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Strategies to Operations Series 4: Inventory Planning | Excel vs Demand Planning Software

For almost all business professionals, the relationship with spreadsheets started when they were at school. Over time, they become familiar with the intricacies of the tool. As a result, spreadsheets are often the default programme for every bit of analysis required.

However, many businesses are far too reliant on these simplistic data processing tools. While spreadsheets are easy to use, they simply lack the processing power, standard structure or robustness required. This is especially true in supply chain management where almost all decisions have to be underpinned by effective analysis of potentially thousands of lines of data.

Differences between Excel and Demand Planning Software

Excel and Demand Planning Software

1) Efficiency

To keep up with the dynamic nature of today’s complex marketplace, supply chain teams must be able to respond to change quickly. How can the business remain responsive if the spreadsheets in question have to be completely re-invented every time a change occurs?

Through enabling businesses to automate inventory management processes across the vast majority of their assortment, supply chain teams can focus their attention on the more critical issues. By allowing the stock control software to do the “heavy lifting”, supply chain teams can focus their time and attention where it is really required.

2) Reliability

Given that even a minor issue such as an incorrect data input or formula could have a profound impact on the output of any analysis, spreadsheets are not the most robust solutions. Furthermore, when you consider that spreadsheets require constant refinement and human intervention, it’s very easy to lose sight of which is the most up to date version.

Through utilising proven forecasting models and robust data structures, an effective stock control solution will minimise the risk of errors, ensuring that the analysis is consistent. The result: solid insights on which you can base supply chain decisions with confidence.

3) Growth

When a business is first starting out, spreadsheets are probably sufficient. However, as demand grows and the organisation expands to encompass more locations, the complexity of the operation will spiral. If you try and manage this with spreadsheets alone, the number of lines of data and the formula required to keep everything in check would be simply mind-boggling!

Effective stock control software should not only support growth but actively harness the complexity in order to provide businesses with meaningful insights.

Ready to take the next step with Inventory Planning Software?

Our team of specialists are able to provide configurable software solutions that cater to your specific needs. If you are ready for the next step, please contact us on

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Ryan Ching

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