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  • Writer's pictureMichael Sena

10 Ways To Improve Business Processes Using Spreadsheets

Excel & Google Sheets facilitate custom processes for which other software types don't provide enough flexibility. Most of us spend from 0.5 to over 3 hours a day working with spreadsheets and it pays off to use that time to our benefit by driving process improvement through spreadsheets.

The idea is usually simple and yields amazing results over time. When you are conscious of your work processes, you can gradually structure them. Starting with clean files, then leveraging templates and documenting them and deploying macros and automation.

To help you improve business processes using spreadsheets, we asked CEOs and business leaders how they used spreadsheets to improve business processes. From reducing human errors with Excel formulae to using spreadsheet software for performance management, there are many ways to use spreadsheets to improve business processes.

Here are ten ways to improve business processes using spreadsheets:

Reduce Human Errors With Excel Formulas

We’ve improved the quality of annual sales reports by using spreadsheets’ mathematical formulas to simplify complicated calculations that would typically leave us open for error. By generating one calculation-intensive formula, you can save hours of your time. Doing the same mathematical formulas, step by step is a difficult and repetitive task that can leave even those most cautious employees open to error. Spreadsheets take all the work out of the equation. We just simply input the data points and our annual sales reports are produced.

Rob Bartlett, WTFast

Organize Customer Data for Improved Customer Experience

Our customers are real people, and it's important to remember that. Spreadsheets are a great way to keep our customer data organized to better serve them. From the types of equipment they need to rates and loan types, it is just easier to access it all within a spreadsheet. The use of spreadsheets has improved the customer experience for everyone involved. We use Excel for complex formulas that lend to simplified tables and charts that are more user friendly and informative a much better customer experience.

Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital

Keep Track of Product Information for Better Marketing

For e-commerce businesses, Excel sheets can help with keeping track of your product information. This can be useful when you are posting about new products and interacting with customers about them. Otherwise, it would probably be very difficult to have to remember every detail of every product. Excel sheets can be helpful for this, especially because with the chart layout you can break these details into different categories.

Nick Shackelford, Structured Agency

Integrate Excel With Salesforce for Better Data Analysis

We integrated Excel with our Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It allows the two programs to communicate with each other, so contacts can be merged, and data can be synced and analyzed. This business automation tool not only saves time on duplicated manual data entry, but it also enables us to conduct regular deep analyses of sales and lead data.

Streamline Processes With Automated Spreadsheets

Believe it or not, there are still companies today that haven't evolved to the point of using automated spreadsheets in any capacity of their business. That's why I say that sometimes, simple implementation can be enough to shock them out of the proverbial stone age. In the past, one of the first parts of my client assessment was determining their literacy when it came to technology. The number of people I encountered who were intimidated by automated spreadsheets was quite surprising. So, education and implementation became my first and second steps.

Through this, I was able to assist small businesses by streamlining their operation budget processes, payroll, media tracking, and more. It can be very empowering to learn how to use technology to your benefit. I don't remember a single client ever devolving back to their pre-spreadsheet ways. Once they learn, they are hooked!

Devin Schumacher, SERP

Organize Live Customer Issues With Spreadsheets

You can improve your customer service capacity for small businesses by making detailed records of customer issues as they come in. Use Excel to log when the complaints come in, who made them, and what it was about, and make notes to stay on top of live issues. You give your customers the best value from your service when you are responsive and organized about helping them solve their product complaints. Use an excel sheet to organize all the necessary information in one segmented page so that you don’t lose any time getting back to your customer with updates and solutions.

Prioritize issues from low to high, delete resolved issues, and share the document with your teams to stay on the same page for the quickest performance.

Tom Mohr, Tom Mohr

Speed Up Verification Using Excel Data Validation

When we needed to capture data and verify against it when building Covid Test kits we used a spreadsheet for the data capture. We used Excel data validation features to make sure we scanned the correct barcodes and that the end product was in the box that it was supposed to be in. Because of the change in data capture requirements when the product evolved, we were able to quickly add or remove columns and check to make sure the right barcode got scanned into the right column.

Aaron Smith, Propeller, Inc.

Automate CMS Updates To Save Time

One way I was able to improve a business process through spreadsheets significantly is by updating our CMS. The problem we ran into was not being able to update content in our CMS collection items within Webflow quickly – it takes a ton of time to update each item individually. But, with Webflow, I can download all of our CMS collection items into a spreadsheet. I can upload this spreadsheet into Google Sheets and create a script of the spreadsheet to create a google doc for each CMS item – this helps to edit the content more easily! After, I run another script to push the content back into the Google Sheet, download it as a CSV, and then re-upload it into Webflow. The process improvement has saved me countless hours of work and headaches!

Nick Cotter, Growann

Use Spreadsheets for Performance Management

We use spreadsheets for performance management. We automated certain tasks, for instance, employees' weekly self-reporting form answers or the completion of a piece of content, to appear on a spreadsheet so that we can easily and conveniently track progress and productivity over time without manually compiling graphs and charts.

Gain In-depth Web Analytics Insights

I rely on Spreadsheets when analyzing page performance. I export Google Search Console data into Google Sheets. I then set up filtering rules to analyze CTR, impressions, and positions for every page on my website. Spreadsheets give flexibility in gathering insights and allow leveraging information difficult to spot without granular access to data.

Eliza Nimmich, Learnt

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1. Lack of awareness
2. Budgeting constraints
3. Status quo
4. Case study
5. Equilibrium
6. The remedy
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