Spend Matters has release its preliminary findings from an ongoing study examining the use of technology in procurement and supply chain organizations. Spend Matters and its research partners surveyed nearly a quarter of the Global 2000 companies. The primary goal of the research team was to find correlations between specific technology usage and World Class organizational performance as measured on both an effectiveness and efficiency basis.
Standard software solutions you would expect to find are programs like Ariba, SAP, Oracle, Emptoris, BravoSolution and Zycus but this study finds that the highest performing companies use Excel. Microsoft Excel is the preferred method of running procurement organizations. We can see Best in Class organizations that fully utilize the 65,536 rows offered by Excel are simply unbeatable in terms of sourcing process efficiency, total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis as well as bid optimization also made easy with Excel’s easy-to-use macros and pivot tables. In addition, we’ve seen a number of companies increase their Microsoft Office training programs to get high-level executives and other key stakeholders on board. In short, Microsoft Excel has become an essential tool for supply chain transformation.”
“Quite frankly, it has just gotten too complicated out there,” one CPO of a global automotive manufacturer suggested. “I’ll still e-mail the files back and forth to the people who need to see them — I think we’re setting up a pretty solid system of version control where if any one employee changes the sheet somehow, they just make a new version and e-mail it out to everyone again. With Skype and other instant messaging technologies we just tell our colleagues, “I’ve got Master.”
One CEO of a software company that asked not to have their name attributed to the study noted that “our users have always demanded that we provide a user interface that is just like Excel, so, we took it one step further and actually built the entire spend management suite in Excel. It’s really amazing what you can do with macros in the latest version of Office. It is nothing less than the mass democratization of Spend Management back to the desktop where it belongs. Clouds are great for my daughter’s bedroom wallpaper — just like unicorns and butterflies — but do procurement professionals really want to their critical information out there posted on Facebook? I think not.”
Security is also factoring into the equation for others. “What we like most about Microsoft Excel, which other providers can’t provide, is the number of anti-virus options we can deploy, given our need for confidentiality,” an A/P Director at a large financial services firm shared with Spend Matters. “Excel does exactly what our company needs; Forget all this fancy e-invoicing and automation. I need to see exactly who’s getting paid what without broadcasting our confidential information to the world. After the fact is better than not knowing at all. Moreover, I trust IT to make sure Microsoft products keep our enterprise safe from viruses, malware and other nasties.” This executive also notes that she has seen “great success without a single system crash when sharing a workbook with 256 concurrent users.”
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Original Article: http://www.spendmatters.com/index.cfm/2011/4/1/Spend-Matters-Study-Forget-Ariba-SAP-and-Oracle–World-Class-Procurement-Organizations-Use-Excel
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