Disadvantages of Excel spreadsheets in construction management

Excel spreadsheets
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Top disadvantages of Excel spreadsheets in construction management. What’s the cost to your business if all your spreadsheets got deleted today?

Spreadsheets are an easy tool, but often are pushed beyond their means – especially considering the value that data brings to a business. It’s increasingly obvious these tried and trusted tools are no longer up to the task.

Many construction companies still use Excel for the day-to-day running of their sites, tracking their finances and estimates to win their bids.

In a recent article discussing the best tools for data analysis, Forbes stated: “The biggest barriers to benefiting from advanced analytics are certainly now organisational, rather than technological.”

More than 90% of spreadsheets contain serious errors, yet more than 90% of spreadsheet users are convinced that their models are error-free.

Why do construction companies use spreadsheets?

After decades of being used in school and the workplace, most people grew up with Excel spreadsheets being the “go-to” along with Microsoft Word and Outlook – it’s free and convenient, with little training required for new starters. People still put it on their CVs as a skill and some job postings list it as a desirable requirement. Most people feel comfortable and familiar with the software.

What are the disadvantages of Excel spreadsheets for your construction business?

Spreadsheets hold static data and should not be used as a database or for managing datasets.

  1. Lack of visibility: To properly plan and forecast your projects on site or in the back office, you need access to both past data and future opportunities in real-time.
  2. Increase risk: Spreadsheet systems were never intended to be used for accounting purposes or to hold client information. The possibilities for fraud are endless. Cyber hacking is at an all-time high. Every construction business such have solutions such as Cloud Backup, Disaster Recovery and Security Solutions.
  3. Diminished accuracy: Version control. Once spreadsheet documents are shared and individuals begin editing for their own purpose, it’s difficult to identify who has the latest or “correct” version. How can you track your estimates from project to project confidently without starting from scratch every time?
  4. Delayed decision-making: Datasets can’t be shared in real-time. As soon as it’s finished, it becomes out of date. You end up making decisions on old, unreliable datasets. With such tight margins, can you afford to wait until month end to determine whether your project is running at a loss?
  5. Bad data quality: Spreadsheets can’t detect human errors like incorrect data input. The risk of failed attention to detail could be costly for your business. Reduction in manual processes will save you time, resource and money.
  6. Limitations to be able to scale as you grow: There is a limit in the number of rows a spreadsheet can store. Meaning that organisations must eventually work over multiple files (creating more room for error). Don’t allow the limitations of an Excel spreadsheet to hold you back the growth and ambitions of your company.
  7. Time-wasting tasks: When migrating off spreadsheets and on to a true enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, your company will see a massive increase in ROTI – return on time investment. Your team and balance sheet will thank you.

Better alternatives to Excel spreadsheets

There’s plenty of useful data analytic tools that can replace your Excel spreadsheets, but the construction industry doesn’t operate like most other sectors.

It’s a vast complex working environment, with strict guidelines and even stricter margins.

You need to use an ERP software built for the construction industry.

Designed specifically to meet the needs of the building sector, Access Construction’s two core products – award-winning EasyBuild ERP and ConQuest Estimating software – are guaranteed to make life a lot easier for your people and your business.

Bought together or separately, we create the right construction software solution for your company which can scale as you grow giving you peace of mind knowing you have a secure dedicated platform for hosting your ERP software.

Get visibility of your projects in real-time as it happens on site, control over your costs and accuracy over of your estimates.

From accounting and HR software, to plant and asset management, Access Construction has everything you need to manage your site in one place.

Ask yourself – what’s the cost to your business if all your Excel spreadsheets got deleted today?

Surely that’s worth requesting a price from us today?

View our construction software


Kishen Raja  

Business Development Manager

Access Construction 

Tel: +44 1206322575






*Please Note: This is a commercial profile. 


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