Upgrading from a shared Excel workbook to a cloud-based system
Lindt has a team of over 50 salespeople that capture risks and opportunities on a weekly basis using a shared Excel spreadsheet. The aggregated data is then used to generate management information that is used in meetings with senior management.
The primary challenge was that the spreadsheet was prone to crashing, errors or losing data due to not being able to cope with multiple users inputting data at the same time. This would often force salespeople to “wait their turn” before inputting data, which would have a knock-on effect on their other tasks.
The Desired Outcome
As the team is looking to expand significantly soon, it was important that an easy to use, robust and scalable solution were found.
We identified that the primary goal was to develop a tool that would speed up the generation of the managment information, and that the greatest impact would arise from the eliminiation of the queing time to use the Excel file, which is why we recommended a cloud-based solution.
We developed a cloud-based application based on Lindt's requirements. A script was created to automatically pick up the data from the BIS on a weekly basis without any manual intervention.
The salespeople can now log into an intranet site, which presents them with a web-based table allowing them to input their risks & opportunities simultaneously, without worrying about overwriting each other’s data. As a bonus, they can easily see running totals and breakdowns by month and by customer to aid them in their calculations.
Apart from the secondary impact of improved data quality - as the system can be locked-down far more effectively than an Excel spreadsheet - the main result has been a significant reduction of time spent by the sales team on this activity, which has given them more time to do their primary job: selling.