I was working with a client the other day and was surprised by the Supplier Document Index (SDI) they had been asked to complete for a project. I am not a Microsoft Excel expert by any means but if you are sending an SDI that others should use for tracking, there are a few things you should really deliver for them. Here are my top tips:
- It should be as clean as possible. Borders when required but don’t grid every cell.
- Headers should be in one cell, not entered in multiple rows. When the headers are in multiple rows it makes it very hard for sorting/checking.
- If you are asking them to track submittals, the submittal should be a merged cell with repeatable data in each section.
- Make the column headers very clear – no room for interpretations. Use common nomenclature. No one wants to re-do their work!
Your suppliers will thank you!
And if you still use Excel for your document control work but wonder if there is a better way, you might want to read this article now.