Storing your valuable data in different places and formats hardly makes life any easier for busy manufacturers of food products. Excel is frequently used to fill in the gaps between disparate, disconnected software and systems. But that’s obviously far from ideal and comes with its own set of challenges.
Challenge #4: Product complexity
After all, you operate in a complex business to say the least. Ingredient and process variations alone can be enough to drive you nuts*. You may also need the capability to change recipes for each run. Dial the quantities of various ingredients up or down. Record higher or lower deliveries . Oh yes – and classify batches by quality and composition.
See the 5 costing challenges in our free QuickGuide
So how do you stay in control?
As you know only too well, quality varies from farm to farm and harvest to harvest. That usually means every batch of raw materials needs to be inspected. Recipes fine tuned for each production run. And production connected to quality control. So where does Excel fit in? Sure, it can keep bring all the figures into a spreadsheet… but what then?
Excel: the pros
Excel lets you easily add additional tabs and spreadsheets for the whole production line, allowing you to incorporate multiple ingredients and suppliers. And it makes it simple to display financial information and other data relevant to different departments like sales, marketing and even HR.
Excel: the cons
On the other hand, Excel doesn’t automatically update with the latest market data, which means you have to do it manually. Make even the slightest mistake and it could cost you time, money and headaches down the line. Nor can Excel differentiate between order-controlled and stock-controlled requirements, which limits the efficiency of production planning and control. And if suborders need to be created and managed by hand, production planning gets a lot more complex than it needs to be.
Read our new QuickGuide for the whole story
Our new QuickGuide looks at it all in a little more detail (but not too much), taking you through the 5 main costing challenges facing a modern manufacturer. The pros and cons of using Excel. And what a more effective solution might offer instead. And it’s all yours, completely free of charge.
*Even if you aren’t in an environment where nuts are present