If you’re involved in the daily grind of fleet management, you’ll no doubt be up to your eyes in spreadsheets. Good old spreadsheets. It’s a love/hate thing.

As an organisation collects more and more information and data grows in volume and variety, seemingly innocent excel sheets are gradually morphing into supersized spreadsheet monsters. Thanks to 21st century technology, today’s fleet managers juggle swathes of data ranging from vehicle maintenance records, licence checking notes, mileage reporting, fuel receipts, vehicle safety checks, training records and much, much more. As an organisation expands, the volume of paperwork increases. And demand for reporting expands. Weaknesses are exposed. Things go wrong. The pressure intensifies…

Face it. You’re trapped in Excel Hell.

If you‘re still depending on Excel to manage your fleet, here are five really good reasons why you should seriously consider saying goodbye to your spreadsheets.

1. Mistakes are common
Spreadsheets are notorious for being prone to human error. Here’s living proof…

Barclays Bank fell into the Excel trap in 2008 with a spreadsheet that was part of a major takeover bid. Columns containing highly confidential data should have been deleted before the spreadsheet was sent, but instead they were hidden. And of course found again…but too late, the damage was done. JPMorgan Chase lost more than $6 billion allegedly due to copying and pasting incorrect information. Whoops.

2. Spreadsheets use up too much of your time
When it comes to tracking information like service advisories, driver training and grey fleet, you probably spend a lot of time hunting down and updating data. Just think about when you have to provide routine reports to your management. You devote a large chunk of your day juggling data to present your boss with what he or she wants to see.

And then there are the ad-hoc requests. Your day is interrupted by answering queries and making changes to records. You constantly ask yourself when you will finally get time for the actual tasks on today’s to-do list…

3. Spreadsheets give a linear, fragmented view
Reporting across various dimensions and granularities like periods of time can be painstakingly onerous for reporting teams. Spreadsheets were simply not designed to cope with the multi-dimensionality and complexity of fleet data.

This means that business leaders are often basing their decisions on a fragmented view of the organisation, potentially missing out on crucial connections buried within the wealth of data stored in their systems.

4. Spreadsheets hinder team work
Workforce planning, reporting, budgeting and forecasting are rarely one-man projects. Workforce decisions require collaboration from multiple parties, from managers to directors and all stakeholders in between. Attaching spreadsheets to emails and sharing on drives takes too much time and is vulnerable to errors and a high probability that someone is working on an older version of the document.

5. Spreadsheets slow down agile businesses
Agile businesses need instant access to up-to-date information so that business leaders can make the right decisions quickly and accurately. Using spreadsheets as the point of truth for decision-making means that all information will first have to be aggregated, consolidated and thoroughly checked for errors before it’s ready.

Can your organisation afford to fall behind on its reports, and risk basing important decisions on outdated information?