Excel has been around the block to say the least. And yes, it does quite a few things rather well. Yet for today’s busy food product manufacturer, this ubiquitous piece of software is far from ideal when it comes to keeping up with the fluctuating prices of ingredients.
Challenge #5: Cost prices
The cost of ingredients can change as and when, but Excel doesn’t automatically reflect the latest figures. Prices for recipes are difficult to calculate as it is, depending as they do on everything from supplier to season. Setting or changing them manually hardly helps matters.
See the 5 costing challenges in our free QuickGuide
You presumably want to increase volume, improve efficiency and minimize costs per unit. To do that, real-time data is invaluable when it comes to measuring, refining and redefining your food production process. And we’ve already touched upon seasonality, which obviously impacts forecasting and, in turn, blanket orders and make-to-stock. So how does Excel measure up?
Excel: the pros
Excel makes it easy to create a clear overview of ingredient costs. Free quotation templates can also make things more straightforward, as well as helping to keep a lid on expenses. And like an old friend, you’re probably pretty comfortable in its company.
Excel: the cons
A lack of integration with both your wider business and the outside world means you can end up spending too much of your precious time updating prices. And because that relies on the accuracy of your entries, Excel also increases the risk of inaccurate quotations if you use cost prices that have just gone past their sell-by date. Too high and you lose the deal, too low and you lose the profit.
Our QuickGuide weighs up the pros and the cons
The more you integrate your business processes, the easier it becomes to access and manage constantly fluctuating data such as the cost of ingredients. But if Excel doesn’t really help in that respect, what options are you left with? Our new QuickGuide gives you a flavor, taking you through the 5 key challenges to cost pricing and how to answer them.