You’ll notice a trend in almost any company—both large and small. Excel spreadsheets are used to manage projects, collect annual assessments, and, yes, even as an agency management solution.
While there is nothing wrong with a spreadsheet when used in the proper context, too often, spreadsheets have become a misused tool ill fit for the task at hand. When it comes to agency management, this is particularly true. Spreadsheets were never meant to fulfill this task. They were designed to crunch numbers, analyze data sets, and do accounting tasks. They were not intended to act as a method for managing service suppliers or sharing actionable information for areas like marketing, IT, and R&D.
Suppose you are frustrated by using spreadsheets or simply interested in empowering your teams with a better solution. In that case, we will break down the top five reasons why you need to ditch Excel for agency management software.
1. Spreadsheets Are Outdated and Lack Necessary Data
Since spreadsheets are not updated on a steady basis, they often contain outdated contact information and swaths of missing data. If you have ever attempted to use Excel as an agency management solution, this is a problem that you are all too familiar with.
How many times have you gone to email a contact, only for that email to bounce back? You then waste time as you dig around, looking for up-to-date contact information, and chances are you never find it. The simple truth is this outdated information is resulting in missed opportunities and serious, long-term costs for your company.
Just imagine if you had a software solution that contained all the necessary data that would allow you to make an informed decision on whether a marketing agency is a good fit for any given project.
Detailed information, such as:
- Specific services an agency specializes in
- What colleagues have worked with which agencies in the past
- Performance data and reviews
- Whether your business has an existing and valid contract with the agency
- Whether or not the agency is approved to handle PII (Personal Identifiable Information) or whether it has undergone a privacy risk or information security risk assessment
- Examples of previous work and the quality of those projects
While one or two of these areas might be covered in your spreadsheet, attempting to organize all of this information in Excel would be impractical.
2. Spreadsheets Waste Valuable Employee Time
There’s nothing more frustrating than wasting time you don’t have. And, that’s exactly what happens when you use a spreadsheet to search for a new marketing agency.
The combination of outdated information and missing data means you are left wasting valuable time hunting down information that should be readily available. What could have taken you a matter of hours to tackle now becomes a never-ending task. And chances are you will eventually just trash the spreadsheet and turn to Google to find a new partner.
Adding more agencies is not only inefficient but rather than strengthening relationships with top performers across your company’s existing roster, it hurts your agency partners. Simultaneously, marketing procurement teams often wind up spending more for the same work as their ability to negotiate is hindered when spending is spread thin versus consolidated.
When searching for an agency, a large organization that uses spreadsheets ends up wasting around 3 to 6 months of its employees’ time.
Pro Tip: A software solution, such as SpotSource, allows employees to find potential partners in minutes rather than over the course of months.
3. Spreadsheets Lack Context
When looking over a spreadsheet, do you have a hard time simply trusting the information that is there? You are not alone. Many marketers also find it difficult to trust a random name, particularly when there is a lack of context, such as reviews and case studies to support why that marketing agency has made the list.
Think about it like this. When you go to pick out a new restaurant in your neighborhood or look to hire a service technician to fix your AC unit, you undoubtedly search through online reviews before making your decision. Through the use of Google, Yelp, and other platforms, you begin to analyze what company you should do business with.
At work, you want the same access to information about agencies.
Your colleagues are a wealth of information, and understanding how their interaction with an agency went can go a long way in helping you pick the ideal partner for your next project. Unfortunately, spreadsheets don’t provide an effective means for storing reviews, portfolios, and other important data.
So many companies are wasting valuable knowledge that their marketing experts have by not providing a solution to capture these details. Without this critical information, you and your fellow employees will continue to struggle to find the perfect agency partner.
4. Spreadsheets Are Not Easy to Use
Spreadsheets were not designed to be an agency management solution. To contain all the information you need and to keep it up to date would require sharing a unified spreadsheet. However, this itself would be nearly impossible. Sharing a spreadsheet across departments is unrealistic. Keeping copies aligned becomes difficult, and when updates need to happen in real-time, spreadsheets severely limit the ability for collaboration.
Even if you were to find a way to capture all the information you need into a spreadsheet, the result would be a document that is a nightmare to navigate. Tabs upon tabs of information, scrolling across columns of data and relying on Ctrl+F to attempt to find a specific answer.
Additionally, when a new person joins your team or company, it’s nearly impossible for that person to get up to speed by using a spreadsheet. Imagine, instead, if a new employee could simply log into a website and learn everything from one centralized location.
The truth is that new, younger hires expect your company to have modern marketing tools already in place. They join your team with the expectation that there is an easy-to-navigate internal marketplace that captures important information. When you don’t give your employees the necessary tools to do their work, you are providing a poor experience working for your company and are at risk of losing valuable employees to competitors.
5. Spreadsheets Are a Security and Privacy Risk
Why is it necessary to log in and out of so many different systems? All Fortune 500 companies rely on dozens of systems to manage data, including Excel, Ariba/Coupa, Aravo, contract management tools, and more.
What your team needs is a secure solution that will integrate with these systems, pulling in existing data to make it easy to capture and share new data about agencies, the work they are doing, and reviews of those agencies.
Integrating excel with all these systems is not secure and poses a high-security risk. As such, when a marketer finds a potential agency, they must enlist the help of procurement to tap into numerous systems to find necessary information. Using spreadsheets to manage a roster of approved agencies winds up wasting both marketers’ and procurement’s limited time.
Pro Tip: SpotSource securely unifies data from numerous systems, such as Ariba and Aravo. It layers in new data from agencies about their services and case studies, and it captures employee reviews of agencies they have worked with—all in one easy-to-use, highly secure location.
Ditch the Spreadsheets with SpotSource
SpotSource is an agency management software solution designed to empower people to make better decisions and achieve better results.
One simple solution with all the data you need in one place:
- Search and procure services from across your roster of approved suppliers all in one location.
- Discover and keep track of new partners that you may not have known about and see how they are helping your colleagues.
- Improve decision-making and bring transparency to all decision-makers in your company.
- Compare reviews and case studies, allowing you to better understand which agency is the best project fit.
- Lower spending by bundling project needs together and negotiating for better pricing by awarding top agencies with ongoing contracts.
With SpotSource, you can ditch Excel and create more efficient workflows for agency procurement.