Resource planning is a method by which a business can ensure that all its resources and assets can be counted for within a single piece of documentation. It is a safe process to ensure that an operation has adequate resources, as efficient resource planning ensures who, what and how long each specific element within a job should take. The ultimate goal of resource planning is to make clear to all participants their responsibilities within an operation.
Whiteboards or Excel
Simple resource planning approaches, such as utilising Excel spreadsheets or maybe something even as simple as a whiteboard at first can seem like an efficient, straightforward solution. Whilst the pros of using Excel include that it’s a relatively cheap option, in the long term it will cost your business time and effort to maintain an efficient resource plan through Excel. Cons such as its complexity, rigid template structure and lack of mobility can often lead to disparity within a single team about an operation’s structure.
Online Resource Planning
Another possible, more complex solution would be using online resource planning software. Whilst pros such as allowing much more mobility, having increased flexibility and offering a standardised way to retrieve and report data, it would still have its limits. Often ‘off the shelf’ software will not be able to fulfil all of your requirements, and you will have to compromise on the final outcome. Cons such as the software may be over or under complicated will occur; this is because you are one of many customers using a single solution for different needs, which can make it difficult to learn and use.
Bespoke Resource Planning
Whilst ‘off the shelf’ resource planning software may be initially cheaper, it cannot offer the solution that bespoke software can deliver.A custom built database will be 100% tailored to your needs, which can also be adapted as your business develops new functionality, keeping you at the forefront of resource planning. Information from your current systems and applications can be integrated into the bespoke system for easy data transfer.
And whilst an initial con may be that the costs may seem high, bespoke software will often be a cheaper solution for businesses, especially those with a large number of users as there are no license costs per user. Bespoke software will lead to efficient, effective communication between all participants within your business, giving you a distinct advantage over your competitors. It’s THE solution to ensure what resources are needed where and when, without the possibility of double bookings or missing equipment.