Here is a new version of the Fast Excel Development Template. Here we describe the new features that come with Fast Excel Development Template Version 4.3.
We have a webinar tutorial on the template, 9 May 2023. Register here.
The Template was built by us, a group of consultants who help supply chain clients with better planning. The version 4 features are mainly from Gabriele Tettamanzi, who has over 20 years of operational management experience (automotive, industrial, consumer) and over 10 years as a consultant delivering World Class Manufacturing. So a lot of hard-won know-how comes along with it.
But first, let’s talk about what the Template is in the first place, how and why you would use it in the first place. the template is free to download but it will take a little bit of time to learn how to use. An hour or two. Here is why you should bother.
What is the Fast Excel Development Template and Why Should I care?
Assume you want better planning. Demand, sales, materials, capacity, production, operations. Whatever kind of planning.
I’m guessing that you work for a manufacturing business. Or some other supply chain operation: retail, distribution. The mission is simple: Get the right product to the right place at the right time, without excess inventory.
Unless you only deal with a handful of product and material items, you probably cannot do this planning by hand. You have to deal with data. Sometimes a lot of it, perhaps 10k or 100k or 10M rows of data. That data might be sales orders, sales history, inventory, purchase orders, whatever.
The planning process needs to make fast decisions about what to make, buy and ship from one place to another. Every day, demand changes and there are new decisions to make and actions to take.
I guess you have some kind of business system. Like ERP, MRP or an accounting system. The P in MRP is meant to stand for “planning”. But most of its functions seem to be around tracking and control rather than supporting decisions about make and buy. That system holds the data, but it doesn’t do the things that you want to do with it. It gives you answers, but you can’t trust they are right in practice.
So, you pull the data out of the system and start working in Excel. Rearrange the data, do some calculations and then create a report.
The Fast Excel Development Template is here to help with that. Instead of doing that work every time the data changes, the idea is you do it once and build a system that can be automated. All in Excel, no need for any other software.
If you know how to use formulas in Excel then with the template you can build your own MRP system. Proper Material Requirements PLANNING. Demand-Driven if you like. Or capacity planning, production scheduling. Or something simpler. Full scale systems or simple tools for planning will still handle 1000’s of products and items. And you can run it on your laptop in seconds.
Why Development Template not Planning Template
The Fast Excel Development Template does not have a built-in method for planning. Maybe your business system does have a built-in method for planning, but there is a good reason why it doesn’t work the way it should. It is because every business is different. And software companies are not able to offer standard products that are sufficiently flexible to meet your needs.
However, on the level of DATA, the processes are a lot more standard. There are transactions and master data in tables. There are some calculations that need to be done on those data. And then the results need to be presented to a person to make decision and take action.
The data processes can be standardised much easier than the business processes. This is why there is so much enterprise software. But you do not need to spend $100,000s and $millions on software.
We have built an Excel template that helps perform these data processes. Do it right and Excel systems can scale up to and beyond your ERP. I know that sounds a bit hard to believe, but we can prove it.
The way most people use Excel, there is a limit in size and speed and reliability. We have a way to scale and keep it fast and stable with far fewer errors.
The Development template lets you do the following:
The Query Template brings in data from text, ODBC, OLE, API or anything else. You can apply formulas alongside to expand these tables with calculated fields. And make the data available to calculations.
Calculate with Tables
Systems calculate in tables. It is way faster. And you can process 10 rows or 100,000 rows without making any changes to the structure. The Stack, Pivot and Table Templates are the building blocks to create a sequence of calculations with tables.
Once you have done all the calculations, running up reports is a fast process. Excel is great for this because you can get exactly the view that you need, as long as you have the data.
Automate in a System
The Development Template has built-in no-code automation. Create your tool or system using one or more workbooks starting with the Development Template. Then automate those files with a click of a button and no-code. The template comes with powerful macros, but you won’t have to type a line of VBA code. Everything is done with worksheets, cells and buttons.
How to Get Started
The Fast Excel Development Template is free. Not a free trial, but free always. Like any other unlocked Excel workbook you can use it as much as you like.
We also provide a number of free tutorials and webinars. These are working examples and demonstrations. You can learn a lot from these resources.
If you want to make the fastest progress and get started quickly, then I suggest the Fast Excel Development Template Fundamentals Course. This has recently been updated to cover the latest version 4 features. It will give you a comprehensive overview of the template. You will also come out with a fully functioning MRP system (P really does mean PLANNING) as part of the course.
The course fee will soon go up to $150 to account for the new features, but it is currently still available at $100. Go here to enroll and get immediate access to the modules.
New Features for Version 4.3
Version 4.3 of the Fast Excel Development Template has these new features:
- Completely new Update Text File macro that changes the location of Query text files in every Query sheet in every module. Very useful for copying a system and creating another instance with different data.
- New PowerShell tools that can stack text files and return folder contents. If you have more than 4-5 tables to stack (up to 1000’s) then it is much faster to do it in text rather than in Excel. Works great for archives and inventory history.
- Reset VBA Modules helps guard against redundant code that builds up after heavy use. This is a known problem with VBA in Excel and this macro keeps everything fresh and prevents any loss of data.
- Bug Fixes for various older features.