Resource management software – the case for a best of breed solution

IT departments in large organisations are keen to minimise the number of system that they need to maintain. They have a strong incentive to go for ERP , enterprise project management (EPM) software  and other large corporate systems to avoid a multiplicity of best of breed systems. Resource management software falls into this decision, with many ERP and EPM systems including some functionality.

Operational departments may be less enamoured, For example, in engineering and construction, the scale of individual projects requires comprehensive project planning capabilities, with task planning to great levels of detail. This warrants a sophisticated project planning tool, but for those responsible for achieving high levels of resource utilisation, it’s the wrong focus. Skilled engineers work on other tasks, such as proposals, as well as live projects. ‘What If.. scenarios are needed to assess the resourcing implications as new proposals are accepted, whilst ensuring that live projects, proposal preparation and important ‘business as usual’ tasks remain properly resourced. Responding to this mix of tasks can be cumbersome with EPM software.

Consistently achieving high utilisation levels is a strategic goal for project based organisations. Back in 2012 the Association of Consulting Engineers, in a member benchmark survey, found that a mere 2% increase in staff utilisation levels would increase their member’s operational profits by around 25%. This is a rich reward for a modest improvement, and justifies adoption of the most suitable resource management software.

Most project based organisations work in a highly volatile environment, where project change is endemic. The resource implications of each change must be proactively managed if high levels of resource utilisation are to be maintained. Best of breed resource management software, such as Innate, is specifically designed for this, and is much more nimble than components of large corporate systems can ever be.

As a one time engineering services director of Petrofac (the oil and gas facilities provider) said, the challenge is to continually optimise the utilisation of a geographically dispersed workforce of around 4,500 engineers, where each project has its own timeline, priority and competency requirements. He used Innate’s best of breed resource management software to achieve this, alongside their enterprise project management software that effectively manages individual project’s deliveries and milestones.

Barry Muir is a Director of Innate Management Systems Ltd. We have been implementing resource management software in a wide variety of professional services organizations for more than 20 years.
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