I’m Sick of this Sheet! When is it time to invest in planning software?

March 19, 2024
2 min read

For most companies, inventory management starts simple - a few spreadsheets to track stock levels and do basic forecasting. 

But as your business grows more complex, maintaining those worksheets becomes a full-time job (in addition to everything else your team is doing!)

Here are 7 signs it may be time to graduate to a dedicated supply planning solution:

  1. You're spending over a day per week just updating data across multiple worksheets and files.
  2. Your massive workbook takes minutes just to open and calculate formulas.
  3. To avoid crashes, you've had to disable automatic calculations.
  4. You're handling advanced modeling concepts like material requirements planning, production scheduling, or truck load optimization in spreadsheets.
  5. Error-prone manual processes like lot tracking or expiration date management create constant fire drills.
  6. A broken spreadsheet formula or missed update has already caused costly out-of-stocks or excess inventory.
  7. You've had to implement rigid rules around who can access and update the "master" files to avoid version mishaps.

Spreadsheets can be a great place to start for inventory management. But they weren't built to handle the complexity of extended supply chains, manufacturing processes, multi-channel distribution and rapidly changing demand patterns.

If you're regularly struggling with your spreadsheet setup or experiencing the issues above, it may be time to explore more robust inventory planning and optimization tools. The costs of outgrowing consumer-grade worksheets can far exceed those of a proper supply chain solution.

Are you thinking about these issues as much as we are at Atomic? Reach out to Michael or Neal!



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