5 Reasons to trade in Excel spreadsheets for a modern software tool

In the olden days, spreadsheets were the holy grail for asset tracking, but are they still efficient?

Surprisingly often, pretty simple tasks are still done in the most tedious ways possible. A popular, yet frustrating tool regularly used for, e.g. equipment inventory, maintenance and management is still the classic Excel spreadsheet.

You may be an equipment manager responsible for tracking your company’s assets who upgraded from using pen and paper to keeping track of equipment with Excel.

You might even be using a ready-made asset management template, which may work well at first, until you start noticing its limitations. Filled with good intentions, you could decide to start again from scratch, only to inevitably start encountering the same issues again.

spreadsheet for asset tracking

Typical Excel sheet for equipment management
30+ columns wide, 100s rows long

Using Excel for asset tracking in this day and age may be justified because it’s easily available and seemingly cheap and easy to use, but do these reasons hold up against the many disadvantages?

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Five Disadvantages of Spreadsheets for asset tracking

1. Above all, Excel is unreliable

  • Accuracy is difficult, and the increased likelihood of data errors is almost inevitable with larger quantities of information, or when out of the box actions take place (such as moving an asset’s location for example).
  • Excel’s lack of validation and potential copy-paste errors make it extra easy to slip in mistakes.
  • Precious time is wasted validating and tracking data.
  • It can be extremely challenging to spot and correct errors, especially with larger volumes of data.
  • A computer crash, hardware failure or virus can potentially mess up all your hard work and set you back like it’s nobody’s business.

2. No Real-Time Asset Tracking Data

  • Keeping your spreadsheet up to date is often a hassle.
  • There’s no audit trail, which makes it tough to keep your actual asset count and data in sync, especially when more than one person has access to the file.
  • Unnecessary time is wasted updating spreadsheets to avoid this problem.

3. Limited User Access

  • Works fine until more than 1 person starts using or editing it.
  • Only 1 person can edit the spreadsheets at a time, and doing this from the comfort of their own phone usually isn’t a given.
  • After the spreadsheet is copied, horrific chaos and confusion often ensues.
  • There is no system to tell us who changed what and when. So anyone can be blamed for your mistake (no, that is not supposed to be an advantage).

4. Excel can easily get too complex and limits quick data analysis or a clear overview

  • Which makes it difficult to predict equipment need and customer demand.
  • With too much data it can get complex to be able to see what’s relevant.
  • It can get overly complicated if you want to start planning for the future.

5. It’s ugly and boring

  • Wouldn’t it be grand to say farewell to Excel’s stiff, old fashioned and boring formatting and to trade it in for an intuitive and slick software tool with an accessible and well-arranged timeline that instantly shows your priorities?
  • The fact that you only work with text and can’t liven things up with images doesn’t help either.

Here’s an example of something more modern. 👇😏

In a Nutshell

  • Outdated information renders your Excel spreadsheet useless.
  • Errors = wasted time + wasted money + unnecessary ulcers.
  • Time to upgrade your asset tracking strategy, release all your Excel stress and get efficient!

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