7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Excel for Asset Management
Does your company use Excel for asset management? Have you ever wished you had certain features in your asset management toolbox that would make managing your assets so much easier? In many companies, asset managers find themselves using Excel sheets (or even pen and paper) for asset management.
If you’re wondering (or if you need to convince your manager) why you should pay for an asset management software when you could just keep using Excel, take a look at these seven reasons we’ve put together.
1. Lack of up-to-date asset information
Keeping asset information up-to-date with Excel is extremely time-consuming. How likely is it that everyone updates the spreadsheet instantaneously as they check assets in or out? The chance of errors increases as updating the records delays.
2. Limited user access and traceability
When using Excel for asset management, you have to figure out a way to share spreadsheets with other users. This often causes a hassle as you try to make sure everyone has the most up-to-date version available. Also, multiple users editing the same spreadsheet simultaneously could lead to a chaos and spotting errors within a large amount to data is a huge challenge. Furthermore, it is difficult, impossible even, to keep track of who updated what and when.
3. Inconvenient to use on the move
I’m sure you agree using Excel files on your mobile phone is very impractical. Carrying a laptop around just to be able to update asset information on-site is not an optimal solution either. Since your team is carrying smartphones wherever they go anyway, wouldn’t it be convenient to be able to update the records easily with a mobile app?
4. Lack of links between physical assets and their information
So you have multiple assets that look exactly the same. Still, you need to be able to view the audit trail of each asset individually: where it is, who has it, when was it last calibrated, when is the next maintenance scheduled and so on. How can you make sure the asset information on your Excel sheet is linked to the right asset? Asset management systems often solve the problem by tagging the assets with QR codes, barcodes or RFID tags, for example.
5. Impractical to use attachments
User manuals, calibration documents, maintenance records, photos… You could use hyperlinks from the spreadsheet to your vital documents but they are easily broken and frustrating to maintain. Having information scattered in multiple different locations makes it difficult to quickly access the information you need.
6. Problematic to make specific queries
Filtering asset data based on multiple properties is troublesome with Excel. If you need to filter the data based on usage data for example, the task becomes even harder. Asset management solutions typically provide tools to make advanced queries and save favorite queries so that it’s quick and easy to access the right information.
7. Lack of notifications on due dates
Let’s admit it: sometimes things just slip our minds (and it’s totally human). Even so, calibration dates, maintenance dates etc. being overdue can result in serious financial losses and even bodily injuries. You cannot work if you don’t have the right assets in appropriate condition at hand. In contrast to Excel, an asset management solution enables you to receive automatic reminders of upcoming due dates straight to your inbox.
All in all, although old-fashioned, Excel is great in its intended use cases. It’s not however designed for asset management, where information about asset statuses, locations, etc. has to be constantly updated.