Tackle your excel madness

Using excel to manage your business processes is an obvious choice to make. So it was for one of our clients, a pharmaceutical company. Why? Nearly everybody is familiar with excel and you can immediately start using it. Another, probably not unimportant factor for making your choice: it comes with your Office software package. So it’s basically free.

A dangerous cycle

You’ve compiled a beautiful spreadsheet with complex but smart formulas, which are very well thought-through, theoretically. Operationally, however, you’ll be quickly confronted with its hiccups: your spreadsheet is becoming a gigantic puzzle, colleagues have to wait in line to get access to the file and making just a small adjustment in the structure will cause the whole thing to break down and data has to be re-entered. A dangerous cycle that calls for mistakes and errors.

Quite a job

Our client had to tackle exactly this excel madness. The company trains general practitioners and doctors on a regular basis about their new pharmaceutical products. A sales force of about 40 people is necessary to cover this client base and provide the necessary trainings. To manage all this, the company used a well-developed excel spreadsheet. However, working with the excel file was laborious. One person was assigned to maintain the file, which was quite a job. For example, for reporting purposes, four spreadsheets needed to be compiled and errors popped up regularly. The sheets were often incomplete, as the sales team didn’t update its data, because it was impractical for them to use and mistakes were easily made. Moreover, they often had no access to the file, because they were on the road or a colleague worked in it.

Form automation within 4 days

Within only four days, the complete excel process was automated in WEM. Maintaining and developing the personnel planning became much more workable. Our client went from four separate spreadsheets to one web application, providing the required data per region, product, sales person or training, by simply using filters. Adjustments are easily conducted, and thereby supports the business needs. Also, the new application works for operational demands. The sales force now uses iPads to update its data at location, simultaneously. No need to postpone their data entry (and no excuse anymore to not doing it, either). Now, they only have access to what’s relevant for them and confusing information overload is thereby avoided. Regional managers can monitor sales activities real-time on their application dashboard and easily gain insights on their business activities and developments.

More to come

Seeing wat WEM can offer, our client sees more opportunities to automate processes currently managed in excel. For example, the product performance spreadsheet or the vacation planning sheet. With WEM, these excel sheets can be automated fast and cost efficient.

Are you using excel spreadsheets that don’t work for your business, anymore? See how WEM can help you and book your personal demo with me or one of my colleagues.