Computers on the Farm Conference


Getting the Most from Your Spreadsheet - Grain Bin Pricing Example
Alan Washburn, Lamar
January 5, 2000

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In one of the concurrent sessions Wednesday evening, Alan Washburn spoke about how to make spreadsheets work for you, the user. Washburn brought with him an example, his own Excel spreadsheet which he uses to quote grain bin construction prices over the phone. New price information, which he noted comes out quarterly, is updated manually in a Lookup Table, but the spreadsheet itself takes care of the rest.

"Before, I used to stay up 'til midnight figuring grain bin prices for people. Now I can figure them while I'm on the phone."

Washburn's spreadsheet calculates and displays costs and automatically refigures once new data is entered in. Washburn explained that he was able to accomplish this by using the Lookup Table. The spreadsheet he used to figure prices pulled the information from this table and eliminated the need for unnecessary inputs. Washburn's spreadsheet takes into account and displays grain bin inputs such as: Washburn concluded his talk with a demonstration of his spreadsheet. He changed parts, quantities, discounts, and labor costs to show how easily a spreadsheet can make a business more efficient. "Before, I used to stay up 'til midnight figuring grain bin prices for people. Now I can figure them while I'm on the phone."

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