Save Money with MS Excel

So you finally decided that efficiency is what you want, and automation is the path to increased efficiency. But while you know automation is the way to go, you aren’t sure what needs automation. That’s OK, you don’t need to know immediately. Here are some tips.

1. Ask your employees. “I don’t want automation. I like taking hours to do things that Excel could do in seconds,” said no employee ever.

If you really want to know what needs automation, your employees already know. They’ll likely tell you about the various jobs and tasks they do that they either don’t like or don’t want to do; and they’ll probably tell you the reason why is because it takes so darn long.

Example: A medical supply company had a website where customers could place orders for needed products. The shopping cart dumped the orders into a very large spreadsheet in an ugly format. The customer had to manually, line by line, copy the data into a spreadsheet, and then print the form for processing. This was very time consuming and created a lot of errors.

What the company needed was an automated process to copy all the days' data into a master spreadsheet. The sheet then allowed them to select which order they wanted to print in. It would then extract the data and print out the needed forms. This turned hours of work into minutes and reduced the errors dramatically.

Of course, we would suggest a particular tool…

2. Select the tool. There are countless automation tools out there, but you have to choose which to use. We enthusiastically recommend Excel. An Excel spreadsheet is the one because Excel spreadsheets really help with efficiency because they have automation built right in.

Excel also works across multiple processes within an organization, so it’s scalable — one size fits all. Finally, it’s affordable because you probably already have it as part of your Office suite. No need to spend more for automation and efficiency.

Here’s an example: A local contractor wanted a way to produce an estimate while on a job site. He also wanted the spreadsheet to produce the other needed documents such as contracts and permits automatically.

Since he already had Excel, TAP Solutions made an Excel spreadsheet that he entered in all the data once, and it automatically spread throughout all the other forms. This way if the contractor needed a form, all he had to do was click on the proper tab, make any tweaks and print it out. It saved a lot of time typing in things over and over.

3. Analyze, analyze, analyze. Automation can lead to increased efficiency, but to guarantee it requires careful and thorough analysis of the data that has gone though automation.

For example, say you’re a window blind company owner who never knew how exactly how much material you needed for any single project. You would estimate the amount, and put that figure into Excel. When you estimated too much, it cost you money for materials you didn't use. When you estimated too little, it delayed the project's completion because you had to get more materials from the supplier.

This actually happened. TAP Solutions used Excel to create a worksheet for each order as part of a workbook for orders to his suppliers. After all the individual orders were entered into the workbook as worksheets, the new Excel workbook calculated how much material was needed for the entire group of orders. The worksheet saved the company time and money because the owner could order the right amount of material from his suppliers and allocate it correctly to the customers' jobs.

Proper analysis following the automation Excel did ensured the owner ordered allocated the right amount each time.

These are just some of the steps the experts at TAP Solutions recommend you take to improve automation and increase efficiency. Contact us today to see how we can help you use the Excel spreadsheets you already have to take your business to that next level through the increased efficiency that comes with automation. www.TAPSolutions.net  or call Warren 818 281 7628 for a free consolution.