Make no mistake about it. Excel is indeed a great tool. It is easy to use, widely used and flexible: It can be used as a simple database (customer database, product database, quotation etc.), to calculate prices, as well as generate quotations. Excel has therefore become an essential tool in many small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).
Navigating through thousands of excel files
However, Excel does come with many limitations. For example, sales management staff have to navigate through literally hundreds of spreadsheets and files, before finding their desired information. In many companies, hundreds of files for clients (one file per client) and thousands of files for quotes (each quote is an excel file), result in endless files having to be input manually to provide summaries and reports.
On the other hand of the scale, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software like Oracle come with a hefty price-tag, putting them out of reach for many SMEs. As such, there were no other affordable alternatives. Until now.
Customisable Business Software
With technology becoming more and more affordable (not too long ago, only senior management personnel could view their emails on their expensive blackberry phones!), there are now a larger variety of solutions suitable for SMEs. We recently handled a project where we effectively customized Odoo, our to-go open source ERP product, for the very specific needs of the trading industry.
Aside from its wealth of features, Odoo boasts a user rate of 2 million users worldwide. With multi-users access, and available databases for products, customers and quotations, Odoo is primed to be the next big thing in the ERP market.
In addition, it’
s easily customizable options was a perfect fit for our client in the trading industry, as validating prices is a complex process requiring customer segmentation, region segmentation, channel segmentation and many other variables.
Now is the time to give it a try!
As businesses begin to look inwards to maximize profits, productivity and efficiency have become the key to progress. So take the first step, and integrate your back office into a seamless machine!
About the author
Dominique KON-SUN-TACK is the founder of Elico Solutions (Singapore), a company offering consulting services for the implementation of Odoo, an open source ERP software. Elico Solutions’s vision is to help companies in South East Asia automate and integrate their internal processes with tools and methods used by large MNCs.