It’s a little hard to nail down total numbers, but there are around 1.2 billion Microsoft Office users worldwide, with a majority of them using the most popular spreadsheet of all time, Excel. Excel has been an incredibly powerful tool with numerous uses ranging from helping corporations solve financial challenges to accountants preparing tax analysis to individuals creating personal budgets. And everything in between.
What’s all this talk about Digital Transformation - hasn’t this been going on for years? The answer to the question is yes. At least partially. Most companies work on ways to automate processes and make it easier for clients to interact with them. On the other hand, most companies don’t have an overall Digital Transformation Strategy and work on projects with an enterprise view. Exceptions to this are General Electric, who adopted a Digital Transformation strategy in 2012.
Microsoft launched Excel in the mid 1980’s as a simple tool to improve productivity. We all know how easy it is to create our own spreadsheets to help us manage our processes. What we forget is that many of our associates also have their own versions of the same or similar data. This causes complexity and challenges for any organization large or small.
Most manufacturing companies have dedicated the time and resources to optimizing their supply chain trying to squeeze waste and errors out wherever possible but few have applied the same rigor to other areas of their business.
Monday at 8:50AM: the phone rings. Sally Johnson, the Marketing Manager, picks up the phone and it’s Sally’s boss, Susan Stevens, the VP of Marketing. Susan informs Sally that she needs to collect all pertinent product information to be sent to their largest customer, Ace Distribution, by noon tomorrow. John Johnson, the VP of Sales had just emailed Susan with this request (he had known about it for 3-4 days but forgot to tell Susan until last week).