It’s a scenario in every professional services firm across the globe.
Optimal resource management is often the key to profitability and sustainable growth for any project-based organization. Unfortunately, with rapid changes at the workplace, the labor markets, and industry conditions, managing resources efficiently in the modern era has become tremendously challenging. Also, customer demand for cost optimization in product and service delivery continues to grow. Overcoming these challenges requires getting every aspect of the resource management process 100% right in the first attempt.
To explore fresh perspectives on how organizations can achieve such capabilities in an evolving world, Replicon headed to Dallas, USA as a sponsor of the Resource Management Global Symposium 2022.
Replicon At The Resource Management Global Symposium
Organized by the Resource Management Institute, the Resource Management Global Symposium 2022 was held in Dallas over two days, April 28 and 29, 2022. This year, with the theme being ‘Future-proofing Resource Management’, the symposium aimed to explore the growing need to develop sustainable resourcing capabilities to prepare enterprises for the future.
The event allowed attendees to learn about the best practices, innovations, and techniques around resource management from industry leaders and experts to improve their capabilities in strategic resourcing. They were also able to explore the latest resourcing automation technologies from global vendors such as Replicon’s Polaris PSA.
Breakout Session: How AI/ML Drives Success For The 3rd Wave Of Resource Management
As one of the leading sponsors of the event, Replicon hosted a breakout session on the future of resourcing, particularly on how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are critical to success for resource management in the coming days.
In the first wave, resource management was still in its infancy. It involved spreadsheets and ad-hoc resourcing but lacked feedback loops for resource productivity and utilization. The second wave of resourcing brought more innovation and methodologies to overcome the earlier challenges. Agile resource management has brought in a much-needed feedback loop while ensuring more organization in terms of demands, allocations, skills, and availability.
Current Challenges In Resource Management
Despite these advancements, organizations still struggle to make the most of their resources. Some of the resourcing challenges that they continue to face are the following:
- The visibility of bench resources is unclear
- Gaining visibility into future capacity is still a manual process, and it takes far too long and much effort
- It is challenging to match skills to current or future demands
- Data accuracy and quality issues limit revenue forecasting capabilities
- Data silos prevent clear visibility into key metrics and drive several exponential challenges
In addition to the above challenges, the professional services industry has also been undergoing a significant transformation, characterized by the following trends:
1. Shift Towards A Collaboration Model
Organizations have been rapidly shifting away from a workflow-centric approach to a more collaborative one as they begin to adopt more and more digital tools in the workplace.
2. Rise Of Freelancers
While freelancing is not new, there has been significant growth in the number of organizations opting for this model in recent years, as they begin to trim down costs to a certain extent.
3. Adoption Of Global Resource Pools
An increasing number of organizations have begun to invest in internal resource pools tailored to specific skill sets or lines of business, adding multiple layers of complexity to already existing resource management challenges.
4. Vendor-managed Resourcing
As organizations shift towards lean resourcing models, they are increasingly relying on vendor-managed resources. Therefore, existing resource management processes and technologies must also scale up to support multiple vendors.
5. The Growth Of Virtual-first
With work-from-anywhere and hybrid models gaining significant traction in recent years, newer challenges have cropped up, such as difficulties in collaboration and a lack of real-time resourcing data.
These trends have created the need for a revolutionary approach to resource management.
The 3rd Wave Of Resource Management
It is essential to start thinking about resourcing differently to overcome the challenges experienced in the first and the second waves of resource management. That is where the 3rd wave comes into play.
The 3rd wave of resource management is an AI/ML-based approach built on the Resource Intelligence Platform, to completely transform enterprise resource management by automating the decision-making process. This is made possible by leveraging a wide array of structured and unstructured data sets, such as:
- Resource profiles
- Demand data
- Allocation data
- Availability data
- Business constraints (target utilization, margin expectations)
- Rate constraints (billing and costs)
- Vendor-managed resource inventory
The Resource Intelligence Platform offers a real-time single source of truth for all resource information that is constantly updated by data collection bots and advanced analytics. The architecture of the 3rd wave has AI/ML at the core, and is built on the real-time Resource Intelligence Platform. The system is designed to be a self-learning system leveraging ML models.
As a result, organizations become capable of solving the most significant conundrum that their resource and project managers regularly face – that is either choosing the best resource or choosing the most cost-effective resource.
The Functional Pillars Of The 3rd Wave
5 key functional pillars are essential for the successful execution of the 3rd wave of resource management. They are:
- Capacity Management
- Demand Management
- Demand Fulfillment
- Growth Management
- Resource Utilization
These functional pillars are meant to manage specific functionalities and deliver key objectives in the overall resource management scheme of the 3rd wave. So let’s take a deeper look at these pillars.
Capacity management provides a single source of truth for all resource information – Resource Intelligence Platform, model and manage capacity across the resource supply chains and internal and external pools in a single system.
This pillar functions as the real-time single source of truth for global demand pools, demand aggregates, demand requests, and unmet demand. As a result, it enables 100% real-time visibility into your current and future resource demands.
Demand fulfillment enables you to balance supply and demand across all project requirements in real time. Easily fulfill any unmet demand by leveraging resource capacity across supply chains. Empower your resource managers to make informed decisions by providing the best fit and cost-optimized resourcing scenarios to them.
Growth management helps you easily manage resource demand forecasts and aggregates. This allows for precise resource forecasting for future demands. At the same time, the resource manager can ensure that current resourcing needs are met.
This pillar enables you to get 100% real-time visibility into project resource utilization and billability. Easily enforce utilization targets and manage productivity across your organization. This pillar also helps to expose the hidden bench, which are resources that appear to be allocated or busy but are working on tasks that are not billable.
These 5 pillars, layered over the Resource Intelligence Platform, are meant to work in harmony to deliver the next generation of resource management.
Benefits Of The 3rd Wave Of Resource Management
The 3rd wave Of resource management brings with it real and measurable benefits for organizations. Some of them are.
- No More Silos: With a single source of truth powered by a Resource Intelligence Platform, you achieve 100% visibility along with real-time data for resource, supply, demand, and utilization across the enterprise. No longer will your organization have to make decisions with stale data, hidden away in silos.
- No Hidden Bench: Gain clear visibility into your resource pool to identify all unbilled resources on client engagement, and not available for billable projects.
- Target Utilization Exposure: Achieve live visibility into billable targets and attain target utilization for every resource to make proactive course corrections.
- Achieve Demand Fulfillment > 80-100%: Get the ability to fulfill demand at a much higher rate than what’s possible today by fixing hidden bench issues, leveraging real-time visibility into utilization, and utilizing resources across virtual and global supply chains.
- Cost-optimized Resource Allocation: Allocate resources based on what matters to your organization resulting in improved project margins, for a direct impact on your bottom line.
- Lean Real-time Resourcing: Take resource management to the next level by leveraging external resources on-demand and reducing reliance on internal resources.
Business Networking At The Welcome Reception
As the first day of the symposium came to a close, a welcome reception in the evening allowed the attendees to mingle and ponder over some of the day’s learning, all around some amazing Texan snacks and drinks. The attendees also visited the exhibitors during this time to learn about some exciting solutions, just like the Polaris PSA. Replicon even arranged for an exclusively branded drink – The Polaris Margarita!!! This Replicon-sponsored activity was quite a hit with the attendees. Experts and leaders from the field of resource management were also in attendance to answer any queries that the attendees had.
Winning Big At Replicon Raffle Draw
As a special surprise for all the attendees, Replicon held a couple of raffle draws over the course of two days of the event. All the attendees at the symposium were encouraged to participate to stand a chance to win two amazing prizes – An Apple iPad Air and an Apple Airpods Max.
Overall, the Resource Management Global Symposium 2022 provided an amazing opportunity for like-minded professionals to come together and explore the future of resourcing. With several engaging sessions from seasoned experts, the symposium provided an important platform to discuss the biggest resourcing challenges of today and tomorrow.