Achieve Optimal Workloads with Schedule Manager in Ajera
The goal of all architecture and engineering firms is to deliver successful, profitable projects. And, project review meetings help firms identify the current and anticipated workload for their employees, which directly ties to the forecast and pipeline, current projects and backlog.
When department managers have the information they need, they can staff appropriately to improve or speed up workflow, eliminate barriers, and create more successful projects and employees. This means that resource workloads at architecture and engineering firms are balanced, or, as balanced as any firm can be.
10AM Monday Outlook Reminder goes off: Weekly Project Review/ Staffing Meeting
Project Manager: WAIT! The Excel sheet is checked out and I can’t enter my time estimates and resource requests for this week.
Department Manager: The spreadsheet STILL has empty fields in it. When are those darn project managers going to get it – I have.to.have.this.data.for.Monday.morning!
The Culture of Excel Spreadsheets at AE Firms
Excel spreadsheets have been a fixture at many architecture and engineering firms due to their flexibility. These spreadsheets can be a pain, and while they help keep things in one place, they don’t always improve the efficiency of a firm.
Department managers and principals are always looking for improvements in efficiency, but many employees can spend some portion of their weekend or most of Monday morning cross-checking the spreadsheet against timesheets and project reports to try to determine what happened and what the plan for the week should be. Then, the data must be entered into the overall project spreadsheet so that the Monday meeting report works.
Unfortunately, much of this is time consuming and involves duplicate entry of data.
What Can This Cost a Firm?
If each department manager spends an average of three hours managing data and two hours in the Monday meeting, for a mid-sized firm with four department managers billing at $150/hour, the project review process costs as much as 3,600/week!
Annually, this overhead runs around $150,000-190,000 or more!
Resource management is among the most important activities at an architecture or engineering firm, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more efficient ways that can save firms time and ultimately, money.
Better Resource Management with Schedule Manager
After working with dozens of architecture and engineering firms and industry, Axium has built new resource management features in ajeraComplete that are designed to be flexible, manageable and integrated.
Like the simplicity of an Excel spreadsheet but with the convenience of integration of data from Axium’s accounting and project management software, Schedule Manager uses a single interface to schedule your projects against their budget – and allows you to immediately see what you have available to schedule in both hours and dollars.
Balanced Workloads at Your AE Firm
When it comes to project management, Schedule Manager offers at-a-glance workload availability for your entire architecture or engineering firm.
Department managers can filter this information to see specific skill sets or departments, and can quickly see who is available for more work (or who is in need of some reprieve). The employee workload view focuses on managing and redistributing workloads on an employee basis rather than a project basis – matching the work you need to do on a daily and weekly basis.
User-defined, color-coded utilization gives at-a-glance workload distribution so you prioritize and optimize your scheduling tasks.
Manage Employee Workloads for Architecture and Engineering Firms
• Efficient, easy-to-use interface with real-time availability
• Color-coded utilization for at-a-glance prioritization
• Accessible firm-wide by employee
Successful Resource Planning at Architecture and Engineering Firms
With ajeraComplete and Schedule Manager, project managers’ at architecture and engineering firms can gain increased visibility into their projects and workloads, and department managers can make faster, better-educated decisions based on detailed, up to the second information. Your project review meetings can be conducted without the high maintenance of the multiple spreadsheets.
You can reduce the weekly frustration, put department managers back to managing their people rather than spreadsheets, eliminate the obstacles project managers face and rest assured your staff has a balanced workload.
Download the whitepaper: Top Considerations for Adopting an A&E Industry Specific Accounting Platform Understand the limitations of generic accounting systems like QuickBooks and how an A&E industry specific solution helps A&E firms grow their business and increase profitability.
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