We understand that a perfectly crafted spreadsheet that completely models the way that you operate your business is difficult to turn away from. But you should. And this post will explain some of the reasons why.
Spreadsheets (or their derivatives of custom databases) are typically seen as hugely powerful as they can capture the very essence of the business you provide. However, when was the last time you questioned whether there could be more standardisation, or whether a process that is currently manual could be automated? The approach of data files is not going to offer your business the ability to scale and grow. Furthermore, key information about your business could be from an external source and fusing that information with information from your business can provide very valuable insights that just an internal view of information cannot provide.
Cost can also be a concern. The cost of the spreadsheet-based system should not be valued only on the cost of the spreadsheet software alone. Using a Google Sheet might appear inexpensive but what is the true cost? Maintenance of the model and potential errors and inaccuracies all need to be considered. The other area is the cost of resilience. We often find that with business based around this model there is no collective knowledge, and single points of failure can develop which is a significant risk. Software, like ours, does provide a cost effective alternative and we can help you establish that business case.
The importance of data
Data is more valuable than oil. It’s questionable who can claim the origin of that quote, but what is not in question is the accuracy of the statement. Understanding what is happening in your business and being able to make the data available to stakeholders and customers is critically important. Take that to the next level and track your performance in the aviation industry with that of your competitors or the market segment you operate in and would you do things differently? Providing accurate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you can transparently share with your customers will give you an edge. In the aviation industry safety, trust and accuracy is paramount. Let’s add speed to that list. The speed to produce quotes quickly and accurately, process costs, evaluate financial performance, optimise processes and eliminate waste, integrate disparate data sources, interpret and react to the latest information, ask yourself, can your spreadsheet do that?
Models built in this way can mislead an organisation in to thinking the data is accurate, but can you be sure it has not just been entered that way? Using software that can perform calculations, and apply logic and data processing based on standards, can provide you the assurances you need. Our products, myairops cam for instance, can alert you to discrepancies in your maintenance data where the source spreadsheet just acts as a storage location. If you have taken the step to implement macros – are you confident they are working correctly and considering all the factors such as tolerances and allowances that must also be considered?
Who is validating that all the calculations are correct?
We have all been there, when we discover an error in a calculation it can be a significant problem. Using a software system that is used by a large number of customers, is developed using a substantial investment in automated testing and regression detection, coupled with quality controls and security testing, can mitigate this risk from your business. In our experience, spreadsheets are the output of a single person within the organisation with little shared or collective knowledge leading to single points of failure.
You do not have to forego customisation
We understand that businesses are different, and one size does not fit all. We offer significant customisation throughout our products and an ever-expanding set of integrations with other business systems. Through system configurations that can change the behaviour of aspects of the system, or via the ability to customise workflows in our products, it is possible to keep the required customisation. Extensible reporting and support for multiple global regulations can provide you with flexibility that could be difficult to achieve if you are growing your existing delivery model to a new geographic region. For example, is your spreadsheet FAA centric- but you now need to operate in the EASA regulated region? Understanding the differences and similarities are essential and a lot of effort and expense can be saved by adopting systems that already deal with this.
Our organisation is not “big enough” to make the software investment
This statement is one of the most costly misconceptions. Great software can make a significant difference to your business. Our model is to provide the latest technology advances to everyone using an economies of scale business model. You pay for the volume you use and not for the functionality. As we help you grow, we grow – a fair, ethical business model that can provide you with the capabilities that can give you an edge.
To learn more about how our solutions can help your business reach out here.