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SaaS Planning Solution vs. Excel

Designed for pharma planners by a pharma planner.

We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions from pharmaceutical supply chain professionals. We hope these FAQs will also address some of your questions.

1. Is it expensive to switch from Excel to a SaaS planning solution?

While a SaaS license may be more expensive than an Excel license that comes with Windows, it can be surprisingly affordable if you choose wisely and focus on your needs. Keep in mind that implementation costs may also be a factor, as some “one-size-fits-all” software packages may require extensive customization to meet your specific requirements. It’s worth noting that a SaaS planning solution can also result in cost savings compared to an Excel-based planning model, which warrants its own discussion.

2. Is it difficult to use a SaaS solution?

The learning curve for SaaS planning solutions can vary. Some are very easy to use, while others require extensive training and support. ABC-Plan’s Master Planner™ is user-friendly and designed based on the pharmaceutical supply chain planning process. A few hours of onboarding training can get you started.

3. Is my data safe when using a SaaS solution?

Data security is a top concern, and most SaaS solutions come with data encryption and use secure servers. Automatic backups are also standard. On the other hand, Excel may pose greater risks for sensitive data.

4. Can other departments benefit from a SaaS-based planning solution?

Absolutely. Finance is one department that can benefit from a supply chain planning solution. FP&A can use it for long-range planning and budgeting, while cost accounting can use it to project E&O and for financial reporting. It’s also beneficial to choose a solution with reliable expiry analysis to help reduce E&O.

5. How long is implementation?

The implementation timeline can range from a few hours to six months, depending on the solution. Be sure to ask this question before making a decision. FYI, The Master Planner™ by ABC-Plan requires no implementation but an initial set-up which takes a few hours. 

Conclusion: A suitable SaaS planning solution can save you time and money. It’s more important to find a solution that meets your needs than to choose something trendy.


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