With Excel you can really do many things, but basically it is one file, with all the problems that come with it. Even if you add add-ins, it is not a product that has been structured and implemented to perform this task specifically, although its customization makes it adaptable to many situations.
One of the main problems we encountered when we were asked to replace custom Excel-based solutions was the proliferation of versions of the “Configurator”, both from a chronological and content point of view. As it is an unstructured tool from this point of view, there were considerable difficulties in managing these sheets. In this case, it is necessary to organize the maintenance and distribution of the versions to avoid that someone uses a tool with obsolete data or procedures.
With Excel, just about anything can be realized.
The advantages of using Excel include its ease of use and extremely high flexibility of use. Even if these features should be generally considered positive, they could be harmful within the configuration context. In fact, some users prefer to use Excel because they already have a good command of the tool: using a structured tool forces them to rethink the variants of their products and the way they can offer them on the market. If a non-standard option is increasingly in demand, it is right that it should be identified, programmed and managed and be part of one of the possible and standardised selections. So you can no longer hide behind the phrase that the client asks us every time he deviates slightly from the standard. It must be understood that if an unprogrammed variant is proposed and not evaluated by people with a technical background, this could have an impact on the feasibility and cost of the product, with erosion of the sales margin and transverse damage to the whole company. It is therefore better to have clear and common rules that do not constitute a limitation, but the possibility of having a failed sale and a congruent process.