Merchandisers beware: companies could lose billions because of crappy spreadsheets

The Spreadsheet: a program we all use to organize, analyze and store data in a tabular form. Merchandisers cherish their spreadsheets as we forecast, plan, calculate, execute and analyze all of our most crucial data. Spreadsheets hold enormous power as we usually make our most critical merchandising decisions off what we interpret. However, with the vast amounts of consumer data, campaign cycles and products spreadsheets merchandisers have grown to be victims to spreadsheets errors.

In a recent report put out by The Telegraph UK,  claims stupid errors in spreadsheets could lead to Britain’s next corporate disaster. One in five large businesses have suffered financial losses as a result of errors in spreadsheets, according to F1F9 . In total, spreadsheet calculations represent up to £38bn of British private sector investment decisions per year. Yet 16pc of large companies have admitted finding inaccurate information in spreadsheets more than 10 times in 2014.


The article focuses on financial institutions but retailers are just as much in jeopardy, many retailer laggers are still using spreadsheets to manage important processes in the supply chain, such as assortment planning, pricing, logistics and space planning. Mistakes in any spreadsheet calculation can have a bullwhip effect through entire company and cost retailers financially. Merchandisers especially should consider abandoning spreadsheets and invest in more automated, less error-prone systems. Systems that can offer business intelligence, remove human calculation errors, provide more optimal insight and execution of products and promotions.

Please click here for the full article in the Telegraph




Written by: Rebecca Shirazi

Rebecca Shirazi is the Marketing Manager at RBM Technologies. She is a frequent contributor to, where she writes in the areas of marketing, merchandising and supply chain.

2 thoughts on “Merchandisers beware: companies could lose billions because of crappy spreadsheets

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