Stop! Don’t Add Yet Another Spreadsheet Into Your Business

We’ve all been there – you need to capture some new data quickly…

This time it’s contract renewal data. You turn to Excel. It’s a brilliant tool. It’s easy to pick up so you fire it up, create some columns and start inputting data. You save it on a shared drive, email the team, and hey presto you’ve got a shiny new business database. Good job!

After one month, your Excel based system now contains over 500 records. Your team open it at least hourly to find information. They complain that multiple people can’t update it at the same time. You often hear your team asking

is anyone in the client renewals database? Can you close it please, I need to update it?

Your designed-in-5minutes-spreadsheet has become a vital business system.

Stop - don't add yet abother Excel spreadsheet into your business

After two months, you want to report on the number of client records by owner, let’s call her Sarah Goodall. You want to know when Sarah’s contract renewal dates are, and when she last contacted her clients. A simple, 5 minute job, right? Wrong! You go into your database, run your first filter. Oh no! Disaster strikes as the owner field is a mess. You dig a little further and things get worse…

  • Owner: This field contains values like: Sarah, SG, Sarah, Srah
  • Client: You spot an important client with several contracts with your business. The client’s name is spelled differently as Smythe & Co, Smith & Co, Smyth & Company
  • Contract Renewal Date: You spot dates entered as 15.06.15, 19-Apr, 7/5/2016 and 9/9-10/9/15
  • Last Contacted Date: “How can this happen?” You spot the same problems you saw with contract renewal date

You’d set aside 5 minutes to run your report. It’s not going to be that simple…

Twenty minutes have now passed as you dig through the data, deal with your feelings of disbelief and disappointment about how your data ended up so poor. You realise you need to spend half a day to clean the data to get the reports you need. You then need to train the staff to maintain good data. This critical business system is now a risk and a burden to your business and it can’t produce accurate reports.

Paints a pretty gloomy picture, right? It doesn’t have to be like this…

  • It could have been a properly designed database where people can update data at the same time.
  • It could have been linked to your existing client and contact data, and the orders they placed with your business.

These important fields could have been designed properly:

  • Owner: A drop down containing one name per owner. Easy for your team to select the correct entry
  • Client: A linked record between contract renewal and the client record. No data duplication or misspellings here
  • Contract Renewal Date and Last Contacted: Automatically formatted date fields to ensure consistency, making it easy to generate reports and charts

Just what I need, I hear you cry, but what kind of business system does this?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM improves data quality and reduces risk in your business. This powerful software makes it easy to create data entry forms tailored to your present and future business needs like our client renewal dates example.

Dynamics 365 uses the same database for all your user records and customer data.

  • If you want to view different filters on the same set of data, add new columns, sort the data many ways? Easy.
  • If you want summaries presented in charts which you can click to drill down to the underlying data, and real time dashboards pulling together insights from across your business into one screen? Simple.
  • If you want to integrate with Excel for advanced analytics? Not a problem. Dynamics 365 works out of the box with linked Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 really is that flexible. It helps people who are serious about growth to sort their business systems. Properly.

Contact us to find out more.

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