The visiting head of the technical function only needed to look at the most recently plotted point on the chart (relative to preceding ones) for a Key Performance Indicator like. Cost per Hectolitres brewed(One Hectolitre = 100 Litres), to know if the brewery had stayed within the approved upper limit of spend(plotted as a straight line target across the same period) or not. Discussions would then take place based on identified "Exceptions"(which could be "good" e.g. savings made or "bad" e.g. monetary loss due to materials over_used), and "Actions To Be Taken" to correct or maintain observed performances agreed upon.
This last point in my opinion is ONE major benefit you must seek to extract, if you choose to engage the services of a developer. S/he should be able to help you develop (in_house) expertise needed to maintain the application AFTER s/he is gone. If you fail to ensure this, all your cost_savings from using the application might end up being spent paying the developer to maintain the application over time in the future!
For instance if a company had five drink brands in the market but notices that Brand A, which has a profit margin of at least twice the others is in greatest demand, they could (a) focus production efforts on that brand, so that more bottles go out to trade (b) Apply Best Practice/Continuous Improvement initiatives that would result in lower costs of producing each bottle of Brand A so that even though the market price remains fixed, the company is able to earn increasing profit margins per bottle.
Another question I ask, in answering the "Why Excel VB?" question is : "Why re_invent the wheel? ". My experiences(and those of others who favour the use of Excel VB like I do), confirm that to organise, and analyse data for (financial/management) report generation and decision making, you will save hundreds of hours using already in_built, pre_programmed Excel functions compared to a situation where you used Visual Basic proper. All the functions needed to achieve the above purposes already exist in Excel, so that you don't have to write them all from scratch as would be the case if you were to use Visual Basic. 3.It works even when you lack "In House" expertise.