I just returned from a ten day whirlwind tour of Europe during which time I met with sales prospects and partners in England, Sweden, Germany and France. One message resonated loud and clear – European companies still tend to operate on a country-specific basis. Systems are disparate, processes are inconsistent, and collaboration on forecasts and plans is limited. However, competitive and regulatory pressures are forcing companies to integrate processes, consolidate planning and improve forecasting.
Today this process is largely done in spreadsheets. However, all parties agree that sales and operations (S&OP) roll-ups, plan consolidation, and forecast collaboration require immense amounts of manual work. Dozens of different perspectives and users exist not to mention disparate ways of being organized across countries. When shown the Steelwedge way – co-option of existing spreadsheets through the adoption of Steelwedge Enterprise Enabled Excel spreadsheets, European managers become extremely excited. For the first time they see a solution that meets security requirements, that can eliminate months of latency in demand signals, can allow improved inventory practices, and better bottom-line forecasting. Not only that, but a solution that is extremely configurable, flexible, and cost-effective.
The Europeans are investing – how long will it take for our European user-base to surpass our US user-base?