Why Giving up Excel is Such a Struggle

Andrew Sohr
PUBLISHED: 12/27/2017

Here at Built, we’re passionate about the work we’re doing. Just watch Chase Gilbert talk about the pains our construction lenders feel on a day-to-day basis and you’ll see how much he cares. And at times we can get a bit extreme. We’ve been known to throw the phrase “Death to spreadsheets” around the office.

So it doesn’t really surprise me to see that some people are equally passionate on the other side of spreadsheets. WSJ recently ran a couple of stories about Excel — one on CFOs telling their teams to stop using it and a follow-up on the uproar the first story caused.

The lesson I learned? People don’t love being told to change their process.



I’m not quite sure what it is about Excel exactly that gets everyone so fired up but the angst is real — on both sides.

One way to describe what we do is to help people to stop relying on technology that wasn’t made to do what it’s asked to do today. Excel is one of those technologies. You may have seen the images below in some of our recent posts. On the right we see a spreadsheet that just isn’t the most useful tool for its task. On the left, the Built interface, designed specifically to handle whatever data loan officers need to manage a construction loan.

Built Platform Construction Draw Request

The difference is obvious to our clients when they see this image and demo Built. But the key is showing them first.

The pushback from the WSJ article — “after you ripped it from my cold, dead hands.” — helps us see what happens when we push change without getting buy-in first. We aren’t afraid of change. We are afraid of changing things for the worse. It’s hard to give up spreadsheets because people know they work. They know what pain to expect. Something new might bring altogether new pain. It’s about trust.

Thanks to the WSJ for helping us remember that lesson. We want to show people why Built is a great choice for them and prove it won’t bring unexpected pain. Spreadsheets don’t need to die. We just want them to retire from construction lending.

We know software change isn’t easy. If you’re struggling to get your team on board with change, we created an ebook for you – Navigating Software Change: Get Buy-In from Your Team and Maximize ROI.