The most popular computer software in all freight forwarding companies around the world is undoubtedly Microsoft Excel. Released in 1985, Excel became a superstar tool, helping businesses become more efficient. Its advanced formulas turned manual processes that took weeks to complete into something that takes only a few hours.
Today, the situation has changed. In the world where Pokemons run free on the streets and hundreds of companies are created every minute, MS Excel just can’t keep up with the flow. In fact, Forbes named it the most dangerous software in 2013.
So why is it the most popular software?
You Can Do Anything with Excel Spreadsheets, Can’t You?
The freight industry has been married to Excel for more than 30 years. And MS Excel is still great at what it does – it’s simple, flexible, powerful, and cheap. But then, it suffers from some serious limitations:
- No collaboration: Excel lacks multi-user collaboration support. It’s difficult to share a spreadsheet among many team members. Excel might be fine for the freight rate management when you have ten customers. It’s when you start getting massive amounts of freight ratesheets that everything falls apart.
- Manual errors: Spreadsheets are error-prone and insecure. One incorrectly entered piece of data could spawn a domino effect and cause all sorts of serious problems. Nearly 90% of spreadsheets contain errors. No wonder that every 10th invoice in shipping is disputed, because of the wrong freight rates calculations.
- Unprofessional look: You are the professional in your business, and your clients expect that you present yourself professionally. A freight quote is a presentation of your company, your brand and your services. Excel spreadsheets lack a corporate look and feel and look unprofessional when shared with clients (even with a logo on top).
- Loss of data: There is a big risk in relying on an Excel file. Since Excel is a ‘standard tool’, business managers don’t consider the need for security in the same way as they would with other data. Also, consider the potential loss of knowledge. The single person who understands how the freight rate spreadsheet was put together and holds full control over it is a potential risk too.
- Spreadsheets multiply: Excel files tend to multiply. Logistics managers usually have their folders full of different versions of the same data. Users often copy data from one spreadsheet into another, rename, add some macros. The moment you consider deploying an MS Access database means that you’ve reached your critical mass of data that is impossible to navigate and analyze.
- No real-time analytics: Excel is best at analyzing historical data and is not great at doing real-time analysis. Usually, the decision-makers put too much trust in Excel data, even when there is no evidence that it is correct. In other words, people believe what spreadsheets say, even when spreadsheets are wrong.
Freight Forwarders Deserve Better Tools
Clearly, MS Excel has become obsolete as a freight rate management and sales automation tool and should be replaced with a proper freight rate management software designed for freight forwarding. Sooner or later, every forwarder will be using proper software – the digitization is inevitable.
Many still use Excel because it doesn’t hurt bad enough yet, or they had a bad experience with a previous solution.
Now it’s the right time to give it another try.
By switching from Excel to Quotiss software, you can automate the sales activities and get access to the sales performance analysis, in real-time. There will no longer be a need to manage a number of complex freight ratesheets in Excel. Most importantly, your commercial data will stay secure!
Would You Like a Quick Start with Quotiss?
Click here to register your company. We’ll activate your company’s profile and help with the initial settings and user onboarding. You can start uploading your freight ratesheets and quoting freight from Quotiss on the same day we sign the deal.