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By Missy England
March 29, 2017
Because Excel is so amazingly useful and flexible, many think it is always the best fit. However, there comes a time when your needs surpass what a spreadsheet can handle and it’s time for you to upgrade to a new solution with more powerful functionality.
Do you have a 15+MB Excel file? This is a clear sign that you’re pushing the limit on what Excel was ever meant to do. This also tells you that you’re dealing with enough valuable data to preserve and leverage it correctly.
Using a spreadsheet that only allows one user to update information doesn’t provide the level of collaboration you need to maintain a healthy project. So maybe you’re thinking about using Google Docs or Microsoft Office 360 to solve this issue. But, they still can’t deliver a single repository where all of your information resides. One of the huge advantages of a cloud-based solution like Procore is that one piece of software becomes the single repository for all information regardless of where you are. This is extremely powerful because you can be confident knowing you have the most current information to work from.
Excel’s flexibility is what makes such a wonderful resource, but it can also be its most restraining feature. There are no tools specific to construction project management to help you divide and manage your data by task like bidding, RFIs, or change orders.
Entering data in two different places can feel like someone is syphoning the gas out of your car while you are filling up at the gas pump. If you have to enter information into multiple platforms to receive the information and reporting you need, it’s time to stop wasting time and money and get the proper tools for the job, which are made specifically for construction project management.
Hardware forces you to constantly upgrade to newer versions as the technology advances. This is not only costly, but time-consuming and can interfere with document distribution if your team members are working off of older versions. One of the advantages of cloud-based technology is that the system is never out of date.
Once it requires multiple formula to retrieve even the most basic project data, you need to switch to a more user-friendly platform that does the work for you. The fact that you need to be a 10th degree black belt in Excel mastery to structure the data, formulas and scripts to work flawlessly is reason enough to update to the tools which were built for the job.
Cloud-based platforms leverage the power of your mobile device, not just giving you a desktop application to remain stationary in the office, but a mobile app you can manage with your phone or tablet directly from the job site.
If you’re at point where it takes an Excel ninja to manipulate your pivot tables, write scripts and import data from other sheets, you’re in need of a construction software platform. Being able to link data together is one of the most important reasons to move to construction software.
It’s just as easy to delete in Excel as it is to enter data. When you’re liability reaches the point where project success is reliant and accountability, spreadsheets just won’t cut it. Unlike Excel, with construction software, you can not only see what was added or deleted, but who did it and when. How many times would this have saved you?
Excel is a very powerful tool, but it has its limitations. In order to stay competitive, you must be aware of those limitations that hold you back and be ready to adapt to more efficient practices.
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