The savings _ from using your "in house" expertise _ in terms of money and man_hours alone, will quickly justify the investment you make in "developing the needed skills" _ especially, when you compare what you spend with the cost of purchasing a commercial software application _ or even engaging the services of an Excel VB developer.
Spreadsheet Tracking As A Crucial Element For Business Development. There are ways you can use spreadsheets to record and track materials usages/stocks, product sales, and other business data such that discrepancies will be easily detected when they do occur. The use of spreadsheets when properly done, can help to uncover the cause(s) of "losses" in virtually any aspect of a business operation.
I believe using either of these two applications should not pose any problems for implementing your spreadsheet automation ideas. This is because both have always been "friendly", towards making it easy for users to get more functionality out of them by way of custom programming.
"Over_used/Over_spent"(Losses) and "Under_used/Under_spent"(Savings) _ on a monthly basis based on data entered, the program also automatically plotted charts showing trends over a 12 month period.