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3 reasons why Excel is doing your company more harm than good

Hana Block

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Nod your head if you’ve ever felt frustration boiling in your veins by an Excel template or spreadsheet?

First available in the late 1980s, Excel is a general spreadsheet program that’s been adopted across various industries in a number of different applications. However Excel is almost 40 years old, and new platforms are starting to push this application out the door.

If you’re continuing to use an Excel template or spreadsheet in your construction company, your project could be suffering from serious and avoidable inefficiencies

The days of tracking, management and accountability with Excel are ending – and mobile and cloud-based construction platforms are stepping in to take its place.

Below, we’ll explain some of the major flaws of having Excel in your organisation, and why you should be adding updated cloud based tools to your internal processes. 

1. Prone to human errors: Manual Mistakes

And we all know that one small data entry error can easily cost your company millions or potentially even billions of dollars. On top of costs, just one small error in Excel can expose projects to further risk.  Minor mistakes can cause you to incorrectly manage materials, underestimate labor costs or create massive scheduling confusions. None of which will help you achieve maximum efficiency or win more work in the long-term.  

Solution? More automation, please. 

Using construction tech platforms can provide accurate and automated processes of checks and balances that your current Excel spreadsheets and templates can’t. Innovative new tools like Matrak’s material management platform allows you to make updates directly to materials from shared interactive color coded floor plans, minimizing room for error. 

By replacing Excel with other construction tech platforms, you’ll no longer have to worry if you’ve missed a critical step in one of your builds. 

2. Is it the right tool for the job?: Lack of industry knowledge

It’s not just the risk of errors we should be concerned about. Should we be relying on such a generic tool to manage specific construction workflows and processes? 

Let’s compare it to a Swiss army knife, which like Excel is a versatile utility tool. But if you needed to chop down a tree for flooring, you’d probably use a proper chainsaw rather than one of the tools on the army knife.

So it’s established – we only use purpose-built tools for the job…so why are we still using software that hasn’t been designed specifically with the construction industry in mind? 

Solution? Use technology built for you. 

For technology to truly help the construction industry, it has to understand what information builders, manufacturers and subcontractors need and use. Construction tracking platform, Matrak, is made from first hand, on-site frustrations and developed specifically with the construction industry in mind. Built with flexible and customisable features to empower and connect anyone along the construction supply chain. 

3. No man is an island: Lack of collaboration

Did you know 67% of the industry is monitoring live project performance using spreadsheets or other manual methods? This means that critical business information that drives cash flow and other financial decisions, is being collated using numerous unconnected worksheets, rather than optimised, real-time software.

This creates massive inefficiencies and wastes unnecessary time spent creating, collating, and duplicating work and information. It also creates a sense of chaos and lack of control. Because without real-time information, having true control of a project is nearly impossible and inhibits you to make informed decisions when needed. Also with so many untracked changes and personalised spreadsheets, it makes it really difficult to check and share data in a meaningful way.

Solution: Connect with all stakeholders in one place. 

 There is an integrated solution to the spreadsheet mayhem – and it’s end-to-end supply chain visibility platforms like Matrak. Use interactive colour coded floor plans to communicate accurate material and progress updates for better project visibility for everyone. 

When is it time to make the switch?

Yesterday! A good build needs the right tools. 

Replacing Excel with the right construction technology will help your team reduce risk and human error, while ensuring a more efficient and collaborative build. Designed specifically for tracking materials and progress for your project’s lifetime, Matrak is a cloud based materials tracking platform that has exactly what you need to enable end-to-end supply chain visibility.

Unlike Excel, Matrak’s digital interactive floor plans help teams collaborate and connect during their project. The platform ensures data, and changes to that data, are shared in real-time to all those that need to be notified – eliminating the need for multiple complex spreadsheets.

Also unlike Excel, Matrak’s audit history tracks all changes and interactions made to every material. Eliminating the blame game and adding protection and proof against liability, risk and costs. This unique approach has been proven to decrease risk, increase margins and improve visibility of project progress. 

And the best part? While the industry slowly adapts to newer tools and If your management information is still communicated through layers of MS spreadsheets – all the data in Matrak can be exported to Excel to work alongside your current business processes. 

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