Are you familiar with Murphy’s law? You know, the adage states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, when things begin to go wrong, they tend to do so in a rather devastating way, especially when there are interdependent parts. Sort of like spreadsheets! Some spreadsheets reference each other, and some special values are needed to calculate another special value. Does this sound like your pullet expense report yet?
As an egg producer, you know that chickens are one complicated species. You also know that in order for them to produce the desired amount of eggs, you need to consider different factors ranging from lighting to water to feed. And in order to know all of that, you must know what stage of life your bird is in.
But what if you lost track of your hatch date? What happens then? How will you know how much feed your birds should be consuming? Should they be transferred to another house? What medications should they be taking?
If you don’t have an animal inventory management software, you might be inputting all this data into spreadsheets. You have your spreadsheet all set up with a basic formula (not the best way of doing it) that averages out your hatch date. While it’s a long process, when it works it works … until you accidentally delete or mis-key data, or until you have a formula error.
The article, “Spreadsheet Horror Stories,” published on About Tech explains that 94% of spreadsheets have errors, with the average cell error rate being 5.2%. That means that on average, a spreadsheet will contain 1 error for every 20 cells that have valid data.
I recently talked to an Aeros LIVE user who used to keep track of pullet expense reports on spreadsheets. There were times when he ran his report and noticed deleted fields in his final pullet expense report. Either someone forgot to key in placements or estimated placements, or someone accidentally deleted them. He then had to work backwards to get the numbers, and sometimes all he could do was estimate a date, which he couldn’t always verify.
Remember, spreadsheets aren’t database programs, even though many people use them as such. There aren’t many ways to audit your work in a spreadsheet and doing so can be extremely frustrating. Who knows what value was previously keyed in as a placement! Someone might have accidentally deleted the value from the cell and not even realized it. These issues happen way too often.
If you are working on Excel or any another generic accounting system, your nightmares will multiply, your general work satisfaction will diminish, and your competitors will divide and conquer. You, however, have the power to fix these problems, and it’s better to fix them before it’s too late.
Investing in a modern software solution that is tailored for your industry is a huge step forward. You don’t want to get stuck with a program that doesn’t allow your operation to grow, or worse, a program that makes data entry incredibly time-consuming and error prone.
Are you ready to get rid of redundant data entry? Are you experiencing inaccuracies that are affecting your reports? You can share your answers with us on LinkedIn. We’d like your input!