Skip to navigation Skip to content

Tech Insights 4 min read

Why is Excel less efficient than ERP software for inventory management?

For any business, corporation or organization, the inventory management process is often as complex as it is necessary. Many professionals note that Excel, Microsoft’s popular spreadsheet software, comes with some technical limitations when dealing with continually compounding data. Why choose ERP software to track your inventory? We’ll tackle this pressing issue below.

Why do businesses use Excel for inventory management?

Excel has remained, inarguably, the most widely used spreadsheet software since the Microsoft Office suite arrived on the market. Unsurprisingly, it’s also the first choice of many businesses, corporations and organizations for their inventory management. This popularity can be attributed to several features.

No additional costs for Excel

Whether destined for personal or professional use, there are no additional costs for using Excel beyond purchasing a licence for Microsoft Office. The investment required by a business, corporation or organization is therefore considerably minimal compared to other options.

User-friendly management

Unlike other tools designed for managing accounts or inventory, Excel offers extremely user-friendly functionalities along with a highly accessible interface. With one simple maneuver, you can perform calculations involving multiple cells, reorganize a table (move rows or columns) or fuse certain data.

Access to all your data on a single page

All information related to inventory management can be input, analyzed or compared from one single table. There’s no need to consult multiple pages, making Microsoft’s popular option incredibly user-friendly.

Flexible software

Using Excel for inventory management comes with another important benefit: thanks to its various formatting options, you can reorganize every component of a spreadsheet.

The disadvantages of using Excel for inventory management

Using Excel for inventory management does offer some attractive benefits. Nonetheless, there are several disadvantages to this software. The following information may likely prompt professionals to seek out other solutions.

Shortcomings related to sharing information

In some situations, sharing Excel tables can turn into a real headache—especially when you’re using them to manage inventory. Saving files in the cloud may partially compensate for this disadvantage…but not entirely! All the more reason that the owner of the document needs to update it themselves so that all changes are visible to other users.

Users often need to create complementary tables. However, it’s tedious for a business, corporation or organization to fuse multiple files manually—this process involves extensive communication. As a result, inventory management isn’t up‑to‑date and cannot be considered reliable.

Manual input often means error and data loss

When using Excel for inventory management, each data point in question must be input manually—this will come as no surprise to Internauts. That said, to err is human…and imprecise information regarding inventory management inevitably leads to disorganization! In other cases, a few careless manipulations can also compromise or erase data. Losing this information directly inhibits the activities of a business, corporation or organization.

Furthermore, Excel lacks a data traceability function. This drawback makes it difficult to identify erroneous inputs.

No automatic updates

Inventory management involves multiple updates related to procurement, material use and product sales. A considerable “time investment” is therefore required to track each new operation to minimize the risk of error. For professionals seeking to deploy ERP software within their business, corporation or organization, this is undoubtedly one of the most determining factors.

Inaccessible overview (limited interface)

It’s difficult to get an overview of inventory management without real-time updates. Sharing Excel files between multiple departments inevitably hinders such oversight. The resulting lag time stems from the need to correct “out-of-date” information.

Excel isn’t a “smart” tool

Incompatibility with accounting software

If you manage your inventory using Excel, you won’t enjoy any compatibility with other software—including accounting software. The cost of inventory flow cannot be instantaneously calculated (for lack of attachments).

How can I can transfer my inventory management from Excel to ERP software?

Fast, tangible results

Due to the challenges of using Excel for inventory management, this software won’t be your ideal solution. With this in mind, consider deploying ERP software within your business, corporation or organization. Its detailed and automated inventory management capabilities will help you significantly expand your professional activities. Using ERP software will help you better control your inventory management.

Gestisoft provides customized guidance

Without specific knowledge, choosing and implementing ERP software may seem complicated. Not to worry: with Gestisoft, you’ll receive customized guidance to determine THE most suitable option for the specific needs of your business, corporation or organization. Besides consultation, we also offer assistance in deploying your enterprise resource planning software.

Trainings are available!

Significant benefits

An objective comparison of ERP software and Microsoft’s renowned spreadsheet software reveals a number of significant benefits, including:

  • Overall integration of relevant data – limits errors and optimizes inventory security and monitoring
  • Automation of inventory management processes – purchase orders, replenishments, etc.
  • Management of financial reports – a significant benefit and deciding factor for many professionals
  • Rapid, significant improvement of customer service
This isn’t an exhaustive list. To learn more about this subject, make sure you check out his article.


In this article, we have objectively described the advantages and drawbacks of using Excel for inventory management. The above information handily supports the suitability of ERP software for tracking essential data for businesses, corporations and organizations. Indeed, enterprise resource planning software boasts numerous benefits that begin with its deployment.

Want to know more? Gestisoft offers an unbeatable ERP solution to help you bring your business plans to fruition. With 500 successful implementations under our belt, numerous professionals have relied on our expertise to expand their business. Our goal? Analyze your objectives and the specific needs of your business, corporation or organization to point you towards the most suitable solution. We’ll guide you step by step through the deployment of your ERP software, allowing you to avoid potential pitfalls, all while ensuring a quick, effective implementation.

For more information about Gestisoft’s services, please schedule an appointment with one of our consultants. During this interview, we’ll identify your objectives and the specific needs of your business, corporation or organization.

Liked what you just read? Sharing is caring.

July 08, 2022 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization