What are the issues associated with using Excel for tool park management?
The major problem with using Excel to manage assets is that it doesn’t actually provide an effective or viable solution to the task you are trying to perform.
At its core, this is because Excel spreadsheets are impossible to keep permanently up-to-date. Most companies who use Excel to manage their tool park assign one person the task of managing the spreadsheet. If that person is busy with other tasks, not in constant contact with workers, or away from their desk for any period of time, the sheet quickly becomes out of date. This can be understandably frustrating for everyone - with warehouse staff feeling under pressure as workers struggle to find the tools they want.
Over time, Excel sheets start to contain more and more gaps in knowledge - particularly as columns get added or removed, and different factors become important to a business. In fact, 90% of large Excel spreadsheets contain significant errors - meaning they are simply not reliable or trustworthy.
This is often due to human error. For example, information like purchasing costs may be logged from the beginning, but other details, such as repair costs and dates, as well as maintenance schedules, may be missing for older tools if these categories are added at a later date. Often the person who initially created the spreadsheet is not familiar with all the needs of an effective asset management strategy and will miss vital information, which can’t be found at a later date.
When it comes to auditing and compliance, this can be a real issue, as there is no central source of certification and maintenance records.
This means that, as a central log of your assets, Excel spreadsheets are never an accurate representation of your tool park. In essence, the system becomes an outdated list of your tools, as opposed to an effective database of information.