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Are You a Spread Sheet Slave?

Monday, 18 September 2006
By Print 21 Online Article

It is not only the willing horse that is loaded down, often it is the clever one too. If you are the only spreadsheet guru in your organization it’s likely you are well overworked and tired of it. Dave Bell, co-founder of Quite & Print is here to set you free.

One of the biggest problems I see in printers’ offices is the lack of integrated systems. A typical configuration would be estimating software sitting on an estimator’s desk, job tracking done using an Excel spread sheet and a standalone accounting system.

When extra information is needed e.g. when a customer wants a list of all jobs printed for them in the last 12 months, or the sales manager wants a list of outstanding quotes for the month listed by sales rep, then someone in the organization will need to design a spread sheet and try to find a fellow employee to key in all the data by hand .

Quite often the next month the same data will be wanted but in a slightly different format so the spreadsheet will need to be modified.. The next month the data will be needed in the same format but for a different customer. The result is Ongoing Chaos.

To make matters worse you are probably the person who designed the Excel spread sheet or perhaps the Access database where all this information is stored. You enjoyed going to the course where you learnt spread sheet basics and a little bit of data base programming. Designing the initial spreadsheets was fun. But now that you have modified them for the tenth time and you are the only person who has the expertise, it is all starting to be very tedious and time consuming. Not to mention the pressure you are under to get changes finished before you go on leave or the fact that sometimes you have to stop what you are currently doing to make urgent changes to the spreadsheet because there is now an error in one of the formulas.

Or perhaps you are the owner or general manager. It is now halfway through the month and you cannot find out what your last months sales are because the computer on your desk does not have access to that data and tomorrow you have a meeting planned with the company’s accountant.

Does this sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be like this. There is another way.

Research done by Quote & Print shows that there are many benefits to installing a fully integrated multi-user MIS system where data can flow seamlessly from one module to the next.

These benefits include:

1) Reduction in admin staff by 33 per cent. Our trainers and support staff have found that one year after installing Quote and Print, most companies have been in a position or have already reduced their admin staff by one third through natural attrition or by redeployment to other areas.

2) Elimination of errors caused by rekeying of data.

3) End of months are brought forward so that end of month close is done no later than two working days into the start of the next month.

4) Accurate management reports can be printed at any time because the information is always current.

5) Quotes and reports can easily be emailed. In fact the majority of your quotes are now emailed. You forgot the last time you used the fax machine.

6) You have instant access not only to your current data but also to last month’s or last year’s or two years ago.

7) You have an extra half-day to print jobs as now work sheets can be generated as soon as the order is received. You have more time to plan and print your jobs in the most production efficient manner.

8) You can instantly see who are bad payers or slow payers. You can put customers on credit hold if required

9) You can see the big picture.

10) All screen have the same look and feel. This reduces training time.

11) Staff are less stressed as there is better workflow.

12) You will go home earlier.

Studies show that only 15 per cent of Australian printers have a fully integrated MIS. If you are in the 85 per cent who don’t have an integrated MIS there is a good chance that you are a spreadsheet slave.

The good news is that a MIS such as Quote & Print costs less that what you think for such a comprehensive system. The return on investment is less than two years. Our modular design means you only pay for the modules you require.

This article was brought to you by Quote & Print

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