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The Excel list of horror - a modern fairy tale by the brothers 4Soft

Once upon a time, there was a true hero named John who worked as a manager in a flourishing company. John had a noble mission: he wanted to make the work in his department not only better, but also more efficient. With great determination and a deft touch for modern technology, he installed Excel on his computer and immediately set about optimizing his team’s processes.

Initially, John’s endeavor seemed to be crowned with great success. Using Excel, he created complex spreadsheets, cross-references and formulas that made it easy for him and his entourage to keep track of their tasks and progress. Particularly impressive was John’s mastery of the almighty SVERWEIS, which caused great amazement in the office and earned him numerous admirers.

As time went on, however, John realized that his Excel spreadsheets were becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage. He spent more and more time trying to make sense of the data and less and less time being productive. His entourage always had new demands, and the spreadsheets grew larger and more confusing - until finally John felt as if he were being devoured by the fabled “Excel list of horrors.” Over time, the green monster grew dragon wings, acquired an iridescent scale armor, and learned to breathe fire. His office constantly smelled of sulfur - the fight against the monster seemed hopeless.

Instead of resigning himself to his fate, John realized he needed the help of true experts to rid himself of the Excel monster. He set out to find brave digitization warhorses and finally found a battle-hardened company from Munich, Germany, that offered customized support.

On their trusty warhorses, armed with flaming swords and a new, revolutionary platform in their luggage, the experts were able to defeat the “Excel list of horrors”, automate John’s processes and simplify data management. Finally, John and his entourage were able to focus on their core business. This also increased their productivity immeasurably. John had conquered the monster and taken his managerial skills to a new level - all without the help of Excel.

Granted, we rarely fight dazzling, fire-breathing dragons, and flaming swords aren’t standard equipment for us either. Otherwise, however, the predicament in which our John finds himself here differs only slightly from the situation in which we have encountered some of our customers.

Excel is often the first step in “digitizing” processes of any kind. The barrier to entry is low: Excel is installed on virtually every computer, it’s easy to use, you don’t have to write project proposals, you don’t have to go through procurement processes, a network drive is sufficient for storage, and you don’t need IT. You can “just do it”.

And that’s a good thing. Users can gather initial experience, gain insights and better understand their own working methods without major hurdles and on their own initiative. The problem arises when this prototype stage is never left. Often, business-critical processes then suddenly become dependent on Excel sheets. The file-based approach then almost inevitably leads to an untraceable distribution, for example by mail, with the consequence of inconsistent and no longer traceable data statuses. Sound decisions become difficult on this basis. If, last but not least, the whole thing is equipped with functions and macros that only a single “Excel magician” understands, then it is high time to act!

We are convinced that there is another way. In our projects we are able to implement applications “enterprise-ready” in a short time without losing the advantages of an “Excel process” by using a suitable approach and the right tools.

For this we often rely on the platform cplace [link to] of our partner collaboration Factory. cplace offers a wide range of configurable standard functions and can be extended, if necessary, with the help of low and pro code. This means that many functions can be implemented with little effort and in some cases even by the users themselves. This serves to gain knowledge quickly and minimize risk, especially in early phases. At the same time, however, you are already in an environment that is suitable for enterprise applications. Seamless scaling in later project phases is thus possible without any problems.

So don’t get swallowed up by your very own “Excel list of horrors” like John - call us and discover the future of digital process optimization!

Customized and adequate process digitization is our business. If an “Excel monster” also lives on your computer, we will be happy to advise you on your individual options.

You are just at the beginning of a digitization project and don’t want to build your personal “Excel list of horrors”? Great, there is another way! We already accompany many of our customers in these early phases, for example, to find optimal solutions in the context of prototyping or agile development.

Picture Credits Title: © Robert Kneschke, Adobe Stock
Johannes Becker

Johannes Becker

Managing Consultant

+49 89 5307 44-523

Are you interested? Then please contact us without any obligation.