Are You Managing Your Resources Effectively?

Posted by Deltek on June 22, 2015

Feeling like you’re caught with your pants down when you’re asked tough questions by management?

How can you expect to manage resources efficiently if you don’t know or can’t accurately estimate the time, costs or resources required to complete projects? It’s difficult to predict future resource needs if the system you are using does not provide a corporate wide view into current and future projects, or the resources you have available for them. Over time, miscalculations can seriously erode your firm’s long term profitability.

Bridging the gap between resource planning and project execution is a challenge if you are using spreadsheets and standalone systems, if the software is not designed for project-based businesses, or if the system does not provide the real-time information you need for making decisions. Your employees’ time is your key asset, therefore, it is critically important to ensure that your staff is consistently utilised in a way that ensures maximum efficiency and profitability - for each and every project.

Or what?… Otherwise you may begin to experience common pitfalls of poor resource management:

  • Your star employees are overworked and talent retention is at risk.
  • A number of your employees are being underutilised impacting your firm’s profitability.
  • The wrong skillsets are being assigned to projects.
  • There is a lack of real-time visibility into who is over-utilised and under-utilised across projects.
  • You are unable to accurately forecast your future project needs.

You can’t just throw bodies at a project to complete it faster or move resources from one project to another without considering the impact it may have.

Project-based ERP is designed specifically for the way professional services organisations work. It includes built in resource management capabilities that eliminate the need for you to manually track budgets, schedules and utilisation in spread sheets. Dashboards and reports can be set up by role and generated on demand. For instance, a “budget to actual” report will allow you to see how many hours were budgeted for a particular project, how many hours were billed and what is remaining. When this information is paired with projected time using the scheduling tool, you can easily manage staff and project workloads on a weekly basis.

Project-based ERP enables professional services organisations to:

  • Know what projects are in the pipeline, what skillsets are required and how these projects will impact workloads in terms of skillsets required and staff utilisation.

  • Accurately estimate the costs of people, materials, expenses and subcontractors that will be needed to complete projects.

  • Quickly assess the inventory of skills available in house and determine when to subcontract various project tasks and how it will impact profit margins.

  • Assign and shift resources in a way that maximises the organisation’s efficiency, billable utilisation and profitability.

  • Proactively manage project change orders and their impact to resources, costs and schedules.

  • Track budgeted versus actual costs to keep projects on target, on time, and within budget.

Effective resource management is essential for professional services organisations that want to maximise profit margins, improve billable utilisation, retain top talent and increase client satisfaction.