Tired of Wasting Time? Consider Cutting SpreadsheetsFebruary 15, 2019
A forest fire starts with just one spark. Likewise, a catastrophic error in the retail world can start with one delayed reaction to an impending problem such as fabric arriving late to the factory, sample approvals running late, design changes, and a host of other reasons. For companies that still rely heavily on spreadsheets, it’s impossible to react quickly, essentially wasting profitable opportunities to solve problems before things start to spiral out of control. Though spreadsheets are used extensively to manage product development and supply chain operations, minimizing spreadsheets is the key to improving speed to market, boosting productivity and putting out small fires before they erupt into full-scale disasters.
The trouble with spreadsheets
Despite a consensus among industry professionals that spreadsheets are inefficient and present a myriad of problems, it is still common for companies to use Excel for planning in some parts of their enterprise. However, this strategy comes with drawbacks. First and foremost, dealing with hundreds of spreadsheets inevitably wastes time and prevents employees from fulfilling more high-level tasks. Consequently, companies lose days, and sometimes even weeks, of valuable time.
Fashion companies and retailers use spreadsheets as their default simply because they don’t have the budget, time or knowledge to select another option. More often than not, apparel companies and brands are too preoccupied with updating and chasing spreadsheets to even consider a more efficient way to manage their business.
However, quick turnaround times put pressure on the fashion industry, leaving executives and designers little time to consider alternative methods to getting the job done. Furthermore, designers tend to be resistant to change and don’t see the amount of time that they could save with an innovative solution.
A better way to manage information
The good news is that a more efficient way to manage information does exist. From product lifecycle management to quality control, vendor compliance and supply chain activities, a digital platform can centralize the point of contact for all business activities. Whereas spreadsheets produce multiple versions of the truth, a digital platform presents a single version of the truth, leaving no doubt as to what’s happening or what needs to be done.
Instead of spending excessive and often unnecessary time searching through an entire haystack, managing information via a digital platform automatically identifies the needle in the haystack, pinpointing the problem instantly. In the fashion world, reaction time is everything. Being able to make data-driven decisions motivated by trends is paramount to a company’s success, and a digital platform empowers the collaboration and communication needed to make this possible.
How NGC can help
At NGC, we believe all departments within a company should have a clear view of their data, which shouldn’t reside in individual silos. Whether it’s using all of our solutions, a combination, or using Andromeda to overlay current systems and bridge any gaps as well as provide a single point of entry for gathering and evaluating critical data, our end-to-end platform provides practical solutions for any apparel retailer or brand.
Even if going completely spreadsheet-free isn’t practical for your company yet, examining other options to eventually create a more efficient system is worthwhile. In return, this can reduce lead times, improve productivity, free up staff and provide customers with the styles they want on time and on budget. Reducing or eliminating spreadsheets is the key to realizing these results.
End your reliance on spreadsheets with NGC’s Andromeda cloud platform. For more information, click here.
If you’re interested in envisioning the platform in use, request a demo here.