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Author's profile photo Valeria Vinclair

From Excel to ERP – Why You Should Make the Switch


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Young companies often start with simple tools. The Excel spreadsheet quickly becomes the central tool for documenting, analysing and optimising the company’s key figures. However, at the latest with increasing growth, the spreadsheet proves to be limited: A modern ERP system helps you stay ahead of the competition in the future. 

Excel as business software? These are the disadvantages:

Excel is easy to use and offers many possibilities to create even complex calculations and analyses through macros. But in everyday management, the tool comes up against clear limits at various points:

  • Error-proneness: Excel has no interfaces to connect different areas such as CRM, accounting and online shop. All data must be entered manually to a large extent. This makes the system very error-prone.
  • Unreliability: With Excel, your data is always unstructured and stored decentrally. As a result, many processes do not run as efficiently as they could. Time and again, data has to be collected, transferred and filed manually.
  • No revision security: The GoBD prescribes audit-proof electronic archiving for all companies. This includes that all data is stored unambiguously and traceably – and in such a way that this data cannot be changed, or in such a way that every change is traceable.

ERP system instead of Excel: These are the advantages:

Importing and converting data? An enterprise resource management system puts an end to that. Because all the data that accumulates in your company is in one and the same system right from the start with an ERP system. This results in many advantages compared to data entry in Excel. 

  • Central storage: An ERP system like SAP Business ByDesign stores all business data centrally in one place. It is displayed on a personal dashboard. This way, everyone can quickly get an overview of the current figures without having to rummage through various Excel tables.
  • Access from everywhere: With a cloud-based ERP, you and your employees access the data from the ERP at any time. All you need is an internet-enabled device such as a computer, smartphone or tablet. For time-critical projects, this is an invaluable advantage over Excel.
  • Complete integration of all business areas: With an ERP system, you integrate all business areas in principle: from accounting to logistics and sales channels to CRM. This makes the system less prone to errors because no data has to be transferred manually. In addition, many processes can be made more efficient through automation. This also has a positive effect on the customer experience.
  • GOBD and DSGVO-compliant storage: ERP systems from SAP make electrical archiving easy. The system comes with all the necessary tools to archive data in a legally compliant manner.

Conclusion: This is why you should switch to an ERP system

Every second small and medium-sized enterprise in Germany considers investing in new technologies to be a key priority with regard to the challenges of digital transformation in the company – according to a Europe-wide study in 2019. Investing in an ERP system is a good starting point for digitally expanding your own structures and business model. With a uniform, central, fully integrated business software, you make better, data-based decisions faster, create the framework for the automation of standard tasks and more efficient processes.

Do you have any questions? Learn from the experiences of other SMEs and exchange ideas in the community: or let’s connect and get in touch on LinkedIn.

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