Solving seasonal sales problems and exploring AI transcription

The clichés are true – the new year is a great time to refresh and refocus, and at OnlyExcel Towers, we did just that. Throughout 2023, we solved many challenges for businesses looking for an easier way. This year’s plan is much more of that, but harder, better, faster, stronger. Or in our language, smarter.

So let’s take a brief look at what kept us busy throughout January and some of the tools we’ve been adopting to help us achieve our goals for the next eleven months.

Re-integration for an Amazon reseller

Selling through Amazon is becoming increasingly appealing for SME retailers, so it’s no surprise that one of our regular clients asked us to help with an update to their Amazon integration. More specifically, their existing third-party integration had suddenly changed its functionality and was no longer suitable. Not ideal during one of the busiest sales periods – Black Friday and Christmas.

We reprioritised our work schedule to focus on this high-priority issue, building and implementing a customer integration to take the stress away and support our client’s sales during this busy period. Our client’s Amazon operation was back up and running in no time, enabling them to resume sales and start the year confident that they were using the right tools for the job. A good way to start the year!

Saving time and effort with Microsoft AI transcription tools

We’re big fans of the “work smarter” mantra. Of course, we work hard, but it’s in our nature to find better (smarter) ways of doing things through clever tools and automation. But the truth is, we spend so much of our time building these for other people that we’re not left with much time to build our own. Thankfully, we’ve found love in Microsoft’s new suite of AI tools.

Specifically, we’ve been using the Microsoft Word and Teams transcription service to produce notes from audio and video meetings, which has been a real game-changer for us. It enables us to quickly review a call, reference the key discussion points later on, and share the notes with all parties. 

In Teams, you can simply record and transcribe as you go. In Word, you can upload an audio file for transcription. Monthly limits currently apply (300 minutes of transcription); however, there are rumblings of a pay-as-you-go model being added at a later date.

Comparing it to similar tools on the market, it’s markedly better at identifying different speakers, and the accuracy of transcription is great too, requiring little manual intervention. 

It can be a little overzealous with timestamps, often applying them excessively. Thankfully, Nic whipped up a cool little macro that merges these together where necessary, reducing the overall length of the transcription document.


Using tools like these has been a good precursor for our goals for the year. We have the clients, and we have the expertise, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to how we work.

We encourage you to apply this mindset to your own business. Where can you save time? Money? Effort? Unlocking efficiency is a surefire way to make a business more productive and profitable. All you need is the right application, automation or integration.

If you need a technology partner that can help you identify these bottlenecks and, more importantly, build the tools to solve your problems, then drop us a line.

We’d love to help you achieve a harder, better, faster and stronger 2024.

Get in touch.

Weather, widgets and winding down for Christmas

As 2024 rolls steadily closer, everything changes. Or maybe nothing changes at all? Dates are just dates, aren’t they? Even so, 2023 has been a fine year for OnlyExcel, but next year feels like it could be even better. We have a few tricks up our collective sleeve, and while we can’t reveal anything just yet, get ready for something big, shiny and new.

Meanwhile, we’ve been busy doing the things that we do. Namely, building business tools for our clients and helping them find better ways to run their organisations.

December can be a busy time for many companies, with fewer working days to get just as much work done, or key projects to deliver by the end of the year. This is where automation and digital transformation can really shine. Trust us when we say it can make the difference between hectic, last-minute, all-hands-on-deck panics, and a calm and orderly business that is always one step ahead.

Here are some recent examples of such work:

Weather service API for an amenity provider

If you work in amenities and facilities management, you’ll understand the effect that weather can have from one day to the next. By building one of our clients a weather API, they were able to add clear visibility (no pun intended) to their organisational systems to help them plan and predict how their days and weeks may look.

Project budget calculator for a PR organisation

Budget tracking is everything, especially in public relations, where projects can come thick and fast. We built a budget calculator widget for a successful PR organisation that needed better visibility of costs, resourcing and utilisation. The result is a more holistic overview of any given project at any given time and a more agile business overall.

Budgeting application for a care provider

Our client had an outdated and inefficient spreadsheet-based costing model. With over 1,000 data points, the legacy system was burning time and money. Through clever back-engineering, we were able to develop a new application that allowed them to provide restricted access to more people in the organisation, removing bottlenecks and greatly improving costing and pricing exercises.


All that remains to be said is a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you’ve had a productive year, and here’s to the next one.

Let’s talk if you’re an organisation (of any size) looking for an easier time of it. We can help you optimise your processes and remove some of the burden from running your business.

Get in touch.

This month at OnlyExcel: Migration, automation and jubilation

It’s a tale as old as time itself: We’re so busy delivering business that we haven’t found the time to talk about our own. It’s been a productive year so far at OnlyExcel. We’ve welcomed new clients, new people, and even twins! Read Nic’s ‘Parentreptreneur’ blog series here.

Amongst the adventures of work and life, we’ve delivered some real problem-solving projects for our clients. If our own busyness has told us anything, it’s that organisations need tools and apps that make running their business a breeze. Thankfully, that’s what we do. Here’s what’s been keeping us on our toes:

Automated ecommerce listings

We worked with a mobile phone reseller to take valuable time and resources out of manual online listings. By building a custom web application, they are now able to automatically populate and publish eBay listings based on content that’s already in their database.

Sage Pay to Stripe migration

Our longstanding client, a successful fence manufacturer, wanted to make the switch from Sage Pay to the popular Stripe payment processor. We know a thing or two about online payments, data migration and finance systems, so we had them switched over and up and running without a hitch.

DocuSign and commission calculators

Real estate businesses are go-go-go, with lots of moving parts and many salespeople pulling together to keep things speeding along. DocuSign is a must for any business that wants to digitise paperwork and create a reliable audit trail. And with robust and reliable commission calculators, salespeople could easily work out their hard-fought earnings.

If you’re a business losing time to manual processes, or perhaps you’d like to migrate or digitise a part of your business, then give us a call. As you can see, we work across all industries and sectors and aim to make your business work better for you.

Get in touch.