The Curse of The Spreadsheet
We met a number of large banking and healthcare organisations on a recent Trade Mission to the Southern Hemisphere to promote our company and products. The meetings were part of a Mission organised by Enterprise Ireland, an Irish Government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish businesses in world markets.
Trade Missions can be very useful and this one was no exception. Essentially, in our case, you work with Enterprise Ireland (EI) to compile a list of target organisations that you’d like to meet. EI then set up the meetings and because they’re a Government organisation they have the credibility and clout, for want of a better term, to open doors that might have taken us months, or even years, to open. They don’t do it for just any company, though. They identify companies they believe have something worthwhile and positive to bring to the market place.
The meetings tend to take the same form. You introduce yourself and exchange the usual pleasantries. The people you’re meeting are genuinely pleased to meet you but there’s always that element of “what exactly is it they’re here to talk about?” It’s then you need to get to the point and in our case, we would talk, briefly, about our roster systems, Gartan Availability and Gartan Roster. A lot of the time, however, they’ll quickly tell you that they already have a roster system in place. And that’s fair because most organisations do have a roster system in place. It’s usually a spreadsheet that seems to work just fine. It tells them who is working today and who’s not. And what else would you need from a roster system? It’s the curse of the spreadsheet, I’m afraid. Also known, in some quarters, as “Excel Hell”.
The spreadsheet was arguably one of the most important creations of the 20th century. Do you know of an organisation that doesn’t use spreadsheets? Their benefits are a given and we’re not here to advocate moving away from the spreadsheet. Well, not quite.
Spreadsheets are good, very good, for many things but using them to manage the availability of staff is not one of them. You would expect us to say that, of course, given that we develop time management systems. However, what we liked most about our recent Trade Mission was that this view was proven to be correct again, and again, and again.
Our soon-to-be banking and healthcare clients didn’t know that there was a better way. An easier way. A way that allowed their staff to request and manage their availability using the power of Web Applications and Mobile Technology. They didn’t know that there was a better way to monitor and control overtime, absences, sickness, and to always know, in advance, when and where staff shortages will occur. Their spreadsheets didn’t do that. And it didn’t report, real time, on overtime spending and absence trends. And it didn’t give them real time staffing shortfall alerts either.
They didn’t know. But they do now. And their roster spreadsheets are about to be replaced by Gartan Roster and Gartan Availability. For them, the curse has been lifted. They’re now moving forward in a more innovative, efficient and cost effective way. Like a bat out of excel hell!
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