Spreadsheet Woes – Ill-Equipped for an Agile Business Environment

These days, crucial business decisions have to be made in a split second. However, the quality of these decisions hinges quite often on timely, insightful information and relevant business reporting.

How effective is your business reporting solution in providing you with the information you need at the time you need it?

Chances are, like 75% of small and medium businesses, your company is using spreadsheets. True, spreadsheets are the most common go-to solutions for on-the-fly forecasting, but they may not be your best option for presenting information that require consolidation and in-depth analysis and involve a lot of number crunching, especially with critical data at stake.

Furthermore, spreadsheet-based reports are rarely produced in a timely manner. In today?s fast evolving business environment where flexibility, mobility, and timeliness are the order of the day, this simply won’t do.

Let’s take a look at the particular areas where spreadsheets fall short when it comes to providing dynamic and sound financial reports:

Collaboration

With rapidly changing market conditions, organisations have to conduct budgeting, forecasting, and planning more often. Hectic schedules and geographical distances aren’t a hindrance though, because technologies like the Internet, advanced telecommunications and mobile devices can put instantaneous collaboration at everyone?s fingertips.

But collaborative activities in a dynamic setting can only succeed if all participating individuals are given secure, real time and simultaneous access to the same relevant information. This way, every change made is automatically consolidated and projected unto the bigger picture for everyone to digest.

Alas, spreadsheets aren’t built for this.

Cost Efficiency

Whether we’re in a recession or not, cost efficiency has to be taken into consideration. Are spreadsheets really the cost-effective solution?

Think ?time is money?. With the length of time needed to prepare data, establish controls, consolidate reports and distribute copies, you’ll realise how expensive spreadsheets actually are.

The ability to innovate in a changing economic environment and limited resources – a valuable derivative of agile practices – can give your company a very significant advantage. But dedicating so much time on spreadsheet management can strip your organisation of room for innovation.

Quality of Reports

Business empires rise and fall on the power of relevant information. At the end of the day, top management should assess their sources of key performance reports, planning tools and budgeting applications using these parameters:

  • Does your financial reporting system give you the right information right when you need it?
  • Do the reports allow you to look beyond the numbers to spot trends or forecast changes in the market?
  • Do they furnish enough significant data for you to make informed decisions in good time?

Spreadsheets weren’t designed to analyse data on the enterprise level. As a result, spreadsheet reports often take far too long to prepare and more importantly, may lack the dimension and depth that are crucial in decision making.

Data Reliability

We’re all familiar with the risks associated with spreadsheets. This error-prone UDA can provide inaccurate information simply because of a broken link, an incomplete range, a deleted number, or an incorrect formula. In an active business scenario where data manipulation has to be done under constant time pressure, the risk probabilities escalate.

As they always say, ?If anything can go wrong, it will?. With spreadsheets, a lot of things could go wrong. Is this the kind of tool you?d like to work with when making fast, crucial decisions? If you’re still using spreadsheets, then you?d best forget about dynamic reports and rolling forecasts.

Inability to adapt to personnel turnover

A key challenge in maintaining the spreadsheet system is picking up where another left off. A user would find it difficult to debug, revise, or analyse a spreadsheet system he developed himself and the process becomes doubly complicated if or when another person takes over.

Starting from scratch is painfully counterproductive, so that a newcomer has to spend hours figuring out the original entries in the spreadsheet and the reports it yields.

While no one is indispensable in any organisation, it’s pretty much accurate to say that if a spreadsheet ?developer? leaves, it could momentarily halt the production of key finance reports. In a fast changing business landscape, such failure to monitor performance at critical times could sound the death knell for your company.

More Spreadsheet Blogs


Spreadsheet Risks in Banks


Top 10 Disadvantages of Spreadsheets


Disadvantages of Spreadsheets – obstacles to compliance in the Healthcare Industry


How Internal Auditors can win the War against Spreadsheet Fraud


Spreadsheet Reporting – No Room in your company in an age of Business Intelligence


Still looking for a Way to Consolidate Excel Spreadsheets?


Disadvantages of Spreadsheets


Spreadsheet woes – ill equipped for an Agile Business Environment


Spreadsheet Fraud


Spreadsheet Woes – Limited features for easy adoption of a control framework


Spreadsheet woes – Burden in SOX Compliance and other Regulations


Spreadsheet Risk Issues


Server Application Solutions – Don’t let Spreadsheets hold your Business back


Why Spreadsheets can send the pillars of Solvency II crashing down

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Top 10 Benefits of Using a Field Service Automation Software

The Field Service Management (FSM) Software market is growing at rates never seen before if the recent statistics are anything to go by. According to the latest estimates, the FSM market is worth $3.5 billion and is expected to hit $5.9 billion by 2024.

It’s understandable why this is happening. Technology is advancing, and we all know it’s every entrepreneur?s dream to optimise the use of the available resources while guaranteeing customer satisfaction. If technology can deliver this through automation, why not? Every business now wants to automate things, and the focus is to maximise resource output. You should, therefore, not be surprised to see the FSM software industry booming. If you just considered the field service industry, you’ll realise that there are so many software applications to help with service automation, whether full or partial.

A good example is FieldElite , which helps with the management of field workers. From your desktop or the palm of your hands, on a tablet or smartphone, you can take full control of your field workers, manage scheduled jobs, and use maps to manage work assignments for the already dispatched field workers. Not only does FieldElite help you handle tasks in an accountable manner but also provides options for accounting and reports, all managed in an easy to use dashboard.

But why would organisations need to invest in a Workforce management app? Below are some of the key benefits of using a Field Service Management software.

Field Service Software: Improves Efficiency

Improved worker efficiency is one of the main advantages of field service software like FieldElite. 

Most FSM software programs allow the administrator to send tasks directly to the field worker?s mobile. More often than not, the FSM software provides vital information, including service history, optimal route to the site, the tools required, and contact numbers, among other details.

This improves efficiency by ensuring that the client’s needs are taken care of promptly. Where it’s about machine maintenance, the downtime would be as short as possible.

Field Service Software: Enhances Professionalism

FSM software programs are known for ensuring professionalism in the manner in which business activities are conducted. Of course, professionalism is attained through several factors, including working with a team of professionals. Such a team, using FSM software, results in enhanced efficiency and excellence.

A field service software like FieldElite helps you to consolidate all your business information into a single central database. With different access levels, your employees will access only as much information as is relevant to their respective duties.

An FSM software is ideal because the stored information can be accessed from any location, meaning field workers can pick new tasks while in the field, provided they’ve got the requisite tools. Instead of having to come back to the office, the employee would access all the information and execute the necessary task.

Field Service Software: Enables Resource Optimization

Resource optimization is one of the key determinants of a company?s profitability. While businesses vary in size and purpose, they all share one thing in common ? the desire to increase productivity while ensuring the optimal usage of resources.

Besides productivity, field service software also allows for efficient utilization of the available resources to cut down on costs.

Field Service Software: Ensures Better Coordination

FSM software facilitates improved coordination with the workforce. The software streamlines the management of the entire field service life cycle, ranging from labour to work orders, returns, contracts, warranties, and equipment.

The idea is to bring all the company?s field-related operations to a central point. And now, with easy data accessibility from a central platform, improved coordination is easily achievable.

Field Service Software: Guarantees Higher Accuracy

Adopting the field service management software is more than just a way to improve efficiency. It goes a long way towards improving a company?s accuracy. When a field service management software is used to trace a company?s activities, all the tasks are tracked on the mobile device, keeping the managers informed of every step.

Besides, the technicians also have a free reign to record the diagnostics, quality information, test results, and the parts consumed. All the information can be captured using text, audio, videos, and still photos. This guarantees minimal to no instances of data manipulation.

Field Service Software: Improves Customer Satisfaction

Field service management software improves customer satisfaction. How does that happen? Well, using a field service software like FieldElite allows for quick response to customer queries. If there?s one thing that quickly turns your customers off, it’s delayed response to their requests. With the field service management software, however, you can respond to such requests quickly and effortlessly.

Moreover, your customers can also track the service engineer to ensure they’re well informed of any anticipated delays. With quick response time, customer machines have more reliable uptime, which is the desire of every client.

Field Service Software: Provides Flexibility

If there?s one thing that customers like when dealing with a company, it’s flexibility. Instinctively, customers will always want different options to choose from when using a service without appearing to be confined to one provision. Having limited options would also appear boring.

To this extent, it would be wiser to adopt advanced FSM software. Advanced FSM software is compatible with mobile phones, meaning users can easily manage their tasks from isolated locations. FSM software can either be device-agnostic or device-specific. The device-specific type supports Android, Windows, and Apple iOS. This guarantees mobile-friendly tasks where users can easily manage the assignments via mobile application..

Field Service Software: Stores Client History

The mentioned software stores client history precisely. All the past data, including order history, are stored separately and accurately. In so doing, the field technician gets easy access to the tools, specifications, and technician instructions that aid them in their operations. The result is increased productivity and on-time service delivery.

Field Service Software: Enables Asset Management

Naturally, companies offering different repair services have plenty of assets to store. Accordingly, retrieving a specific part out of the large collection would be daunting.

With a field service application like FieldElite, the staff members can track down all the products effortlessly using the GPS. Furthermore, the FSM software ensures excellent maintenance of assets.

Field Service Software: Improves Oversight of Field Workers

The FSM software comes with many useful tools, including a built-in GPS tracker. The GPS tracker oversees the operations of the on-field workers, providing precise details about their geographical location, actual arrival time, and most importantly, the distance from the job site.

While this might not be useful at all times, it comes in handy when you need to assign an urgent task to the nearby technician. Call it a classic example of dynamic scheduling.

Final Thoughts

With so much at stake, it’s increasingly compelling to include the Field Service Management Software in your business. With every industry moving towards automation, your business cannot afford to lag.

Quick and efficient service delivery through FSM software may be the difference between you and your competitors.

The FSM software is no longer the cherry on the cake but a must-have tool for your survival in the highly competitive market.

Benefits of Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)

More than just building energy, improving skills and undertaking audits, Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme works beyond. ESOS adheres to policy coherence, provides information to raise awareness, facilitates energy efficiency market and encourages adoption of appropriate energy efficiency measures.

Generally, ESOS is great for energy professionals and businesses. And in the current situation of UK?s energy industry, this new scheme is a substantial help. The key is to know the benefits that ESOS provides, understand how it can affect you, learn how to maximise its potential and make a big difference. Here?s to explore the highlights of ESOS.

Who benefits from ESOS?

Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme covers non-SME enterprises which includes UK businesses having more than 250 employees; even those with employees fewer than 250 but have annual turnover of more than ?50m and balance sheet exceeding ?43m; or those professionals that belong to a large enterprise. This is in accordance with what Article 8 of the EU Derivative provides.

What are the benefits of ESOS?

ESOS provides opportunities to enhance an organisation’s energy efficiency strategy, of which the benefits include:

Economic Growth and Competitiveness

The implementation of energy efficient measures increases local employment in the labour markets. Consequently, this taps the labour potential and drives economic growth.? In a lower carbon economy, businesses need to develop green projects to maintain economic competitiveness as well. ESOS is strategic approach initiated by the UK government to push technological innovation and energy investments.

Cost Savings and Emission Reductions

ESOS is flexible in such a way that it combines energy policies and innovations tailored to every organisation’s need. The energy efficiency measures taken, resulting from the scheme, quickly cuts down both carbon emissions and energy bills at cheapest possible ways.

Managing Energy Demand

ESOS provides energy security to UK by reducing the energy consumption of enterprises. With this, the economy would be more efficient and less exposed to international energy market volatility. Also, this will lead to more savings from less future investment in energy infrastructure.

Getting your Management Performance Noticed

If you are an energy professional, you will benefit from ESOS by exploiting it ?to boost your charisma towards the company directors. You can show them how the scheme works and how it can save your company substantial costs. Managing energy with ESOS can help an organisation grow. Nevertheless, you are the key person designated to get the project done and achieve success.

How can ESOS make a difference?

More than anything else, ESOS can make a huge change. True to its name, it provides large enterprises the opportunity to manage energy wisely, reduce overhead costs and promote responsible corporate energy consumption.

The International Energy Agency said that investing in energy efficiency leads to growth, additional jobs, competent budgets on public spending and enhanced industry productivity. If you are an energy and environment professional or a non-SME business entity, you hold the impulse to act. Aside from all those excellent business benefits that you get to enjoy, you will be able to contribute a portion towards achieving UK?s national carbon target of 80% in CO2 by 2050.

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Spend more to reduce costs?

It is becoming increasingly important to not to analyse energy consumption for all utility types, be it electricity, gas, water, heat, renewables, oil etc. The bottom line is both operational efficiency and utility costs monitoring. In the long run, these are management strategies designed to drive energy costs downwards as a continuous improvement cycle and as a measure of reducing carbon emissions.

It is also getting increasingly easier for organisations reduce energy use and achieve this goal using technology without having to “remember” to do it yourself. Organisations can never go wrong by investing in energy management software. There are varied software options to choose from depending on the organisational objective.
Some of the energy management objectives that organisations may need to meet are:

? Establishing baseline energy use

? Carrying out Energy audits

? Monitoring and measuring energy performance against the energy policies of an organisation and objectives

? Achieving energy certification
Energy management software?s come in handy when an organization wishes to achieve either of the above objectives.

Use of energy management software?s also assists organisations in measurement and verification of energy consumption as well as Monitoring and Targeting. Measurement and verification is where a company quantifies energy consumption beforehand (baseline energy use) and after energy consumption measurements are implemented in order to verify and report on the level of savings actually achieved.

Organisations that wish to verify the energy savings achieved by building retrofits can use energy management software?s. This is an important objective for companies that wish to either satisfy internal financial accounting and reporting requirements, or to meet the terms of third-party contracts for project implementation and management. Monitoring and targeting is also made easier by use of software. This is critical as a management technique, regardless of whether an organisation has specific facility retrofits in order to keep operations efficient and to monitor utility costs.
Overall, an investment in energy management software, is worthwhile in the achievement of management strategies designed to drive energy costs downwards as a continuous improvement cycle.

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