July 06, 2017

5 REASONS TO TRADE EXCEL FOR ASSET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

by Etienne Lecompte

Let me start with a confession: I love Excel. I’m a pro. I’ve run countless models, projects, databases in spreadsheets. I’ve reached both row and column limits, and I’m here today to testify that while my Excel love runs deep, better tools exist.

Using Excel to manage your business is akin to building a house with duct tape—it’s impressive when you look at it, but you know it won’t last. Here are 5 reasons to trade in Excel for asset management software:

 

1. Reliability issues

Excel is a great tool, but is it enough to run your business off of it?

How do you ensure that the right people have access to the right information at any time? How do you make sure that the data entry was validated? That it is in the correct version of Excel to be backward compatible with an old data source?

How about accidental data deletion? Corrupted files? Copy paste errors?

Cloud-based asset management solutions avoid all of that.

2. One version of the truth

Does this file name seem familiar to you?

Invoices_May_2017_V1.8_EL_AP_YM_20170617_Sent_VF_Validated.xls

Excel files are notoriously easy to save, re-save, overwrite, move, copy, send, etc. With all of these versions moving across your organization, how do you make sure you are using the latest and greatest version? How do you know that you have updated the latest version? Or that you’ve taken accurate information from an older version?

Did you send that spreadsheet to a client with too much or too little information? What happens when two people edit the spreadsheet simultaneously and start circulating two different versions of the same file?

Centralized systems like PowerHub can help organize and catalogue information to ensure that only authorized users see what they need, and that what they see is accurate. PowerHub allows multiple users to access information simultaneously compared to Excel, where multiple users input data one-at-a-time.

 

3. Information often tied to one person

Congratulations. Your Excel model works! But then your boss or colleague tries to manipulate it or extract data from it, and they’re lost. They’re confused. They can’t figure out how to work it.

An Excel sheet can hold all the answers, but it soon becomes bloated with hundreds of rows and multiple tabs. Everyone has their own way of organizing Excel. It is also quite cumbersome to the one person who is the administrator of that file, who then becomes the central point of contact for any and all inquiries. What happens when the administrator goes on vacation or, even worse, switches groups or leaves the company? All of those jewels are lost. No one is there to retrieve them. And then you’re left starting from scratch, only to re-start the vicious cycle with some other Excel administrator.

Proper asset management software is simple and straightforward. Information is recorded and displayed in a way that everyone can understand. You’ll enjoy it the next time you can take a vacation without being bothered about why a macro doesn’t work or how to modify a formula!

 

4. Risky updates

Excel, for all its power, requires constant manual updates. I have seen countless models, trackers, forecasts, etc. that all became stale because they weren’t updated. Plus, data entry in Excel is often a manual process that can lead to “finger errors”…or “import errors,” which can all lead to wrong conclusions or bloated quality assurance processes.

When dealing with data, automation and centralization are the only way to make sure your data is up to date and trust worthy.

 

5. Errors

Did I mention errors?! Have you ever opened a spreadsheet to find the feared #NULL!, #REF! or others?

Auditing and validating data in Excel can be time consuming and dangerous. A change in file name for a referenced file, an IF statement gone wrong, a new cell added somewhere…auditing to find errors can be time consuming.

Dedicated software like PowerHub takes over calculations and tracking for your invoices, SRECs, or financial models. All you need to focus on is content, not calculations.  You don’t need to become Sherlock Holmes to find where the error lies in a 64-tab spreadsheet. Leave it to software that was developed to handle this stuff.

 

6. Not enterprise ready

Our secure, private platform is equipped to automate and handle many things you’re manually managing on Excel. Share different documents and facets of your business with three or 30 or 300 people, tailoring the privacy settings for each. If you’re spending a lot of time inputting data into cells and organizing spreadsheets as a solar project developer, you’re not growing the way you could be. You’re wasting time. Maybe you’ve already started wondering: what are solar asset management tools? How can they improve my asset management and performance?

With PowerHub, this means a custom platform that lets you plan your projects on a beautiful (tablet-ready) interface, push tasks to your team members, track stakeholder communication, take care of invoicing, access warranty documents with two clicks, export high-level reports, and much more.

 

Leave Excel and switch to PowerHub today

Sometimes, break-ups are necessary.

In essence, your business is too valuable to be trusted to Excel. Reach out to PowerHub to find out how we can automate data entry, processing and reporting to supercharge your asset management team.

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