5 Steps to Proactive Resource Management for Services Firms

As a business leader, you do your best to make your service organization successful. You invest in the latest technologies, hire the best candidates, and get all the essential resources to run your business efficiently. But do you think that is enough to ensure that you will have continuous success? The answer is no. You can’t just expect your organization to be successful unless you look for ways to get maximum productivity from your resources.

As a services organization, you may have been plagued with poor hiring selections, overburdened employees, and unnecessary expenditure in the past. We have seen how, over the past year, circumstances have turned upside down for businesses globally. To grow in the long run, you must develop a plan to address these problems as quickly as possible.

By proactively planning, you will be able to examine all parts of your business and create organizational and resource management strategies to fix any bottlenecks before they eat into your profitability. This will enable you to bring stability and reliability to your organization and build the desired future as per your goals.

Let’s look at five resource management best practices that you can follow to improve productivity and increase profits:

1. Have a Clear Capacity and Demand Visibility to Avoid Any Setbacks

It is not unusual for customers to come up with alterations after the planning stage is over. However, any unplanned changes in requirements can drastically affect your project and resource planning and turn success into a failure.

When it comes to project management, tracking the changing project requirements and adjusting resources as per the supply and demand is absolutely essential in knowing how a project will perform. Managers need to consider the capability, availability, and capacity of the resources and come up with a headcount that will be involved in a particular project.

Clear visibility over your projects and resources helps you know where the resource is actually involved at a particular time and how well the current processes and products are doing. Managing resources efficiently will increase project value, reduce the cost and time required for project accomplishment, and avoid any financial setbacks from under or over-resource allocation.

2. Manage Resources at a Global Level to Improve Resource Utilization

Every organization needs a workforce to scale up. When resource management is area or department-specific, it becomes difficult for managers to find resources with similar skills sets globally. Working in silos may cause some of your workforce to remain idle for a significant duration of time — time that can be better utilized if you have a complete picture of your resources and ongoing projects at a global level.

Since any change in headcount also impacts the fixed and variable costs associated with hiring, training, infrastructure, etc., limited knowledge of the resource availability in your organization may cause you to over-hire or under-hire. Either of these scenarios is not suitable for any organization as they will impact the profitability and scale of your business.

When teams work together, the business will be able to deliver what customers want in the desired amount of time. In addition, with the complete workforce at their disposal, leaders can better plan their projects without adding costs or increasing headcount.

Having the right PSA solution like Polaris, a self-driving PSA, at your disposal will give global visibility and all the relevant data to optimize your resource utilization and benefit your organization. You will be able to easily and efficiently improve productivity and enhance profitability while minimizing allocation tasks and employee burnout.

3. Recruit Strategically to Have Employees as Needed

Some companies are reluctant to recruit due to the cost and efforts that go towards hiring new people. In contrast, successful firms understand the importance of recruitment in expanding their business and do not shy away from investing in human capital. However, bulk-hiring is not the solution to this problem.

Rather than thinking of recruiting as a burden, you must follow a proactive and careful approach during your recruitment process. Knowing the skill gaps in your organization and the most sought-after technologies in the market can help you identify, hire, and allocate resources to the most appropriate projects.

Recruitment costs can be staggering; as such, any new employees must be hired after careful consideration and keeping the project budget in mind. In many cases, hiring regular employees may not be the best approach, and you may have to look for certain alternatives like outsourcing or part-time employment. Many companies also hire freelancers and consultants to fill skill gaps and offload temporary spikes in the workload.

4. Assign Resources at an Early Stage to Improve Employee Commitment

Assigning or hiring the employees at the last stage of project planning will not only causes delays in the project but may also cause you to hire employees that may not be the right fit for your organization. An essential factor to consider here is that most organizations have some training or onboarding period before new hires can actually work on a project.

A better approach is to anticipate the hiring requirements in advance, preferably during the project planning phase itself, to ensure that the time lag between hiring and employee appointment is kept at a minimum. Leaders can check the availability and skills of all individuals in a company-wide resource pool and build teams that can work on that particular project at an early stage.

This will enable you to:

  • Avoid issues like a last-minute search for a resource to fill in the required role
  • Increase project margins and reduce uncertainty
  • Increase the percentage of on-time project delivery
  • Complete project within estimated budget with high levels of customer satisfaction

5. Analyze Past Projects to Better Plan and Estimate New Projects

Planning a project requires making important decisions about the type of client, work, skill, duration, etc., needed. This is where resource planning comes into the picture. Once you have clear visibility on the past trends and the future work involved, you can estimate the demand and allocate the workforce in a way that optimizes your resources and minimizes risk.

A vital step to increase your profitability is to select projects that can provide high returns with as little investment as possible, which is only possible when you have more information about your past projects. Using analytics, you can analyze the gaps in your systems and determine what is needed to deliver a project without any hiccups. You can also prioritize tasks to ensure that management has more time to create different approaches and pick the best way forward. Such informed decisions go a long way in delivering a seamless experience to your customers.

All this will be easily available to you through Polaris PSA. It will continuously reap data from users and all the systems to deliver real-time visibility into the projects. These real-time insights will lead to more agile projects and keep your finances on track and optimized.

Proactively Optimize Your Process Before It’s Too Late

Traditionally, resourcing has been reactive; therefore, the movement of employees within teams or departments causes additional workload and responsibilities on the remaining resources, which, in turn, may delay projects. However, by being more proactive in your approach, you can change how your business functions and get rewards like:

  • Better visibility into the process and consistent workflow with increased resource utilization
  • Better planning of future projects and estimates with better forecasting
  • Faster resource allocation with reduced bench time
  • Improved inventory of your core skills and a good analysis of skills gaps
  • Better access to resource data with increased revenue

The future may be unknown, but we can reduce the risk of the unknown by being better prepared for the challenges. Polaris, a self-driving PSA, is designed to support service organizations of all types, sizes, and budgets. We have helped companies optimize their resource management process and gain control of resource utilization. Greater resource utilization will not only increase the profits of your service, but it will also build stronger teams, promote a healthy work environment, enhance employee experience, deliver greater satisfaction to the customers, and increase your business.

To learn more about how Polaris has created a new category for Professional Services Automation, check out our datasheet.

Surbhi Bharati
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Surbhi Bharati
Surbhi is Content Marketing Manager at Replicon. She is a learner with a curiosity for new technologies. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
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