A $500M company takes two weeks to produce month-end close reports. It takes two people 100 hours each to make this happen. They're working in Excel workbooks that are 150MB and growing each month. During the fortnight, they work weekends and late into the evening. They don’t have much time to review and check for errors. They then email links to the Excel workbooks to the managers and executives, and then set about answering questions for the next two weeks 'til it all starts again.
They have pushed not only themselves but Excel to the limit. The cost? Enormous.
So this company makes a change. A small change - but with huge effects.
It was 100% technology. No significant process changes. Yes, they still use Excel but not like they did before. The spreadsheets are now templates, and the workbooks are 1 or 2 MB. They are reporting more information on smaller pages – because they can.
This company moved Excel from a database or Excel Mart as we call it to a reporting tool. A report authoring tool for web pages in fact. Now they have a database do the work of Excel, which removes an impressive amount of human work. Sure, they can send Excel spreadsheets with data links back to their one version of the truth, that’s fine, but it’s the web pages that have made the difference. Oh, and it’s 100% driven by finance – the in-house accounting team.
I love helping people and making such a huge transformation! Are you spending more than 8 hours in Excel?