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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:

  1. It should be as clean as possible. Borders when required but don’t grid every cell.
  2. 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.
  3. If you are asking them to track submittals, the submittal should be a merged cell with repeatable data in each section.
  4. 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.