How Resource Management Software Helps Business
Managing Resources Effectively Reduces Costs and Increases Efficiency
Resource management software can drive a business to new levels of success. What is it, and how does it help?
There isn’t a business in existence that doesn’t rely on resources of one kind or another in order to operate. These might be human resources in terms of experience and expertise, for example a financial advisor, or they might be tangible materials such as the ingredients needed in a bakery to make bread.
In the majority of cases, businesses need a combination of the two – in the case of the bakery, the ingredients are of little use if there isn’t an experienced baker to use them and in a construction project, there will be a wide variety of tools, materials and expertise that all need to come together at the right place and the right time. There is nothing new to this conceptually, and resource manager tools are simply software solutions that help make sure resources are allocated and managed with optimum efficiency.
Effective resource planning
From the above, the term “resource” sounds very vague in as much as it clearly covers a wide variety of things. But what all resources have in common is that they cost money and they are in finite supply. Clearly, planning your resource needs is important – too much, and you are wasting money, while too little and your ability to deliver products or services on time will be affected.
A simple illustration of resource planning can be seen in any supermarket. We have all seen occasions when customers are frustratedly waiting in queues when only three checkouts are open and there are a dozen standing unmanned, or conversely, when checkout staff have been sitting bored doing nothing because they outnumber the customers.
Using resource management software
The most basic type of resource management software is a simple spreadsheet that logs the available resources and the tasks or projects on which they are to be allocated. The problem with this is that it requires manual input, and will only be showing snapshots at a given moment in time.
The latest software is driven by databases that contain detailed information on the various resources, and map these to the different projects. It includes such functionality as information sharing, collaboration and reporting. Most importantly, it will typically be built on a platform where anyone can get an instant view of resource needs and availability. This means it can highlight and even predict any potential bottlenecks, delays or, indeed, areas of slack.
Benefits of resource management software
An effective resource management system helps a business achieve its strategic objectives by ensuring resources are deployed in the right places at the right times. More than that, though, it allows you to keep track of resource utilisation. In the area of human resources, this is particularly important to understand if some members of the team are over or under worked.
This enhanced clarity allows you to quickly reallocate resources as necessarily, and best of all, it can provide an instant cost / benefit analysis of your actions. Used properly, it can both increase efficiency and drive down costs.