EAT replaced Excel spreadsheets as they grew too big

Is your company's growth being slowed down by the enormity of Excel spreadsheets that need an entire team of people to be updated properly?

Were you thinking how life would be much easier if there was some other way to manage your business' financial reporting and planning?

Why do I sound like a direct response TV show?

You're not the only one being terrified just by looking at the Excel icon on your desktop. A fast-growing UK-based cafe chain EAT has had the same problem, and it has decided to move away from Excel in favour of a more sophisticated system created for financial reporting and planning.

The company, which operates over 100 outlets across the country, faced a severe problem of 27 spreadsheets across three key categories, it says in a Forbes report, adding that they were barely integrated and had hundreds of active cells requiring manual updates.

“Most of the key assumptions on sales and profit could not be easily followed through and it would take ages to update multiple spreadsheets,“ says EAT’s chief financial officer, Strahan Wilson.

“We needed more visibility on our business and to avoid any pitfalls, as we attempt to double the size of our company by 2018. We simply had to know where we would stand as we grew, and what was needed to get there.”

The company implemented a business planning system from Anaplan, in a bid to have more straightforward analytics on key performance indicators.

As EAT looks to benefit from growing business and increased buoyancy in the cafe sector, it needs to keep track of historic finance and future predictions more closely. Avoiding drowning in data is essential to this.