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You get the idea of the sort of company that I’m describing. They’re a strong brand, well known, and trusted globally.

You would expect them to be wrapped up in process, procedure and best practices – they must be successful for a reason? They must have learned from their mistakes, and should have ironed out the processes and procedure to avoid any further hiccups happening? Wrong!

Time and time again I see most companies still operating on excel spreadsheets, first drafts are sent out as “fact”, unchecked, and unedited. These complex spreadsheets are designed by someone who, if they left, would take the knowledge of how it was built with them.

Did you know that there are errors in 90% of all spreadsheets?

It takes so long to produce, manage, and update these complex spreadsheets, that by the time it reaches the decision makers, the data, and intelligence, is obsolete, out of date and wrong!

Excel is “so easy to use” that everyone can do it but that is the problem!

People with no skills and no certifications, can invent a spreadsheet that tells the story “they” want it to tell.

Do you still think the company are a shining example of a strong brand, built on years of “knowing what they are doing?” Would you still invest in them?

Knowing just a little about how disorganised, and prone to forecast errors most companies are…

…would you ever place your trust in them as an employee, customer, partner ever again?

Well yes actually, I would.

I would invest in the organisation, that have invested in the right planning and forecasting tools.

They have taken the time to ensure that all of the data is up to date and correct, and the spreadsheets full of errors aren’t used to argue a point in the board room.

I would invest in a company that made their decisions based on an error free, single version of the truth data. Where issues can be identified and addressed, and the growth, revenue, and loss, forecasts are 100% accurate.

I would invest in companies where they take the time to empower the right people with the right skills to manage these processes.

The next time you deal with “one of those” companies in any capacity, if you see a spreadsheet, run the other way quickly, and don’t look back. Because what you will see is a well-established and loved company that is crumbling, failing, and going bust, before your eyes.

You can make a forecast error once or twice, but you can only run out of money once.

If you recognise some or all of the symptoms outlined above, it’s not too late. Contact us here.

July 9, 2015