How to utilise capacity planning

Maximise the utilisation of your team

Over-servicing has always been an Achilles heel for agencies. Extra hours are often clocked up on projects in order to keep clients happy and projects on track. But these extra hours are not part of the original, agreed scope and this means that you won’t be able to bill for that extra work and therefore means that you miss out on potential profit. Agencies also often turn to freelancers to deal with the extra workload, however this further aggravates the problem as using freelancers incurs additional costs. To make a change, you should first focus on maximising the utilisation of your current team to increase both efficiency and profitability.

Get an overview of your team’s capacity

A major cause of over-servicing is the combined lack of visibility on forward planned and real time capacity. When you win more clients it’s often difficult to balance the new workload with your studio’s current capacity. If the studio is not in a position to cope with the extra workload then this is when you are forced to employ freelancers to fill those gaps and hence incur spiralling overheads.

Resource planning software will help you to plan your capacity clearly in advance and in the real time. This will allow you to increase profitability, accommodate new work and reduce those overheads.

Monitor real time job progress 

Agency studios deliver tens, if not hundreds of jobs concurrently. It therefore becomes increasingly difficult to monitor your real time job progress and then effectively plan for potential overrun. Overrunning on projects and not billing for the extra work incurred destroys value within the agency reducing your ability to manage profit.

Job dashboards are a crucial component of a good agency management system, identifying overrun the minute it happens and giving you the ability to take appropriate action immediately. With up to date employee schedules, you can then identify availability in other team member diaries to cover the work overload and ensure the job is delivered. By identifying overrun in real time will also provide you with enough information to better estimate similar jobs in the future. Therefore you can bill clients more accurately and enhance job profit margins.