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When small start-up businesses look to track their assets simply and cheaply, many of them turn to Excel spreadsheets as a solution. Microsoft Office doesn’t cost much; and most company laptops have that software preinstalled. As Excel is universal and relatively easy to use, even the most junior team member can figure out how to input data into a spreadsheet. But that’s where the pros end and the cons begin. Eventually, the low cost and simplicity will hit a wall when the spreadsheet fails to keep up with business growth. Don’t get us wrong, spreadsheets are great for metrics and analytics, but as technology evolved, they are just not the best tool anymore for tracking inventory, monitoring stock levels, or locating assets!

1. You Are Wasting Your Time Manually Updating Your Spreadsheets

As companies experience it, using a spreadsheet to track stock levels can be a tedious and overly manual process. Not only the spreadsheet has to be manually updated every time that a sale or a purchase is made but even with the most recent improvements, collaboration or multi-user access to a spreadsheet always comes with a risk of losing data. It’s a very simple: most processes that require the use of excel as a database with a human resource to input the data are nowadays obsolete. A human resource hired to do at a slow pace what a tool can do as fast as the click of a button, with many more features is not productive and represent a huge waste of time and money for your company. 

2. Forget About All the Great New Features Associated With New Technologies

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Talking about features, spreadsheets are great in many ways, but forget about useful features and options that new tools bring to manage your assets. Reminders of inventory levels or mapping your assets are just a few examples. With the latter you know precisely where your assets are located, whether there are in transit, stored in a specific location offsite, or in one of the departments of your company! Geo-tagging assets will easily be done with a tool such as MapYourTag – not so much with a spreadsheet. 

3. Spreadsheets and Human Resources Are Not a Scalable Solution

Using Excel requires a human being for data input, and when volume increase, human resources have to be increased accordingly, basically: you’re not scalable. New technologies allow asset management to be handled at low volume or high volume the same way, with the same costs. Now that new technologies bring new tools to the table, the use of spreadsheets becomes obsolete for process optimization.

4. Spreadsheets Increase Valuable Company Assets Risk Loss, Theft or Erroneous Write-offs

In addition to wasted time, poorly updated spreadsheets can result in misplaced inventory or equipment. Lost equipment can lead to your company writing down the value of your balance sheet assets just because you can’t find them. Even worse than lost inventory is when unscrupulous employees realize the shortcomings of the spreadsheet and valuable company assets disappear due to theft. The MapYourTag app can be used by any employee through their mobile phone. Everyone within the company collaborates to track the assets (or at least their own assets). Since everyone can assist with handling the total number of assets, inventory can be done in a snap.  The ability to better manage fixed assets and geo-locate them can offer significant benefits, such as increased cash flow, more accurate audits and eliminating erroneous or unnecessary write-offs on financial statements. 

5. Wasting Manpower With the Apparent Cheap Cost of a Spreadsheet

More often than not, the spreadsheet method of asset management leads to an increase in manpower, wasted time, increases in stress across the team and human error. Even if using Excel seems to be an easy way to avoid paying for a service, think about how much the employee that takes care of the spreadsheet will cost. And as mentioned before, when volume increase, human resources have to increase with it, so does the cost. Using spreadsheets seems cheap at first sight but its manpower requirement makes it the most expensive method.

6. Asset Management Technology Isn't as Costly as It Once Was

In the past, asset management software was too specialized and pricy. It also required unique equipment, like bar code readers. Today, MapYourTag offers powerful software at a fraction of the cost with no extra hardware to acquire. Anyone with a smartphone can use it to inventory and track assets. Users can take pictures or scan codes directly with their phone and the data gets automatically updated through the MapYourTag service. They can also generate these codes and print them directly from any existing printer. The data is stored in the cloud, where it is safe and accessible no matter where the users are. You can even backup the data on your own IT system.
When the smart business owner wants to bring savings straight to the bottom line, spreadsheets need to be deemed obsolete for asset management purposes. Tools such as MapYourTag are the scalable solutions to keep track of asset locations and reduce losses due to misplacement. A simple barcode, QR code, or an NFC tag paired with an iPhone or Android smartphone is all that’s needed to get going.
For more information about how MapYourTag can help with asset management, check out the tour here.