets for the supply chain but continue to rely on them. The biggest apprehension among procurement professionals and business owners against supply chain management systems is the investment of time and money. They also feel that transition or change may overburden the team.
However, the risk of financial implications when the next big disruption hits due to the lack of adoption of digital supply chain management is significantly higher than those apprehensions. There is also a possibility that young talent may leave in search of working with modern platforms and your competitors can easily pass you by.
Transitioning to modern supply chain management software or procurement management solutions can be one of the big differences in the companies that survive or thrive when the next big uncertainty knocks on the doors.
These modern digital solutions can help you achieve the supply chain visibility and agility required for your company’s profitability by seamlessly automating end-to-end procurement processes.
Digital Supply Chain Management Is the Answer!
When you invest in processes and technology improvements, you free up the valuable time of your team by eliminating repetitive cumbersome tasks by implementing digital process automation. The team not only becomes more efficient but also happier as they no longer waste time manually entering and reviewing data!
When it comes to business, digital transformation affects many critical areas throughout your value chain including supplier management and collaboration, spend management, contract lifecycle management, procure-to-pay automation, risk management, accounts payable automation, category management, strategic sourcing, market trends and intelligence, and much more!
Digital tools including procurement management solutions can automate business processes, improve communication between stakeholders, encourage better sourcing, improve forecasting, and provide deeper insights across procurement. This means you save time, reduce errors, and increase efficiency.
Spreadsheets add value to processes but they are not adequate when it comes to automation, modeling, or handling real-time complexities of today’s global, interconnected supply chains. Investment in effective supply chain solutions can save time, reduce errors, and increase efficiency.
Digital procurement management solutions like Induzbuy offer automation benefits that support both the buyers and the suppliers. Buyers can improve their cash flow, get competitive pricing from suppliers, digitally connect with existing and new suppliers, reduce warehousing space and cost by half with real-time digital supply interaction, and much more! Suppliers, on the other hand, can digitise supply chain management, get a complete payment reconciliation and ease cash flow with financing options.
To know more about how Induzbuy can replace your spreadsheets to make way for profitability, get in touch with us today!