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Are you still relying on spreadsheets to plan and schedule work?

Sure, spreadsheets have their advantages – they’re free and, at first glance, seem like a practical solution for small businesses that don’t want to invest in additional tools or training. But when it comes to scheduling and forecasting, Excel quickly reaches its limits. What worked when you were just starting out won’t serve you well when your business begins to grow and evolve. Plus, let’s be real – spreadsheets can be boring, difficult to update, and prone to human error. It’s time to trade up to something more dynamic, user-friendly, and visually appealing.

Something that not only streamlines day-to-day operations but also enables you to plan for the future. If you’re not convinced yet, let me break it down for you. Here are some reasons why your business needs to upgrade to dedicated electronic rostering, forecasting, and work allocation software – and ditch Excel once and for all.

Reasons to Say Goodbye To Excel for Scheduling Work Maintaining spreadsheets can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Fortunately, efficient scheduling software is available that saves heaps of time for both managers and employees by simplifying the sharing of critical information.

Juggling a spreadsheet means making it available via Google Docs or a shared folder on your network, or reaching out to each employee individually when changes occur. Building an electronicrostering employee with Excel can be laborious, especially if shifts change frequently. In fact, half of the employers spend at least two hours every week updating Excel sheets and dispatching revised schedules to their workers.

This defeats the purpose of using Excel and ends up more complicated than it needs to be. Furthermore, when you have just one Excel guru, that person can never seem to get a break. And if you happen to be that one Excel expert, the company’s growth and operations come to a halt if you ever decide to leave.

This is because no one else knows how to manage the sheets as properly as you do. Spreadsheets’ limitations don’t stop there. Data reporting can be lacking, notifications and alerts are missing when someone makes changes or overlooks filling out their timesheet. You may be spending a lot of time maintaining the schedule, but it’s all for naught. To make matters worse, when you have multiple spreadsheets referring to each other or need to combine content to get your operational data, things can get messy and even more time-consuming. And finally, communicating the spreadsheet information with your employees is not easy either.

With Microsoft Excel, colleagues can see each other’s shifts and work allocation. Additionally, you don’t receive automatic confirmations from employees regarding their schedules. Once you send out the sheet, you’re not even sure if the workers received or confirmed it. And yes, you can share the sheets on OneDrive or SharePoint, but it’s yet another task added to your already heavy workload. Take control of your work scheduling and maximise the productivity of your employees with the use of scheduling software.

Despite its wide usage, a spreadsheet is not an ideal substitute for a database system. It is unstructured and poses a threat to data integrity. The absence of reporting capabilities can limit analysis, and manual data entry could create logistical havoc across various spreadsheets. These limitations can prove to be bottlenecks in achieving scalability. Multiple users cannot work on a spreadsheet simultaneously, except with a shared online spreadsheet with reduced functionality. Error-prone scheduling and data entry could lead to inconsistencies and adversely impact overall performance. With spreadsheets, your business risks becoming reactive as it is difficult to track performance in real time. Spreadsheets also do not integrate well with other software, slowing down the process of transferring data to ERP software, and other internal systems. This manual data transfer poses a high risk of errors. Growth-oriented businesses peculiarly find spreadsheet-based solutions inadequate. For medium to large-sized businesses, using a spreadsheet could become the bottleneck limiting sustainability.

Let’s take a closer look at the tremendous advantages that dedicated software for forecasting and scheduling can bring to your business. Although it may require a larger investment compared to using Microsoft Excel, the real question you should be asking is how much this solution can save your company in the long run. And, there’s no doubt that dedicated software will prove more efficient and profitable than spreadsheets. With software solutions like Nextrasoft, businesses can enjoy a plethora of benefits, such as real-time work allocation based on business priorities and skills, forward forecasting on service and product requirements, planning for recruitment and training, as well as the ability to handle what-if scenarios. All of these features contribute to overall increased productivity and utilization of 30% or more, thanks to improved identification of latent capacity and talent, and the handling of seasonal variations in demand and supply. Isn’t it clear why so many businesses today choose scheduling software over spreadsheets? With its user-friendly interface and advanced features, scheduling software delivers much more than Excel. Invest in your business, and let dedicated software help you improve on your daily activities and planning capabilities.

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